WriteSmarter Creative Writing FAQs

Should I just self-publish, or will I actually get my manuscript published?

Of course it is time-consuming to learn to write well, but a short-cut like self-publishing all too often leads to incurred costs and a pile of inferior books that you end up dishing out for free in order to get rid of them. Self-publishing is not called vanity publishing without good reason. A main feature of our course is its focus on producing manuscripts that are marketable and will earn royalties. We do our best to help our students produce manuscripts that are suitable for publication, but obviously there can be no guarantees. 


How do I know if I have the necessary talent?

No-one really knows whether they will succeed until they have tried. In fact, talent itself plays a surprisingly small role – the will to write and a passion for stories and books is what it's all about. That said, if you really are in doubt, feel free to send us an example of your work for assessment. 


What do I need to enrol?

You must have easy access to a computer, an email account and the internet. 


How much time do I get to complete my course?

As much as you need. Generally, if you spend 2-4 hours per week on the modules, you should be able to finish your course within 8-12 months. But when it comes to creative writing time is not the issue. The issue is to focus on acquiring writing skills and developing a manuscript with all the necessary elements for success


How do I submit my manuscript for publication?

The Creative Writing Course has a module all about polishing your manuscript and preparing a formal submission. This will greatly enhance the chances that your manuscript will be accepted by a bona fide publisher, like NB Publishers, Oxford University Press or Zebra Press.


What about helping to get me published?

We focus on equipping you with all the necessary skills to enter the competitive publishing industry with confidence as an independent writer. We also use the contacts we've built up over the years to help find publishing homes for promising manuscripts. We do not stand for self-publishing as that route all too often leads to an inferior product.


What will happen once my manuscript has been accepted?

Your manuscript will inevitably require further editing and reworking to suit the publisher's requirements. Then there is the contract to be agreed upon and signed before the book will go into production.  


Who will do the artwork, cover and illustrations, if any are needed?

Publishers have their preferred illustrators and designers who know their craft. 


Who markets the books in order for writers to receive royalties?

Although publishers have their own in-house marketing and sales teams, it pays to promote your book in schools and bookstores yourself. After all, you want to make sure your book gets maximum exposure. However, this is not a requirement.


What can I expect to earn?

In the case of a novel you can expect to earn a percentage of the retail price, usually 8 - 12%. Magazines pay per word, this can vary from R2.00 to R4.50. Some full-time authors make lots of money, while others enjoy writing as a fun pastime or a lucrative hobby


How do I pay for the course and do you offer a payment plan? 

Apart from the discounted single payment option, we offer a choice of multiple payment plans. When you make an enquiry or enrol you will receive the payment plans and banking details.


What is your money back guarantee all about?

As a mark of our confidence in the course you can get all your money back if, by the end of your course, you feel that it was a waste of time.


How is the course conducted?

All our communication is by email, making it easier for you to do the course at your convenience. Apart from studying the modules, you will complete a number of assignments and writing exercises which you will submit in an M/S Word format for personalised review. Detailed feedback using track changes and comment blocks is provided within seven days of submission of your assignment.


Can I do it from home?

The course is done by email so it really doesn’t matter where you are.


Are there fixed starting times or can I start when I'm ready?

You learn at your own pace and in your own free time. And as it is all done electronically, you can start anytime to suit you. 


Will I have to print the course notes?

You will not be required to print anything for this course unless you want to keep paper copies.


What is the formula for success? 

The desire to become an accomplished writer. Available time and commitment to complete all the modules with focus and concentration. The passion to complete a manuscript and follow it through from idea to publication.