An introduction to features writing, freelancing and getting paid
Whether you're new to freelance writing or just considering it as a possible sideline, this crash course in the logistics of journalism covers everything you need to know about how to get ahead in the industry. Featuring inspiring speeches from Hecklerspray founder Stuart Heritage, Observer Magazine deputy editor Emma John, and award-winning features writer Will Storr, the course offers up-to-the-minute advice from working writers and editors on everything from learning the lingo to a variety of ways to make journalism pay.
You'll learn how to identify the right publication for an idea, tailor your concept to their audience, pitch with professionalism and craft memorable articles both readers and editors will love. A straight-talking panel discussion will ensure all your questions will be answered, and with practical exercises in generating and pitching features, you'll leave this day-long seminar with new ideas, and the confidence to pitch them to editors.
This course is for you if…
You're considering freelance feature writing, either as a career or sideline, and are looking for insight into how the publishing industry works, what commissioning editors typically look for, and how to find paid employment in the field
Mixing presentations, discussions and practical exercises, this comprehensive course focuses on the practicalities of freelance features journalism, from generating fresh ideas to analysing the market for opportunities and pitching to commissioning editors. There will be regular opportunities to ask questions and an extensive panel discussion to ensure your individual concerns are addressed. Topics covered include:
- Journalism jargon buster
- How the features desk works: who does what and how to deal with them
- Diversify your freelancing: from turning an article into a book pitch, to branching out into photography
- Where the money is: which publications pay the best (and which won't or can't pay at all)
- How to use angle and execution to put a fresh twist on a pedestrian subject
- How to dissect magazines and newspapers to spot pitching opportunities
- Tips and tricks to bring your writing to life
Stuart Heritage is a freelance film and TV writer. He founded and wrote the award-winning satirical celebrity blog Hecklerspray for five years from 2005, and has been writing blogs, liveblogs, interviews and features for The Guardian since 2009. In addition to this, he co-runs www.luvandhat.com and has also written for several television programmes, none of which he is prepared to reveal because none of them were very good.
Emma John is deputy editor of the Observer Magazine and a former deputy editor of Observer Sport Monthly. She writes features, interviews and comment across the paper, and was the first woman to win a Sports Journalism Award.
Will Storr is a novelist and journalist for publications including the Observer Magazine and Guardian Weekend. He is also contributing editor at Esquire magazine, GQ Australia and Matter. Will has been named New Journalist of the Year and Feature Writer of the Year, and has won a National Press Club award for excellence, and in 2012, he was presented with the One World Press award and the Amnesty International award for his work for The Observer on sexual violence against men. In 2013, his BBC radio series 'An Unspeakable Act' won the AIB award for best investigative documentary. He is also a widely published photographer, whose portraits of LRA survivors have been the subject of an exhibition at the Coin Street Gallery in London's Oxo Tower.
When & Where
Welcome to Guardian masterclasses – a unique programme of learning embedded within one of the world's most forward-thinking media organisations.
Masterclasses offer a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.
Harnessing the expertise and specialisms within the organisation, our courses are led by first class and award winning guardian professionals whilst also drawing on the skills and expertise of other leading figures at the forefront of the creative and digital industries.
The programme is aimed at anyone interested in personal or professional development whether that be refining your skills, focusing your ambition or simply broadening your mind and gaining inspiration.