This course is ideal for: Anyone craving a new income writing original content for magazines, online publications and more.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When you enrol in Freelance Writing Stage 1:
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!
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.
|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!|
“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
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