Freelance Journalism Course

Niamh Griffin is a freelance journalist, based in Dublin. Formerly health correspondent and reporter with The Irish Mail on Sunday, she has also written for The Irish Times, Irish Independent, Irish Daily Mail as well as the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia. She loves telling stories and believes everyone has a story if you can just find the right questions to ask them. Niamh is excited about teaching this writing course for Creative Writing Ink, and is looking forward to creating more story-tellers.

Start Date: 30th January 2019

Price: €150

Duration: six weeks

During this course we will take you through the nuts and bolts of beginning to make a living from freelance writing. Remember this is a career that is based on getting paid per piece of work, so there are no shortcuts but there are ways to make your life easier and to make your work more attractive to editors.

The course is based on the assumption that you already have an interest in selling your writing – whether to local newspapers, national newspapers, magazines or online publications. We will also discuss the importance of providing photographs when possible, and talk about what skills you need other than the basic ability to listen, spell and write.

Weekly material: Reading and assignments on the topics below. You will receive feedback from your tutor. Also published stories from around the world in a variety of styles to inspire you, a list of books to read on grammar, style and journalism in general. Finally, we will provide suggestions of freelance journalists working in various areas to follow online and a Media Jargon Buster.

In Week One – Generating Ideas – we look at where you can find ideas and how to turn your ideas into stories. Ideas are the currency of the media – being able to come up with new and interesting ideas on a regular basis makes you more valuable to an editor than someone who can write wonderful prose but has no original ideas.

In Week Two – How to Write – we talk about the different writing styles which match different publications, and ways in which you can approach topics to make them fresh. What’s the difference between a news lead and a drop lead at the start of your story? Why are some freelancers feature writers and others are newshounds? Which one are you?

In Week Three – Pitching an Editor – we look at how to approach an editor and get those ideas in front of her, how to make your idea stand out from the hundreds of emails she receives every week. How to find the editor’s details, what to write and how to follow up.

In Week Four – Talking to Strangers – we look at interviews and how to find people to talk to, what to do when you’re in front of a stranger talking about his life. How do you ask about personal topics, what do you say? What’s the best way to record the information? And how to approach press officers or organisations for help in finding people or information.

In Week Five – Getting Paid – we look at the reality of a freelance life – chasing invoices, how much to charge, how to discuss rates, how to file your taxes. What is the Defamation Act and how to stay on the right side of it when writing.

In Week Six – The Hustle – we look at the role of social media and websites – how to use it to both find stories and promote yourself. We talk about staying creative over 52 weeks a year, how to re-use ideas without plagiarising yourself. And what gigs freelance journalists do on the side to keep the financial wolf from the door – photography, blogging, content writing, e-books.

At the end of the course, there’s also an optional paid extra, a Skype consultation with Niamh, if you have any further questions. The cost for this Skype consultation is €45 per hour.

To find out more about how the online courses work, or if you have any further queries, you can check out our Frequently Asked Questions or email us at info@creativewriting.ie

Our cancellation/refund policy may be viewed here.

 

PAYMENT/REGISTRATION: Please note that we do not require you to fill out a registration form. Instead, please click on the ‘Check Out Securely’ or ‘PayPal’ button below. During the payment process you can input your name and email address which we will use to register you on the course. If you’d prefer to use another email address for the course correspondence or if you’re paying on behalf of another student, when you have processed the payment, please send the relevant email address and name for the course correspondence to info@creativewriting.ie. Once you have processed the payment, we will email you within 24 hours to confirm receipt.

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POST: We no longer accept cash, cheque or money order payments by post.