What is the course about?
This is a fast-track course in writing for magazines, teaching you the techniques for researching, interviewing and writing magazine articles. Throughout the course you will get feedback on your ideas, and practical help with any difficulties or obstacles you may encounter while you research your stories.
Professor Robert Fraser has published a number of biographies of modern British poets, as well as critical works on authors as diverse as Marcel Proust and the anthropologist Sir James Frazer. He has also written memoir, much journalism and performed plays on the lives of Dr. Johnson, Byron and D.H. Lawrence. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and is currently Professor Emeritus of the Open University.
City Lit reserves the right to change course tutors from those advertised in this outline. In line with our refund policy we are unable to grant a refund on the grounds of a change of tutor.
What will we cover?
- How to analyse the market in terms of general features, hard and soft features and specialised articles.
- What makes for a sellable feature and where to look for inspiration.
- Research shortcuts and where to look for extra information. Internet research facilities.
- How to prepare for interviews.
- How to get your readers interested and keep them interested.
- Planning an article.
- Selling an article.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Begin analysing the market both in general features, news features and specialised articles.
- Brainstorm for ideas - recognise what will make a good sellable story and where to look for inspiration.
- Prepare for interviews by researching the subject and formulating the right questions - in the right order.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The course is tailor-made for students serious about getting their work published and will involve a rigorous approach to analysing the market. Some of the main qualities which will determine an individual’s success or failure are determination, enthusiasm, and hard work. It’s essential you have a good command of English.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Group work, discussion, handouts highlighting key points. You will be encouraged to think through issues and determine answers.
All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.
For classes longer than one day regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Before joining the course, you should start reading three newspapers a day (a mix of tabloids and broadsheets), and as many magazines as you can afford. Remember – huge proportion of magazine features ideas come from newspapers. Familiarise yourself with the market, noticing which papers and magazines favour particular kinds of articles. Start thinking about what you want to write about and where you think you can place articles. Start asking yourself – why was this article selected….how did they get the idea….how did they do the research?
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
City Lit offer a range of journalism courses in differing areas and at differing levels. To find the perfect course for you, browse the writing section of our website.
All students are invited to join us at City Lit Talks Back, our monthly performance night for City Lit writers. Everyone is welcome, admission is free and there's no need to book in advance. Students are also encouraged to submit to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details