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A career freelancer breaks down a variety of successful pitches, from features and op-eds to how-tos ...
Authors Neda Toloui-Semnani and Sean Cole talk about storytelling, grief, love, and resilience
Learn how freelance labour groups can help you navigate contract negotiations, conflicts, and advocate for yourself.
A panel of magazine pros tackle delicate topics for independent journalists and take their questions (Oct ...
The prolific author and conservationist teaches memorable prose that improves our ecological literacy (May 25/21)
The MIT Knight Science Journalism Fellow shows you how to shepherd your ideas into published and ...
The Narwhal’s investigative reporter teaches the delicate art of simplifying hard science and finding the narrative ...
Author and speaker Chris Turner teaches how to find your own environmental beat and find an ...
The writers and publishers of Go Outside! help you find the news hook in your passions ...
Waubgeshig Rice shares his process for imagining plot, characters, and the worlds they’ll inhabit (Apr. 30/21)
Writer and podcaster Shireen Ahmed tackles equity and inclusion in sports media (Apr. 27/21)
Cicely Belle Blain demonstrates how to take stock of your marginalization and how it might affect ...
Waubgeshig Rice discusses strategies and methods to build tension and set up suspense in fiction (Apr. ...
Omar El Akkad explores thethe hallmarks of fiction focused on resistance and rebellion (Apr. 13/21)
World Press Photo award winner Amber Bracken teaches writers the ABC’s of photography (Apr. 12/21)
Travel writer Bert Archer shares best practices with social media journalists and influencers (Apr. 7/21)
Humourist James Folta breaks down the concepts of comedic writing to get your first draft started ...
Novelist Becky Blake teaches you how to develop characters into one-of-a-kind people (Mar 30/21)
Writer Fatima Syed on how to make friends and influence people—for good (Mar 29/21)
Award-winning author Katie Bickell teaches the art of flash fiction (Mar 23/21)
Max Fawcett helps you get over your math allergy (Mar.22/21)
Make your body your most trusted creative ally with memoir teacher Janelle Hardy (recorded Dec. 1 ...
Hayley Milliman breaks down the craft of writing clear and concise sentences (recorded Oct. 20 )
Four broadcasters teach us the art of conversation in the pandemic, and beyond (From Oct. 20/20)
Sep. 29: Benji CEO Mohammed Asaduallah helps freelance writers run their business better
Aug. 27: The investigative journalist exposes ways of spinning a good yarn with limited information
Aug. 24: The poet teaches us to host inspiration and self-generate the conditions that create it
Aug. 20: A writer, editor, and labor organizer helps you get the most out of every ...
Aug. 17: A professional opiner shows what it takes to get your voice heard
Aug. 13: The literary critic helps you strengthen your voice by studying the work of others'
Aug. 10: The GQ columnist helps you bring fun, authority, and good intentions to taboo subjects
Aug. 6: The satirist teaches you how to synthesize facts and research—then make it funny
Aug. 3: An adventure-seeking reporter teaches when, and how, to put yourself in the story
Jul. 30: The print and podcast journalist on taking historical narratives to mainstream audiences.
Jul 26/20: Practical tips to find your memoir theme, confront your fears, and refine your prose.
Jul 22/20: Learn to create an effective system for submitting—and publishing—your literary work.
Jul 16/20: A veteran magazine editor helps you tame the elements of "how-to" articles.
Jul 14/20: A prolific writer shares tips on how to turn freelancing into a real business.
Jul. 10/2020: Multi-disciplinary writer José Teodoro on finding, and "smuggling," inspiration in varied storytelling forms
Jul. 7/2020: National Geographic Explorer Heather Greenwood Davis helps you become a more nimble freelance storyteller.
May 19/20: A prolific freelancer teaches the art and science of irresistible pitches
Ayelet Tsabari lifts the veil on how story tension works—and how it can work even better ...
Spring ’20 Semester
May 29/20: This session with Omar Mouallem exposes the craft of longform narrative journalism in the style of The New Yorker, Harper’s, and Esquire. Journalism does not have to conform to the so-called “inverted pyramid” of facts. This webinar explains how to craft a riveting true story with nothing but the facts and an arsenal of interview questions. You’ll learn to apply traditional story principles to your subjects, such as tension and release and characterization, in order to create gripping stories that go beyond the headlines. All it takes is time and an ear for detail.
May 28/20: This session with Kaitlin Fontana will get you started on your TV pilot outline, logline, and script. You’ve always wanted to write a half-hour comedy TV pilot, but where to begin? In this introductory session, Kaitlin, an Emmy-nominated writer for television and film, will show you how to develop your idea into a logline, and your logline into an outline. In 1.5 hrs, you’ll have your blueprint to begin writing your TV comedy pilot script.
May 25/20: This session with acclaimed health journalist Christina Frangou will help you cross a minefield of the difficult questions raised covering difficult times. There is no right way to write about trauma but there are many wrong ways, especially when you are writing about the most difficult moments of someone else’s life. This talk will first cover Christina Frangou’s experiences writing about events in her life—what were the unexpected consequences of writing about her story? And how does this change the way she writes about other people?
