Learn to Write for Pleasure or Profit
- Improve your writing
- Expand into a new genre
- Realize your ambitions
Tutors are successful, published, professional writers. Our principal had his first work published in the early 70’s. Combined, our staff have contributed to over 200 books; 600 courses and thousands of published articles across many genres, both non fiction and fiction.
- Gavin, studying journalism
Student Comment " Thanks for the tips you gave me on the journalist job... I was given the job of writing an article... the experience was great and at least I will be published for the first time"
Being paid to write things is a dream shared by many. It can be an exciting profession, but before embarking on a substantial course of study whit us or anyone else; be sure you fully understand what is involved. Some people simply don't succeed perhaps because the dream is not the same as the reality; or maybe they are simply not the right personality. This job is not just about writing well: it also requires you to be able to write fast, work under pressure. You also need to be prepared to write what an employer wants, which is not always the same as what you want. This is the reality of journalism. If you can get past these considerations, and with a bit of luck, you may be able to forge a serious career.
Journalists are primarily writers who are writing for periodicals (ie. things published at regular intervals). Some journalists work on staff for a publisher (full time or part time),from the publishers office; while others may work freelance or contract, from home, submitting articles which have been commissioned, or on spec (ie. in the hope they will be accepted).
Freelance journalists often start slow, only getting occasional articles published early in their career; but with persistence and good luck, they can develop a reputation and network of publishers who accept their work (so much so that they can earn a comfortable living from their writing).
Some in house journalists will find themselves being used to perform a range of other jobs in the office where they work. Particularly in smaller publishing houses, they may need to help with editing, layout -preparing publications for printing, web site development, marketing copy writing, conducting interviews, answering the phone, research for articles, photography, etc.
Some freelance journalists supplement their income by undertaking other work as well, such as contract editing for publishers, writing advertising copy or web site development, taking and selling photos, etc.
This Diploma is designed to not only develop your capacity to write commercially viable copy, but also understand the publishing industry, and develop a variety of skills which will be useful to employers or yourself when pursuing a career in journalism.
To obtain this Diploma you must complete all assignments and pass an exam for each module (except Research Projects which do not have exams). In addition you also need to provide written proof of having for a period of 300 hours either:
A. Attended industry meetings (eg. Trade shows, seminars, committee meetings) relevant to event management, or
B. Undertaken 300 hours of work experience in a publishers office, in a situation which can be shown to be an effective learning experience
Duration 2100 hours
Compulsory (Core) Modules
There are TEN core modules.
All of the following must be completed and passed:
Advanced Freelance Writing
Introduction to Photography
Eight further modules must be chosen from the following:
Research Project II
Research Project III
Research Project IV
Computer Studies II
Computer Servicing I
Business Studies I
Advertising and Promotions
HTML (Writing a Web Site)
Note: Your choice of modules from those listed above should be determined according to deficiencies in your past studies or experience. Your choice of electives can (and should) be made, after completing the compulsory modules.
More details on each of these modules can be found within our web site; or by emailing us requesting details.
How Do Writers Get Inspired?
Experienced writers sometimes suffer "writers block"; but with a degree of self awareness and an understanding of how to trigger self inspiration; there should be little "down time" for anyone who is suited to working in the writing profession.
Most assiduous writers are observant, well informed people, who are continuously seeking inspiration. Others find it all around them.
A writer needs to be an observer – of nature, people, buildings, events, the news, people's behaviours and reactions. Any of these observations could help to form the starting point for developing a story, or they could be used in your characterisations, descriptions of scenes, portrayal of sensual information, expression of emotion, and so forth.
This is where the notebook or other recording method comes into its own. Always remain open to new thoughts, ideas, or other means of inspiration. You might find interest in any area of life:
- Wildlife - watching birds mate or defend a nest, observing ants carry dead insects to a nest, going on a nocturnal walk with a torch in search of wild animals.
- Travel - visiting new towns and villages, taking the tram or train instead of a car, researching the history of a different area, eating their local cuisine.
- People - conversing with people with different dialects or accents, observing interactions between people from a variety of age groups, noting the different ways people dress, their grooming, and so forth.
- Networking & Social Media - discuss areas of interest with others, join chat rooms, exchange ideas.
- Education - if necessary, enroll in a short course to broaden your knowledge of a subject of interest, take a writing course, read textbooks.
- Friends and family - pay closer attention to your interactions with them, observe them, you know these people better than others, could they become characters in your novel?
Inspiration may also be found in everyday conversations, news items, reading, television, or trying something completely different e.g. taking up a martial art, going on an African safari, or learning to pilot a helicopter - assuming you have not already tried these. Every waking hour, and even fragments of dreams, can offer something of value to a creative mind.
Earning an Income from Writing
Being paid to write things is a dream shared by many. It can be an exciting profession, but before embarking on a substantial course of study whit us or anyone else; be sure you fully understand what is involved. Some people simply don't succeed perhaps because the dream is not the same as the reality; or maybe they are simply not the right personality.
Being a professional writer is not just about writing well: it also requires you to be able to write fast, work under pressure. You also need to be prepared to write what an employer wants, which is not always the same as what you want. You may need to do more than just write too. The best writers may also need to have strong skills in I.T., business and photography. This is the reality of journalism. If you can get past these considerations, and with a bit of luck, you may be able to forge a serious career.
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