The Craft of Magazine Writing

Learn the skills and insights you will need to jump-start your career as a magazine writer. This course will teach you how to get your work published and turn your writing skills into an easy source of extra income.
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6 Weeks / 24 Course Hrs
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Course code: mw1

Have you ever thought about writing for magazines? Turn your dreams into bylines and help yourself to a bright future as a magazine writer. It is fun, easy, and a great source of extra income. If you are a determined new writer, or if you haven't written for magazines in years, this class will jump-start your career. You will learn plenty of powerful brainstorming techniques designed to get those creative juices flowing with articles that practically write themselves.

What you will learn

  • Learn how to find ideas for articles
  • Understand how to use your market guidebook
  • Get an overview of production tips and grammar rules
  • Learn how to interview various subjects
  • Understand how to write for a reader in a clear crisp way
  • Learn how to do research for your writing

How you will benefit

  • Become more confident in your ability to build a career as a magazine writer
  • Learn ways to keep the creative juices flowing so you're never without new ideas
  • Understand the magazine writing world so you can be more successful

How the course is taught

  • Instructor-led or self-paced online course
  • 6 Weeks or 3 Months access
  • 24 course hours

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.

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, then you need to know about the categories. You'll begin that investigation in this lesson.

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.

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 this lesson will discuss: giving you a foundation for writing a query that sells your ideas.

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 in this lesson will make interviewing fun and easy.

Money. It's the topic of this lesson and will be discussed in depth. The lesson will then 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 in this lesson you'll learn how to simply acknowledge it and then get writing once again.

Do you know your reader? Most new writers say, "Hey, of course I do". 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, this lesson will talk about writing for a reader, ways to create clear and crisp writing, and writing fillers and essays.

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 those questions and much more here in this lesson.

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.

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. This lesson will talk more about finding experts to make your articles sizzle. Then you'll examine the tools you need to self-edit. Self-editing is the polish that turns okay writing into publishable words.

Recycle your research and you'll be able to sell and resell ideas without reinventing the wheel. That's the focus of this lesson. The lesson will 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.

Imagine you're about to print an article that you've been working on 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 the final topic and since there's only so much time in the day, you'll learn how to use what you have, and use it well.

Eva Shaw, Ph.D. is a full-time working writer. She has authored thousands of articles, essays, and short stories and more than 70 books including "Writing the Nonfiction Book" and "Insider's Guide to San Diego." Her work has been featured in USA Today, San Diego Union Tribune, Publisher's Weekly, and others. She has won several awards, including the Book of the Year Award from the American Journal of Nursing, the Benjamin Franklin Award, and the Woman of Merit Award.

Requirements:

Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.

Other:

  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Prerequisites:

There are no prerequisites to take this course.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.

Instructor-Led: A new session of each course begins each month. Please refer to the session start dates for scheduling.
Self-Paced: You can start this course at any time your schedule permits.

Instructor-Led: Once a course session starts, two lessons will be released each week for the 6 week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
Self-Paced: You have 3 month access to the course. After enrolling, you can learn and complete the course at your own pace, within the allotted access period.

Instructor-Led: The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes two weeks after each lesson is released, so you're encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
Self-Paced: There is no time limit to complete each lesson, other than completing all lessons within the allotted access period.

Instructor-Led: The final exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the final exam has been released, you will have two weeks plus 10 days (24 days total) to complete the final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
Self-Paced: Because this course is self-paced, no extensions will be granted after the start of your enrollment.