Global Hobo Freelance and Travel Writing Program Outline

Course Description

By studying, analysing and practising genres including feature writing, hot take writing, editorial writing, review writing, travel junket, immersive journalism and creative non-fiction, you will develop your skills as a writer and master various styles of writing suitable for online and print platforms. Given the focus on digital journalism, concepts such as shareability, readability and social media management will also be explored, as well as a radio production element with skills transferrable to podcasting.

Editing will be a major component of the program, with an emphasis on decolonising writing, bias and stereotypes, problematic language and representation issues. Additionally, you will be imparted with the knowledge and skills required to begin working as a freelance writer, such as pitching, making an invoice and effective communication with editors. Finally, you will be taught how to hone your personal brand as a writer, build an online portfolio, and create and monetise your own blogs and publications.

Note that when conducted in countries other than Australia, a language component is also a compulsory element of this course: those in Bali will learn Bahasa Indonesia; those in Japan will study Japanese; those in Spain will learn Spanish. Additionally, students will participate in cultural workshops relevant to the location, such as cooking (all), indigo dyeing (Japan), gamelan (Bali) and flamenco (Spain).

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Course Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • analyse features of different creative non-fiction and non-fiction genres
  • conduct research for articles and travel junket
  • generate story ideas worthy of investigation
  • interview effectively
  • use audacity to edit audio and produce a radio story
  • develop story concepts and pitches in the appropriate format for identified markets, platforms and socio-cultural, socio-political or environmental causes
  • write articles in various creative non-fiction and non-fiction genres, coming up with original and unique angles for story ideas appropriate for specific target demographics
  • design an eBook
  • critically edit and review your own and other writers’ work, and provide constructive feedback
  • communicate effectively with editors and have confidence pitching your work
  • build an online platform to showcase your own work
  • speak basic Indonesian, Spanish or Japanese and integrate more effectively in the local community

Program Learning Outcomes

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:

  • gain an understanding of writing, editing and subediting; effective communication techniques; audience engagement; shareability and emerging trends in digital and social media
  • acquire and apply the skills necessary to produce creative non-fiction and non-fiction content suitable for digital platforms, both written and audio; edit and subedit your own and others’ work professionally; pitch effectively; create and monetise digital platforms; and manage a personal brand
  • identify and sculpt relevant content for target audiences
  • gain an awareness of the importance of cultural relativism and sustainable travel practices, and the continued prevalence of (neo-) colonialism in tourism and travel writing

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities included in this course are:

  • daily writing workshops from industry professionals (editors, journalists and radio producers/presenters from Global Hobo, the ABC, VICE, triple j, Radio National, Lonely Planet, SLAM Skateboarding, ToneDeaf, Culture Trip, The Japan Times, news.com.au etc.)
  • staff and peer-editing workshops
  • in-class exercises and homework
  • when overseas, daily language classes from a top local language school

Assessment

Group assignment:

In a small team, you will be required to research, write and self-publish an eBook guide to the area of your choice in the country you are residing in. This will be put together on a design program like Canva or InDesign, with the profits directed however you choose. Each student is required to contribute at least eight reviews, and roles will be self-determined (e.g. editor, subeditor, designer, photographer, social media manager etc.)

Individual assignment:

Article(s) suitable for the Global Hobo audience and/or the publication of your choice (to be extensively workshopped in peer and staff editing workshops before they are formally pitched)

Course Schedule

  • Introduction to Course
  • Introduction to Guidebooks
  • Copywriting: Travel Review Writing and Travel Junket
  • Introduction to Writing Tasks
  • Creative Non-Fiction Writing: The Travel Narrative
  • Feature Writing
  • Talking Heads: Interview Techniques and Radio Production
  • Editorial Writing (Hot Takes, Thinkpieces, Op-Ed)
  • Profile Writing
  • Editing and Subediting
  • Decolonising Travel Writing
  • Writing for Change
  • Choosing and Refining Angles
  • Pitching to Editors
  • Working as a Freelance Journalist
  • Starting a Publication and Building a Brand
  • Working in the Field: Panel Discussion
  • Group Editing Workshop
  • One-on-One Mentoring Session
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