TUTOR: Niamh Griffin is a freelance journalist. Formerly health correspondent and reporter with The Irish Mail on Sunday, she has also written for The Irish Times, Irish Independent, Irish Daily Mail as well as the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia. She loves telling stories and believes everyone has a story if you can just find the right questions to ask them. Niamh is excited about teaching this writing course for Creative Writing Ink, and is looking forward to creating more story-tellers.
DURATION: 6 weeks
Start Date: you can sign up for and start this course any time. Once you have signed up/paid for the course, your tutor will email you the first module within three days.
Places are strictly limited to 10 participants.
During this freelance journalism course we will take you through the nuts and bolts of beginning to make a living from freelance writing.
The course is based on the assumption that you already have an interest in selling your writing to local newspapers, national newspapers, magazines or online publications.
Each module contains reading and assignments on the topics below. You will receive feedback from your tutor. There will also be published stories in a variety of styles to inspire you, and a list of books to read on grammar, style and journalism. The modules also contain suggestions of freelance journalists working in various areas to follow online and a Media Jargon Buster.
Module One: Generating Ideas. We will look at where you can find ideas and how to turn your ideas into stories.
Module Two: How to Write. We will talk about the different writing styles which match different publications, and ways in which you can approach topics to make them fresh. What’s the difference between a news lead and a drop lead? Why are some freelancers feature writers and others are newshounds? Which one are you?
Module Three: Pitching an Editor. We will look at how to approach an editor, get those ideas in front of her and how to make your idea stand out. We will also look at how to find the editor’s details, what to write and how to follow up.
Module Four: Talking to Strangers. In Week 4, we will look at interviews, how to find people to talk to, and what to do when you’re in front of a stranger talking about his life. How do you ask about personal topics, what do you say? What’s the best way to record the information? And how to approach press officers or organisations for help in finding people or information.
Module Five: Getting Paid. We will look at the reality of a freelance life – how much to charge, how to discuss rates, how to file your taxes. What is the Defamation Act? How do you stay on the right side of it when writing.
Module Six: The Hustle. We will look at the role of social media and websites – how to use it to both find stories and promote yourself. We’ll talk about staying creative over 52 weeks a year and how to re-use ideas without plagiarising yourself. And what gigs freelance journalists do on the side – photography, blogging, content writing, e-books.
At the end of the course, there’s also an optional paid extra, a Skype consultation with Niamh, if you have any further questions. The cost for this Skype consultation is £45 per hour.
PAYMENT/REGISTRATION: Please note that we do not require you to fill out a registration form. Instead, please click on the ‘Check Out Securely’ button. During the payment process you can input your name and email address which we will use to register you on the course. If you’d prefer to use another email address for the course correspondence or if you’re paying on behalf of another student, when you have processed the payment, please send the relevant email address and name for the course correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once you have processed the payment, we will email you within 24 hours to confirm receipt.
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