Freelance Writing - BWR102

Many professional writers start out by freelancing.

This course shows you not only how to write, but also what to write, and how to go about selling your work. Ten lessons cover everything from good grammar, to planning and writing newspaper and magazine articles, advertisements, books and more. Emphasis is placed on things which are important to publishers who might buy your work. Tutors concentrate on your ability to properly structure an article, and to be both concise and clear in your use of words.

Graduates of this course should:
  • Have improved communication skills, particularly with respect to clarity, conciseness and correct grammar.
  • Be familiar with the "writing industry"; having a clear idea of where opportunities exist for obtaining work as a freelance writer.
  • How to go about approaching potential clients to obtain work.

Course Structure

Ten lessons as follows:
  1. Introduction
  2. Basic Writing Skills
  3. The Publishing Industry
  4. Manuscripts
  5. Planning
  6. Newspaper Writing
  7. Magazine Writing
  8. Writing Books
  9. Writing for Marketing
  10. Special Project

Duration: 100 hours 

Who Should You Look to Publish with?
The first thing to consider, is how fast the publishing industry is changing. Some publishers will treat you well, others will not. There is of course a third option too: to publish yourself.

Publishers are attempting to find ways to strengthen their "assets" in the publishing industry. Every publisher is approaching it differently. They all know one thing for sure; that there is increasing vulnerability for their position in the publishing industry. They know that market shares are changing. 

In the past, a publishers assets were it's contracts with authors, it's distribution network, and it's capacity to take the authors work, package the product and deliver it through the distribution network.

Today, the traditional distribution networks are falling apart, which weakens the publishers ability to offer writers some sort of meaningful reason to remain loyal to them.

Technology is offering authors the possibility of doing their own publishing and distribution easier than before -which weakens even more what publishers can offer to authors.

The bottom line is in a contract between a publisher an author; the publisher's bargaining power is decreasing rapidly.

I think some publishers are attacking this problem by building new things they can offer the authors....strengthening their capacity to distribute electronic publications, strengthening their capacity to produce electronic layouts.... increasing their web presence, etc. This approach will in due course see publishers emerge who can offer authors something they cannot do for themselves.

Some seem to be taking another line .... My guess is they are taking a punt that most writers are unsettled by the rapid changes in the publishing industry, and that "unsettled" environment gives them a window of opportunity to lock people into contracts exploiting the independent writers ignorance of what is happening in the industry. This big stick approach may give some publishers a short term advantage that helps them ride the storm.

If established writers don't accept exploitative contracts; they will find others who will.

The big stick approach may help a publisher short term; but long term, those publishers could be shown to be short sighted.

The more enlightened approach of trying to adapt to the changes, may be costly in the short term; and cash flow could be an issue for those with tight liquidity; but long term, these publishers could end up with a far more sustainable business.

Course Aims

  • Discuss the nature and scope of freelance writing.
  • Evaluate your basic writing skills and identify deficiencies needing attention in order to be successful at freelance writing.
  • Develop a concept for freelance writing which has potential for selling.
  • Identify commercial opportunities to sell writing to publishers.
  • Describe the preparation of a manuscript for submission to a publisher
  • Write commercially viable items for publishing in a newspaper.
  • Write commercially viable items for publishing in a magazine.
  • Plan for production of a commercially viable book manuscript.
  • Write commercially viable advertising.
  • Apply all skills and knowledge so far developed to the production of a complete manuscript.


Staff at the school have written eBooks to complement this course.

These have been developed by our principal, and widely published author for over 30 years.

John Mason and Staff of ACS Distance Education have created stand alone texts that are a valuable reference, whether you study this course or not.

You can see an outlines, download some sample pages and if you wish, purchase a book at

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Fee Information (S2)
Prices in Australian Dollars

PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
A 1 x $781.66  1 x $710.60
B 2 x $416.96  2 x $379.05

Note: Australian prices include GST. 

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All orders processed in Australian dollars.