Date: September 12, 2023

Time: 6.30pm - 8.30pm

Duration: 6 Weeks

Level: Professional Development |

Cost: €165 (€150 Members)

Location: Online

This course will take place on Tuesdays (six sessions in total).

Course Summary:

This course offers the skills and knowledge to find success as a freelance journalist by taking that step into the unknown and learning the skills, techniques, and knowledge needed to become a freelancer. Aimed at a writer who has potentially, but is not required, already refined skills in crafting essays and opinion pieces, this course will guide the writer towards beginning and maintaining a fulfilling role as a freelance journalist. 


Course Outline:

Week 1 – The Basics of Freelancing  

Looking at the day-to-day realities of what it’s like to maintain the momentum of continuously pitching, writing, following up, finding a niche, building a portfolio, and how to manage the consistent pace without leading to burnout. 

Week 2 – Finding Ideas and How to Pitch 

There is an art to pitching from finding the right idea with a unique angle, discovering the right publication and editor, and crafting a pitch in a way that grabs attention.  

Week 3 – Beating Rejection  

What to do when an editor rejects or ghosts your pitch and how rejection can spur you on to become even more dynamic, creative, and intuitive about the industry.  

Week 4 – Following Through  

how to write that article you promised, writing to deadline, talking to experts, exploring the right angle, researching, editing your work, and growing stronger when an editor asks for yet another re-write.    

Week 5 – Building A Portfolio 

Why you need a writing portfolio, how to create a portfolio with no clips, how to choose quality over quantity, and why relevancy and an up-to-date portfolio is important.  

Week 6 – What Next? 

Maintaining consistent commissions, changing your niche, exploring other writing opportunities, developing your skillset, building your name, and recognising the additional avenues that can open for freelancers. 


Course Outcomes:

This course will provide an oversight into the world of freelance journalism, how to get started and send out that first pitch, what to do when a pitch is commissioned, how to build a portfolio, and how to maintain a successful career in freelancing while ensuring the journalist is mindful of the pitfalls within the industry and how to actively support themselves as the industry evolves.  


Geraldine Walsh is an award-winning writer, journalist, and author. She is a frequent contributor to The Irish Times and Irish Examiner on a range of topics in the women’s health, mental well-being, and parenting spaces and was shortlisted in the Headline Mental Health Media Awards. Her debut book, Unraveling Motherhood (Hatherleigh Press, 2023), is part memoir and considers motherhood a tightly woven knot of physical, mental, emotional, and social changes and then seeks to unravel that knot. Geraldine’s fiction and poetry has appeared in Boyne Berries, Toasted Cheese, Agenda, Dublin Quarterly, and was highly commended in the Fish Anthology, Ten Pint Ted in 2009. 

This course is part of the Irish Writers Centre’s Meridian series of creative and professional development activities for professional writers, and also for those emerging writers who are ready to take the steps towards making a career in writing. Read more about this initiative here.