$350 | 8 Weeks
Learn all you need to start pitching, landing, and writing reported essays and features.
Is there a compelling story you want to tell about other people? Would you like to highlight an organization or someone who is doing compelling work? Is there a local angle that is a national trend? Do you want to highlight an important subject with experts and others weighing in? Are you personally interested in a subject, but don’t want to divulge details about yourself? Writing a reported essay or feature can give you the permission to pursue compelling stories, explore interesting angles, and craft pieces that include experts and opinions of others, without having to reveal personal details about your backstory.
Through this 8-week class, students will learn the difference between a topic and a story, how to pitch a reported essay or feature, the basics of a strong hook/lede, elements of a nut graph, finding the right sources, interviewing experts, copy editing/fact checking, identifying potential markets for your piece, and putting together the finishing touches of a reported essay or feature.
Learning Objectives for Students
- To understand the difference between a topic and a story
- To identify a compelling character for the narrative
- To learn how to pitch a reported piece/feature
- To create an inverted pyramid structure for piece
- To effectively find and interview sources
- To find potential markets for your piece
The course will be taught by examples of pitches and reported pieces. Weekly meetings will occur via Zoom to discuss the lesson’s elements, weekly writing assignments, and discuss questions/feedback.
Weekly Zoom Meeting Schedule
The course’s weekly Zoom meetings will take place on Wednesdays at 7 PM Eastern time. Meetings will be one hour to 90 minutes in length.
From Pitch to Publication: Class Outline
Week 1: Is this a topic or a story?
Students will learn to identify the difference between a topic and a story. Essentially, students will identify what kind of a story will make a compelling reported personal essay or feature.
Week 2: How do you pitch a reported personal essay or feature?
Students will learn the elements of the pitch, including greeting, the subject line of the pitch, the body of the pitch paragraph, as well as the effective way to end a pitch email.
Week 3: How do you hook the reader with your lede?
How do you begin your piece? What is a compelling way to introduce your story? Students will learn how to compose an effective lede.
Week 4: What is the essence of an inverted pyramid?
An inverted pyramid story structure is a way to grab the attention of reader quickly, include important details in the opening paragraph, and then supplement with further pertinent information.
Week 5: How do you find sources for your piece?
Sources are key for your reported personal essay or feature. Learn how to effectively find sources to support your narrative.
Week 6: What is the best technique for interviewing your source?
You’ve found the source. Now what? How do you prepare for your interviews?
Week 7: Putting it all together
What is the best way to structure your piece? How do you include your experts and other sources? Is this more of a reported personal essay or a stand-alone feature?
Week 8: Polishing for publication
Check for grammatical errors, copy editing, and fact checking. Do everything you can to make the editor’s job easy.
Why Take a Narrative Journalism Course with Writers.com?
- We welcome writers of all backgrounds and experience levels, and we are here for one reason: to support you on your writing journey.
- Small groups keep our online writing classes lively and intimate.
- Work through your weekly written lectures, course materials, and writing assignments at your own pace.
- Share and discuss your work with classmates in a supportive class environment.
- Award-winning instructor Rudri Patel will offer you direct, personal feedback and suggestions on every assignment you submit.
Learn more about how our courses work here, and contact us with any other questions.
Student Feedback for Instructor Rudri Patel
Rudri Bhatt Patel has been a mentor, coach, and editor for my writing projects for almost ten years. Under the skillful guidance of her expertise, candor, and gentle spirit, I have made great gains in refining and expanding my short stories to publication as well as completing a novel. In addition, as co-members of a critique group for several years, Rudri consistently offered in depth and valuable feedback to me and others on a biweekly basis. Her comprehensive written feedback was always delivered with a sensitivity and respect for each person’s creative expression, while authentically providing insight into strengths and areas that needed development. Trish Dolansinski
I recommend Rudri Bhatt Patel without reservation. She is knowledgeable, articulate and experienced in all things writing and publishing. Her kindness as well as her professionalism and expertise make working with her a delight. Susan Pohlman
Rudri's knowledge and skills related to professional writing have also helped me with my own writing career many times in the past. Julie Vick
Over the past ten years I have had numerous opportunities to interact with Rudri Batt Patel during writing classes, book critiques, and writer networking sessions. She has a profound ability to engage as a learner, presenter, and facilitator. Her own writing skills are exceptional and her variety of published works enable her to assist developing writers in multiple ways. Phyllis Schwartz
Rudri Patel is an organized and seasoned presenter with years of writing and publishing experience. I’ve been lucky enough to have Rudri in my critique circle for over a decade and I’m a stronger writer because of it. Windy Lynn Harris
Rudri has a wonderful way of bringing out the best in her colleagues without criticism - a skill I appreciate as a veteran of the classroom myself. Jenn Morson