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Freelance Magazine Writing – Your license to probe the world

Nine Tuesdays, July 15th-Sept. 9th, 7-9:30 p.m.
$335 members/$365 non-members;
Location: San Francisco

“I’ve done stories on everything from home computers — back when only three companies were making them — to a portrait of the Sherman House (a landmark hotel that survived the 1906 earthquake) to a profile of the Emmy Award-winning sound engineer who worked on Basic Instinct,” says Cary Pepper. “But my favorite piece is probably the one I did about a new reading program for kindergartners; the kids pulled me right into the class and I learned more that one day than I ever learned in kindergarten. That’s one of the things I love most about magazine writing — it’s a constant learning process. It gives you a license to probe into how the world — and the people in it — work. It’s also the most accessible way to break into professional writing. Even when you have no publishing credits, if you come up with the right idea, and pitch it to the right editor at the right time, you can get the assignment.”

In this class Cary will provide a nuts-and-bolts workshop on writing the magazine article. “We’ll analyze elements of craft such as structure, flow, and language. Students will write an article on a topic of their choice, bring it in, and we’ll break down the specifics of each one. We’ll also discuss editing: its power as well as its pitfalls. We’ll also cover: How to get ideas…how to determine your market…why the query letter is as important (sometimes more!) than the actual article…how to write a query editors will read…the rules of the game (and when to break them)…getting rejected (and how to handle it)…getting accepted (and how to handle it)…dealing with editors… being a professional…using one article to get the next assignment…and putting yourself out there as a freelance magazine writer.”

Cary Pepper has been a freelance writer for 30 years. He has published dozens of articles in such publications as The New York Times, TV Guide, Premiere, Advertising Age, Town and Country, and Mad. He is also an award-winning playwright whose work has been produced throughout the U.S. and in Europe. He has taught writing at Media Alliance, the San Francisco Art Institute, and privately.


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