Writing opinion pieces: An insightful journalism workshop

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Discover the fundamentals of opinion writing in this virtual masterclass with two of The Guardian’s most prolific journalists.

About this event

We’ve all got an opinion about virtually everything - but how can you communicate your viewpoint with originality and confidence, and in a voice that is uniquely yours? What is the difference between writing an opinion piece that’s grounded in first-hand research, and writing a regular column that draws on your life experiences?

In this insightful virtual workshop with Polly Toynbee and Tim Dowling, you will learn the key steps for getting your opinions down - and then out into the world. Our two Guardian writers will provide you with tips for developing your voice, discussing important issues, conducting research, using your lived experience in your writing and thinking about your audience.

Whether you frequently find yourself reciting funny anecdotes to friends and think that others might enjoy them, or you care very deeply about ongoing social or political issues in the world and want to communicate your thoughts, this workshop for beginners as well as established writers will help you to discover the creative and practical aspects of opinion writing, as well as how to spark a conversation.

You will be sent a link to the online workshop 2hrs before the start time of 6.30pm (GMT).

Course Content

  • The purpose of a column
  • Identifying key issues to talk about
  • Developing your voice and writing with authenticity
  • Using your life experiences to enhance or inform your writing
  • Raising important issues through your writing
  • Thinking about your audience

This course is for ...

  • Beginners who are interested in writing opinion pieces and want to under the creative process of writing a column
  • Writers who want to learn more about developing their voice, pitching ideas and creating a conversation with their pieces

You will be sent a link to the online workshop 2hrs before the start time of 6.30pm (GMT).

Tutor Profile

Polly Toynbee is a columnist for the Guardian and former BBC social affairs editor. She won the Orwell prize for journalism in 1998, and was named columnist of the year at the British Press Awards in 2007. She has written and co-authored many books. Her latest book is The Lost Decade, co-written with David Walker. Read Polly’s Guardian articles here.

Tim Dowling is a journalist for the Guardian. He writes a weekly column for Weekend magazine and is the author of several books, including How to Be a Husband. Read Tim’s Guardian articles here.

Course Details

  • Date: Thursday 18 November 2021
  • Time: 6.30pm-8.30pm (GMT)

6.30pm GMT | 7.30pm CET | 10.30am PT | 1.30pm ET

This masterclass is available globally. If you are joining us from outside the United Kingdom, please use this time zone converter to check your local live streaming time.

You will be sent a link to the webinar two hrs before the start time. Please email masterclasses@theguardian.com if you have not received the access link within one hour of the scheduled start time.

All Guardian Masterclasses are fully accessible but please contact us at masterclasses@theguardian.com if you have any queries or concerns.

Full course and returns information on the Masterclasses website


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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.

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