Freelance course

So you want to be a freelance journalist? It's a tough gig but it can also be one of the most rewarding.

This four-week, tutor-led online course will teach you everything you need to know about the nuts and bolts of freelance journalism and includes weekly assignments and regular feedback.

By the end of the course you'll have improved your pitches, generated a bunch of story ideas, and grown your skills, contacts, and confidence.

Whether you're a recent graduate, a career-changer, or a staff journalist venturing into the world of freelancing for the first time, this course is for you. And if you're already freelancing but want to reboot your skills, there's plenty here for you to learn too.

The course consists of four weekly units that will be completed on an online learning platform and a private forum.

Week one: Polished pitches

Editors often receive dozens of pitches in a day, and hundreds in a week. So how can you increase the chances of an editor picking up your pitch, especially if you have not worked with them before?

Week one will look at the different types of stories you can write and advise you on how to make your pitch – and yourself – stand out. We'll also create a pitch log to keep track of your work, deadlines and responses from editors. Throughout the course, you'll have the opportunity to submit to a virtual pitch clinic and receive feedback from both the trainer and your fellow trainees.

Week two: Story hunting

Don't let a great story hide from you. Week two will teach you essential tips and tools for monitoring your topic or patch, as well as advice for creating an editorial calendar to help you make timely pitches.

We'll also look at how you can use social media and other mediums to find the best sources for your story.

Week three: Mastering the masthead

You probably have an idea of the kind of publications you want to write for, but how do you go about finding the right person to pitch?

In week three you'll learn about building editorial contacts, how to find editors on social media, where to find submission guidelines, and researching and breaking into new publications.

Week four: Building your brand

Many journalists cringe at the term "personal brand", but building a recognisable presence does have huge benefits for your freelance career.

In week four we'll review the different mediums you can use to promote yourself and your work, including building a basic portfolio site.


Getting there

This is an online course. The training will run on Journalism.co.uk's online training platform and private forum.


About Abigail Edge

Abigail Edge is a full-time freelance journalist and editor. Her 10-year career in journalism spans print and online news and features, social media, immersive storytelling, and media training. An awardee of the Guardian's Scott Trust Bursary, she’s worked in both the UK and US for organisations including BBC News, Vice, and The Independent. She recently completed a 12-month fellowship with Google News Lab, where she taught digital journalism skills to more than 2,000 journalists across the UK and Europe.

Abigail is currently working on her first book and is also a visiting lecturer at City, University of London, where she completed her postgraduate diploma in journalism. Find her on Twitter @abigailedge.