Category: Teaching

Student feedback for my storytelling online course with Journalism.co.uk

My storytelling online course for Journalism.co.uk has completed its first run.

The four students learnt more about the key ideas behind telling your story to engage readers.

Here is some of the feedback from students on the course.

Sarah Farrell said:

“I really loved the course and have some great ideas for structuring features and interviewing from it. Thank you.”

Sarah says the key things she learnt from the course include:

  • Different ways of writing the intro
  • Handling tough interviews and controlling the interview
  • Importance of knowing your reader and how to write for different audiences

Louise Skinner said she had learnt the importance of the following, amongst others:

  • Make sure you include the human interest in your story – make use of strong, direct quotes as much as possible.
  • Interviews – don’t be afraid to ask probing questions – you should be in control of the interview and steer it in the direction to get the best content for your readers.
  • Make sure there’s a hook in your piece – why publish it now?

Read more about my ideas for better storytelling in my guest blog, How simple storytelling techniques can make you a better writer.

Media masterclass: How to tell a story and engage your readers

I’m running a new online course from March 1st in collaboration with Journalism.co.uk.

We will cover how to tell a story and the importance of human interest to that.

We will also look at the importance of knowing your reader and work on drafting a sample feature for you to pitch — to ultimately sell and make money.

This course will be taught online to keep it flexible for working media specialists and student journalists currently based at home.

If you’re looking to refresh existing skills, or develop some new ones as a freelancer, this how-to course, based on my insider tips from 20 years as a working journalist, could be the new-year resolution you were looking for.

You can find out more about the course by reading my guest blog for the site, in which my key point is:

Journalism is complex but the secret to good storytelling remains simple: engage your reader.

Read the full post here.

And sign up for the course: How to tell a story and engage readers.

Journalists and content writers: sign up for my new masterclass this autumn

Journalism is complex but the secret to good storytelling is simple: people love to read about people.

This new course, hosted via Journalism.co.uk [see image above], is a hands-on class exploring techniques for writers, such as case studies, sourcing expert views and playing up the human interest to build empathy with your readers.

It will make your stories really come alive.

This four-week course will be taught online. This includes one lesson per week over four consecutive weeks on the same day, plus practical exercises, ongoing feedback and a critique of a draft feature for your chosen publication.

This course is suitable for all professional writers — from career starters beginning their writing career to established journalists looking to refine their skillset in an increasingly competitive freelance market.

What does the course involve?

  • Session 1: Telling stories
  • Session 2: Finding voices
  • Session 3: Handling interviews
  • Sessions 4: Writing a draft

Sign up here: Storytelling and engagement techniques masterclass

How to get into travel writing — via Zoom

The landscape looks pretty different since my last post.

Global events have overtaken normal life and we’re all now staying home to protest out precious NHS.

It’s easy to hide under the duvet at times like these but, as a long-standing freelancer, I know it means I need to change, adapt and evolve my working life.

I had a writing workshop lined up in Chester later this month, offering my insider tips from the coalface of freelance travel writing.

Obviously we couldn’t now meet physically. But one of the delegates inspired me with her positivity to not cancel the event. Instead we did it by Zoom.

I prepared a short PowerPoint and did two Zoom sessions with some homework set between the two online tutorials.

It’s a very different way of teaching for me from my usual workshops and university lectures but it proved yet again that adaptability is a cornerstone of freelance life.

I’m available for travel writing workshops and tutorials — both online and, eventually, in person.

Contact me if you would like to take part in a future workshop.