Writing Q&A: Do I need to study English to be a writer?

question answer

© JJAVA • Fotolia.com

Q: I’m interested in writing a book. I’ve always enjoyed writing, and I’ve been blogging for a while, but I’ve never tried writing a book. Should I go back to college and take some English classes? I’ve also considered getting an MFA. Would that help?

A: You certainly need to study, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay university prices to do so.*

If English is your native language, and you’ve been a writer all or most of your life, college English courses will not give you a huge boost toward achieving publication. I know a lot of writers, but I don’t know any who got their book published because they had a master of fine arts degree. The common element of successful writers is that they write a lot and seek constructive feedback from other writers. Continue reading

How does one train to be a fiction editor?


When I guest blogged at Random Writing Rants the other day, a commenter asked about how one gets trained as a fiction editor. Here’s an expanded version of my answer.

I belong to two professional associations, both of which provide editor training: