Freelance Writing Stage 1

Transform yourself into a freelance writer!

This course is ideal for: Anyone craving a new income writing original content for magazines, online publications and more.

You will:

Explore the freelance industry and where ideas come from
Learn how to structure compelling articles
Receive direct feedback on your own writing
Get expert advice on research, interviewing and pitching
Start earning an income as a freelance writer!

“I am now able to earn more money working from home with complete flexibility than I did in my previous roles that were difficult to juggle with family life. I’ve never felt so valued in my work.”
– Brooke Lumsden, Freelance Writing Stage 1 graduate

Watch this video to hear previous students talk about their experience with this course.
Where Starts Duration Presenter Price
Online with tutor Learn from anywhere at your convenience. Monday 5 October 2020
Any time during the week
5 weeks (Allow 3-4 hours per week) Sue White $450

Freelance Writing Stage 1

Five-week online course – an overview

This online course will equip you with the skills you need to pitch story ideas to editors, get published and earn money as a freelance writer. You'll be able to write for your favourite magazines, newspapers or websites! You'll unlock a module full of lessons each week and complete a small assignment due each Sunday night – plus receive direct feedback from your online tutor; an experienced freelance writer.
  1. Industry overview

    Preparation and research is key for a freelance writer. You will look at the huge range of magazines and websites in the industry and how important it is to research and target the right ones to maximise your strike rate as a writer. You’ll also learn the differences between features, columns, stock pages, Q&As and opinion pieces. You’ll receive feedback on analysing a magazine.

  2. Where to get your ideas and angles

    Ideas can come from anywhere. You’ll find out which ones work as feature articles and how to use news hooks, trends, celebrity happenings, events, dates and more to make your stories relevant. You will also learn how to find a new angle for an existing topic, as well as the growing popularity of content writing/marketing and how you can get this type of work. You’ll receive feedback on writing a hook and lead paragraphs.

  3. Story structure

    Every good story needs a strong structure – the skeleton on which to add your own style. You will learn the essential elements needed for every article and the importance of intros, breakout boxes, expert opinions and more. You’ll analyse many articles to identify the appropriate styles, what works and what does not and receive feedback on a 500-word profile piece.

  4. Research, sources and interviews

    To create a balanced article (and not simply an opinion piece), research and relevant quotes (from experts or case studies) are essential. You'll discover the best ways and places to source information for your stories, as well as the mechanics of interviewing – where to find your subjects, what questions to ask and some ethical considerations with using quotes. You’ll receive feedback on your story idea and research/case study goals.

  5. Selling your work and seeing it in print or online

    Arguably the most important step of the process is bringing it to the wider audience – through publication in a newspaper, magazine or website. To do this, you need to pitch your story idea (or completed story) to an editor. It may seem daunting, but this course will give you the confidence to pitch like a pro. Successfully selling your articles is a skill in itself and it’s what will turn freelancing into a regular income! You’ll receive feedback on your sample pitch.

Jo Hartley completed
Freelance Writing Stage 1

“Prior to doing the course, I had never done any writing other than dabbling in writing a blog when my son was born… The course had a huge impact on my life and my writing. It taught me the skills that I needed to write for magazines and online publications and it’s given me a part-time income where I can work around my two children. I would say, without hesitation, go and do it. You will learn so much and it really can lead to a different career!” – Jo Hartley, freelance writer

Josefa Pete
Freelance Writer

Brad Kelly
Freelance Writer

Lisa Schofield
Freelance journalist and corporate writer

“Is this course for me?”

Freelance Writing Stage 1 is a course for anyone looking to get paid for writing real life content and articles. People like these:

Enjoy the benefits of your online classroom

  • This course gives you access to your own online classroom, where you’ll be able to connect with other classmates and share your stories with each other in a supportive environment – with people who share your passion!
  • Your class also has its own online tutor – on hand and online for any questions you may have and to provide personal feedback on your work. Our tutors are experienced experts with years of knowledge to draw on. They’re your secret weapon!
  • Each Monday we’ll release a new learning module in the form of audio lessons, along with handouts and other resources. You can choose to save the audio and listen to it later – perhaps during your favourite walk or in the commute in the car. It’s up to you!
  • A fan of 9am starts? Easy. 2pm before the kids get home? Sure. 10pm? 5am? You choose the time and place that best suits your schedule. A practical weekly assignment (assessed by your tutor) will help you stay on track and gauge your progress along the way.

How does the online course work?

When you enrol in Freelance Writing Stage 1:

  • You’ll receive login details to access your online course
  • Your course contains five weekly modules, each with audio lessons and handouts
  • Each week, you can submit a small assignment and receive feedback from your tutor
  • There are no set class times – complete each module when it suits you during the week
  • We suggest allowing 3-4 hours per week to complete each module and assignment
  • You can post questions and comments in the classroom and get to know your classmates
  • You’ll be able to enjoy access to the course for a full year – plenty of time to revisit your lessons and refresh your knowledge whenever you need.

Watch our video tour of the online classroom.


Q: I’m completely new to freelance writing. Is this the right course for me?
A: You’re in exactly the right place. This course has been designed to give you a solid foundation in how to write freelance articles as well as all the moving parts of the industry itself. Hundreds of students have been published as a result of this course – and many are now full-time writers or even editors themselves!

Q: What’s the difference between this and the Copywriting Essentials course?
A: Freelance Writing Stage 1 is all about coming up with ideas and writing articles or commissioned content for publications and websites – these appear with your own name as the writer. In contrast, our Copywriting Essentials course is about creating words on behalf of clients, that they then use in their branding or advertising (your name doesn’t appear). Many freelancers supplement their income by doing both!

Q: How many others will be in the class – and are they all experienced writers?
A: The online class is a supportive learning environment and we purposefully keep classes small to make everyone more comfortable (no more than approx 20 per class). Everyone is there to learn and no experience is necessary, so you don’t need to worry about being out of your depth.

Q: How does the online tutored class work exactly?
A: Each Monday, a new course module will be made available. You can choose any time that week to go through it – there is no set class time. Through the online learning hub, you can chat to classmates and your online tutor and get feedback on your weekly assignments (due each Sunday night).

Q: What topics will I learn to write about?
A: That’s the cool part – it’s up to you! You’ll learn the principles of compelling feature articles and these can be applied to any topic you like. Many graduates go on to carve out a niche writing about a specific area, such as parenting, health, the environment, fitness, beer – you name it!

Q: Are there other specialist courses in freelance writing?
A: Yes, although we recommend first doing this Stage 1 course to get the foundations. Then you may wish to hone your skills in our Travel Writing, Food Writing and Profile Writing courses.

Q: This is Stage 1… Is there a Stage 2?
A: Yes – a group mentorship program! The Freelance Masterclass Program has been designed for graduates of Stage 1 as a kind of safety net in your first year pitching and writing stories in the ‘real world’. You get exclusive access to AWC founder Valerie Khoo plus bonus masterclasses, personalised pitch analysis and regular Ask Me Anything videos.

Q: I'm a busy parent and work full-time. Can I fit this in?
A: Most of our students are busy people just like you. This course is flexible so that all you need to find is a few extra hours in the week, not necessarily all at once. You can do this!

Get ongoing freelance support

Freelance Writing Stage 1 provides you with all the foundation skills you need to start pitching stories and building a portfolio of written work. But many graduates also want support in the “real world” – and that’s where our online Freelance Writing Masterclass Program comes in.

Exclusive to graduates of the stage 1 course, the program is like an apprenticeship, giving you valuable mentoring, feedback and more as you start out as a freelance writer. As a member, you have unlimited online access to a library of extra tutorials to add to your skills and confidence. You can also get feedback on your pitches and ask AWC founder Valerie Khoo questions in the monthly Ask Me Anything video sessions. With extra support and advice from an exclusive members group, it's the perfect way to keep up the momentum following Freelance Writing Stage 1.


By the end of the Freelance Writing Stage 1, you'll have:

KNOWLEDGE: We’ve condensed a decade’s worth of learning in this highly practical five-week course.
CONFIDENCE: Knowing how the industry works, how to interview and how to approach an editor is half the battle.
INSPIRATION: Come up with stories and angles for just about anything, anywhere.
MOTIVATION: There are hundreds of publications and websites that require freelance content – and many graduates get pitches approved even before they finish the five weeks!
Graduates have gone on to generate six-figure incomes working full-time as freelance writers, or even becoming editors themselves! The sky's the limit and it all starts here.

But don’t just take our word for it…

“Before the course I had lots of ideas, I just didn't know what to do with them. The course boosted my confidence enormously. Since completing the course I've had several pieces selected for publication. It feels so good being paid to write!”

– Ruth Dawkins

“The course was uber inspiring – it's like someone turned on a switch in my mind and BAM! … The Australian Writers' Centre bought me a ticket to my own show and I haven't stopped writing since! I sent off my first pitch within four days of completing the course. Bravo and thanks!”

– Janelle Walters

“Having not been formally trained as a journalist, it made this dream of mine achievable. We all have a voice of value. The course has given me tools to use it.”

– Aisha O’Donoughue

“It was interesting to see different takes on the same assignments. I also liked the ease of doing the work and listening to the tutorials in my own time, while still having the structure of assignment deadlines.”

– Barbara Skeggs

Where Starts Duration Presenter Price
Online with tutor Learn from anywhere at your convenience. Monday 5 October 2020
Any time during the week
5 weeks (Allow 3-4 hours per week) Sue White $450

About us

The Australian Writers’ Centre offers courses in creative writing, freelance writing, business writing, blogging and much more. Our practical and industry-proven courses will help you gain confidence and meet your goals faster!

Contact us

Phone: (02) 9929 0088
Head office: Suite 3, 55 Lavender Street, Milsons Point NSW 2061

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