After developing her writing skills and gaining confidence through studies at NorthTec, Whangārei woman Barbara Carr has gone on to self-publish her first book.

Carr graduated with a Diploma of Applied Writing in 2017, choosing to study at the polytechnic because it was local.

Through her studies she developed her writing skills, gained confidence in her writing, and met like-minded students.

"NorthTec was critical in helping me understand how to get a book from being just a manuscript to getting it published," Carr said.

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Now, Carr has made that step and published her first book From the Bottom of the Well which explores a boy's journey through poverty, loss, friendship and betrayal.

Carr said her childhood fascination on the Boer War and the importance of historical fiction was her motivation behind the book.

NorthTec offers three diploma programmes in writing from level 5 to level 7. These programmes are online and can be studied from anywhere in New Zealand with support from tutors and classmates.

NorthTec said these programmes are ideal for people who want to work independently as writers, or those who are already in the creative industries and want to upgrade their skills. It is also suitable for people working in other industries who want to improve their writing skills to allow higher level-employment.

New enrolments for NorthTec's second semester start on July 20.