If it’s Friday, then it’s a magazine masterclass in Chester.
I ran the first in a series of new-style workshops today, hosted by Meltdown, in which we got to grips with some of the thorny issues of making it as a magazine journalist.
Such as, you ask? Well, try signposting, pitching editors and, the thorniest of all — money.
Magazines matter, I think. They educate and inform; they define the age in which we live.
That’s why our discussion moved from Nineties Britpop and Loaded to Monacle‘s spin-off brands and the rise of the indie magazine as celebrated by Stack Magazines.
It was a lively debate with four super-keen wannabe hacks [pictured above], all of whom brought loads of experience, ideas and enthusiasm to the session.
Here’s a taster of some of the take-away tips of the day …
If you’re going freelance, then you will need:
An ability to generate lots of ideas and pitch them successfully, turning your ideas into hard cash
An ability to take old ideas and recycle them or spin-off fresh ones with different angles. Either way, you need to refresh quotes, rewrite intros and concs, and check with editors re copyright contracts
Some business sense and a basic grasp of accountancy to keep your own records
Thanks to the attendees and for the great feedback, such as:
Fantastic session, I throughly enjoyed it! Great seeing you all again and meeting some new faces.
To Oslo then — thanks to an Erasmus exchange with a British university.
After a week in the Norwegian capital, I learnt that photojournalism is alive and well in Scandinavia, you can buy a pint for less than £10 and knitting is actively encouraged in the front row of Nordic lecture theatres.
But, most of all, I spent a couple of days teaching features classes and running a travel-writing with some very smart Norwegian students.
They rose to the challenge to write travel features in English and came up with some great story hooks.
My time at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (HiOA) was a chance to reflect on my own teaching and see how lecturers do it in other countries.
The students [pictured above] seemed to enjoy it, too, and I had some good feedback about engaging learners through my communication.
I’m hoping to make the exchange between the UK and Norway into a regular event. Watch this space.