Tag: journalism

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.

How simple storytelling techniques can make you a better writer

I’m running a new online course, starting in January.

This guest blog post for Journalism.co.uk explains some of the techniques and insider tips I will share from some 20 years of freelancing.

Here’s a sample from the text:

People love to read about people.

Keep that idea in mind as you structure your draft, whether a feature, client copy or a press release, and you will build empathy with your readers.

Fail to grasp that, however, and the reader will simply scroll on.

Read the full post here.

And sign up for the Storytelling and Engagement Techniques Masterclass.

Why my op-ed travel feature seemed to touch a nerve with dog owners

It has recorded 191 comments by the time I write this.

Some supportive, some hostile. Many are knee-jerk reactions and include some venting of personal bias.

But I’ve enjoyed reading them all.

After all, it’s great as a writer to have a dialogue with readers — even if they are insulting you.

What did surprise me, however, was one of my regular travel features that has never attracted animated such debate.

I’d clearly touched a nerve.

So it is that my op-ed feature for Telegraph Travel, playing up a pantomime take on the way some dog owners will sneer at young children while letting their pets run amuck, will probably be my most read story of the year.

Here’s a sample:

The thing that grates most of all for me, personally, is not the dogs — many are well behaved and offer valuable companionship — but the vitriol that some dog owners heap upon families who dare to take small children out for lunch.

The hysterical hypocrisy of dog owners can be quite staggering, sneering at kids while taking the high-handed view that waiters and fellow diners should all pander to every whim of their prized, pampered pooch.

Read the full feature here and join the debate. All comments are welcome — no, really.

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