SA Writers' College | Magazine Journalism Course

By: Sa Writers' College  11-11-2011
Keywords: Magazine, Writing, Internet Access

Welcome to the Magazine Journalism Course at SA Writers' College.Writing articles for magazines is easily one of the most lucrative fields of writing, either as a full-time career or on top of your day job. One feature-length article in a reputable magazine can fetch between R 2500 and R 3500, depending on the word count and word rate.Researching and writing articles for your favourite glossies can be exciting, interesting and challenging, not to mention the perfect work-from-home job. For professionals in specialist fields, writing articles is an excellent way to educate people and/or spread the word about your product(s).This online course gives you all the tools you need to write and sell articles to magazines. You will walk away with a saleable article and the skills required to break into the magazine industry.

Topics include:

  • how to come up with ideas for articles
  • how to pitch stories to magazines
  • how to conduct interviews and research, and
  • how to make an income as a freelance writer.
  • Modules: 10 Modules
  • Duration: Course can be completed at own pace: within five months
  • Start date: At any time; applications all year round via our website

Student must complete:

  • 10 writing exercises (10 for assessment and feedback)
  • 1 quiz on magazine industry protocol
  • 1 query letter
  • 1 full-length article of publishable quality 

Admission Requirements:

  • Basic writing skills are essential
  • Computer skills, e-mail and Internet access required
  • No previous tertiary qualification required

Tutors for this course:

(You may select a tutor in your application motivation or we will assign a tutor to you who we feel most suits your areas of interest)

Course Curriculum

Module 1 - The Genre of Magazine Writing

  • Distinguish magazine writing from other genres of writing
  • Acquire an understanding of the elements that characterise magazine journalism
  • Get answers to FAQ about a career in Magazine Journalism
  • Writing Exercise 1: Practise writing scenes that “show” rather than “tell” (assessment and feedback task)

Module 2 - Targeting your Market

  • Analyse a magazine in terms of content, style, format, tone, target market and demographic.
  • Learn how to match your writing with that of a selected magazine.
  • Distinguish between the different types of articles found in magazines.
  • Writing Exercise 2: Analyze the demographic, style, tone and format of a selected magazine (assessment and feedback task)

Module 3 - Topics that Sell

  • Know where and how to find sellable ideas.
  • Learn techniques for generating ideas
  • Distinguish between a topic and an angle.
  • Study an overview of prominent international publications.
  • Writing Exercise 3: Refining topics into angles; Coming up with an angle for an article (feedback task)

Module 4 - The Ins and Outs of the Magazine Industry

  • Find out how to write the perfect query letter
  • Distinguish between writing on speculation versus querying and being commissioned
  • Writing Exercise 4: Write a query letter

Module 5 - Getting the Facts Straight

  • Plan and map a structure of your piece
  • Learn interviewing techniques
  • Source reliable information
  • Understand what plagiarism is, and how to avoid it.
  • Writing Exercise 5: Map out your proposed article, ensuring logical flow of content (feedback task)
  • Conduct your interviews and research.

Module 6- The Compelling Opener

  • Distinguish the critical elements for writing a compelling lead
  • Identify the different types of introductions
  • Writing Exercise 6: Write a compelling opening to your article (feedback and assessment task)

Module 7- Body-Building Part I

  • Identify the main components of an article
  • Use a basic story structure to map out your piece
  • Use transitions and logical flow to make reading easy
  • Writing Exercise 7: Testing knowledge on logical flow of content, use of transitions, constant Point of View and tenses (assessment and feedback task)
  • Writing Exercise 8: Begin to write up the body of your article

Module 8 - Body-building Part II

  • Identify the main grammar, style and punctuation rules
  • Know the rules for apt usage of quotations
  • Find out how to create catchy sidebars and resource boxes
  • Writing Exercise 9: Testing knowledge of grammar, style and punctuation (assessment and feedback task)
  • Writing Exercise 10: Panel-beating the body into shape (feedback task)

Module 9 - Closing Off In Style

  • Identify the different types of closers
  • Writing Exercise 11: Write the closer for your piece (feedback task)

Module 10 - The Final Cut

  • Edit your piece by following basic guidelines
  • Understand the different kinds of cover letters and how to submit your piece in a professional way
  • Invoice and organize payment for your stories
  • Understand the basics of copyrighting and syndication
  • Writing Exercise 12: Edit your piece and submit it with a cover letter. (assessment and feedback task)

How does the course work?

Detailed class notes covering the content of each module are e-mailed to students.

At the end of each module, students will be required to complete one or two writing exercises. In total, the course includes ten short writing assignments, all of which count towards the final result of the student. Students must also produce one query letter (300 - 600 words) and one feature-length article (800 - 1600 words).

Once the writing assignment has been completed, and e-mailed to the lecturer, an assessment and feedback will be sent to the student, and the module will be considered complete. Students can also participate in ongoing online discussions by posting comments about the materials covered in the course or other issues pertaining to writing in the college blog.

Conditions of Certification:

Students will receive an SA Writers' College Certificate upon successful completion of the course, provided they meet the following conditions:

  • Students must have completed all 12 assignments (namely: 10 writing exercises, 1 query letter, I article)
  • Students must have attained a minimum of 50% for the quiz on magazine industry protocol
  • The course must have been completed within five months of registration.
  • Students are expected to attain a minimum average of 50% for the course

Minimum Estimated Time Commitment:

Keywords: Internet Access, Journalism Writing, Magazine, Magazine Journalism, Magazine Writing, Writers, Writing, Writing Skills,

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