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WSP 184 — Magazine and Feature Writing

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Saturdays
Course Format: On-campus course
Duration: 2 days
Date(s): Jun 3—Jun 10
Time: 10:00 am—4:00 pm
Drop Deadline: May 27
Unit: 1
Tuition: $280
Instructor(s): Maria Finn
Limit: 21
Status: Closed
On-campus course
10:00 am—4:00 pm
Jun 3—Jun 10
2 days
Drop By
May 27
1 Unit
Maria Finn
In this course, we will learn how to land the magazine and feature writing assignments that we most want. Key elements will include focusing on the most compelling and timely topics, designing great leads, and crafting and polishing our strongest prose. We will look at profile-writing techniques in the manner of Susan Orlean and Malcolm Gladwell, and we will work toward researching and writing queries that will get our work noticed by top publications. Looking at the editorial needs of the recently launched publications Roads & Kingdoms and Lucky Peach, we will assess their desire to cover the newest topics or create a fresh angle on a classic story. Together, we will ask such questions as: What will be the new sustainable food trend of 2017? Or, what’s an original angle on a great destination for travel? How does a profile of someone illustrate a bigger story or issue? We will read and analyze articles, brainstorm and research topics, and then find new and creative angles on these subjects. Writing exercises will help students improve their writing skills, craft a query letter, and research an article. Tips and resources for getting published will be essential elements of the course as well.

Maria Finn, Author

Maria Finn has written for Sunset magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Afar, The New York Times, Wine Spectator, The Food & Environment Reporting Network, the San Francisco Chronicle, Saveur, Organic Living, Women’s Health, and Gastronomica, among others. She is the author of The Whole Fish, Hold Me Tight and Tango Me Home, and A Little Piece of Earth: How to Grow Your Own Food in Small Spaces. Her essays have been anthologized in Best Food Writing 2006 and The Best Women’s Travel Writing 2007. Finn received an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.