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Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1

Making a byline for yourself in feature writing

Dream of appearing in your favourite publication? Learn how to craft a well-rounded story and catch the eye of discerning editors. More detail

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Upcoming course dates

StartsSaturday 17 January 2015

Location Sydney
Ground Floor
55 Lavender Street
Milsons Point NSW 2061

WhenSaturday and Sunday classes
(2 consecutive days)
10am–4pm

Price$395

Presenter Sue White

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StartsWednesday 28 January 2015

Location Sydney
Ground Floor
55 Lavender Street
Milsons Point NSW 2061

WhenWednesday EVENING classes
(once a week for five weeks)
6.30–8.30pm

Price$395

Presenter Alexandra Spring

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StartsSaturday 14 February 2015

Location Melbourne
The Abbotsford Convent
1 St Heliers Street
Abbotsford VIC 3067

WhenWeekend classes
(2 consecutive days)
10am–4pm

Price$395

Presenter Julietta Jameson

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StartsSaturday 21 February 2015

Location Perth
Wembley Hotel
344 Cambridge Street
Wembley WA 6014

WhenSaturday and Sunday classes
(2 consecutive days)
10am–4pm

Price$395

Presenter Alecia Hancock

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StartsMonday 5 January 2015

Enrolments open until Wednesday 7 January
(Unless booked out prior)

Location Online
New module released each Monday.
You can complete the module any time during that week.
All you need is an internet connection.
Learn from anywhere.

WhenFive-week online course

Price$395

Presenter Sue White

Book Now

Course description

How to become a freelance writer

  • Would you like to see your own byline in your favourite magazine?
  • Keen to turn your ideas into articles that you get paid for?
  • Want to know how to approach editors to publish 
your stories?
  • Do you like the idea of working and writing from home?
  • Have we just described your dream job? Read on!

The genuine article

OK, so you love magazines. Whether it’s a lazy weekend with the lifestyle supplements or a midweek appointment with a thick glossy tome, they all offer a mix of views, stories and information from a variety of writers. And more than once you’ve probably found yourself thinking, “I could do that…”

And you’re right – you CAN do that. There are literally hundreds of titles out there – all vying for shelf space and covering everything from Gaga to lager; fishing to fashion; paparazzi to pepperoni. And each one of them is chock-a-block with articles written by people just like you.

If you’ve got a stack of story ideas, but don’t know how to get them from jotter pad to editor’s desk, then you’ve just hit the jackpot. Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 is one of the Australian Writers’ Centre’s most popular courses. Our students often end up getting their byline into some pretty major publications, sometimes even before they complete the course!

Your guide to getting published

If you’re serious about becoming an intrepid freelance writer, Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 will give you the tools and skills to craft magazine and newspaper articles that editors want to publish. We’ve distilled years of knowledge into a relevant and highly practical course – with scripts, templates and insider information from journalists/editors who are currently working in the industry. After completing this course, you’ll not only write with more confidence, you’ll get published faster!

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Ideas – where to get them and which ones work.
  • The industry – understanding the magazine/news market.
  • Styles – all the different types of feature articles.
  • Researching, structuring and actually writing your feature.
  • Interviewing skills – whether it’s a CEO or circus clown, rock star or rocket scientist, learn the questions you need to ask.
  • People power – who to approach to get the best subjects for your stories.
  • Editor expectations of freelance writers
  • Selling your story – a step-by-step guide to successfully pitching your article or idea to a magazine
  • And MUCH more!

Feature writers come in all shapes, sizes, makes and models. This course is perfect for first-time writers and anyone wishing to brush up on their skills. You might be looking to make some extra cash on the side, or even embark on a brand new full-time career. Or maybe you have absolutely no idea – all you know is you’d love to be paid to write these kinds of stories. Whatever your motivation, we’ll help you reach your goal.

Just remember – all those writers in all those magazines are just like you. With the right set of tools, you’ll be well on your way to seeing your name in print and making those “dream job” dreams come true!

Students have been published in The Sydney Morning Herald, Good Weekend, Cosmopolitan, Sunday Life!, BRW, The Sun-Herald, The Sunday Telegraph, CLEO, Madison, Australian Associated Press, Practical Parenting, Management Today, Australian Financial Review, City Weekly, Herald Sun, Home Beautiful and countless other magazines and newspapers.

Course content and outcomes are consistent, regardless of which presenter or format you choose.

We are sticklers for consistency and quality in our courses, so you’ll achieve the same outcomes regardless of which presenter you have. Naturally, each presenter brings their own insight to the course, but you can be assured that the content is consistent across the board.

You’ll also achieve the same outcomes regardless of whether you enrol in our online or classroom course!

Can’t make it to one of our centres? Learn online

If you have an internet connection, you’ve come to the right place! With our online courses, you get the same juicy content as the classroom course PLUS backstage passes to Q&As, assignments and feedback direct from your outstanding online tutor! You could be anywhere on the planet, or you could be just round the corner. Either way, you’ll be joining thousands of online graduates from here and overseas who’ve already had an awesome time learning online. Check out our demo today.

Online or classroom course – which one is better?

