Barbara H

Barbara H

Just two weeks after graduating from the College, I have had an article accepted for publication for an online magazine.

How often do you read an article in a newspaper or magazine about a favourite place, food or hobby and think ‘I wish I’d written that’.

At the top of my ‘Things To Do If Only I Had the Time’ wish list was learning to write articles for publication. When, after 13 years in the airline industry I was made redundant during the recent economic downturn. It was my chance to pause, take stock and see if this curve in my path could take me to freelance journalism. Boosted by the encouragement of family and friends, I started to make enquiries to see if this was achievable.

The Professional Freelance Journalism Course offered by the British College Journalism caught my attention. Clearly laid out and covering every possible aspect of earning an income from writing, I had no hesitation in enrolling in this journalism course. My husband, a teacher of almost 30 years experience, commented that the course was very coherent and structured in a logical sequence, ideal for learning.

This was my first experience of distance learning and any concerns about this method were quickly dispelled. My tutorials arrived in my inbox every week and all queries, whether administrative or for my tutor, were dealt with very promptly. Feedback from my tutor was always encouraging and thorough, helping me to see new angles and perspectives.

This online journalism course is structured in such a way that it builds and inspires belief in your own ability to generate ideas for your articles. As a new writer, I have been given the tools to consider topics which would have been way down my list of subjects to write about, IT and sport for example, as I thought I didn’t know enough to tackle them.

It is full of practical advice for setting up your own business from equipping your home office, through to invoicing, tax and VAT. In addition, the course offers helpful tips on, for example, the best way to approach editors and to follow up appropriately. It’s packed full of resources to launch your career and beyond.

I had an article published in the Guardian. It was #1 on the “most viewed” list in the Society section for first few days after being published and attracted more than one hundred online comments.

Since then I have had numerous articles published both in the UK and around the world.  As well as developing my range of subject matter for articles, I now have an expanding portfolio of copywriting clients whose businesses range from lifestyle, green living and property to beauty and textiles.

Although I was able to devote myself full time to my studies due to my redundancy, I believe that this journalism course is structured in such a way that makes it possible to study alongside your day job. My only question is – why didn’t I do this earlier?

To view Barbara’s extensive work, visit her website here, and keep up-to-date with Barbara via her Twitter:@bhwriting.

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