May 19/20: This class with PanU creator Omar Mouallem will teach you how to craft a story pitch that editors can’t turn down. It may sound simple, but there are numerous unwritten rules to the magazine query. “Know the audience” and “study the book” are just a few, but there’s also the pressing question of how to get your foot in the door and structure your pitches. Join Omar Mouallem, a career-long freelance magazine writer and editor, for a 90-minute seminar that will get you one step closer to writing for your favourite publications.
May 18/20: This class with Hadiya Roderique, a gutsy journalist, lawyer, and public speaker, offers an inside look into the crafting of long-form and short-form personal essays. The personal essay is a popular and compelling type of creative nonfiction. You are the main event. You give the reader a glimpse or deep look into your life, your world, your mind, and your actions. In this class, we’ll explore the art of inserting yourself into a story via first-person narration where you are the main character. Hadiya Roderique will lead you through the creation of some of her first-person journalism, as well as the works of others, giving you an inside look into the crafting of long-form and short-form personal essays.
May 15/20: This session with National Magazine Award-winning journalist Katherine Laidlaw helps true crime storytellers raise the ethical bar of an often exploitative genre. In an era where a new, buzzy true crime story seems to hit the internet every week – either as a magazine story, podcast, or documentary – how do we as storytellers manage the myriad thorny ethical questions that come with reporting and writing these pieces? How do empathy and crime reporting fit together? How much empathy is too much? Do we always have to pick a side? And what happens when you empathize with both? These are questions that come up when covering perpetrators and victims of crime. Katherine will draw on seminal work by other journalists to outline the unexpected ways empathy can be an asset and a detriment in crime writing.
May 11/20: This workshop Gourmand World Cookbook winner Jennifer Cockrall-King and chef Shane Chartrand shares what it really takes to make a successful cookbook. Whether you are hoping to turn your family’s treasured recipe collection into a beautiful keepsake or you want to land a deal with a major publisher, writing a cookbook is more than just a collection and transcription process. Learn about the fundamentals of writing solid recipes, how to make sure they work in most kitchens, and find the thread of a story line that pulls them all together. Then consider photography and other important publishing decisions–whether you work with a publisher or go it on your own.
May 9/20: This workshop with acclaimed poet and literary critic Michael Lista will inspire you to turn this global pandemic into meaningful art. We’ll look at the poems of Elizabeth Bishop, Philip Larkin, Robert Frost, and Seamus Heaney, with an eye to how they each in their own way transformed fiascos, both personal and political, into poetry. For both writers and readers, this class will examine how some of the greatest literary minds of the last hundred years articulated disaster, and made music from it.
May 7/20: This session with Marcello Di Cintio walks you through the artform—why it matters and what makes it sing. In a world where every place has been discovered, what is the point of travel writing? In this workshop with a famously thoughtful travel writer, we will discuss the changing role of narrative travel journalism in today’s hyper-connected world. When writers go off to seek stories in the great wide world, what are their goals and responsibilities, how do they portray the Other, and how far should they go to create compelling art?
May 1/20: This class with Ayelet Tsabari lifts the veil on how story tension works—and how it can work even better. Conflict and tension are two literary terms that may seem vague or elusive, and are often used interchangeably. What is the difference and what is the relationship between conflict and tension? How do we create a narrative that makes readers feel on the edge of their seat? In this seminar, a memoir and short fiction master will discuss ways to create tension in our fiction and creative nonfiction, and highlight conflict by using literary techniques such as pacing, rhythm, dynamic dialogue, foreshadowing, withholding, and more.
Apr. 30/20: This session with Michael Hingston demystifies the elusive nonfiction book proposal while helping you land an agent and publishing contract. When it comes to non-fiction, you have to write the proposal before you write the book. The award-winning author and publisher has written many of these proposals over the years. From the overview to market research to the table of contents, Michael will share real-life examples and show you how to put together a proposal that will make your idea shine.
Apr. 25/20: This workshop Jana G. Pruden proves there are almost endless methods to reporting a true story. She looks at the use of narrative structure in journalism and nonfiction. The class will consider both classic and non-traditional story structures, and how these forms can be used to organize research and source material, and guide storytelling. Using practical techniques and real-life examples, this workshop will give participants valuable insight into how one of the foundations of fiction can be used to tell true stories.
Apr. 21/20: Watch prolific freelancer Omar Mouallem crack open his toolbox to show how you can make your workflow more efficient and organized. Omar will introduce you to all the latest tech making 21st Century writing more efficient, from word processors built to manage huge projects, surprisingly accurate automatic transcription, A.I. that polishes prose, and “smart pens.” Omar will also give advice on optimizing basic tools, like voice-to-text and text-to-voice, and demo distraction-killer apps to keep your ass in your seat.
Apr. 20/20: Watch Jennifer’s crash-course for food bloggers, journalists, and gourmands alike. Whether you want to record family memories, start a food blog, pen memoirs or essays with food in the starring roles, or pitch an idea to your favourite magazine or newspaper, this course is for you. Jennifer will provide you with a toolkit to find your communication medium. Her class will help you zero in on your subject matter, establish your food writing voice, and finally get going on your dreams.