2020 - Spring: WRRII – Magazine

Course Number: JOUR-GA 1022.003

Day & Time: Thursday, 10:30am-3:00pm

Location: Room 653

Instructor: Meryl Gordon

This course will essentially put you to work as a magazine writer. You will try your hand at a range of magazine pieces: a Q&A, a narrative feature, a service piece, a trend piece, a personal essay, a profile. In each case, we’ll read some examples of the genre, exploring what makes them exciting pieces of writing, and effective for a particular publication, whether print or online. We’ll focus on structure, voice, point of view, the money quote, the kind of detail that effectively invokes character and makes pieces memorable. You’ll pitch ideas before you tackle each piece; we’ll talk about reporting, interviewing and writing strategies before you jump in. Each of the pieces you write will be critiqued (by me and by other students) and you’ll be asked, as you would be by your editor, to revise. We’ll hear from visiting writers and editors who will talk about some of these things (among others): How to get people to say interesting, revealing, surprising, indiscreet things. How to use public sources of information to give pieces teeth. How to work and play well with editors: What editors love (and hate) in a writer, and vice versa. What might a journalism career look like over the next 10 years? How can you prepare for a field in which not only the technology but the business model is up for grabs?

Please note: Equipment Insurance is required if you need to borrow equipment. Purchase equipment insurance for a full year through College Student Insurance (CSI) https://collegestudentinsurance.com/.  CSI covers the gear checked out from the Journalism Equipment Room plus personal items such as laptops and cell phones.  Our suggested CSI plan  costs $155 with a $500 deductible.