Feature Writing

Text: 1,818 Ways to Write Better and Get Published

By Scott Edelsteim

Week #1,  Read chapter 1, The Writers Attitude

Lecture/discussion:  common misconceptions about writers and writing, tools of the trade, how to live with success and rejection.  Visit the college library to view the periodical section.

Week #2,  Read chapter 2, The Writer’s Craft

Lecture/discussion: keeping a journal, general fresh ideas, rewrites and edits

Week #3,  Field trip to Borders Bookstore, Mission Viejo, List of 50 questions to be answered through observation and investigation in the store.  (A scavenger hunt leading to a better understanding of the varied markets for writers)

Week #4, Read chapter 4, Writing Successful Nonfiction

Lecture/discussion:  principles of nonfiction writing, 20types of nonfiction, ways to tell if your work is salable.  Intro to writing personal profiles.

Week#5, Read chapter 5, Publishing Opportunities

Lecture/discussion:  Read and discuss profiles, discuss markets for writers.

Week #6, Read chapter 6, Finding Information and Support

Lecture/discussion: writer’s forums, writer centers, finding editors for your work, business contacts.  Introduction to writing movie reviews.

Week #7,  Field trip to the movies, pre-movie discussion and orientation.

Week #8, Read chapter 7, Doing Business With Editors

Lecture/discussion:  5 ways to keep you work out of the slush pile, tips on manuscript form, cover letter, query letters, money matters.

Week #9, Guest speaker, professional from the magazine publishing business

Read chapter 8, Selling Yourself and Your Services (for discussion if time)

Week #10, Read chapter 9, Dealing with Agents

Lecture/discussion:  20 misconceptions about agents, 4 ways to located the right agent, tips on author-agent agreements.

Week #11,  Guest speaker and review of how to write restaurant reviews.

Week #12, Field Trip to restaurant to write review.

Week #13,  Read chapter 10, Keeping Track of Business

Lecture/discussion:  keeping calendar or datebook, tax records, preparing income tax return

Week #14  Writing Class Alumni Night

(Panel of former Saddleback College feature writing students who have become professional writers, reception to follow)

Week #15  Guest speaker

Week #16  Chapter 11, Legal Matters

Lecture/discussion:  key points of a formal assignment agreement, contracts, determining which rights to sell, basics of copyright, using a pen name, negotiating a publishing agreement.

Week #17 Final stories prepare for final exam

Note:  The instructor reserves the right to alter or change the course syllabus at any time.

Each class session will begin with a 30 minute in-class writing assignment so it is important to be in class on time.  Tardies will affect you class participation grade.

For more information or questions, please contact
Professor J. Mike Reed at (949) 582-4368