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How to Get Paid for Penning Your Two Cents

Facilitator:  Jennifer Brown Banks

Workshop Syllabus

Are you opinionated? Informed? Do others often seek your advice? If you answered yes to these questions, you have the potential to become a paid columnist. This class can show you how.

Discover the tips and tools to create marketable ideas, identify your niche or “expertise”, and develop your unique “voice”.

Learn how to turn your passion into pay!

Week 1An Overview of the 5 Ws of Column Writing
In this introductory session, we’ll examine the What, Where, When, Why, and Who of column writing, and how it compares to other forms of creative writing. Various types of columns will be explored, in addition to tone and target audiences.

Week 2 Identifying Your Niche and Playing to Your Strengths
Everybody’s good at something. The key to being successfully published is knowing your creative strengths and how to market them. What is your passion? In other words, if you were on the game show Jeopardy, what would be your “category”? Knowing your strengths helps to establish your direction and your strategy.

Week 3Consider the Source! (How and where to identify marketable ideas)
Learn to combat writer’s block by discovering the endless sources of ideas and opportunities in everyday places, situations, and conversations.

Week 4 Marketing

In this final week, we’ll address pitch letters, market research and developing successful strategies for publication.

This course is designed to give writers insider’s tips, information and resources to pursue a career in column writing for print and online publications. It will enable them to discover their creative strengths, their unique writing style, and how to market their work..

Prerequisite None

About the Facilitator:

Jennifer Brown Banks is a veteran freelance writer, popular relationship columnist and award-winning poet. Her work has appeared in online and print publications such as: Small Business CEO Magazine, Online Dating Magazine, Honey, Funds for Writers, Writing for Dollars, Simon and Schuster’s Chocolate series for women, and a host of other regional and national publications.

She is the former Senior Editor of Mahogany Magazine, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Writers Association.

Registration: Select the payment service you want to use.
Workshop Duration: 4 weeks  

Scheduled Sessions for 2012:


January 16th

February 20th

March 26th

April 30th

May 28th

June 25th

August 20th

September 24th

October 29th

November 26th

December 31st


Payment Services via Paypal:

Select your session

IMPORTANT!  Your receipt and information will come to the e-mail address associated with your PayPal account.  If you do not check this account, you will not receive your receipt or workshop invitation!

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Workshop Terms of Service.


Books recommended on this page are not required reading for participation in the course.

The Art of Column Writing: Insider Secrets from Art Buchwald, Dave Barry, Arianna Huffington, Pete Hamill and Other Great Columnists 
by Suzette Martinez Standring

Featuring some of the most famous columnists in the business, this guide reveals the secrets to becoming a syndicated newspaper columnist, through both the author's own experiences and anecdotes from the respected writers who excel in their craft. From finding topics, to digging up information, and ultimately writing a column that makes people think, laugh, or cry, all the wisdom necessary to write opinion, humor, and insight columns is clearly presented in this in-depth manual.


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