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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Write, Edit, Sell — work from home, researching fields that you love

Freelance writers are always in demand. In this course, you'll learn to write features, short fiction, newspaper work, general copy, and more. You'll also learn how to pitch, place work, and polish material until it shines. 

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Learn about Freelance Writing by Distance Learning

Earn from your writing!

Freelance writers are self-employed — meaning you have the freedom to write what you want, when you want. In this course, you'll learn how to develop an outline, pitch, and create work that sells. You'll cover:

  • Genres and markets
  • Pitch structure and how to talk to an editor
  • The processes involved in publishing books, magazines and newspapers, from generating concepts to seeing the finished publication on sale.

Rather than focussing on a single type of writing, this course is tailored to your needs. Our academics will help you develop your strengths and address your weaknesses.

Many of our staff are experienced, published writers; and are happy to provide advice and guidance to graduates of this course.

Course Duration: 100 hours

Course Structure and Content

1. Introduction

  • Categories of Freelance Writing
  • Steps to getting started
  • Necessary resources (including equipment)
  • Researching the market
  • Sources of information
  • How to develop yourself as a freelance writer
  • Publishing options
  • Industry terminology

2. Basic Writing Skills

  • How to improve a piece of writing
  • Essential writing skills
  • Informative language
  • Persuasive language
  • Imaginative language
  • Connotation and denotation
  • Literal and figurative language
  • Formal and informal language
  • Clear communication
  • Making meanings clear
  • Causes of confusion.
  • Ambiguity.
  • Concise wording.
  • Condensing your writing.
  • In-concise writing.
  • Phrases linked in a wordy fashion.
  • Tautologies.
  • Abstract nouns.
  • Using too many words.
  • Ellipsis.
  • Active and passive language.
  • Grammatical rules.
  • Grammatical errors.
  • Rules of speech.
  • Punctuation.
  • Spelling.
  • Sentence structure.
  • Types of sentences.
  • Composing sentences.
  • Building a paragraph.

3. Planning What You Write

  • Conceptualisation.
  • Developing a concept.
  • Writing an outline synopsis.
  • Planning your writing.
  • Word budget.
  • Writing structure.
  • Research.
  • The writing process.
  • Feature writing conventions.
  • Feature article structure.
  • Introduction, billboard paragraph, bdy, eding and coser.
  • References.
  • A writing routine.

 4. The Publishing World

  • Contacting publishers.
  • Periodicals.
  • Books.
  • Sample pblishers cntract.
  • Protecting the writers work.
  • Copyright.
  • Income from writing.
  • Lending rights.
  • Set task.
  • Assignment.

5. Manuscripts

  • Preparing and presenting your manuscript.
  • Editing.
  • The eiting process.
  • Self editing.
  • Editing articles and manuscripts.
  • Writing a sales package.
  • Target reader synopsis.
  • The title.
  • Statement of objectives.
  • The publishing process.
  • Presentation requirements.
  • Submitting your work.
  • Publishing processes for ebooks.
  • Self publishing online.

6. Newspaper Writing

  • News articles.
  • Short features.
  • Investigative article.
  • Regular columns.
  • Fillers.
  • Human interest article.
  • Local newspaper articles.
  • Interviews.
  • Conducting an interview.
  • Planning the questions.
  • Drawing out answers.
  • Accuracy of notes.

7. Magazine Writing

  • Magazine articles.
  • What does a publisher or editor consider?
  • Feature articles.
  • Types of articles.
  • Service articles.
  • Travel writing.
  • Interviews.

8. Writing Books

  • Fiction books.
  • Writing fiction – plot, viewpoint, characterisation. setting, dialogue, conflict, structure.
  • Target audience.
  • Believability.
  • Non-Fiction books.
  • Text books.
  • Fact finding.
  • Getting book contracts.
  • Books in print.

9. Writing Advertising

  • Writing for public relations.
  • Media releases.
  • Writing promotional campaigns.
  • Messages.
  • Selling.
  • Effectiveness.
  • Writing online advertising copy.

10. Special Project

  • Reviewing your writing.
  • Planning a small book.
  • Writing the first chapter.


  • Discuss the nature and scope of freelance writing.
  • Evaluate your basic writing skills and identify deficiencies needing attention in order to be successful at freelance writing.
  • Develop a concept for freelance writing which has potential for selling.
  • Identify commercial opportunities to sell writing to publishers.
  • Describe the preparation of a manuscript for submission to a publisher
  • Write commercially viable items for publishing in a newspaper.
  • Write commercially viable items for publishing in a magazine.
  • Plan for production of a commercially viable book manuscript.
  • Write commercially viable advertising.
  • Apply all skills and knowledge so far developed to the production of a complete manuscript.

The Art of Persuasion
Study Freelance Writing by Distance LearningWriters may write to share information. They may write to tell us something interesting or amusing. Or they might write to persuade or influence.

