Advanced feature writing – E-learning course

Anyone who writes a lot of feature articles runs the risk of getting into habits, not all good! This advanced interactive e-learning course prompts you to take a really close look at your working practices, to see where you can stretch yourself to make good features even better, whether they appear online or in a print publication.

Thanks for taking the time to go through my feature. It's much appreciated. I found your suggestions really useful and will make sure to carry them into all future work.

E-learning delegate


This is great if you are a print or web writer who has at least one year's experience, or if you have completed the Feature writing online training course and are now ready for the next stage of your development.

The course comes in 3 parts:

Part 1: Planning for readability.

Part 2: Pulling the reader in and keeping them.

Part 3: Pacing and polishing your copy.

You will learn:
  • What makes a great feature really stand out
  • How to plan and layout your feature for maximum effect and impact
  • The secrets of hooking your reader with your first few words
  • How dialogue, scene-setting and other techniques create reader excitement
  • The importance of variety and style flexibility in your features
  • The techniques for managing suspense, drama and intrigue
  • How to optimise quotes for maximum effect
  • Which finishing touches elevate your feature to must-read status

...and much more.

If you sat down and did the course in one sitting, it would take approximately 1-2 hours to complete. However, the exercises and quizzes we include mean it can take longer. You can work at your own pace, and dip in and out of the course as often as you want, and go back to sections to really make sure you've understood. If you have any queries at all, you are very welcome to get in touch with the trainer as often as you want.

We set a 4 week deadline from the point you receive your enrolment information.  If you need longer though, you just need to let us know. The course covers:

What the advanced feature writer should do
  • Aiming at your reader
  • Hooking them in
  • Using formats and structures to make information come alive
  • Leading the reader with links
  • Telling them something they didn't know before
  • Thinking in scenes
  • Borrowing from other media
  • Using the right language and tone for your reader
  • Paying attention to pace
  • Ending well
  • Informing and entertaining
Starting well to end well
  • Being clear on your big idea
  • Making sure you're using the best format for your subject
Thinking before you write
  • Pulling the reader in, keeping them reading, and knowing how it will end
  • Making and linking your points
  • Planning so that all the parts work together and in isolation
Hooking the reader in and keeping them in
  • Exploring the intro options
  • Varying, mixing and matching them
  • Knowing what makes a good intro
  • Using powerful language
  • Testing for length, pace and rhythm
  • Making logical links
  • Creating cliffhangers and adding drama
Pacing and polishing your copy
  • Keeping an eye on quotes
  • Thinking soundbite
  • Making time to polish
  • Painting a picture
  • Getting the vital information in at the beginning
  • Cutting and editing your own work
The best endings
  • Hammering home your big idea
  • Adding variety with different ending options

This course is packed with interactive exercises so you can practise what you learn as soon as you learn it.

There are handy tips and checklists at key stages of the course.  These cover vital topics including:

  • Finding your big idea
  • Borrowing fom other media
  • What to do if you're blocked
  • Planning
  • Playing with time
  • Links
  • Thinking illustrations
  • Intros
  • Linking
  • Using quotes

and many more.

Margaret Coffey is a journalist, trainer and founding-director of ContentETC. As a trainer she works with major UK media owners and other organisations to design and deliver programmes to improve the performance of writers across all media channels. For 30 years she has written about business and technology for US and UK publications and websites, including BusinessWeek, The Independent, The Financial Times and many others. Margaret's recent clients include Bauer Media, Immediate Media, the University of Strathclyde, the Museum of London, Tekdata Interconnections and the National Bank of Kuwait Capital.

The beauty of e-learning is that you can do it at a time and place to suit you. But you won't be alone! Margaret will talk you through the key points to improve your skills and knowledge, and at any time during your e-learning course, you can email her with any queries or comments.

Margaret can also give you invaluable one-to-one feedback on your own work. If you buy the trainer feedback option with your course, she will ask you to email your work after you have completed the e-learning. She will supply you with individual guidance, comments and practical suggestions. Then, once you've improved your work, she will review your revised content and provide a second set of comments. This unique feedback really brings your e-learning to life and makes sure you have truly grasped - and applied - all of the key principles.

If you would like to receive a Certificate when you have completed your e-learning course, please just let us know and we will arrange for one to be sent to you.

Advanced feature writing is £105 + tax per user * which gives you full unlimited access to the course for one month. If you need longer though, you just need to let us know.

If you want to add personal one-to-one trainer feedback to the course, the price is £155 + tax.

* Discounted rates of up to 70% are available for multiple users. The discount applies to this course or a mix of e-learning courses. We will give you an immediate 10% discount off your second course if you book with us again.