You don’t need to have made a New Year’s resolution to ‘become a writer’ to sign up for my food writing and travel writing classes, which start in just a few weeks. All you need is a burning desire to share your experiences in the world of food or travel; I show you how to do the rest.
In-person courses take place at the UBC Point Grey campus starting January 30th. On Monday nights it’s Food Writing, Tuesday nights, Travel Writing. Each course lasts for 8 weeks, with no classes the week of February 20th. If you can’t make the commitment to be there at the same time every week, you can sign up for the 100% online courses instead, which start the same week. To enroll in any of the courses go to this page on the UBC Writing Centre website.
But I guess you’re wondering what you’re in for if you sign up… Quite simply: all the basic things you need to know to create and sell a story. Notice I said ‘sell’. There are still lots of opportunities to have your work published in print or online and make some money doing it. So, in each course I spend some time teaching you about generating story ideas for publications you’ve researched, as well as showing you how to approach editors with a query letter to convince them to hire you. From there, I go on to help you shape your story and bring your experiences alive for your potential readers.
Food students will also learn how to write restaurant reviews and construct recipes in a proper format. Travel students will write about how to spend a weekend in their favourite destination, photography tips and the pros and cons of scoring some free travel. Both online and in-person students get personalized feedback from me on all of your assignments. Online students will have 1-2 opportunities to take part in live text chats with me and the whole class and more interaction is possible in online discussion forums.
What’s expected of you? Every week there will be articles to read that illustrate my lectures/lecture notes. You’ll be asked to research a publication for which you’d like to write and come up with story ideas appropriate to that publication. All students will write a query letter aimed at selling their ideas and then write a story based on their successful query. I act as your ‘editor’ throughout the process so you can get a sense of what it would be like to be freelance writer in the real world.
Each course does cover blogging as a way to get published, but if you want a real intense shot of learning how to construct your blog on WordPress and how to populate it with great content join WordPress expert Tris Hussey and me on Saturday, March 10th for ‘Building and Promoting a Food Blog‘. This day-long session (BYOL – Bring Your Own Laptop) will have you up and blogging by 5pm!