Longform journalism

In recent years, a number of sites have popped up dedicated to curating longform journalism, reviving an old art-form made famous by reporters like Hunter S. Thompson and Tom Wolfe.

Yet many journalists have been ill-equipped to take advantage of the opportunities in this market, since "How to write longform" is usually not on the syllabus at journalism school.

This course will equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to write longform stories and will teach you how to start developing your writing style, pitch to editors, and perhaps even expand your reporting into book format.

The one-day workshop is led by Lyra McKee, a freelance journalist who has trained journalists at newspapers including The Sunday Times and The Daily Telegraph.

As with all Journalism.co.uk training, the emphasis is on practical, hands-on learning. The training takes place at The Bridge, near London Bridge, and refreshments and a buffet lunch will be provided.

Some of what you’ll learn:

  • What details you’ll need to gather during the reporting process to help you flesh out your story later;

  • The ways in which the process of writing a longform story differs from writing a more traditional 'hard news' story;

  • The key elements of a good story: plot, pace, character, and setting;

  • Different narrative styles used in non-fiction stories;

  • Developing your writing style;

  • How to pitch – and write – longform stories to different publications;

  • Expanding ideas into book format and acquiring a literary agent.

What you’ll need for the day

There are no prerequisites for this course. Those with dyslexia or other related learning difficulties are encouraged to attend: if you notify us in advance, the trainer will do her absolute best to accommodate you.

A writing pad / notebook and pen are essential. A laptop or tablet device, or even a smartphone, would also be handy if you have access to them.

Getting there

This course will be held at The Bridge, 73-81 Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 0NQ.

About Lyra McKee

Lyra McKee is a Belfast-based freelance journalist. She has been published in various outlets, from BuzzFeed News to The Independent and The Atlantic and has broken numerous stories, ranging from the incompetence of government agencies to allegations of sexual assault levelled against Northern Ireland police officers.

She has been recognised for her work, being named Sky News Young Journalist of the Year in 2006. In 2016, Forbes Magazine named her one of their 30 under 30 in media in Europe. She has delivered training to newspapers including The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, and The Sun. She is represented by Janklow & Nesbit literary agency and is in the process of trying to get her first book published. She is also an editor at Silicon Valley-based media news site Mediagazer.