Below is a selection of reviews received from our graduates (click each tab for details):
I wish it wasn't over, I could quite happily keep going, but I know how to keep my writing up now and I have walked away with much more direction. I enjoyed the challenge of pushing myself into my creative space again and really finding what I am capable of as a writer.
I enjoyed the varied and interesting tutorials. This course has been life-changing! Thank you, Janice Marriott, for sharing your wisdom, guidance and expertise with me. I have grown so much as a writer from the Writing for Children Diploma and I absolutely loved the twelve tutorials throughout the year. The diploma was so good in fact that I'd happily continue for another twelve months.
I thought this was an excellent course, it was extremely personal and self-fulfilling. The interactions I had with my tutor were always informative and I really looked forward to her feedback each time I submitted a paper. The course opened up new ideas and channels to me. I particularly liked writing true stories about my own family and past generations. I believe once generations die, stories get lost, so it was wonderful to keep some of these alive.
I loved the Creative Writing course. The assignments were great, and really tested my ability to write in different genres. While completing the course, I wrote my first novel, and have had it published and available for sale on Amazon. And it is selling! I would not have been able to achieve this if I hadn't done this course; my dream of being an author would have remained just a dream. The course has given me the confidence to pursue my dream, and I can't thank everyone, especially my tutor, Tina Shaw enough.
I had a great time with the course, kicking my own butt to get tutorials and assignments done. If I was less prone to distraction and maintained my initial dedication I could have done the course in half the time. I liked its accessibility, constant references to New Zealand writers, but also with a heavy dose of realism mixed in. The tutor's feedback is in-depth and gets straight to the root of things you did well and the things you have missed.
Studying through NZIBS has been a really great experience. As an adult learner, it is a very different experience from when I was younger. I have found the course really helpful in my journey as a writer and have learnt some valuable skills that will hopefully enable me to have my own children's book published one day.
I really enjoyed the variety of the assignments, they covered a number of aspects of writing stories. It was good to practice writing different genres. It allowed me to get a feel for different styles of writing. I also really enjoyed having a go at educational stories. I hadn't really considered that possibility before, but it allowed me to experience it and I am considering giving that a go as well as trade books. I also enjoyed researching different publishers for the educational series. Investigating and contacting different publishers was a positive experience and one that will help me when I pursue getting my book published. I really enjoyed doing the course by correspondence, it enabled me to work around my busy family life while extending my knowledge around writing.
Janice was fantastic. It was a real honour to get feedback on my assignments from someone who has experienced the writing and publishing world first hand. I appreciated Janice's honesty and guidance in my writing. Her encouragement that I have developed as a writer over the course was uplifting and motivating. It helped me see that I was understanding the course expectations and that I was developing and growing as a writer, and I was on the right track.
Writing Stories for Children was the best thing that I have done. It has opened up a world that I wanted to be a part of and given me the tools to become a published author. I really enjoyed doing this course and cant wait to sign up for another one. My tutor was awesome to work with and I wish to thank her so much for all her help and understanding. I look forward to being a part of the NZIBS group for a while longer.
For anyone that has no idea about creative writing, this is an excellent course to get you started. I enjoyed all of the course. The tutorials were interesting and stimulating and the course has crystalised my thinking about writing creatively. The course had everything and much, much more than I expected. Freedom of expression, research, great tutor interaction, stimulating material, a chance to exercise my mind and stretch my imagination together made this a superb course for me. It gave me the opportunity to use my life experience and observations creatively.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Writing for Children 12-month course. The course taught me so much more than I had expected. It covered everything about writing and publishing. The assignment helped me to see how creative my writing can be, alongside the amount of editing that is also very important. And I found it kept me thinking about new story ideas and helped encouraged me to continue writing even when I'm feeling distracted. My tutor was also very helpful in guiding me through the course and encouraging me to keep going. I would also consider another doing another course one day.
I got exactly what I hoped for from the course, and the overall experience has helped me in many ways. I feel like a stronger writer, and I'm motivated to achieve my goals. Tina was an exceptional tutor, easy to deal with and incredibly helpful. I felt supported and understood the entire way through.
I thoroughly enjoyed the course. It was fun, the tasks clear and on point. It gradually built up my ability to write the proper way. I have learnt to format my stories accordingly to the publisher's requirements. Janice was fantastic with her constructive criticism and encouragement. The work only just begins now I feel. You have given me the tools to know, where and how to start, thank you.
