Instructor: Kathryn Haueisen
Maximum Enrollment: 10
Class Term: 03/15/2021 - 04/26/2021
SCN Member: $192.00
Class synopsisWhile most authors think in terms of books, there are advantages to writing short articles suitable for newspaper columns, magazines, blogs, and on-line publications.
Writing your story in short, feature article length segments boosts confidence and can provide income while working on a book length project. A series of articles based on the life and times of you also provides material for your future book. In this class we'll cover the basics of freelance writing including how to pitch an article, how to research potential markets, basic structure of a compelling article, freelance writing etiquette, and pitfalls to avoid.
+ Learn the advantages of writing short feature length articles and pitching them to publications., + Master the basic tools needed to successfully query and submit to publications., + Understand the needs of magazine editors and how to help them help you., + Submit at least one query to an editor and write at least one magazine length article.
Class communication methodA series of Zoom lectures on Thursdays, recorded for those who cannot participate in real time. Participants' commitment to review and comment on one another's submissions. Students will submit material via a group e-mail. I will correspond and/or phone communication with each individual student on an as requested basis following each session. I will recommend, but not require several books on the art of freelance writing and provide handouts of relevant on-line resources. Some of these may have a fee, but will not be required for the class.
Week One: Overview of freelance writing for publications.
- Types of publications that accept freelance material.
- Turning life experience into income.
- Advantages of freelance writing.
- Disadvantages of freelance writing.
Handout: Lists of books and on-line resources to study for more information.
Homework: Explore one or more of these resources and give short summary at class next session.
Week Two: Study the market.
- Researching potential markets.
- Finding the market that’s the best fit.
- Making a connection with a potential market/editor.
Handout: Lists of where to find potential markets.
Homework: Study contents of 4 or 5 publications and list 4 or 5 article ideas to present to class next session.
Week Three: Writing a convincing query letter.
- The hook.
- The case for why readers would want to read this.
- What makes you the perfect person to write this article.
- A little bit about how you’d approach the subject.
Handout: Information about writing great query letters.
Homework: Write a query letter and present to class next session.
Week Four: Write an Article
- The anatomy of a good freelance non-fiction article.
- Research and interview resources.
- Discerning what an editor wants.
- How to court an editor.
Handout: Samples of published freelance articles.
Homework: Write an article for a specific market, following their submission guidelines. Present to class next session.
Week Five: Review, revise, prepare to pitch/submit.
- Critique one another’s articles.
- Group suggestions on alternate markets for each other’s articles.
- The must’s, could’s, and never do’s of submitting freelance material.
- How to turn one article into several.
Homework: Re-write same article with different slant for different market. Present to class next session.
Week Six: Managing the details.
- Keeping track of submissions and responses.
- Contracts and compensation.
- Rights and responsibilities.
- Group discussion on ways to re-think where each student’s article might be appropriate.
- Share success stories.
Class time commitmentClass time peer week: 1 hour (up to 75 minutes if conversations run over), plus two to four hours researching markets, writing query letters, and writing article(s).
Kathryn Haueisen is an author and retired Lutheran pastor. She combines her degree in journalism and her Master of Divinity degree to write about good people doing great things in the global village. Before beginning a second career as a pastor, her diverse work experience included copy writing and public relations work for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, an outdoor drama, a small college PR office, and a large university news service office. She has published over 75 articles and resources in dozens of national and regional publications. The most recent of her six published books, Mayflower Chronicles: The Tale of Two Cultures, is her debut historical fiction. It covers European events that prompted a small group of religious rebels to establish a new English colony in North America and their earliest encounters with the Native community.