The Craft of Magazine Writing

The Craft of Magazine Writing

Butler Community College

$110.00 Enroll Now!

Instructor-Led Course
Hours: 24
Duration of Access: 6 weeks
Start Dates: Nov 12, Dec 10, Jan 21, Feb 18
8,486 Students
have taken this course.

Syllabus

A new session of each course starts monthly. If enrolling in a series of two or more courses, please be sure to space the start date for each course at least two months apart.

Week 1

Wednesday - Lesson 01

Did you know that you don't have to be an expert on a topic to write a magazine article about it? And you don't need a wall of diplomas to be a writer, either. If you think it's necessary to have taken formal courses in writing, journalism, or communications to write, reconsider that idea. In this lesson, you'll discover where ideas originate and get started as a writer of nonfiction magazine articles.

Friday - Lesson 02

Ask a magazine writer about the genres available to this profession and you'll learn about consumer topics, informational pieces, question-and-answer formats, true crime articles, and a bunch more. You'll hear about how-to articles, too. If you've been seriously thinking about writing for magazines—which I hope you have—you need to know about the categories. You'll begin that investigation today.

Week 2

Wednesday - Lesson 03

You've just purchased the latest market guidebook with the writing guidelines for oodles of magazines. It's awesome, complex, and exciting. If you feel overwhelmed, you're not alone. Some new writers get copies of market guidebooks and, once they've thumbed through them, put them aside. The books can be intimidating. But after this lesson, you'll be a pro at selecting magazines that want articles from you. By the end of it, you'll be able to use an innovative outlining tool, called The Bubble Method, which will help you make every single topic a potential article.

Friday - Lesson 04

What is a query letter? Do nonfiction article writers really need them? How can you write one that will capture the interest of editors? That's what we'll discuss today—giving you a foundation for writing a query that sells your ideas.

Week 3

Wednesday - Lesson 05

In this lesson, you'll get a quick review of production tips and grammar rules. But the gem is a section on how to interview the people, experts, and celebrities that you'll be writing about. Whatever type of article you write, you may have occasion to interview someone. Not being an effective interviewer will diminish your chances of success. However, what you learn today will make interviewing fun and easy.

Friday - Lesson 06

Money. It's the topic of this lesson, and we'll discuss it in depth. Then we'll debunk that bugaboo, writer's block. Yes, writer's block is out there, waiting to get your attention and stop you in your tracks. But today you're going to learn how to simply acknowledge it and then get writing once again.

Week 4

Wednesday - Lesson 07

Do you know your reader? Most new writers say, "Hey, of course I do." Then they look at me as if I'm from the planet Zod, and they seem to be saying, "What a silly question." But unless you know who you're writing for and write in a fashion that captures and sustains a reader's interest, you'll find writing for magazines a huge challenge. So, today, we'll talk about writing for a reader, ways to create clear and crisp writing, and writing fillers and essays.

Friday - Lesson 08

Have you ever wondered how magazine writers know how many words are right for a specific topic? Have you thought about where sidebars come from? Do you want to gain credibility for a nonfiction book and further your profession, cause, or company? You'll get answers to these questions and much more here, in today's lesson.

Week 5

Wednesday - Lesson 09

By the end of this lesson, you'll be able to research topics for articles and understand how to get yourself into the research picture. It's nearly painless and really fun once you know the techniques professional magazine writers use.

Friday - Lesson 10

Do you need to interview an expert or get a quote from one to make your article sparkle? You probably have a book in your house right now that would supply what you're looking for. Today, we'll talk more about finding experts to make your articles sizzle. Then we'll examine the tools you need to self-edit. Self-editing is the polish that turns okay writing into publishable words.

Week 6

Wednesday - Lesson 11

Recycle your research and you'll be able to sell and resell ideas without reinventing the wheel. That's the focus of this lesson. We'll also discuss writing about theme and seasonal articles, locating regional publications that would be crazy not to have you write for them, and networking with others to increase the number of articles you sell.

Friday - Lesson 12

You're about to print an article on which you've been working for a week. It's dynamite and headed for publication in a major magazine. This is your lucky break. As weird as it seems to a cyber-savvy writer like you, the editor wants a printed manuscript. After thinking, "This magazine is still in the dark ages," you smile and comply. However, you've run out of paper (or need a printer cartridge) or stamps or some other indispensable writing supply. If this hasn't happened to you yet, it may, unless you realize that time is money. Time management is our final topic and since we only have so much time in our days, today you'll learn how to use what you have, and use it well.


Review

Dr. Shaw is a wonderful instructor. From the start of the course she made a comfortable environment which encouraged students to submit their assignments and participate in the discussion areas. I will definitely be taking another one of her classes.

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