Become a Magazine Writer with Magazine Writing Blueprint Course

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Review by Nicole Pyles

I never thought of myself as a magazine writer. Blogger? Definitely. Short story writer? Definitely. Novelist? Sure, maybe one day. But magazines seemed elusive to me until I had the chance to take Writing Blueprints online class, Magazine Writing Blueprint. After finishing the course, my confidence has received a much-needed boost and magazines aren't so elusive anymore.

Step by step through video and instruction worksheets, instructor Kerrie Flanagan walks you through the magazine writing process from finding ideas to the revision process to building your career. It is truly an example of a blueprint to writing for magazines. The course is taught through videos and worksheets. It's broken down into different sections (and subsections) with videos in each one that range from a couple of minutes to about 10 to 12 minutes long. Within each section, there are worksheets to go with that expand on the lesson.

 Here's how the course is broken down:
  • Developing Your Idea
  • Identifying Magazine Markets for Your Idea
  • Pitching Your Article Idea to a Magazine
  • Pitching your Personal Essay, Short Story, or Children's Fiction, Poetry or Activities
  • Writing Your Article (this has several subsections you can follow along with including writing informational articles for adults and children, writing personal essays for adults and teens, writing short fiction, and lastly writing crafts, recipes, games, puzzles, and poetry for magazines for children,)
  • Revising Your Fiction or Nonfiction Piece
  • Building Your Career

My Experience with the Course 

For me, I found that developing ideas was one of the most challenging aspects of magazine writing. My life and interests never appear so dull as when I pick through to write about them. What I like about the way Kerri breaks that section down is her worksheet allows you to answer questions about your interests. She lists questions about places you've traveled, where you would like to travel, challenges you are struggling with, etc. Then she helps you expand on those ideas and narrow them down What was incredibly helpful to me was her prompts to expand on these ideas (here's a glimpse below):

Also, I was impressed by how she was able to get so many ideas from one subject (check it out below). This is another aspect I like because she gives personal examples in each lesson and highlights her own experience as a magazine writer. This is helpful to me because I really learn through seeing examples.

Another aspect that helped me a lot was interviewing people because Kerri helps you figure out where to find experts for your article. She gave me some new places to reach out to in the future that I never thought of before, like a chamber of commerce in your local area or universities that have experts in the specific area you are writing about. Also, she provides a worksheet that will help you build your interview, including prompts for questions too:

Like I said, what I like about her course is in her videos she provides examples of her own work and tips from her experiences as a magazine writer.  The workbook is also extensive and something I will be using in the future, such as the "following up on submissions" worksheet and the "forming long-term relationships with editors" worksheet.

What I Enjoyed the Most

Kerrie Flanagan does an excellent job in breaking down the process of writing for the magazine. (I like the fact that the course is broken down in sections and even mini-sections from there, which helps me as I have questions that come up along the way (which come up even now as I sort of "fly on my own" with magazine writing). Just take a look at how many mini-sections are in the article idea section:

One angle I wish I saw within the course was the potential to interact with the instructor as I went along to be able to ask questions. It would be even cooler to be able to interact with fellow students from the course too. What helped this lack of interaction was the Facebook group:

There you can ask questions, see what other people are asking, share successes, and more. It doesn't have a LOT of members in the group, which to me, is a good thing (too many members can mean my voice gets lost in the crowd). 

What I Didn't Enjoy as Much

Like I said before, one angle I would have liked to see was the opportunity to interact with the instructor as I went along the course. However, the Facebook group made up for this. And one really nice thing is that Kerrie is quick to respond and clarify any of my questions (check out my latest question below; she was so quick to reply!):

Another angle I would like to see change is a transcript from the videos included in the section. Sometimes I have time to take the course, but not really able to play the audio part. So to be able to read the transcript of the video would be nice. Overall though, those two aspects weren't huge hangups for me.

My Overall Opinion: 

If you are new to the magazine writing process, this is the course for you. This is an especially useful course if you have the mind frame "Where do I even begin?" when it comes to writing for magazines (that is sure how I felt!). Kerrie's course helps you figure out where to begin and how to be successful as a magazine writer.

Since the course, and thanks to Kerrie's instruction, I landed an article with a newly launching magazine! I finished it recently and I credit a huge part of my success with this to Kerrie and her instruction.

My article went from this (my specific idea is somewhere in the weeds of messy idea list below):

To becoming an article for a newly launching website called Restless Magazine (TBD on the actual article piece!).

So, as you can see, this is an enormously helpful course and I highly recommend it.

To find out more about the course, check out the Magazine Writing Blueprint Course.


Nicole Pyles is a writer, blogger, and bookworm living in Oregon. Her articles have been featured with The Write Practice, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, and Perfect Bar. Follow Nicole on her writing journey by following her on Twitter at Being the Writer and on her blog, The World of My Imagination.


Renee Roberson said...

This sounds like a great course from Kerrie! Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Nicole. I started out my freelancing career writing and pitching to magazines--and it sure would have been helpful to have a course like this back then. I had to cobble what information I could together from a few different nonfiction books. I'm sure this will help you land many more assignments!

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

My first sales were magazine sales. Have been thinking about moving back in that direction. This definitely looks like a good course.


Sioux Roslawski said...

Nicole--This class sounds great. I have daydreamed for a long time about trying to get some pieces published in magazines. If I took this class, I'm sure it would help me do that.

(And congratulations on the Restless piece.)

Margo Dill said...

I tried to tell you congrats yesterday, but I can't seem to get comments to post from my iPhone any more. (Ang? Any ideas why?) Anyway, I really loved this review and so glad you put the advice to use and got an assignment. That's amazing!

Nicole Pyles said...

@Renee - Same here Renee! Yeah this was an incredibly eye-opening experience and I appreciate it so much.

@Sue - it sure is! It has been a fantastic experience.

@Sioux - Thanks Sioux! And it is definitely a helpful course and got me in the right direction.

@Margo - Thanks Margo!!

Kerrie said...

Nicole-thanks for the great review. I am thrilled that as a result of taking the course you got your first assignment.

Renee and Sue-thanks for the positive comments about the course.

Sioux-I think you will find the class helpful and it will give you all you need to get your articles published. let me know if you have any questions.

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