Feature writing – E-learning course

Why should someone invest their precious time and read your feature?  The challenge for any writer today is getting people to read their work and keep them reading.  In a feature article you usually have more time and space to develop an idea, or series of ideas, and look at a subject in-depth.  You have more room for tone and colour, so your readers feel they are really there with you.  All this makes it an exciting, but challenging piece of work to create. 

Good feature stories are the result of careful planning and a proven structure.  Our interactive feature writing e-learning course helps you break down the whole process of writing great features and gives you the chance to try out lots of different techniques.

This was an incredibly helpful course! Margaret does a fantastic job laying the groundwork for different kinds of features and even gives you a ton of takeaways of how you can apply that to your own writing. That said, paying for the feedback is absolutely worth it. Not only did my piece come back clearer, her concise, spot-on feedback was just what I needed to hear to get my article into (a very happy) editor's hands. Can't wait to take my next course!

E-learning delegate


This course is perfect for anyone new to feature writing, including writers, junior features editors, subs, production editors, PR executives and staff on internal publications.

The course comes in 4 parts:

Part 1: What  makes a feature a feature?

Part 2: Planning is the key to success: choose the best format for your information and structure it to keep readers reading.

Part 3: Get off to a good start with 7 top intro options, then keep them reading with lively links.

Part 4: Use quotes to add impact to your piece and learn how to finish with a flourish.

You will learn:
  • How to write each of the 8 main feature styles
  • What your reader really wants to read whether in print or online
  • How to develop ideas and themes and maintain reader interest
  • Proven techniques for planning your feature
  • How to use language, tone and style to best effect
  • How to make your copy flow
  • How to craft successful introductions
  • The importance of linking phrases and a climactic resolution
  • Time-saving tips used by the professionals

...and much more.

Feature writing is an ideal foundation for our Advanced feature writing for digital and print course.

If you sat down and did the course in one sitting, it would take approximately 2-3 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 is a feature and the types you might write
  • Profile
  • Trends
  • Explanatory
  • Advice
  • Event
  • Review
  • Real life
  • Column
Thinking about your reader
  • Who are they and what do they want from your publication
  • Enticing them to read
  • Keeping them reading
  • Choosing the best format for your information
Before you write
  • Getting the big idea
  • Finding the angle
  • Defining the brief
How to structure a feature
  • Hook
  • Body
  • End
Choosing the best intro
  • The top 7 options
Thinking links
  • Making your points logically
  • Pulling the reader from point to point
  • Avoiding mechanical words and phrases
Think before you write
  • Plan for success
  • How to plan: a step-by-step guide
  • Using quotes for maximum effect
  • Giving your story pace
  • Making words work for you
  • Matching language to your audience
  • Keeping sentences simple
  • Creating pace
  • Keeping it active
Ending with a flourish
  • Your top ending options

This course is packed with interactive exercises to check your understanding of the theory. You will be quizzed on profiling your reader; planning; writing great intros and creating pace in your features 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:

  • The different types of features and formats
  • Planning
  • Intros
  • Linking
  • Quotes
  • Creating pace
  • Ending with a fanfare

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.

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.