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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)


Presenter Sue White

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StartsWednesday 28 January 2015

Location Sydney
Ground Floor
55 Lavender Street
Milsons Point NSW 2061

WhenTuesday EVENING classes
(once a week for five weeks)


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)


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)


Presenter Alecia Hancock

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StartsThe week beginning Monday 24 November 2014
Enrolments open until Wednesday 26 November
(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


Presenter Julietta Jameson

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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

  • "You inspired and motivated me to believe that a freelance writing career is definitely possible. I am now a published writer! The first article I ever submitted was published in The Sydney Morning Herald. Now, a few months later, I am the web editor for mychildmagazine.com.au. Thank you to Valerie for your ongoing support, inspiration and encouragement. "Valerie is passionate about people pursuing their dream job and the magazine writing course was the beginning of my journey in believing a writing career is achievable. Valerie, thanks again for all your enthusiasm. It really is my dream job and I am still pinching myself."

    - Marija Castellari

    In 2011, I undertook the online course in Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 through AWC. As someone who was always saw her writing and blogging as a hobby, being able to take it to the next level, thanks to AWC, was thrilling. My course taught me everything I needed to take that very first (very scary!) step into the publishing world, and beyond. Now, years on, my words have been featured numerous time on online publications such as Essential Baby, Essential Kids, The Hoopla and Kidspot, and in print with Sydney's Child and Newcastle's Child magazines. I urge anyone else who has even the smallest seed of a dream inside them to see their name in print to do a course with AWC. The possibilities of what may blossom as a result are infinite!

    - Donna Webeck

    "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 enrolled in the Magazine and Newspaper Writing course with one aim – to get one article published. I was at home, seven months pregnant and running after a two year old. After having a professional career, I was loving being a mum but needing something for me. 'Wow, I’d be so happy if I could get myself published,' I thought. And it was a bigger thrill than I had imagined to see my byline for the first time. I didn’t stop there. I couldn’t stop there. Something I’d started as a bit of an interest has become my passion. Twelve months on, it’s the perfect part-time job. It’s flexible and gives me the balance I need as a mum. It’s creative, it’s productive and it helps me make sense of what is happening around me. I’ve written for publications that I’ve always enjoyed reading: Essential Baby, Practical Parenting, Life&Style (SMH), My Career (SMH), body+soul and MiNDFOOD. I’ve interviewed many fascinating people and love that I’m continually learning about both the process of writing and the many topics my articles cover. I’d recommend the course to anyone interested in writing feature articles. I was extremely impressed with the content, the delivery and the support provided both during and after the course."

    - Libby Hakim

    "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