1. mrcaptainpants
    Offline

    mrcaptainpants New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0

    Freelance writing classes? Anyone know of reputable ones?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by mrcaptainpants, Mar 19, 2012.

    Hello everyone!

    I'd like to start a freelance writing career, most likely concentrating on nonfiction magazine articles to pay the bills while I pursue fiction writing with whatever time I have left. You know, in my "free time". Hey, stop that snickering. I can hear you, you know.

    I bought the book "Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer" by Moira Allen, and though there's a great deal of useful information in it, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. I wish I knew someone who actually does this for a living so that I could call them up, tell them I'm a confused wussy-boy, and ask them to hold my hand and get me on the right path. However, scanning my roster of non-writerly friends reveals to me that this is not an option.

    I was wondering whether there are any reputable online courses that could serve the same purpose. I know there are lots and lots of courses out there. I've seen some of their websites. I assume that some are good, some are bad, and some are run by evil overlords trying to separate me from my dwindling cash flow. The problem is, how can I tell the good from the bad?

    Any advice would be appreciated, of course. Thanks for your time! Unless, of course, you haven't even bothered to read this far, and in that case, assume I've written something really rude about you that you will never read. Ha. That'll show you.

    -Daniel
     
  2. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    'the gotham writers workshop' has the best courses online and if you'll look at the list on the right side of the page, you'll see they do offer one for article writing:
    http://www.writingclasses.com/

    however, i don't know why you'd need to take a course... you can study articles such as you want to write that have appeared in magazines, for free... or at the most, for the cost of few copies of various publications... if you're a good enough writer, that's all it will take... but if your writing skills need improving, then i'd strongly recommend gotham's over any other courses...

    i've written columns and articles for both magazines and newspapers, so if you want any one-on-one help, just drop me a line any time...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  3. Cosmic Latte
    Offline

    Cosmic Latte Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Under the starry, starry sky...
    Well, you have a sense of humor, and that's a start! I also don't have any writerly friends like you're describing, but I have done some research online for books and resources to help me improve my own writing. I've found that many Universities publish a synopsis of their English departments' reading line-up for particular classes. The relevancy of this is sometimes they include books specific to writing in a certain form or about certain things that aren't available in a typical bookstore. The idea I use is there must be some credibility to the guide if its part of a college curriculum. Still, use your own judgement (or you'll end up with an odd collection of quasi-useful books!), but it might be a way of finding resources you might normally not run into.
     
  4. mrcaptainpants
    Offline

    mrcaptainpants New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the thoughtful responses here, maia and Cosmic Latte. Very much appreciated!

    I'm actually more interested in classes that teach one how to navigate the confusing and turbulent waters of breaking into the freelancing business, as opposed to classes that simply teach how to write magazine articles. I just seem to be having a difficult time with seeing how I can go from "I read a book about freelance writing" to "Holy crap! I just sold an article...I guess I'm a freelance writer!" There's a stuck toggle switch somewhere in my brain that is rusty, cranky, or scared (or, more likely, all of those things simultaneously) that interferes with my perception and prevents me from seeing the path that connects my current reality to what I'd like to replace it with.

    Not that I wouldn't benefit from an actual writing class (I haven't taken one since my college days, and I graduated in 1992!), but all the shiny technique and word-carpentry in the world won't help me if I can't figure out what I actually need to do to create this new reality.

    Again, my thanks to you both!

    -Daniel
     
  5. funkybassmannick
    Offline

    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    You might consider searching for writing conferences in your area. I went to one and they offered a crash course in freelance writing, e.g. how to break into the business, etc. I opted for a different class at that time, but I think you would find it very helpful.

    Writing conferences in general are a great way to interact with other writers and further your education on the subject. I highly recommend them.
     
  6. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    a good idea!
     
  7. mrcaptainpants
    Offline

    mrcaptainpants New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, that *is* a good idea, funkybassmannick.

    I did indeed search for writer's conferences in my area after you suggested it, and although I didn't find any that filled the particular niche I was looking for, the fact that I now know there *are* writer's conferences in my state to attend was not something I had ever even thought about before. I will have to keep that in mind, as I'm sure that they will have workshops that would benefit me regardless of what I *think* I'm looking for. Good call, and thanks for the suggestion!
     
  8. funkybassmannick
    Offline

    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Glad I could help! :)
     

Share This Page