November 28, 2014
My Advanced Feature Writing night course is scheduled to run at Ryerson University beginning on Thursday, January 15, 2015. It’s part of the Magazine & Web Publishing program in The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education. The class is usually small—often a dozen or so students—and more than half of the people who take the course are working journalists who want to upgrade their narrative feature writing and reporting skills. Those who have completed the prerequisite (Writing For Magazines & the Web – CDJN 117) can simply register. Those taking the course for professional development need to show me a portfolio of two or three published stories. (Contact me via the “contact” button on this web site.) These feature writing skills are highly transferrable; many former students have told me about successfully using the techniques in their full or part-time work in marketing, branding, grant-writing, publicity/communications, etc, in both the non-profit and corporate sectors.
Advanced Feature Writing (CDJN 118)
This project-intensive advanced course is designed for serious students of magazine feature writing to further develop their reporting & narrative skills. Students must have a familiarity with the basics of conceiving & focusing story ideas for specific markets as well as the fundamentals of researching, reporting, interviewing & writing, as covered in CDJN 117. The course emphasizes what is called literary journalism, which combines journalism’s concern for solid reporting & factual accuracy with many of the dramatic techniques of fiction. At its best, this kind of feature writing holds readers’ interest, entertaining them while simultaneously providing the depth & context necessary to understand complex issues & events or capture the essence of a profile subject. There will be short writing assignments as well as one longer feature, which must contain some or all of the elements of the course: evidence of on-the-scene reporting; a narrative arc consisting of a well-crafted beginning-middle-end; character development; the use of dialogue instead of (or in addition to) traditional quotation; the use of symbol to support theme; etc. Students are expected to come to the first class prepared to discuss story ideas & move on quickly to writing a query letter. THURSDAY, JANUARY 15-APRIL 16, 2015 | 6:30-9:30 p.m. | See: http://tinyurl.com/cwl57cv