I fully recommend this course for someone to fine-tune their talent and open their imagination. My year seemed to come to an end with sudden haste, I emailed a request for an extension of time and am pleased to have received an extra six months to complete the course. There was great understanding from the Institute that didn't require lengthy explanation. My tutor has been a positive and helpful source of information. The feedback has always been constructive. She sees my potential and directs me towards the better writer within. I am grateful and thankful.
I’ve achieved personal satisfaction. And as an unexpected sideline, it has proved a great help with other forms of non-fiction writing. Tina was very positive and gave excellent practical advice.
This course was recommended to me by Fleur Beale, who assessed some of my stories. She said it was a splendid course for any aspiring children's author. She was right. I have benefited on many levels from the course assignments and from Janice Marriott's insightful feedback. I have already recommended the course to other writers, both to beginners like myself and to one established author who is thinking about changing genres.
I really enjoyed this course. I felt that it helped me to take my writing to the next level, and to make my dream more of a reality. I enjoyed learning about character development and also learning the correct way to structure sentences & dialogue.
I got to enjoy getting into creative writing again, getting feedback from my work, not having a score to say how well I did but that I had passed what I needed to, having an experienced author give genuine feedback on my work, in-depth tutorials that explained things mostly well and mostly able to make sense. This course has helped me think of a side career that I could be a writer, even though at first it is very overwhelming but is still possible with a positive mindset.
My tutor was amazing; she gave me a good review for all of my assessments so far, she felt like she was a writer friend that I could get advice from whenever, she was great at responding to questions and marking my work within a week or a couple of days after a week and I feel that she made my experience worth trying harder.
After floundering for months in a pool of notes and scribblings, I was able to write twelve chapters of my novel, plus scenes for other chapters in six months thanks to the support and guidance of my tutor Tina.
I had been out of country for 7+ years. I came out of the Middle East where you had to plan each and every day in order to not go 'bananas'! I returned to NZ, thinking that everything would be as it was, and that normal life would come to me, and I would not have to go in search of it! I was wrong. This course helped me tremendously with 'getting back into life'! It has helped me 'turn the grey matter' back on. It has helped 'download' lots of my stories and experiences as I have so many, many! I have only started! In some ways, the poetry writing has been therapeutic. However, now I see it as much more than this. I feel empowered to write. There is a desire, mostly because I am curious as to what the next poem might be. So my mantra is - What's next, Martha? What did I like about the course? Janice! She just let me go off and wing it, experimenting with all sorts of whatever was in my head. She would call it as she saw it or felt it, and I so appreciate her objectiveness, yet her feedback always let me know that she understood the topic, the 'logistics', the background story, the emotion (or whatever, I was trying to do...). She is a very 'astute all-rounder'!
The course has helped in providing me with a new pair of eyes under which I review my writing, previously whatever I committed to paper remained as such with no alterations. Now I think a little bit more about the intent, the audience, the words. My tutor was awesome, cannot recommend her any higher. She came back promptly after each assignment and her comments were very insightful. She guided with a light but very knowledgeable hand. A total pleasure to work with Tina.
The structure of the tutorials has been excellent and I still regularly refer to tutorial content as I work. The staff and tutors have been accessible and supportive. The Student Forum is a superb platform for knowledge, discussion and camaraderie among students and tutors. The NZIBS newsletters are always welcome in my Inbox for their informative, inspirational content. Hats off to my tutor Tina Shaw for her encouragement and excellent constructive criticism that has taught me so much. Kathy Swailes, an NZIBS student/graduate was generous with her knowledge as she proofread my copy. Being able to tap into the skills of other students helps us all. I remember feeling a little sad when I saw the word ‘End’ written on the final page of Tutorial 5B. I like to think of it as ‘Just the Beginning’. Thank you for all of it.
This is a great team and there are some fantastic courses. Anyone wishing to learn something new needs to check out their courses.
I thoroughly loved mine and when I was struggling to work through a previous course, young Brian Morris recognised my struggles and actually suggested I change it to something that would really be up my alley. This interjection from him made all the difference from me possibly failing the previous course, to passing the right one for me ... with merit! Yay!
I graduated from the poetry writing course a little while ago. As life goes on, I realise so many things I learned through the course are guiding my writing. I am braver with words because of it. I have written forever, and now am learning to write my way through life's challenges and now wanting to do something with what I write. I have two adult children and two grandchildren. My life is in transition and creativity is a major part of where I will go from here. I am thinking strongly of the editing and proofreading course, the perfectionist in me may find that very fulfilling.
I have thoroughly enjoyed all three courses that I have enrolled in. They have challenged me in the best possible way, and I have learnt wonderful skills which I use every day.
I really appreciate the willingness of the NZIBS staff and community to help with queries and provide support. I am very proud to be a part of this community. I have no doubt that I will be back for more!
