This course develops the skills needed to write for magazines, industry-specific trade publications, and blogs. Students will learn to analyze publications, develop story ideas, submit queries, and research and write opinion columns and profiles. Emphasis will be given to the strategies and practicalities of freelance writing as a career.
1. Analyze Genres
- distinguish types of magazines and journals
- distinguish types of writing: profiles, service pieces, issue articles, personal experience features, cultural reviews, short features, long features
2. Research Potential Markets
- research the market for specific topics of potential interest to a specific editor
- review periodicals for editorial bias and style
- investigate and examine online magazines
- develop an editorial profile
3. Develop Text as Product
- research audience-specific and genre-specific material
- learn and apply interviewing techniques used in writing feature articles
- produce outlines for various articles
- write a column and a feature article
4. Work to Schedule and Deadlines
- develop timelines and action plans to meet objectives
- develop prioritizing skills to meet deadlines
- use problem-solving strategies to meet objectives
- use skills necessary to maintain scheduling deadlines
5. Evaluate Product
- develop specific client-centred revision and editing strategies
- work collaboratively with other students to refine the written product
- provide editorial response to other students’ products
6. Market the Product
- produce general and specific query letters
- develop text for specific editorial markets
- use follow-up strategies
- pursue professional publication of writing produced in this course (optional)
7. Learn about Freelance Writing
- learn business and survival strategies for successful freelance writing
- develop an understanding of how writers and editors work together
- learn to use the terminology of the magazine publishing industry
- investigate online publishing possibilities
Methods of Instruction
The course will be conducted in a workshop format to allow for peer and instructor feedback on draft writing. Guest speakers will address specific magazine topics. Some field activities (interviewing, meetings) are required.
Means of Assessment
Students are expected to be self-motivated and to demonstrate professionalism, which includes active participation, good attendance, punctuality, effective collaboration, ability to meet deadlines, presentation skills, and accurate self-evaluation.
Evaluation will be based on this general format:
|Queries and cover letters
|Professionalism/participation (as defined above)
Students who successfully complete this course will
- understand the history of magazine writing and how the genre differs from other types of writing
- analyze and discuss sample articles from magazines and trade publications
- develop a story topic from idea to completion
- actively participate in discussion of draft columns and articles
- develop the skills required for freelance and in-house writing for magazines and trade publications
- become aware of the related responsibilities and expectations in this field
Acceptance into the Post-Degree Diploma in Professional Communication
or a minimum of 45 credit hours including a university-transfer course in English, Communications, or Creative Writing with a grade of B or higher
or permission of the Professional Communication program coordinator
Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.
Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system.
A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.
For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.
If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.