Being able to persuade a reader is an extremely marketable skill for any freelance writer to develop. It opens up opportunities to sell your writing in the world of commerce and also vastly improves your ability to create a supportive clientele and audience, no matter what you write, or where it is published.

Some writing is blatantly designed to influence the mind of the reader. Advertising is a prime example of this. Advertisers write their adverts to stick in our minds in order to encourage us to buy their product. Think of famous catchphrases or jingles that have been used in adverts that you can remember years later. You may remember things like:
"I'm lovin' it!", "Think outside the box", "Inspiration comes as standard", “Now hands that do dishes feel as soft as your face” Or “For mash get smash" and so on.

But writing to persuade is not only found in adverts. Many writers will write to persuade. Even novel writers will write to persuade. They will want to persuade you to like or dislike the characters they are writing about. If you like a character, you will want to know what happens to them. You will keep reading. You will hopefully read the book and tell others it was good. This hopefully will make others read the book. If the book is considered popular or worthy, the book may be made into a film, and again the scriptwriters and editors will write the script to make us like or dislike the characters.

If an author writes a sequel or two or three or four about the same character, if you really like or dislike the characters in the books, you are more likely to buy the sequel(s) or watch the film about the books. Think about Harry Potter again. People became intrigued by the characters in J.K. Rowling’s books, so went on and bought the sequels and then went and watched the films. They may then have bought the DVDs of the films.

Charlaine Harris wrote many True Blood books. Fans bought the books and watched the TV series and then maybe bought the DVDs of the series.

All of this arises from an author with artistic talent and an idea for a character or characters. However there are also many aspects of commercialism in the writer - encouraging us to like that particular character and buy their books. Most writers want someone to read and like their books. At the end of the day (to many writers) having someone do that is very important to them. Obviously having their book published can be very enjoyable and fulfilling for an author, but hearing for the first time that your book is good, is a very important moment.

It is easy to forget when we look at the commercialism of publishing, books and films and so on, that at the bottom of all this is an author who is writing because she or he loves to write and wants to write.

Other writers who may write to persuade are those who want us to accept their message. They may be writing about politics, religion, a new weight loss diet or a new theory. These writers, no matter how academic or intellectual they are, are writing to encourage us to accept their thoughts and feelings and perhaps also the feelings of their employer by perhaps writing marketing material to promote sales. For example, think of all the different theories about natural history: the link between dinosaurs and birds, or theories about how the dinosaurs became extinct, how man evolved and so on. There are many different theories within this that different authors have written about. They base their theories on scientific observations and thoughts, but at the end of the day, they write their article or book to encourage the reader to accept their theory and point of view.

Politicians will write about their time in politics. They will tell us about different situations they faced. Again, they want us to persuade us that their version of the “truth” is the right one.

Look at dieting books. If you visit any bookstore or online bookstore, you will find hundreds of diet books or ways to lose weight, all with their own particular message, all trying to persuade us that their diet is the best way to lose weight. The Dukan Diet, The Atkins Diet, The Low Carb Diet, The Carb Curfew Diet are just a few. All have their benefits and advantages. Each will suit someone, but all of the writers want you to believe that their diet is the best, so all try to persuade you to buy their book.

Newspaper columnists or magazine writers also try to persuade the reader. Although journalists are bound by a code of ethics which includes providing a balanced view, the management of a newspaper may have particular political leanings and try to persuade their reader that the political party they support is the best one to vote for. Read any newspaper during the build-up to a general election and the paper will be writing and publishing articles to persuade the reader towards voting in a specific way. The articles will be written in such a way that make their views seem sound and credible, and they may very well be, but in reality they are trying to urge their readers towards their political persuasion, and to get them to vote for the party that the newspaper supports. Newspapers are very powerful in that way!

The agenda setting function of the press is also important. It establishes the idea that the press sets the agenda for what is important in the news. The agenda or order in which the stories appear will be determined by how important the stories are considered by the newspaper and also which stories they feel will attract the greatest number of readers and viewers. The front page or cover story of a magazine is considered a lead story, and what is chosen for this lead story is generally responsible for generating sales and ratings for the company. The agenda setting function of the press can therefore be very important in swaying public opinion, such as in general elections or when focusing on building readerships or ratings.

Say there are five news stories on a particular day:

  • A celebrity cheats on her husband.
  • An important politician dies.
  • A health scare about bird flu.
  • A new treatment for cancer.
  • A little girl saves her brother from drowning.

The newspaper will decide on the hierarchy of the stories based on how newsworthy they deem them to be. The same will also occur with television and online news outlets. This newsworthiness is an equation which takes into consideration, timeliness, proximity, other world events and a number of other factors.

