Many professional writers start out by freelancing. This course shows you not only how to write, but also what to write, and how to go about selling your work. Ten lessons cover everything from good grammar, to planning and writing newspaper and magazine articles, advertisements, books and more. Emphasis is placed on things which are important to publishers who might buy your work. Tutors concentrate on your ability to properly structure an article, and to be both concise and clear in your use of words. Graduates of this course should:
  • Have improved communication skills, particularly with respect to clarity, conciseness and correct grammar.
  • Be familiar with the "writing industry"; having a clear idea of where opportunities exist for obtaining work as a freelance writer.
  • How to go about approaching potential clients to obtain work.
  • Have an understanding of the processes involved in publishing books, magazines and newspapers; from generating concepts to seeing the finished publication on sale.

How Do You Get Started as a Freelance Writer?

This course answers just that question; taking you through a tried and proven learning program, under the mentoring of a professional writer.


There are ten lessons covering:

1. Introduction to freelancing

Scope of freelance writing (types of writing, where to begin, styles, etc). getting help, finding resources & contacts, understanding industry terminology.

2. Basic writing skills

What is communication, types of communication, types of language, clear wording, concise wording, parts of speech, grammar, punctuation.

3. The publishing world

Periodicals, books, remaindering, copyright, publishers advertising conditions, public lending rights, contracts, selling.

4. Manuscripts

Types of printing, preparing a type script, etc.

5. Planning what you write

Mechanics of writing, developing an idea, sentence structure, precis, planning what you write, building a paragraph.

6. Newspaper writing

Newspapers, regular columns, fillers, short features, etc.

7. Magazine writing

Travel writing, magazine articles/features, determining potentially marketable articles.

8. Writing books

Non fiction, fiction, short stories, determining what to write and developing an idea.

9. Writing advertising

Writing a press release, writing an advertisement, writing for public relations, etc.

10. Special project

Planning and developing a manuscript for a small book.

Course Duration:
100 hours

How to Get Published

Some writers express complete disinterest in what publishers want, and consider the business aspect of writing rather undignified or contemptible. Most successful writers are more realistic, and realise that they, like the great artists Michelangelo, Matisse and Dali, are also in the business of making a living. Therefore, a writer is well-advised to put aside ideas of the sanctity of art and to consider what it will take to make a living. To do that, the writer must be aware of the marketplace, of who might want, buy and read what he or she produces.

How to Succeed in a Fast Changing World

The advent of the internet and television has changed writing. It has reduced the need for some types of writing and increased the need for other forms of writing.

The internet in particular, has changed the way writers get published, and there will almost certainly continue to be changes which impact upon writing opportunities in the future.

Writers who struggle to adapt to change, will often also struggle to make a decent income from freelance writing; but for those who are flexible and able to write for different audiences, on different subjects, and for use in different media; those are the people who are most likely to succeed in the years to come.

Fashions and fads also come and go as time moves forward. Things that are popular one year can diminish in popularity in other years. Garden writers may for instance find a lot of opportunity to write about certain types of plants or gardens at one point in time, this may change as garden fashion changes, and a few years later they will be writing about totally different plants and gardens; or the demand for this type of writing may just decrease entirely. 

Travel, cooking, sporting and other types of writers similarly find the type of work available to them will increase and decrease at different points in time. As a cookery writer the style of cooking and emphasis is constantly changing. The ingredients and the combinations too are ever changing as well as the processes and procedures. The type of family or entertaining meals promoted as fashionable in the 1950’s as well as the ingredients have changed immensely. The change is not only related to fashions and fads, but also to the cultural makeup of a country and the traditional meals and methods of cooking those cultures bring when they come to live in a new country. 

The more diverse the culture, the more diverse the ingredients, meals and cooking styles. Cooking is one subject area for freelance writers which recently merged with other subject areas. Now we see numerous cooking shows where the compère or experts combine cooking and recipes with their travels to exotic countries or vice versa.  Suddenly the garden writer on fruits and vegetables becomes and expert at cooking the crops too; or in the case of Jamie Oliver the other way around. 

A good writer will watch the things that people are interested in, and monitor the trends in society.  They will be flexible enough to change what they write about, according to what is ‘hot’ from week to week and month to month.  You will also find this trend in article writing, column writing, travel writing and novels. Novels that are popular and sell well at a certain time may suddenly slump in sales and loose popularity.  Look at forensic writing. Forensic crime novels would not have existed at all prior to the advent of forensic science, so this is a market for books that has emerged; as the world changes so does literature change.