Freelance Writing

Study freelance writing with professional writers, and learn how to write work that sells.

Course CodeBWR102
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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Learn to develop, pitch, and write pieces for freelance markets ranging from magazines and newspapers to online outlets and advertorials. 

In this course you'll cover everything from good grammar to planning and writing features, advertisements, books and more. This course focuses on creating a body of publishable work. Excellent for new and experienced writers alike.


Graduates of this course should:  

  • Have improved communication skills, particularly with respect to clarity, conciseness and correct grammar.
  • Be familiar with the "writing industry"; having a clear idea of where opportunities exist for obtaining work as a freelance writer.
  • Know how to approach potential clients to obtain work, know how to pitch
  • Have an understanding of the processes involved in publishing books, magazines and newspapers; from generating concepts to seeing the finished publication on sale.

Student Comments:
"I found the course to be extremely helpful. It has given me the confidence and the skills to present my work to publishers."  D. Bond, Freelance Writing

"I have never had the benefit of a writer give feedback on my work. That along with structure and content lessons have been beneficial.Many professional writers start out by freelancing. Learn how to write, what to write, and how publishers buy from freelance writers". Bradley Clark, Australia
"(The course) has helped me focus on writing and increased my confidence. Provided me with valuable information and improved skills so that I can move forward in my ambitions".  Justine

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Categories of Freelance Writing
    • Steps to getting started
    • Necessary resources (including equipment)
    • Researching the market
    • Sources of information
    • How to develop yourself as a freelance writer
    • Publishing Options
    • Industry Terminology
    • Set Tasks
    • Assignment
  2. Basic Writing Skills
    • How to improve a piece of writing
    • Essential Writing Skills
    • Informative Language
    • Persuasive Language
    • Imaginative Language
    • Connotation and Denotation
    • Literal and Figurative Language
    • Formal and Informal Language
    • Clear Communication
    • Making meanings clear
    • Causes of confusion
    • Ambiguity
    • Concise wording
    • Condensing your writing
    • In-concise writing
    • Phrases linked in a wordy fashion
    • Tautologies
    • Abstract nouns
    • Using too many words
    • Ellipsis
    • Active and passive language
    • Grammatical rules
    • Grammatical Errors
    • Rules of Speech
    • Punctuation
    • Spelling
    • Sentence Structure
    • Types of sentences
    • Composing sentences
    • Building a paragraph
    • Set task
    • Assignment
  3. Planning What You Write
    • Conceptualisation
    • Developing a concept
    • Writing an outline synopsis
    • Planning your writing
    • Word budget
    • Writing structure
    • Research
    • The Writing process
    • Feature writing conventions
    • Feature article structure
    • Introduction, Billboard paragraph, Body, Ending and Closer
    • References
    • A writing routine
    • Set task
    • Assignment
  4. The Publishing World
    • Contacting publishers
    • Periodicals
    • Books
    • Sample Publishers Contract
    • Protecting the writers work
    • Copyright
    • Income from writing
    • Lending rights
    • Set task
    • Assignment
  5. Manuscripts
    • Preparing and presenting your manuscript
    • Editing
    • The Editing Process
    • Self Editing
    • Editing Articles and Manuscripts
    • Writing a Sales Package
    • Target Reader Synopsis
    • The Title
    • Statement of Objectives
    • The Publishing Process
    • Presentation Requirements
    • Submitting your work
    • Publishing processes for ebooks
    • Self publishing online
    • Set task
    • Assignment
  6. Newspaper Writing
    • News articles
    • Short features
    • Investigative article
    • Regular columns
    • Fillers
    • Human interest article
    • Local newspaper articles
    • Interviews
    • Conducting an interview
    • Planning the questions
    • Drawing out answers
    • Accuracy of notes
    • Set task
    • Assignments
  7. Magazine Writing
    • Magazine articles
    • What does a publisher or editor consider
    • Feature articles
    • Types of articles
    • Service articles
    • Travel writing
    • Interviews
    • Set task
    • Assignment
  8. Writing Books
    • Fiction books
    • Writing fiction –plot, viewpoint, characterisation. setting, dialogue, conflict, structure.
    • Target audience
    • Believability
    • Non Fiction books
    • Text books
    • Fact finding
    • Getting book contracts
    • Books in print
    • Assignment
  9. Writing Advertising
    • Writing for public relations
    • Media releases
    • Writing promotional campaigns
    • Messages
    • Selling
    • Effectiveness
    • Writing online advertising copy
    • Set task
    • Assignment
  10. Special Project
    • Reviewing your writing
    • Planning a small book
    • Writing the first chapter

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.


  • Discuss the nature and scope of freelance writing.
  • Evaluate your basic writing skills and identify deficiencies needing attention in order to be successful at freelance writing.
  • Develop a concept for freelance writing which has potential for selling.
  • Identify commercial opportunities to sell writing to publishers.
  • Describe the preparation of a manuscript for submission to a publisher
  • Write commercially viable items for publishing in a newspaper.
  • Write commercially viable items for publishing in a magazine.
  • Plan for production of a commercially viable book manuscript.
  • Write commercially viable advertising.
  • Apply all skills and knowledge so far developed to the production of a complete manuscript.

Success as a freelance writer depends upon finding publishers who will pay for your work.

Freelance writers are dependent on publishers to buy their work and get it into the marketplace, so it is important to get an overview of the world of publishing. Publishers are in the business of editing, designing, printing and marketing books, magazines, reports, newspapers and other written works. At one end of the spectrum is a desktop publishing business run by one person who does all the writing, editing, artwork, printing, promoting and distribution, and at the other end are the multi-national companies that publish thousands of books and magazines worldwide each year.

The people who work in publishing include editors, proof readers, designers, graphic artists, typesetters, printers, literary agents and marketing executives. Allied businesses include distributors, book sellers, newsagents, libraries and public relation companies. Depending on who you sell your work to, you may have dealings with these people.


As a freelance writer, always keep in mind that you have to sell your work to a publisher. This means that to some extent you will need to tailor your writing to meet their needs. Publishers only publish work they can easily sell, and until you are an established writer, they call the shots!

This course recognises the difficulty in making a start. No amount of training will ever guarantee success; but there are ways to improve your chances - and we believe it is important to get help from tutors who are not only qualified in writing, but also "street smart" about dealing with publishers.

Who will benefit from this course:

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

Editors wanting to offer writing services to existing clients and help attract new clients.

Fiction writers seeking a new perspective on their existing work, or to build a new skill set.

The material covered in this course can also help students looking to improve their general and essay writing skills.

At the end of this course you will:

  • Know the difference between different types of writing, including features and newspaper articles
  • Understand how to develop a concept, then set up a structure and begin research
  • Understand how to edit and revise your work

Next steps:

Want something more in depth? Learn about our certificates and higher qualifications in Journalism and Writing here.


  • FLEXIBILITY – Study in your own home and at your own pace.
  • TUTORS – Highly qualified tutors, all experienced in working with distance learning students.
  • STAFF – Our administrative and office support are accessible to ease your learning plan and support you all the way. Replying to our students is always top priority!
  • VALUE – Our courses offer excellent value – compare our cost per study hour.
  • HISTORY – Established in 1979. We are an independent, successful distance learning college. Our longevity says it all – we are an excellent and experienced distance learning college!
  • STUDY RESOURCES – All students have access to our online library, student room and other study resources.
  • LEARNING METHODS – We offer three methods of learning – e-learning, online and traditional correspondence. Choose the method that works best for you. 
  • GRADUATES -Tens of thousands of graduates from all around the world, have gone on to successful careers
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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
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
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