Tag: media writing

KS2 writing workshop for Overleigh St Mary’s Primary School, Chester


Just time to fit in another workshop for schools before Christmas.

It was, in fact, a return trip to Overleigh St Marys Primary School in Chester to run another media writing workshop for Key Stage 2 (KS2).

The focus this year was news (factual writing) vs. blogs (persuasive writing) and we based our stories around a space theme with the hook of Major Time Peake blasting off to the International Space Station (ISS) on December 15.

Amongst the topics we discussed:

  • What is news?
  • How to structure of news writing
  • How to use quotes
  • What is a blog post?
  • How to structure a blog post
  • How to research, not rant

By the end of the morning we had a Newsround-style opportunity to read out our stories with the final versions to go live on the school website shortly — check back for details.

What did you think of this story? Post your comments below.

Liked this? Try also BBC School report Day at Horns Mill Primary School.

Homework: Media writing workshop June


Thanks to everyone who attended yesterday’s workshop at CHIC Chester [pictured above].

There was some great debate about how to pitch (please see links below) and some thought-provoking discussion about the problems we all face when approaching commissioning editors.

There’s a short Vimeo from the session here:

Now for the homework before our next session in July.

Here’s the brief:

Based on the feedback yesterday, please redraft your 150-word, three-paragraph pitch.

Think about the hook, your expertise and who you would quote in the article. Try to highlight the angle on the story.

Deadline: Friday, June 26, 5pm. Please post your work as comments below this post for feedback from the group.

And to help you reflect on your pitching skills, check out these links to further reading:

BBC Academy of Journalism: Pitch meetings

How to pitch a freelance article

How to: protect your ideas as a freelancer

I look forward to reading your homework over the next weeks and welcoming some of you back for our final sessions in July.

If you have comments about yesterday’s session, please post then below. Thanks. 

Flipside Chester: Talking interview skills with Elvis



Yes, that is Elvis I’m stood next to.

Not the rhinestone jumpsuit one of His Latest Flame fame, of course, but one of the presenters on Flipside, the Chester-based community radio project formerly known as Lache FM.

Flipside is back on air this weekend with a restricted service licence and I was in the studio with Elvis today to talk about my forthcoming round of media writing workshops.

We talked tips on great interview technique, getting into print and when to do a Paxman.

Check out the interview below.


More from Flipside.


Media writing workshops: news of the next classes from May to July this summer


It’s time to reveal plans for the next round of workshops.

Having listened to feedback from the first two groups for more one-on-one tuition time, I’ve decided to run a two-hour split session.

Here’s how it will work.

We will spend the first hour exploring a topic in depth with guided content from me, drawing on real-life experience as a jobbing freelancer and academic theory from my role as a journalism lecturer at UCLan.

The first three topics I am proposing are:

  • Interview skills (May)
  • Pitching ideas to editors (June)
  • Going freelance (July)

The second hour will be given over personal tuition (say 10-15 mins each) and will require you to come with a work-in-progress draft of an article, a blog post, a pitch etc.

I am expecting small groups for these workshops – probably around six people per session.

The proposed dates (*subject to change) are as follows:

  • Thursday, May 14, 7-9pm
  • Friday, June 12, 10-12 noon
  • Thursday, July 16, 7-9pm

You can book one session for £40pp, or book all three and receive a discount price of £100. Your place is only confirmed once I have received a payment – ideally by PayPal via the workshops link at my website.

All three sessions will be hosted at the new CHIC Chester co-working hub, located right next to Chester train station. You can find out more about the venue at the CHIC website.

The venue offers complimentary tea and coffee. We will send out for sandwiches for day sessions and retire to a local pub after evening sessions for a pint.

Please email me with your queries.

Liked this? Try also Feedback from learners at the second workshop.

Comment below.