Girl with Butterfly Books

Enter your details below to recieve a free PDF and a consultation with a Course and Careers Advisor.

Affordable and flexible
Support for you all the way
Start any day!
You control when you study

Embrace the power of the written word and discover how your flair for writing could lead to an exciting new career as a journalist, magazine editor or children's author. Australian College of Journalism is part of Open Colleges, Australia's leading provider of online education. Read more

Christine Rocha

“I wanted to do a course that would help me translate my work in Nutrition for a broader audience. I found this online non-fiction writing course and I thought perfect, I can do it in my own time.”
Christine Rocha Read more
Emily Stretch

“I have been playing with cameras for as long as I can remember. It’s inspiring watching the way my photos are transforming through the shoot and the editing process.”
Emily Stretch Read more
Yvonne Mes

“It went really well, I enjoyed the material and assignments. The feedback from my trainer was extremely helpful and included many handouts that were relevant to writing for children. And now I have received an initial offer of purchase for my story!"
Yvonne Mes Read more
Editing & Proofreading Banner

Editing & Proofreading

Have you got an eagle eye for grammar, punctuation and perfect prose? Like helping writers refine their craft and get the best possible message across? Then Editing and Proofreading could be the right path for you, whether you want to work towards working as a freelance professional, or just sharpen your own way with words.

Find out more
Journalism Banner

Journalism

Got a nose for news or a way of telling stories about current affairs, travel, sport, or more, that engages audiences? Want to learn the business side of journalism and photojournalism as well as refining your techniques and talent? Then a journalism course with the Australian College of Journalism might be for you. 

Find out more
Writing & Communication Banner

Writing & Communication

If you've got a way with words, we've got courses that could help you turn your raw potential into a profession. With courses across creative writing, script writing, and non-fiction writing, and specialist courses in writing fantasy, romance and writing for children, we'll help you find and refine your style, and bring your stories to life.

Find out more

Latest News & Articles View all

  • 4 Brainstorming Strategies for WritersRead More

    Need new ideas for your blog or can’t figure out how to get your protagonist out of a bind? Don’t panic. Even the best writers get stuck sometimes, and when it happens, a good old-fashioned brainstorming session is often just what you need to clear the fog and unearth new ideas. 

    Here are a few brainstorming strategies you can try the next time you need a creative boost. 

    Try free writing

    Free writing or blind writing is exactly what it sounds like; instead of worrying about getting the perfect words down on the page, you just start writing whatever comes to mind. 

    Don’t worry about whether it’s off-topic or makes perfect sense and don’t pause to edit or rewrite. The main point of this exercise is to let your thoughts flow freely. Setting some sort of goal, whether it’s 600 words, 10 minutes or X number of pages, can help you to push past the mental block and express what’s on your mind without over thinking it. 

    Use mind maps

    Mind maps can help you to visualise and develop ideas that might otherwise be too vague to articulate. The idea is to take one central idea or concept and then link it to as many related items as you can. By the end of the exercise, you’ll have an in-depth collection of phrases, themes and other elements that can work together to help you build your story. 

    Although there are many ways to go about it, at its simplest, mind mapping is done by drawing a circle with the topic or idea in the centre of a blank page and then using lines to connect as many related items as possible to this circle. 

    Ask questions

    This technique, known as starbursting, focuses primarily on generating questions. It’s especially useful if you already have an idea of what you want to write about, but aren’t sure how to execute it. 

    To use this technique, draw a six-pointed star on a blank piece of paper and write your idea or topic in the centre of it. Next, write down the six essential questions of journalism (who, what, where, when, why, and how) in each point. 

    Now you can start to come up with questions for each heading. For instance, if you have a particular topic in mind for a blog post, you could ask things like “Who will benefit from reading this post?” or “What do I hope to accomplish with writing it?” 

    Once you’ve written down as many questions as you can think of for each heading, you can set out to answer each one as best you can. 

    Do some research

    We usually only think of carrying out research when we have a particular question or need to learn more about a topic we’re unfamiliar with, but even if you know your subject in and out, research can help you think in a new direction. 

    For fiction works, it can be helpful to read up on the culture, social structure and customs of the country or city where your story is set, while for non-fiction, simply refreshing your memory of certain events or people can shed some light on whatever it is you’re stuck with.  

    Aside from using search engines, the library can often be a good source of information and you’ll often unearth information there that isn’t readily available online.

  • 3 strategies for finding a title that worksRead More

    Whether you’re writing a novel, short story or magazine article, the title is one of the best tools you have at your disposal to hook editors and readers. 

    So how do you find a title that personifies what you’re writing and captures your audience’s attention? At times, the right title might present itself from the very beginning, but as most writers will tell you, it usually involves hours of brainstorming, research and experimentation.

    If you’re still new to the game, here are few strategies you can employ to find a title that works. 

    1. Make it quirky 

    When you don’t want to give too much away, a quirky one liner is often a good way to spark curiosity. Think of titles like “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society” or “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” They both hint at what the book might be about, while still maintaining an air of mystery. 

    A subtitle can also help you clarify your meaning. For instance, “Lost On Planet China,” may not immediately tell you what sort of book it is, but the subtitle “The Strange and True Story of One Man's Attempt to Understand the World's Most Mystifying Nation, or How He Became Comfortable Eating Live Squid” immediately tells you that it’s a travel book. 

    2. Include the names of people or places

    Utilising unusual character names can add an element of mystery or quirky touch. Titles like “The curious case of Benjamin Button” or “The secret life of Walter Mitty” work well because the names are memorable. They wouldn’t stand out nearly as much with more commonplace names like “John Smith” or “Anne Thompson.” 

    Including the name of a city or country, on the other hand, can help to set the mood of your piece and give readers an idea of what to expect, such as with titles like “I dreamed of Africa” or “The Last time I saw Paris.”  

    3. Use a strong one-word title

    Sometimes a good one-word title can make a much stronger statement than a longer one, especially if your book or story has a very clear theme. Think of famous titles like “1984,” “Divergent” or “Atonement.” They’re simple, straightforward and most of all memorable. 

    One thing to watch out for with one word titles, however, is that your book doesn’t get lost in the crowd. For example, a quick Amazon search for books by the name “Haunted” brings up seven books by different authors on first page of search results alone. 

    It’s the same for numerous other titles, from “Missing” to “Forgiven.” So if you do choose to use a one-word title, first make sure it hasn’t been done to death. Finally, once you have a better idea of the sort of title you want, whether it’s mysterious, descriptive or short-and-sweet, it’s time to begin experimenting with different combinations. You can get as much advice as you want, but at the end of the day, the only way to land that perfect title is through trial and error. 

    Start by writing out a list of 20 or more different titles that come to mind and try varying the structure and word usage each time. You might throw every single one of them out, but by the end of the exercise you’ll probably have a much better idea of what you want, or at the very least, what you don’t want.

Save 20% on your course fee