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Question
I would like to find out what sort of courses one should apply for when it comes to writing novels or short stories for magazines.  I cannot decide on what sort of courses I should look at and the institutions or course writing businesses that are reputable and can offer what they advertise.  I have heard about overseas writing companies such as the Writers Bureau and Long Ridge Writers Group.  What is your view in this regard?

Answer
Hi,sumi!

Frankly, I don't know of many popular fiction authors who have taken such courses. Most of us "learn on the job" by reading voraciously and practice writing (having beta readers and critique groups to smooth out spots.) So, unfortunately, I don't know which courses might be good. I can't imagine a correspondence course would be as helpful as an in-class one where you can see other people's writings to learn from. Sorry I'm not of more help, but good luck.

Cathy

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Cathy Clamp

Expertise

I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of writing novels, from the beginning kernel of an idea through completion. I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology and acronyms. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication. I can teach the rules of formatting a manuscript, creating viable plots, characterization and flow in the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, women's fiction, mainstream and mystery.

Experience

I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen novels (combination of mass market and trade softcover) since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011.

Organizations
Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Publications
Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many others.

Education/Credentials
My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award winner, 2009, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

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