Freelance Writing: Non-Fiction Workshop

Freelance writers rarely get detailed and constructive feedback on their work, and many don’t have a network of professionals they can ask for help. When a writer is rejected by an editor, they often aren’t told why.  

This 100% online workshop is designed to fill that gap. Through a series of six interactive group sessions (one session every three weeks) with award-winning journalist and UBC instructor Jennifer Van Evra (CBC, Globe and Mail, Condé Nast, Harvard Business Review, and many more), you get to polish your ideas and pitches, hone your writing and target different markets, and ask plenty of questions along the way. 

One week before each workshop, submit a piece of writing — an article, query letter, blog post, first-person story, press release, newsletter piece or any other non-fiction writing — then receive constructive feedback in a safe, supportive and fun environment. Each student will have the opportunity to submit a total of four items. They can be rough drafts, finished pieces, or anywhere in between.  

During the workshop, you’ll get detailed written feedback from your instructor, as well as from other participants. In weeks you don’t submit, you still benefit from hearing invaluable feedback on other participants’ work, which you can apply to your own writing. The course also includes a lively online discussion forum where participants can ask questions and interact between classes. And in one class, a Canadian editor will review submissions and share their thoughts and advice. 

By the end of the course, you can expect a noticeable improvement in your work, and in the many skills that go into non-fiction writing: story development, interviewing, research, editing and more. You’ll be able to look at your writing, and that of others, with a critical eye. You’ll also come away from the workshops feeling more confident in your work and professional prospects, and with more courage to hit Send.  

Suggested Prerequisite 
Students should have a basic foundation in non-fiction writing, either through Jennifer’s Freelance Writing: Introduction or similar courses, or have equivalent experience. 

How am I Assessed? 
This is a non-credit course graded as complete/incomplete based on attendance. You receive detailed feedback from your instructor on each item you submit. 

Expected Effort 
Outside of the workshops, you should allow time to revise your text based on instructor feedback and read other participants’ submissions.  

Technology Requirements 
To take this course, you’ll need access to: 

  • an email account 
  • a computer, laptop or tablet under five years old using Windows or Mac OS  
  • the latest version of a web browser (or previous major version release) 
  • a reliable internet connection 
  • a video camera and microphone.  

One day before the start of your course, we’ll email you step-by-step instructions for accessing your course. 

There are no textbooks for this course.

Course Format

This course is 100% online with live online workshops. Space is limited to 12 students. 

Every three weeks over a four-month period, your class meets virtually for a 2.5-hour workshop with your instructor. During the course, you can submit up to four texts to workshop, or different drafts of the same text. Sign up for feedback in the sessions you need it most, and submit your text one week before the live session with your instructor.

Available Sessions

Course currently not available for registration.