Thank you again for the book and for your support in general.
The story I handed in for my last assignment received an honourable mention in the competition that I sent it to. It's the first time I've ever been placed, so thank you for all your help throughout the year.
Just to let you know that your parcel with my Diploma has arrived today. Thank you for all the extras included too. Even though I knew the parcel was coming, it still felt very special and like Christmas as I unwrapped such a gift box. Thank you for making it possible for me to do this course and for all your encouragement and behind the scenes support. I am very grateful.
Dear NZIBS Team, I had never done a correspondence course before and your advice and care were impressive. Please pass my thanks to Tina. Her help made all the difference.
This course has helped me immensely - the overwhelming sense of achievement, the personal growth I experienced. Letter writing now flows very fast and fluently and is an enjoyable exercise. Even emails are a better standard. My tutor was helpful and understanding. She gave me clear advice and examples to solve my problems which were mainly to do with grammar and punctuation. She was positive and always encouraging. I have more than achieved my original objective of gaining a better understanding of written English.
I have learnt how to use punctuation and grammar, yet still retain my own style of writing. I had to find a style of writing that described to readers what I was seeing and feeling in the spirit world which I travelled. My tutor related very well to all my objectives and writing problems that I had. She was very helpful. For me, the course had everything that was needed.
I've finished the Mystery Course which I thoroughly enjoyed and I learnt so much.
Just to say thank you for linking me with Tina as my tutor. I am very impressed with Tina, she is very constructive in her feedback. The course is very well structured and I am getting an enormous amount of pleasure and learning from the experience.
Thank you so much for a great experience with the NZIBS. Tina was an excellent tutor and I thoroughly enjoyed the course.
I had been looking for something to do when my time at University of Canterbury comes to an end and had considered a proofreading course as something that I could do from home and in my own time. A friend was doing the NZIBS Proofreading course and while looking at the different courses available on that website, the short fiction writing one seemed a more appropriate choice for me at this time. Like a lot of people, I thought I had a story in me, and short story writing seemed a good place to start. Surely that couldn’t be too difficult. Then the learning curve started. When I sent off my draft of the first story, I had hoped to get a big tick for it, but that didn’t eventuate. I’ve developed a thicker skin and appreciated the constructive criticism from Tina Shaw. All her comments were right and changing the text in line with her directions meant that the finished story was much better than my first effort. I’ve enjoyed putting words on the page and I’m proud of my first effort, New Friends, that has just been published on Amazon.
I’ve written my first novel “Cold Blooded” and it’s on Smashwords and Amazon. Now I’m working on my second thriller. Thank you Joan Rosier-Jones, I couldn’t have done it without your guidance.
I do a lot more writing now. I write website and newsletter material for one client. I write (sales) emails for another client. I’m also writing a rock-climbing guide.
I began this course ‘Writing stories for Children’ with the intention of writing for my own pleasure. Writing is one of my passions. However, I never expected it to open a whole new world of possibilities for me. My objective now that I have graduated is to combine pleasure and business. I believe my writing has become a powerful tool which can transform people’s lives.
I want to tell you I enjoyed this course immensely. It took me 14 months because I have a hectic family life. It has given me an insight into a new career I knew very little about. To be able to earn a living from something I love to do – read – while I continue to indulge in an equal love – writing stories for children – is fantastic. While progressing through this course my confidence in myself and my abilities has increased. I have a PLAN to work towards and the tools to do it. Thank you.
When I started the Creative Writing course I had the idea for a book – a crime/thriller – but felt I definitely needed some guidance with regard to writing and everything that goes with it. My tutor Tina Shaw was amazing, her critique of my writing was always helpful and I came away from each tutorial with a little more knowledge of the craft. Tina assessed part of my novel, and in doing so gently pushed me in the right direction, or put me back on track if I’d wandered off!
This course has been an excellent introduction to creative writing for me, on the back of my continuing career as a freelance journalist. I came into this course assuming nothing, eager to learn everything and to be challenged with an entirely new form of writing.
What is not to praise about this course? The structure of the tutorials has been excellent and I still regularly refer to tutorial content as I work. The staff and tutors have been accessible and supportive. Hats off to my tutor Tina Shaw for her encouragement and excellent constructive criticism that has taught me so much. The Student Forum is a superb platform for knowledge, discussion and camaraderie among students and tutors. The NZIBS newsletters are always welcome in my Inbox for their informative, inspirational content. I remember feeling a little sad when I saw the word ‘End’ written on the final page of the last tutorial. I like to think of it as ‘Just the Beginning’. Thank you for all of it.
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