Institute of Commercial Management | Qualification Subject

Freelance & Feature Writing

Main Topics of Study

Feature Articles

  • What are feature articles?
  • Checklist for success

Dealing with Editors

  • Stages in article writing
  • From idea to market
  • Studying markets
  • Commissioning policies
  • Approaching editors
  • Organising the assignment
  • Research methods

Writing Process

  • Outlines
  • Writing up methods
  • Presentation
  • Dealing with rejection

Identifying Ideas

  • What makes a good idea
  • Finding the angle

Article Type and Markets

  • Types in demand
  • Finding a theme
  • Linking an idea to the market
  • National and local newspaper markets
  • Magazines

Getting Organised

  • Working routine
  • Organising the information
  • Organising for business

Planning Your Assignment

  • The argument
  • Outline
  • Analysis
  • Title
  • Introduction
  • Ending
  • Body
  • Anecdotes and quotes

Research

  • News value
  • Developing contacts
  • Interview sources

Illustrations

  • Subjects
  • Which markets
  • Working with a photographer
  • Taking your own pictures
  • Picture research
  • Graphics
  • Captions
  • Preparation and submission

Developing Writing Techniques

  • Good writing skills
  • Making words work
  • Sentences and paragraphs
  • Description and narration
  • Argument
  • House style
  • Developing your style

Profile and Interview Features

  • Choosing interviewees
  • Background
  • Preparing questions
  • Debating style
  • Making notes
  • Editing the transcript
  • Writing up
  • Aim of profiles

Writing a Column

  • Becoming a columnist
  • Content and topicality
  • Styles
  • Specialist columns

Reviewing

  • Role of the reviewer
  • Types of reviewing
  • Language of compression

Features Department

  • Set-up
  • Departmental output
  • Backgrounders and situationers
  • Follow ups and spin offs
  • Interpretations
  • Leaders and opinion pieces
  • Investigations
  • Show business and ghosting
  • Serialisations
  • Women and family matters
  • Reader involvement

Expanding Your Market

  • Fillers
  • Writing for business organisations
  • Overseas markets
  • Syndication

Openings in Advertising and Publicity

  • Scope for journalists
  • Advertising copywriting
  • Direct mail
  • Press release
  • Feature articles and advertorials

Writing as a Specialist

  • Marketing strategy
  • Content
  • Right language
  • Shape
  • Research and fact checking

World of Publishing

  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Planning ahead
  • Deadlines
  • Editing and presentation

Writing into the Future

  • New technology

Example Candidate Response Booklet

Example Candidate Response (ECR) Booklets are a source of crucial information for Centres and Candidates as they use real candidate responses. We ask Senior Examiners to comment on five or more responses in terms of why the mark was awarded with commentary about how to improve the answer (if necessary).

Recommended Reading

Main Text:

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Writing Feature Articles – Brendan Hennessy (Focal Press)

Indicative Text:

Alternative Text and Further Reading:

The Business of Freelancing – Graham Jones (BFP Books)

Writing to Win – Mel Lewis (McGraw Hill)