After being an educator for over 20 years, I was looking for a way to diversify my skill set through the next phase of my life. Writing had always interested me, so I decided to undertake The Professional Freelance Journalism Course through the Morris Journalism Academy.
What I found really useful were the tips to avoid some of the pitfalls of the profession, how to make a concise pitch, picking the best time to approach busy editors, and how to best follow up on things. The course helped me to understand that any knock-backs weren’t personal, and to keep on persisting. That’s what I did and good things happened.
I also found that whenever I had a question, my tutor was only too happy to respond with sound advice. I felt really valued, and any response from the Academy was always friendly and prompt. I was 1300 km away on my laptop, but I felt like they were only next door.
Within a month of finishing the course, I had my first article published as a double page spread in Inside Football magazine. Not long after, I was fortunate enough to have one of my human interest articles published as the cover story for the SA Weekend magazine as part of the Adelaide Advertiser’s Saturday edition. I have also been lucky enough to have a number of follow up articles through both these publications.
One of the things I found particularly useful about the course was the information given about all the different publications out there, and some insight to what they were about and their acceptance of freelance work. This made things a lot easier, and made me more aware of how many publications were out there.
The assignments were purposeful, and many were generated around coming up with new ideas to write about and getting the creative juices flowing. I still look up some of these lists and ideas now when I’m trying to come up with my next story. Another thing that I learnt was that you can approach a similar topic from many different angles.
My long term goal is to combine 2-3 days a week writing, with a couple of days teaching each week. This has helped me become better balanced in my life, and I now feel that I have the tools to make this goal a realistic one.
I think of all of the amazing and inspirational people I have met so far throughout my work, all because I made the decision to do my course through the Academy. I would recommend this course to anyone, young or old, who is looking for sound and clear guidance on how to become a successful freelance writer.