Do you want to know how to get off the ground as a freelance writer and build a successful business?

Being a freelance journalist is one of the best jobs in the world. But with more and more journalists going freelance due to the recession, the field is more crowded and competitive than ever. Editors can often count the number of freelancers they trust with commissions on one hand, so how do you become one of the successful few?

From pitching into the void to handling rejection, starting out as a freelancer can be daunting, and inexperienced freelancers are all too easily exploited. This course, which focuses on writing freelance for the print media, will bolster your confidence, giving you all the information you need to make it, from developing your specialisms to building relationships with a range of publications; from dealing with story sources like PRs and charities as a freelancer to the ins and outs of freelance budgeting and payment; from interviewing and writing skills when you are working from home to getting shifts and exploiting additional revenue streams.

What will the course cover?
  • An overview of the day-to-day challenges and skills specific to life as a freelance journalist;
  • The practical resources and techniques needed to work successfully long-term as a freelance writer;
  • The low-down on how to get started and adjust to running your own business from home.
Practical examples include:
  • Invaluable contacts, resources and skills to use to find work, open doors and develop good relationships with publications;
  • Help with turning ideas into published pieces, from building relationships with press officers to coming up with saleable ideas in a competitive market;
  • All the pitching basics - who wants what, typical fees, and how to pitch and place your ideas;
  • Freelancing tools of the trade: for example, dealing with payments; handling difficult interviewees/editors from a freelance perspective; working productively from home;
  • How to use your skills to build a client list that gets you through the lean times.

Getting there

The nearest Tube station to Friends Meeting House is Euston Square, on the Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines.

About Olivia Gordon

Olivia Gordon Olivia Gordon cut her teeth as a features writer on women's magazine Real. As a successful freelance journalist for the past four years, she has written for the Times, Telegraph, Guardian/Observer, Independent, Mail and Express (in particular for the Sunday supplements), as well as for magazines including Red, She, Grazia, Prima, Woman's Own, Psychologies, Tatler, Essentials, Cosmo Bride, Closer, Real People, Real, First, Shape and New Woman. She is a published author, and as well as training journalists and PRs, she does freelance copywriting and editing for a wide range of clients and the occasional in-house shift on magazines.

About Johanna Payton

Jo Payton Johanna Payton started her freelance career in 2002 with regular real life, music and celebrity features for teen magazines and BBC Online. Her fashion, opinion and lifestyle pieces have since appeared in national newspapers, magazines and websites including Grazia, Take a Break, Love It!, LOOK, Guardian/Observer, The Times/Sunday Times Style, Daily Express, The People, Sunday Mirror, Woman’s Own, Best, Practical Parenting, Parentdish, Yahoo and Essentials. A published author, broadcaster, blogger and commercial copywriter, Johanna works for the Guardian two days a week, lectures in fashion journalism at London Metropolitan University and is features editor for


"With my previous experience as a freelancer I came to the course with a lot of doubts about journalism as a career choice. I left totally re-energised and equipped with a whole new bag of tricks at my disposal which I had been previously blissfully unaware of." David Middleton

The course was excellent and I found it both enjoyable and extremely informative. I would now feel much more confident about going freelance." Emma Innes

"I found Jo to be a brilliant and helpful speaker who genuinely wishes to aid the success of those taking the course."
Sarah Louise Dean

"Course was very enjoyable and relaxed. Felt very informative. Can't wait to go back home and try it all out." Gaby Koppel

"Very useful! I've learned so much today - practical tips on how to develop an idea and effectively pitch." Sarah Blinco

"Great course - I feel very inspired and have much more confidence in taking the leap into freelancing. Thank you!" Claire Smith