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  • Seminar
  • Online: Zoom
  • Adult (18+)

Freelance Writing 101

No Longer Enrolling

  • $150.00 Non-Member
  • $130.00 Member

Class Description

You want to write feature stories for glossies like Parents or Backpacker or for newspapers like the Boston Globe or Cape Cod Times, essays for XOJane or Salon, or op-eds for WBUR’s Cognoscenti or USA Today. Now what? In this seminar, we’ll first familiarize ourselves with the landscape of freelance writing – both how editors categorize freelance work and what sorts of articles, commentaries and commercial personal essays are typically published where. We’ll then look at how to find insider information about editorial contacts and contributor’s guidelines, the dos and don’ts of corresponding with editors, and cover the basics of pitching stories. Via in-class exercises, we'll practice how to hone and target ideas for a specific publication and get a start on writing a query letter. Even if a freelancer doesn’t have much publishing experience, we'll talk about how to turn one’s background and expertise into irresistible ideas that will make editors drool. Equally important is the business side: pay rates, contracts and rights. Finally, we’ll look at bigger-picture strategic issues and how develop a realistic game plan for success. Participants should come to class with three ideas for stories they might want to write. (Note: this class won’t cover corporate writing or freelance copywriting.)

To learn more about instructor Ethan Gilsdorf and his teaching style, check out the short podcast with him in our GrubStreet Instructor Interview series:

Part of GrubStreet's Special Topics in the Nonfiction, a group of classes dedicated to exploring different craft elements of creative nonfiction. For more class offerings, click here.

Scholarships Format/Location

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. Please visit the Resources tab to access the video-conference link.

Zoom Participation:

Students are not required to turn their camera on, but are encouraged to participate any way they feel comfortable through functions such as the live chat, emoji reactions, and unmuting the microphone. Learn more about using Zoom here.

Zoom Accessibility:

We ask that instructors enable closed captioning and send a transcript of the session after class. You can also enable closed captioning at any time during the meeting. If your instructor forgets to send the transcript, just send ’em an email!