Advanced Freelance Writing

Learn to be a professional writer by distance learning. Study writing, media studies or journalism. Improve your writing skills, for careers in publishing or as a freelance writer.

Course Code: BWR201
Fee Code: S3
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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EXTEND YOUR WRITING SKILLS

Improve your chances to sell your work
  • Seek employment with publishers; or elsewhere as a freelance writer
  • Sharpen your writing skills, under guidance from a professional, published writer, as your tutor and mentor.
  • Learn different writing techniques, conduct research and interviews, and plan projects.

Freelance writing is a highly competitive field. Successful freelance writers not only have good writing skills, they have a ‘nose’ for a good story, a mastery of their chosen area of writing, the ability to write quickly and succinctly, good interpersonal skills, and a wide range of useful contacts.

While all these career-building skills are important, they obviously take time to develop. This course builds on skills and experience you might already have. It assumes that you have a solid understanding of writing. You may already have had something published. If you want to build on your past experience and skill though; this is exactly what this course is designed for.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction.
    • Writing Themes, Sentence Structure, Summary Skills, Theme Development (eg. Deductive, Inductive, Classic, Chronological, Descriptive, Analogy, Cause & Effect, Classification, Definition Analysis, Comparison & Contrast, Flashback etc)
  2. Writing a Regular Column
    • Newsletters, News Columns, Criticism Journalism (eg Theatre Critics, Book Reviews, Film Reviews, etc)
  3. Educational Writing
    • Interviewing Skills, Illustrating an article, Putting it all together
  4. Scientific Writing
    • Technical Writing, Statistics
  5. Writing a Biographical Story
    • Developing a draft plan, Research, Writing the final manuscript
  6. Writing a News Article
    • Analysing a news article; writing and illustrating a sporting event
  7. Fiction Writing
    • Category Writing; Mainstream Writing; Characteristics of good fiction (ie. A strong plot;. A hero or heroine; Obvious motivation; Plenty of action; A colourful background), Forming and developing an idea.
  8. Other Writing
    • TV & Radio Scripts, Science Fiction, Conducting a Survey; Developing a Story.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Review basic writing skills and discuss theme development
  • Develop skills in writing a regular magazine or newspaper column.
  • Describe the key elements of educational writing.
  • Describe the key elements of technical writing.
  • Develop skills in interviewing and preparing a biographical story.
  • Develop skills in writing news articles.
  • Develop skills in writing fiction.
  • Describe other writing styles including script writing.

The Heading is Critical

Headlines are the most important part of newsletters or news columns. They will be the first thing read by the reader and, if they do not gain the reader's attention, the reader will not read any further. They must be succinct and have high impact, and they must be relevant to the main text and use appropriate language that can be readily understood by readers.
There are two types of headlines:
  • The label, which is usually only one or two words indicating the topic, but not giving any message or information, e.g. "TREASURER’S REPORT", "What's On", "HISTORICAL NOTES", "Elderly Citizens Club".
    Labels are used as headings in regular columns, where they act as signposts, directing those readers who want to find out more about the topic. Labels do not have sufficient impact or information to be used as news headlines.
  • The sentence, which actually communicates some information, e.g. "Magpies Win Premiership", "PRESIDENT RETIRES", "$4 Million Grant", "Bus Trip to the Snow".
  • The purpose of the sentence headline is to grab the reader’s attention; therefore it is used to communicate newsworthy items. Generally, the best and most effective sentence headlines are short and succinct.

Effective headlines satisfy the following criteria:

  • The headline should contain both a verb and a subject (i.e. either a noun or pronoun).
  • Information in the headline should be included and expanded upon in the main part of the article.
  • News headlines should be based on the central thought within the news.
  • The headline should not be repeated using exactly the same words in the article below.
  • The headline should make sense by itself (it must have its own entity).
  • Use active verbs, not passive verbs. 
  • Use the present tense to create the impression that action is being taken.

If you are involved in the actual production of a newsletter or news publication, you will need to consider how the headlines are to be laid out. Some points to consider:

  • The most important articles have the biggest headlines. 
  • The biggest headlines should be placed towards the top of the page to avoid an unbalanced, bottom-heavy layout.
  • Avoid hyphens in headlines and subheadings by using short words.

Who can benefit from taking this course?

Writers looking to break into freelance markets such as magazines and newspapers.

Freelance writers seeking to access new markets or improve their knowledge of relevant frameworks and writing concepts.

Editors wanting to offer specialised writing services to existing clients and help attract new clients. Specialised services include interviews, scientific writing, and educational writing.

Fiction writers seeking to break into a new market with their work, such as transitioning from fiction to biography, memoir, or creative non-fiction.

At the end of this course you will:

  • Understand how to develop a concept, then set up a structure and begin research
  • Understand how to write a compelling headline
  • Understand how to write a strong introduction or lead for your work
  • Improve your existing writing skills, and discover potential specialisations (such as technical writing)
  • Move on from basic revision strategies to advanced polishing of your manuscript
Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.


How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).


What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your login.training portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exam and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Statement of Attainment. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email acs@oamps.com.au.


Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.


How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.


What if I have any more questions or need more information?

We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email (admin@acs.edu.au) call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.


What if I change my mind?

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If you would like ACS Distance Education to delete your information at any time (whether you are a customer or a prospective customer), please contact our privacy officer and we will process this ( admin@acs.edu.au ).




Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Rachel Syers

Rachel has worked as a newspaper journalist for the past 15 years in a range of roles from sub-editor and social columnist to news reporter, covering rounds such as education, health, council, music, television, court, police, Aboriginal and Islander affa

Tracey Jones

Widely published author, Psychologist, Manager and Lecturer. Over 10 years working with ACS and 25 years of industry experience.
Qualifications include: B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), Dip. SW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Lear

John Mason

Writer, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner.
J





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Nicola Stewart

Nicola worked in publishing before changing direction to teach Anatomy, Physiology and various complementary therapies in the UK’s post-compulsory sector for 16 years. She is the published author of 10 books, plus a range of magazine articles and has also ghost-written across a number of genres. When she is not working for ACS, she provides specialist literacy tuition for children with dyslexia.

Lachlan Allan

Lachlan has experience of the hospitality, banking and utilities sectors in managerial positions in the UK. Following a career change after moving to Australia, he is also experienced in the medical engineering field where he was an engineer responsible for devices at hospital sites and laboratories

Julia Mayo-Ramsay

Dr Julia Mayo-Ramsay is a practicing environmental and agricultural lawyer. She holds a PhD in International Environmental Law, LLM, BLJS, GDLP, LLM (Environmental Law) and a Master of Applied Science (Agriculture).
Julia started out in agriculture working on various dairy farms in the 1980s before working as dairy manager / tutor at Hawkesbury Agricultural College Richmond NSW. Julia then went on to work at Riverina Artificial Breeders at Tabletop (Albury) NSW as an embryo transfer technician assisting vets with artificial breeding and embryo transfer in cattle, sheep and deer. This was followed by two years as a herd manager for a very large commercial dairy herd milking 3,000 cows over three dairies on the outskirts of Sydney before heading overseas. In 1994 Julia accepted a position in NE Thailand at the Sakhon Nakhon Institute of Technology (now a University) training farmers and students in cattle breeding and dairy farm management. On returning to Australia in late 1996 Julia completed a Master of Applied Science in Agriculture at Hawkesbury Agricultural College (UWS) as well as law degrees and maritime studies. Julia now works as a Lawyer in the area of environmental and rural law.
Currently Julia teaches a variety of maritime subjects for Marine Rescue NSW.
As well as teaching Julia is working on a number of environmental research projects.

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