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Magazines matter.

They capture the zeitgeist and reflect our changing values. I’ve still got the first issue of Loaded from May 1994 when I was a student on a postgraduate magazine journalism course. My school-age daughters now form their opinions on the world by reading The Week Junior.

New Empire magazine spin-off, Pilot, is currently targeting the binge-watching generation while My Little Pony magazine has launched a series of brand-extensions for pre-school magazine addicts. Fact is we love magazines. Some 37m people each month read the UK’s 3,000 magazines according to Magnetic Media.

Of course magazines are changing, moving from print to online or vice versa, or filling a void for long-form writing. We are seeing a new generation of independent publications targeting a well-informed niche — see Delayed Gratification or Anxy. Writing for magazines offers a great way to find your voice as a writer and start earning cold-hard cash by pitching your ideas to commissioning editors.

I got my first job in magazines, earning 12K a year on a food and drink magazine in 1996, and hope my passion for magazines will inspire you to take your writing to the next level this spring. That’s why I’m running a pop-up course, WriteHereWriteNow Magazine Masterclass, as part of the community programme at Chester’s Storyhouse.

The eight-week course is based on modules I have taught as part of a MA magazine journalism course at a Northwest university. It’s a hands-on group project. Expect deadlines, homework and plenty of one-to-one editorial support with myself and amble editor Gemma co-wielding the editor’s red pen. You will graduate with a tangible print product, distributed around Chester, to add to your burgeoning portfolio. This will directly showcase your writing and promote your byline.

So, what to expect over the eight weeks?

  • Brainstorming your niche, reader profiling, media pack, focus group
  • Mood boards, pitch concepts, editorial roles, multi-platform extension
  • Commissioning, story ideas, magazine structure, flatplan, deadlines
  • Story drafts, editing, individual support
  • Cover, tagline, signposting, page furniture
  • Feature/profile deadline
  • Individual support
  • News and reviews deadline, launch plans

Interested? Join us Tuesday evenings from 7-9pm in the Meeting Room upstairs at Storyhouse from 8th May. The first session is now available for just £5 –  a great opportunity to give it a try. If it works for you (and we’re convinced it will) you can then book on to the rest of the course for only £30. Book your place here.