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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 8 December 2014

Enrolments open until Wednesday 10 December
(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
Due to Christmas, this course will pause
the week of 22-28 December and run
for a total of six weeks.

Price$395

Presenter Julietta Jameson

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

  • "I wanted to write and tell you some exciting news since I finished the online magazine writing course with you. The idea I put forward as my pitch in the course (a travel story on Griffith in NSW) has since been published in The Sydney Morning Herald Traveller section and I have another travel story coming out in the September issue of Coast and Country Magazine. "I've also been signed on as a regular freelance contributor with the Herald Sun Home Magazine, something that has meant I am now freelancing four days a week! It has been an amazing few months since I finished the course and I have to say, none of this would have been possible without your incredible skill and advice. So, many thanks once again for such a fabulous course, it really has changed my life!"

    - Penny Harrison

    "Doing the feature writing course gave me the confidence to go for it. My first pitch was accepted by the first editor I approached and the subsequent article was recently published in Landscape Architecture Australia magazine – my first pitch landed me my first paid gig! The ongoing support from the ace community of AWC graduates and staff helps keep the momentum rolling. Valerie and her team have the knowledge – and genuine desire – to help you craft a successful career as a freelancer."

    - Lucy Salt

    I am very glad I discovered the AWC courses. I completed the Travel Writing course and the Magazine Writing course online. The information learnt in the courses, so nicely spaced and well presented, has made the difference to me having pieces published in places such as The Age online, International Traveller, Green magazine and Great Walks. The courses gave me many practical skills such as sourcing ideas, pitching, interviewing, organisation, resilience and many more. I learnt that you have to keep honing your skills and keep trying, despite plenty of knockbacks, to gain a foothold into the freelance writing world. Without the AWC courses, I would have packed it in as a fantasy long ago. Writing and having work published has given me an avenue into a hobby I thoroughly enjoy and which I never really thought would be possible for me. The AWC Graduates' Club has been an invaluable support also – with people, including the presenters, generously sharing information, contacts and encouragement.

    - Susan Murphy

    I signed up to do the course Magazine and Newspaper Writing with the Australian Writers' Centre in late 2009. I was a bit sceptical about doing my first ever online course, but shouldn't have worried. The whole process was easy and it was great having virtual classmates to discuss the lessons and to cheerlead each other on to success, even if it was a bit bizarre not being able to see them! I actually got my first paid commission from a magazine while I was still doing the five-week course. Five months later, my article was published in Cosmo Bride magazine and I was hooked (line and sinker) on the writing game. Since then, I've been published by titles including Girlfriend, Jetstar Magazine, Women's Health and Fitness, Diabetic Living and The Big Issue, as well as ABC The Drum and Mamamia online. I've also recently completed the Travel Writing online course taught by Sue White, which definitely lived up to my first wonderful learning experience with the Centre. It offered me real, practical guidance to ethical questions, writing practice and feedback. The entire experience felt like fun, not work. I've now got my sights set on the courses in Food Writing and How to Get Your Book Published. I'll definitely keep coming back for more. One of the best things about the Australian Writers' Centre is the ongoing support. Valerie, Sue and the other teachers don't just cut you loose once you've finished your course. They keep helping you through the email newsletter, blogs, Graduates' Club and more. I wholeheartedly recommend trying a course with them. The only thing you'll regret is not giving it a go sooner.

    - Rebecca Douglas

    "I enjoyed the mix between audio, case studies, assignments and the online forum to share questions and comments with classmates. Felt like a great balance. Allison was very knowledgable and gave good feedback and shared her insight."

    - Stephanie Anderson