Institute of Commercial Management | Qualification Subject

Freelance & Feature Writing

Main Topics of Study

Feature Articles

  • What are feature articles?
  • Checklist for success

Dealing with Editors

  • Stages in article writing
  • From idea to market
  • Studying markets
  • Commissioning policies
  • Approaching editors
  • Organising the assignment
  • Research methods

Writing Process

  • Outlines
  • Writing up methods
  • Presentation
  • Dealing with rejection

Identifying Ideas

  • What makes a good idea
  • Finding the angle

Article Type and Markets

  • Types in demand
  • Finding a theme
  • Linking an idea to the market
  • National and local newspaper markets
  • Magazines

Getting Organised

  • Working routine
  • Organising the information
  • Organising for business

Planning Your Assignment

  • The argument
  • Outline
  • Analysis
  • Title
  • Introduction
  • Ending
  • Body
  • Anecdotes and quotes

Research

  • News value
  • Developing contacts
  • Interview sources

Illustrations

  • Subjects
  • Which markets
  • Working with a photographer
  • Taking your own pictures
  • Picture research
  • Graphics
  • Captions
  • Preparation and submission

Developing Writing Techniques

  • Good writing skills
  • Making words work
  • Sentences and paragraphs
  • Description and narration
  • Argument
  • House style
  • Developing your style

Profile and Interview Features

  • Choosing interviewees
  • Background
  • Preparing questions
  • Debating style
  • Making notes
  • Editing the transcript
  • Writing up
  • Aim of profiles

Writing a Column

  • Becoming a columnist
  • Content and topicality
  • Styles
  • Specialist columns

Reviewing

  • Role of the reviewer
  • Types of reviewing
  • Language of compression

Features Department

  • Set-up
  • Departmental output
  • Backgrounders and situationers
  • Follow ups and spin offs
  • Interpretations
  • Leaders and opinion pieces
  • Investigations
  • Show business and ghosting
  • Serialisations
  • Women and family matters
  • Reader involvement

Expanding Your Market

  • Fillers
  • Writing for business organisations
  • Overseas markets
  • Syndication

Openings in Advertising and Publicity

  • Scope for journalists
  • Advertising copywriting
  • Direct mail
  • Press release
  • Feature articles and advertorials

Writing as a Specialist

  • Marketing strategy
  • Content
  • Right language
  • Shape
  • Research and fact checking

World of Publishing

  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Planning ahead
  • Deadlines
  • Editing and presentation

Writing into the Future

  • New technology

Recommended Reading

Main Text:

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Writing Feature Articles – Brendan Hennessy (Focal Press)

Indicative Text:

Alternative Text and Further Reading:

The Business of Freelancing – Graham Jones (BFP Books)

Writing to Win – Mel Lewis (McGraw Hill)