Course Code: mw1
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.
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.
A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits.
Once a course session starts, two lessons will be released each week for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
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.
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.
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."
It may sound corny, but I feel that someday I'll look back and know "this is the course that got me started". Thanks to Eva."
I took this course because I wanted to improve my chances of getting published. I had already read a book by Dr. Eva Shaw and had found it the most practical book on writing I had ever read. Consequently, I was excited to take this course. This class has not only given me new insight but renewed confidence as well. I would highly recommend any class taught by Eva Shaw."
Thanks so much for your inspiration. I have learned so much. Thanks for getting me so jazzed about writing."
There is great news: I got the job! My future boss loved my writing (many of the samples I gave him were from your courses). Thank you so much for helping me put my future back on track. I am so excited about this new start, and I wanted to thank you again for helping me to make it possible!"
This class was all that I had hoped and so much more. The instructor made it a pleasure, and the information was extremely helpful."
This class was the kick in the pants that I needed to get started as a freelance writer."
What a unique class! This was my first-ever online class. And I did not expect the whole process of learning to write for magazines to feel so natural. This was sooo cool! Many thanks to Eva and all the classmates. I printed and saved several of the discussions because they had such useful ideas."
The editor of a magazine has asked me to proceed with my article on discrimination for their upcoming issue. I am so excited! Thank you so much, Eva. This would never have happened if I had not taken your class."
Eva, at your suggestion, while I was in your Writeriffic class that ended in October, I submitted an article to my local newspaper when they put in a call for guest writers. I just received confirmation that I will be one of three guest columnists for 2011—I will have 4 articles published! I spent time yesterday talking with the editor and she got me in touch with a writer's group in this area. This new world of writing is opening up to me. I'm very excited and I have you to thank for the nudge! This course will help me to refine my work and the feedback will give me the confidence to turn it in, not just to the newspapers, but also to magazines."