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

Freelance Writing 101

No Longer Enrolling

  • $130.00 Non-Member
  • $110.00 Member

Class Description

You want to write feature stories for glossies like Parents or Backpacker or for newspapers like the Boston Globe or Cambridge Tab, essays for Salon or Slate, or op-eds for WBUR’s Cognoscenti or USA Today. Now what? In this seminar, we’ll look at the landscape of freelance writing: kinds of stories and types of publications. We’ll discuss how to come up with ideas that editors want and where to get insider information on editorial contacts and contributor’s guidelines. We’ll also look at the dos and don’ts of corresponding with editors and cover the basics of pitching stories and writing pitch letters. Via in-class exercises, you'll practice how to hone and target your idea for a specific publication and get a start on writing your own query letter. Even if you don't have much publishing experience, we'll talk about how to leverage your background and expertise to best present yourself. Equally important is grasping how much various markets pay, being able to read a contract and understand your publication rights, and developing a realistic game plan for your success. (Note: this class won’t cover corporate writing or freelance copywriting.) Come to class with three ideas or topics for stories you might want to write and pitch.

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.

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

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!