Say a newspaper particularly supports the political party that the dead politician mentioned above belonged to. They may write a long and lyrical article about how important the politician was and his/her contribution to politics, the world and so on. This story may be the main focus of their paper that day. They may then write about the bird flu, then the cancer treatment, then the little girl and perhaps put the story about the celebrity in the gossip pages.

A different paper may think the celebrity cheating on their husband is front page news, then the little girl, then cancer and so on.

  • Most writing will have a subtle (if not obvious) affect upon the mindset of an individual; sometimes their intellect, sometimes their emotion.
  • Every story read will change the way the brain thinks and feels about a subject as it adds information to the processing of one's thoughts.

You can start the Freelance Writing course at any time.

It is studied by distance learning, so you can study in the comfort of your own home. But this doesn't mean you are all alone in your studies.  Our highly qualified and friendly tutors are there to help you every step of the way.  If you have any questions at all, they are always happy to help.

Each lesson includes set tasks, and is completed with an assignment which the student submits to their course tutor.  The tutor will mark the assignment and return this to the student with comments and suggestions for further reading.


  • Our courses are written and taught by experienced professionals, so you know you can expect a high quality of teaching and support.
  • You can start the course at any time and study at your own pace.
  • Fit your studies around your own busy lifestyle - we provide full tutor support for all the time you are studying.
  • Study where you want to - online studies offer the flexibility for you to determine where and when you study.

"I found the course to be extremely helpful. It has given me the confidence and the skills to present my work to publishers."
D. Bond
"[this course is a valuable learning experience]. I have never had the benefit of a writer give feedback on my work. That along with structure and content lessons have been beneficial.Many professional writers start out by freelancing. Learn how to write, what to write, and how publishers buy from freelance writers."
Bradley Clark, Freelance Writing

"I commenced the Creative Writing Course with the ACS having had no prior experience in this field whatsoever. Having always been in accounting or payroll jobs, I decided to give the course a go.The course demonstrated to me what I enjoyed writing about, the types of writing I was good at, and not so good at. It broadened my horizon to show me what was out there to write about. It gave me knowledge and confidence. I have continued to write, and in the future want to commence with the next course, but in the meantime, I have submitted various articles of mine to some magazines and have had nothing but positive feedback from all the editors and some of my work is to be published!! Which I personally feel is fantastic as I have only been doing this for a year or so. Thank you for opening up a whole new world of creativity to me which I can only enhance upon!!"
Jo, Freelance Writing
"The Freelance Writing course has been one of my most favourite due to the ease & flexibility of correspondence. I have found the staff always helpful and friendly. I appreciated that there were no deadlines and I could complete the work involved when I had time."
Janine, Freelance Writing


If you would like to start a career as a freelance writing, this is the course to get you started.  If you enjoy writing and want to develop your writing skills, work with your tutor to develop and improve your writing skills.


Do you have any questions? Please click to contact our Freelance Writing Tutors.



Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Meet some of our academics

John MasonWriter, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner. John is a well respected member of many professional associations, and author of over seventy books and of over two thousand magazine articles.
Jacinda ColeJacinda has expertise in psychology and horticulture. She holds a BSc (hons) in Psychology and a Masters in Psychology (Clinical) and also trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the London Centre for Psychotherapy. In horticulture she has a Certificate in Garden Design and ran her own landscaping and garden design business for a number of years. Jacinda also has many years experience in course development and educational writing.
Tracey Jones (writing)Tracey has enjoyed creative writing since she was a child. She has had several short stories published and a novella. She is also a keen writer of children's stories and poetry. She has also written many academic and non-fiction books in the fields of psychology, sociology, child development, writing and marketing.

Check out our eBooks

How to be a Successful EditorThere are plenty of books that show you the processes involved in editing; but knowing the process is in itself not enough to be a successful editor. This book not only covers aspects of the process; but it also goes beyond the process; showing you things that may help you to become better than the “average” editor.
English GrammarThe English Grammar ebook can be a great reference for students, people who are learning English and anybody who writes anything- ever. The English Grammar ebook takes grammar back to basics to help confirm correct use of grammar. Topics that are covered within this course include 1/ Introduction- the components of language, 2/ Types of words, 3/ Punctuation, 4/ Upper and lower case, abbreviations, numbers, bullet points and 5/ Using words together.
Professional WritingProfessional writing is any writing that you are being paid for. It can include fiction writing, a best-selling book, articles in a magazine, articles in a newspaper, blogs for companies, technical manuals or procedure manuals, copy for catalogues, newsletters, text books and other academic material and so on.
Creative WritingThe Creative Writing ebook can be useful for writing students or even professional writers to help improve their writing techniques and skills. The Creative Writing ebook is a fabulous starting point for budding writers. The topics that are covered within this book are an introduction to creative writing, Methodology and technique- the building blocks of writing, Genres, Creative non-fiction, creative writing techniques, developing your skill, building your career and a Glossary.