Ha! It’s a trick question… they both have the same high quality – it just depends on how you learn and sometimes where you live. In fact, we’re fanatical about consistency across all our courses, so rest assured that when a class begins in Perth (or Sydney, or Melbourne), it’s going to cover the same ground as its online cousin. Now, we’re not talking robots here. Each one of our talented presenters does of course bring their own unique flavour, but the core lesson material remains the same!

Exclusive access to our AWC Graduates’ Club

Want to know where all the cool kids hang out? The Graduates’ Club of course! Now, calm down – there’s no cigars, leather armchairs or loud ticking grandfather clocks here. But it IS exclusive invitation only (on completion of a course) and it’s free!  Meet other writers online and share successes, seek help or just get something off your chest. Many students believe this ‘legacy learning’ is one of the most valuable things about our AWC community, and who are we to argue?

So if you want to receive feedback, support and a heads-up on opportunities … join the Club!

Your presenters

  • Alecia Hancock

    Alecia Hancock, Perth

    Alecia Hancock has been working in the media for 12 years, with most of her time spent at... View Profile

  • Allison Tait

    Allison Tait, Online

    Allison Tait is a freelance writer with more than 20 years’ experience in magazines, newspapers and online publishing.... View Profile

  • Julietta Jameson

    Julietta Jameson, Melbourne, Online

    Julietta Jameson is an accomplished feature writer and regular contributor to Fairfax Travel. She writes destination features for The... View Profile

  • Sue White

    Sue White, Online, Sydney

    Sue White is a freelance features and travel writer whose stories have featured in The Sydney Morning Herald,... View Profile

  • Valerie Khoo

    Valerie Khoo, Melbourne

    Valerie Khoo is an award-winning feature writer who has been writing for Fairfax for the past 12 years.... View Profile

  • Alexandra Spring

    Alexandra Spring, Sydney

    Alexandra Spring is a journalist and editor. The former features director of Vogue Australia, her stories have appeared... View Profile

Video: What presenters say

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Graduate testimonials

  • In the 12 months since completing the course Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1, I have been published in many online publications including Essential Baby, Mamamia, Daily Life and Life&Style. I have also seen my byline in several print magazines such as Melbourne's Child, Practical Parenting and Australian House & Garden. This course gave me the confidence and tools to pitch ideas that work. It also gave me access to a community of incredible writers who provide support, advice and encouragement. I cannot recommend this course more highly for anyone wanting to see their byline become a reality.

    - Michaela Fox

    "If I had not done the Magazine and Newspaper Writing course in January 2013 I would have crashed my writing career before it had the chance to take wing. I was doing EVERYTHING wrong; approaching editors upside down, filing a story 30 minutes after receiving a commission and generally making life more difficult than it should have been. Talk about flying blind. "The course taught me invaluable lessons such as how to approach an editor, gave me knowledgeable insights such as lead times on magazines, gave me skills to pitch a story and let me understand rejection was just a normal part of writing. "I’ve taken off since that course: Three articles (three – I’m still pinching myself) in the latest Outback magazine, with regular commissions for 2014; a growing portfolio that allows me to promote my love of rural Australia; and the first taste of corporate work. "I cannot recommend your course enough. Actually I would say if you want to be a feature writer, don’t bother until you’ve been to the Australian Writers' Centre."

    - Mandy McKeesick

    "I'd been writing and knew I wanted to make it my job, but I didn't know how to take it to the next level. When AWC's magazine writing course was recommended, I enrolled in their next online course – and I haven't looked back. The biggest thing it did was give me the confidence to take leaps into the industry, and the support from their Graduates' Club and the people I've met through AWC has been amazing. I've been published in Jetstar magazine, My Career, Essential Kids, Practical Parenting and WellBeing, among others. I work from home and travel for my writing, and I also do corporate writing and have spoken about freelancing at conferences. But the best thing is that I'm now making a living from what I love – all because I enrolled in an online course that day."

    - Megan Blandford

    In 2012 I took a leap of faith and enrolled in the Magazine and Newspaper Writing online course at the Australian Writers’ Centre. Writing is something that I have wanted to do for so many years but life sometimes takes you the long way around. The course was fantastic! The content was detailed and thorough; it covered everything I needed to know to kickstart my writing career. The presentations were clear and easy to follow and the feedback and interaction from the tutor was brilliant. Now, 18 months later, I can say I am successfully forging a part-time career as a freelance writer, having been published on a number of online sites. I am finally realising my vision of being a writer and would never have had the confidence or courage to do it if it hadn’t been for the course – and the ongoing support from the centre and past participants in the Graduates' Club. For anyone who is contemplating following their dream I say: Stop pondering and do it! It will be the best thing you have ever done.

    - Jodi Gibson

    "I thought the presentation style was relatable with good examples. There were a great amount of handy hints and I feel like I have a good understanding of what's required to get an feature published. I was a little afraid of not having a teacher to face and students to interact with, but as it turns out, we did get to interact. I enjoyed being able to get back over parts again and also accessing it when it suited me best, often breaking it up into 2 or 3 parts. The convenience of doing it from home was great."

    - Sandra Shakespeare