"For me, going from idea to pitch is the most difficult part of writing, so getting work can be a struggle if I don’t write on spec or get an assignment. This class helped me take abstract ideas for stories and put it into a compelling pitch. The salon and feedback on each assignment was invaluable, especially if for someone who doesn’t have the luxury of an editorial team or journalism background. I truly appreciated Laura’s enthusiasm for our work and how she made herself available to us outside of meeting hours. She helped me realized my ideas for stories, even the ones that were previously turned down, were worth pursuing and gave me the tools and confidence to rework and pitch again." - former Catapult student
Do you feel totally lost when it comes to pitching and publishing? Are you intrigued by freelancing as a career but don’t know where or how to start?
This course is for anyone who wants to learn more about freelancing, from how to write a successful pitch, to insider tips (like how to find editor emails, turning a single story idea into different pitches, or how to get paid more) whether you want to land your first byline or break into higher-tier publications: no workshop experience required!
In this intensive three-week online bootcamp, you’ll read successful pitches and the published stories they became, brainstorm and workshop story ideas, track down sources, and conduct research. You’ll learn the behind-the-scenes tips to demystify the process, and learn to love rejections (really!). You’ll get personalized feedback from a working freelancer, and you’ll leave with a polished pitch and a list of potential outlets.
Week 1: THE IDEA: students will deconstruct a successful pitch, brainstorm story ideas, develop potential angles for pitches, track down sources and start background research on their way towards drafting a pitch
Week 2: THE PITCH: students will workshop and revise a compete pitch, find potential outlets for publication, track down editors, and learn to streamline the submissions process
Week 3: WHAT NOW?: editorial feedback, negotiations, contracts, what happens once your story goes live, and more tools you need to tackle your freelancing career!
- a complete, polished pitch for a feature, profile, or personal essay (with a reported element)
- close reading of successful pitches (and finished articles) to learn what makes them work and how to apply them to your own writing
- coming up with story ideas
-finding sources, conducting interviews, and background research
- demystifying the freelance process: from finding potential outlets and editor contacts
- understanding contracts, negotiations, and what happens when a story goes live
- the tools you need to dive into the freelancing world after the course
Laura Yan is teaching a Freelancing 101 Bootcamp at Catapult this July! Her writing has appeared in Wired, NYMag.com, GQ.com, Pacific Standard, GOOD, The Outline, Penthouse, Southwest: the Magazine, Victory Journal, The Awl, & elsewhere. Her stories have been featured in Longreads Best of Arts & Culture Writing 2017 and Longform.org. She loves deadlines, and hearing from you!
"Laura is concise, engaged, knowledgeable, and committed to her students. She is also a great writer who has published extensively and is in the thick of building her exciting career, and brings that energy and drive to her classes."
"Laura Yan is a whip-smart writer who knows how to take a burning idea, put it through its paces, and emerge with a story that editors can't resist. Not only is she generous in sharing insider tips on writing and publication, she's fun to be around. "