Study Freelance Writing: Write for Websites, Magazines, and More
Anyone can write, with a little help. In this course, you'll study genres, markets, and structure. You'll learn:
- how to write what publishers want
- to improve your professional writing skills under the guidence of a team of internationally published book, magazine and newspaper writers
- how to optimise opportunities for "breaking in" to the writing profession as a freelance author, writer or journalist
Useful for people starting out, fiction writers wanting to transition, consultants wanting to break into the press market, and more.
Student Comments about this course:
"I found the course to be extremely helpful. It has given me the confidence and the skills to present my work to publishers" D. Bond, Freelance Writing graduate.
"The Freelance Writing course has been one of my most favourite due to the ease & flexibility of correspondence. I have found the staff always helpful and friendly. I appreciated that there were no deadlines and I could complete the work involved when I had time."
Freelance writing can be a highly satisfying and rewarding way to earn money, either as a part time or full time career. To be successful at Freelance Writing, you need good writing skills of course ....but also, saleable ideas, patience, persistence and an ability to meet obligations and deadlines.
There are 10 lessons in this course:
Introduction to freelancing
Scope of freelance writing (types of writing, where to begin, styles, etc). getting help, finding resources & contacts, understanding industry terminology.
Basic writing skills
What is communication, types of communication, types of language, clear wording, concise wording, parts of speech, grammar, punctuation.
The publishing world
Periodicals, books, remaindering, copyright, publishers advertising conditions, public lending rights, contracts, selling.
Types of printing, preparing a type script, etc.
Planning what you write
Mechanics of writing, developing an idea, sentence structure, precis, planning what you write, building a paragraph.
Newspapers, regular columns, fillers, short features, etc.
Travel writing, magazine articles/features, determining potentially marketable articles.
Non fiction, fiction, short stories, determining what to write and developing an idea.
Writing a press release, writing an advertisement, writing for public relations, etc.
Planning and developing a manuscript for a small book.
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
Discuss the nature and scope of freelance writing.
Evaluate your basic writing skills and identify deficiencies needing attention in order to
be successful at freelance writing.
Develop a concept for freelance writing which has potential for selling.
Identify commercial opportunities to sell writing to publishers.
Describe the preparation of a manuscript for submission to a publisher
Write commercially viable items for publishing in a newspaper.
Write commercially viable items for publishing in a magazine.
Plan for production of a commercially viable book manuscript.
Write commercially viable advertising.
Apply all skills and knowledge so far developed to the production of a complete manuscript.
What are the Different Types of Freelance Writing
- Fiction – adult and children’s books, short stories for magazines and newspapers
- Non-fiction – newspapers, technical (specialist) books and magazines, government publications, trade journals, general interest magazines
- Copy writing– advertisements, press releases
- Script writing – TV, movie, video and radio scripts
- Web writing – ezines, advertising copy
The following steps are a broad guide to getting started as a freelance writer:
1. Identify areas of writing that interest you.
2. Research the market place to get a feel for what other successful writers are doing. Visit bookshops, and buy newspapers and magazines to see what’s currently being published. Get a feel for what publishers want and look for gaps in the market. If you have the chasnce get some feedback from experienced and successful writers. You may come in contact with such people through a course like this.
3. Develop your writing skills. Start off small and hone your skills by contributing to newsletters published by your school, work or social club. You could enter short story competitions or even try writing short articles for local newspapers or hobby or trade magazines. Don’t be disappointed if your articles are rejected – at this stage the aim is to practise your writing and to get a feel for what is acceptable in the marketplace.
4. Develop a personal reference library. Collect examples of other writers’ work in the areas that interest you. Books, newspaper articles and magazines are not only a useful information resource, they also help you to develop an awareness of how other successful writers write!
5. Develop your selling skills! Build up contacts with publishers and organisations in your chosen area of writing. Successful writers need to not only write well, but be able to sell themselves as a valuable commodity to publishers.
Choose a Type of Language to Work With
This type of language appeals to reason. It is impartial and unemotional. The right facts can bring a very emotional response, more so than a highly emotional speech. Civil rights activists, environmentalists, anti war campaigners and protesters of other kinds can try to influence by dramatic presentations (which might do no more than polarise their existing supporters and enemies). Alternatively, an unemotional presentation of hard, cold facts can often win more support than the emotional debate would ever hope to achieve.
Documentaries on film or TV commonly use this language. Informative language always has an innocent motive, and therein lies the main difference between this and persuasive language (it may persuade but it doesn't intend to persuade).
Persuasive language is concerned with “winning” more than it is with “truth.” It considers the facts then tries to arouse (or manipulate) to achieve a predetermined response. It is frequently associated with selling, advertising, political propaganda etc; having designs on the receiver, for financial or political gain. You might want to use persuasive language in the sales section of your photography site but also remember the old saying "an image speaks a thousand words."
This is creative language. It aims to involve mainly the receiver (but also the sender of the message), to make the receiver or sender feel their emotions (they will feel uplifted, disturbed, motivated etc). Imaginative language doesn't necessarily create fantasies, but it can. This is concerned with aesthetic and moral values, and has the capacity to recreate or reshape experiences (e.g. a vivid description of a haunted house). As an artist or photographer it is quite acceptable to use some emotional or imaginative language.
Connotation and Denotation
Connotation is the emotional overtones which surround a piece of communication (i.e. the intention behind the message). Denotation is usually thought of as being “plain” or “literal.” The dictionary defines denotation as “the primary meaning of a word.”
Literal and Figurative Language
Dictionary definitions are as follows:
- Literal means exactly corresponding to the original, giving words their ordinary sense.
- Figurative means not literal but imaginative, metaphorical.
Formal and Informal Language
Formal language is used in writing more than speaking. Formal language has been described as the language used when communicating with educated persons. It conforms to correct use of grammar and makes use of the great wealth and diversity of words within language. Formal language is not restricted to class or any particular occasion. Informal language is the language used in ordinary conversation by educated people. Colloquial language is speech used in ordinary language by common or average people. Informal and colloquial language might or might not be considered the same.
Whether you use formal or informal language very much depends on the kind of clients you are trying to attract. Are they conservative? Are they risk takers?
It's highly likely that if you present your work in a traditional portfolio your clients may not read a word of your bio because you will be sitting in front of them and they can ask you whatever questions they like. If your folio is forever left on display somewhere however, people are likely to read all about you, particularly if they like your work. If your bio is online, this is also true. People will look to your artist’s statement or website information and use it to decide whether or not they trust you enough to contact you. For this reason it is very important that it is well-written.
- Become a more confident, skillful, creative writer.
- Improve your writing skills and help stimulate ideas
- Learn to write for books, novels, short stories, plays, etc.
- Learn to place yourself in an unexpected situation
- Be guided by our international team of published, professional authors from both Australia and the UK