Martin Read |Student with The Writers Bureau – become a published writer
“I thought I could write…”
“I thought I could write and my ambition was to do it for newspapers and magazines, so I wanted to get some tips, professional advice and guidance and honest, objective feedback.
“First the course asked why I wanted to write, making me think through my motives. I am 74 and having had a challenging job, I found retirement very difficult without any mental stimulus, purpose or sense of achievement. I missed the adrenaline of having to hit deadlines and produce professional work.
“Then the course taught me how to evaluate a potential target publication, which was very useful and stopped me wasting time with pointless submissions. The course also challenged me to tackle a variety of subjects that I would not have considered writing about. As a result, I wrote about my cats and was paid £40 for an article in ‘Your Cat’ magazine. Then ‘The Lady’ published an anniversary piece of mine, for which I received £80. I also learned from the course that writing fillers could be lucrative and I had success and payment from magazines such as ‘Bella’. The ideas and encouragement provided by the course gave me invaluable confidence – and it worked, I was getting published!
“My future goals are to widen my output in terms of subject matter and different publications, I’m especially interested in national newspapers and magazines. I am also mapping out a family history, and have done extensive research and a few chapters for a novel.
“As a result of my cricket articles, I have been elected into The Cricket Writers Club – an organisation that counts experienced journalists among its members. One of the perks of this membership is a press card that gives me entry into all of England’s cricket stadium press boxes. In 2014 I hope to become a radio cricket commentator and I’m in contact with the BBC regarding that aim.
“This year I have written for my local newspaper – ‘The District Post’, as well as ‘Sussex Sport’, a Brighton daily called ‘The Argus’, ‘The Kent Cricket Annual’, ‘The Cricket Paper’ and the Horsham Cricket Festival – a five day professional event. I now regularly cover rugby, motor racing, cycling and the marathon and I’m just starting on a badminton series. I’ve also written book reviews, obituaries and, following tip-offs, a number of news stories and features. I’ve recently received a commission from ‘Fine Sussex’ magazine to write a feature on a national sports personality for their front cover and have a number of other articles for various magazines in the pipeline.
“Payment is, of course, always welcome, but it gives me enormous satisfaction to see my work appearing in print so frequently, and receive plaudits from readers in the community. I’ve greatly enjoyed producing articles and have met some interesting people. In the last few months I’ve interviewed a cabinet minister, a senior official at Westminster Abbey, two rugby internationals, professional cricketers, a top cricket umpire and a professional, international football referee. It’s a dream job for me – thank you Writers Bureau for showing me the way.”
In a recent update he went on to say:
“Since we were last in touch I have been published in different papers and magazines, and am now producing around 250 articles a year. The principal outlet for my work is giving me quite a few commissions, including news stories and business advertorials (I’ve just completed my 12th advertorial). So far today I’ve been interviewing the CEO of a major professional sports club, the local Head of Leisure and the Town Centre Manager. “Last week I had a front page spread after meeting Brian Blessed and Virginia McKenna when covering a major charity auction. I’ve just finished a book review after being with a local author and have completed some personal profiles on sporting personalities. And, for bread and butter I’m reporting on a variety of sports (ten so far!) each week. It’s going a bit too well at times! Seriously, it’s very satisfying, stimulating and great fun – and thanks again to the WB for launching me on a second career. I meet so many interesting people and count myself mighty lucky.”