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Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 2

Strengthen the skills you need for a successful freelance writing career

Delve deeper into the practical aspects of feature journalism, including techniques on getting more from your interviews, stories and editors! More detail

Upcoming course dates


StartsNew date to be announced

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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 Valerie Khoo

Booked Out

This course runs online every five months (or so) Click here to be the first to know about new dates!

Course description

Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 2: The Next Level

  • Do you want to take your magazine and newspaper writing to the next level?
  • Are you really sending your editors the best possible version of your article?
  • Know the essentials you MUST have in your writer’s toolbox?
  • Are you following the journalism industry’s code of ethics?
  • Are you completely comfortable pitching with confidence?
  • Do you find yourself asking lots of questions in bullet point format?
  • And do you have what it takes to set yourself apart from other writers?

Supercharge your feature writing skills

It’s here – the industry inspiration injection you’ve been craving. Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 2 is ideal if you want to hone your feature writing skills and fully utilise the tools of the trade as a freelance feature writer. It’s a course that will help you focus on improving the quality and structure of your writing as well as understanding the research and information you need to convey in order to create a compelling feature article.

Essentially, it’s here to make you be the best freelance writer you can be. And that’s a good thing.

This is a practical course designed to help you succeed in your freelance writing, equipping you with the skills you need to create a sustainable, regular income as a feature writer. An essential weapon to build on what you have already learnt in the first course.

Speaking of which, you must have completed Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 1 or Travel Writing or Food Writing at the Australian Writers’ Centre – either online or in the classroom – to be eligible for enrolment in Stage 2, as we strongly build on what you learnt in your Stage 1 course. (It doesn’t matter when you completed the first one, but the theory it contained is vital groundwork for Stage 2.)

EACH WEEK you have the opportunity to get personalised feedback on a pitch that you’ve written to an editor or an article you want to submit. You’ll also be privy to lots of real examples of pitches. And you’ll see actual editors’ feedback on a series of articles.

Here’s a taste of what you will learn:

  • How to write a successful pitch that editors will love (you’ll get lots of practice in this!)
  • How to introduce “characters” in your story the right way
  • Dealing with PR people (dos, don’ts and expectations)
  • Using the power of anecdotes and storytelling
  • How to determine the statistics and research that bring your writing to life (even when none exist!)
  • How to write a “media callout” that gets efficient results
  • How to avoid common mistakes made by emerging feature writers
  • Understanding ethics and protocols in journalism
  • Dealing with journalistic dilemmas (there are more than you think!)
  • Practical advice on dealing with editors in the real world
  • How and why you need to create balance in your stories
  • Advanced interviewing techniques
  • How to build your brand as a writer and make connections
  • How to attribute quotes correctly
  • Publishing conventions which are vital if you are serious about honing your feature writing skills.
  • And would you believe, there’s MUCH more.

Why you need to do this course

Maybe you’ve just completed the Stage 1 course and really want to keep the momentum going. Or perhaps it’s been a while since you’ve done the course – and you’ve even been published – but you’d love some extra help to really build solid skills as a feature writer. This is it.

If you thought Stage 1 was full of information and practical advice, wait till you see what we have in store for you with Stage 2. (No, really, it’s awesome.) This course will build your confidence and equip you with skills so that you don’t doubt yourself as a writer or interviewer. You will get stacks of practice in writing pitches to editors – and get personalised feedback on your articles.

If Stage 1 was life-changing, think of Stage 2 is game-changing.

Are you ready? Enrol now!

What internet connection is required?

To participate in any of our online courses, you will need high-speed internet. For us, high-speed internet means ADSL or Broadband/Cable, with a speed of 128kBps or higher.

Dial-up connections or using the internet on your phone are not recommended — you may find that the audio in the online course will pause, skip or completely stop.

Previous students have let us know that they have had no problems accessing our courses using Satellite internet or wireless broadband, but it depends on each connection.

If you’re not sure what kind of internet connection you have, there are two things you can check:

  • Speed – If you can play a YouTube video from start to finish without issues, your internet should be fast enough.
  • Download limit – We recommend contacting either the person who takes care of your internet, or your internet provider directly to see what your download limit is. Each week there will be 40-50MB worth of materials to download, so you need to make sure your internet connection will allow for that (times five for each week!) without speed limitations or excess charges.

If your connection is not fast enough but you’d still like attend the course, we recommend checking with your local library to see if you are able to download the files there.

If you can do that, you’d just need to pop them onto a USB drive and then take them home with you to listen to later.

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

  • Valerie Khoo

    Valerie Khoo, Online, Sydney

    Valerie Khoo is an award-winning feature writer who has been writing for Fairfax for the past 15 years.... View Profile

Graduate testimonials

  • "Valerie is the guru of feedback and it's the whole reason I did the course. I knew I would receive honest feedback on everything I submitted. Valerie is outstanding - she has an absolute gift as an educator. Online learning suits my lifestyle from a time perspective. I love being able to download the audios, listen to them when I like and keep them forever. Perfect. Best money you'll ever spend if you're serious about your writing."

    - Jocelyn Pride

    "If you want to do a writing course that is practical and relevant then this is the place!"

    - Jennifer Johnston

    "I loved seeing pitching feedback given to others. Also, the interview questions and technique tips were invaluable. Valerie was clear, honest, helpful and supportive. The best thing about online delivery is that you can read/listen and re-read/re-listen. There were no set time constraints like in a normal classroom. Getting verbal feedback that is viewed by all in the class is great. Makes you try your best! I’ve done three AWC courses now. I realised I don't need to spend tens of thousands on a journalism degree. AWC has given me the tools to do what I want to do."

    - Kristie Hayden

    "Doing a course at the Australian Writers' Centre is like getting a fast track ticket to success. Even though success depends on your own capabilities, the things you learn will put you miles ahead of trying to get there on your own. You're being taught by industry veterans and professionals and the learnings from their experience is priceless."

    - Sandra Shakespeare

    “I found the real-life examples excellent and learning with others empowering. The advice from Valerie was invaluable. Magazine and Newspaper Writing Stage 2 was one of the best professional development programs I have ever done!”

    - Sarah Wormwell