A practical journalism writing course filled with plenty of exercises

  • Taught by a former Sydney Morning Herald editor who's worked across almost every section – including travel, entertainment, health, business and IT.

  • Study at your own pace.

  • Suited for all skill levels.

A flexible writing course that works around your schedule

  • Study whenever and wherever you want

    Everyone learns at their own pace – which is why this course allows you to stop, start and replay a video lesson whenever you want.

  • Instant, on-demand access to video lessons

    There are six video sessions that each take between 45 minutes to an hour and a half, making this equivalent to a full-day course.

  • Redo the course as many times as you'd like

    Most courses only give you access for a year. Writing Essentials is different, giving you full access for five years after enrolling.

What does this course cover?

Whether you're writing news stories, features, press releases or marketing content, this comprehensive course teaches all the key skills and techniques you need, including:

  • how to craft short, snappy sentences that pull readers in
  • writing in the active voice
  • using positive language
  • writing with confidence
  • using the right tone of voice and style
  • cutting copy
  • making your intros stronger
  • showing, not telling
  • tips on writing in plain English
  • writing with the reader in mind
  • using the correct tense
  • how to write in the inverted pyramid style
  • what makes a story interesting.
  • writing a news feature
  • creating great headlines
  • grammar and punctuation (including knowing when to use a comma)
  • considering the medium – and purpose – of your writing
  • proofreading tips.

You will receive:

  • a handbook filled with key writing tips and techniques (PDF)

  • a certificate of completion (PDF)

How much does it cost?

Who's the presenter?

Learn from someone with over 25 years of newspaper, magazine and marketing communications experience.

Dan Kaufman 

[email protected]

Dan Kaufman began his career in magazines, where he worked as a journalist, sub-editor and an editor for a variety of lifestyle and technology publications. 

He then moved to The Sydney Morning Herald, where he worked as an editor and a journalist for over 10 years. During that time he wrote for and edited almost every feature section – from travel, culture and entertainment to business, technology, health and science.

Since then he has: 

  • taught at the University of Sydney, UTS and the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ)
  • worked as an online content specialist, copywriter and communications manager
  • consulted to PR and marketing organisations
  • taught writing and editing courses for over a decade to a wide variety of organisations, from government departments to corporations, across almost every industry.

He is the director of Media Survival.


“It was truly a great class! I was not sure what to expect from it at first, but going through the lessons I was pleasantly surprised. The lessons were short and to the point with great examples. I really took a great deal away from this writing course.”

Justin Carr

“I found this course really useful – just what I was looking for.”

Carol Bosnjak

“Thanks for a great writing course.”

Steve Cook

“Excellent course that challenged me to consider the messages/emails/articles I write as part of my role. Particularly made me think about the reader and methods I could use to engage with them better.”


“Dan was great! Lots of fun and I learnt a lot.”

Tristan Tulloch

“Really excellent. I particularly appreciated the writing exercises and your expertise!”


“An entertaining, informative and thoroughly enjoyable workshop.”

Peter M

“The workshop was informative and relevant. The presenter has a lot of knowledge on the topic.”

Kelly Li

“I enjoyed the Writing Essentials workshop and am already incorporating the tools in my work.”

Lissa Tucker

“Great course – I will definitely implement these tips in my day-to-day working life. A good refresher too.”

Josephine Avati

Who will benefit from this online journalism writing course?

This course will help you regardless of whether you're writing: 

  • news stories
  • features
  • marketing copy
  • press releases
  • profiles
  • reviews
  • event listings
  • newsletters
  • blog posts.

In other words, it's not just for journalists and editors, but also for those who work in:

  • content marketing
  • public relations (PR)   
  • communications
  • sales. 

It's also suitable for anyone who wants to improve their general writing skills. 

The course is taught in such a way that everyone can get something out of it – whether they're a novice or an experienced editor.

How is this writing course taught?

This course is as engaging and easy to follow as it is practical, showing you skills and techniques you can immediately apply to your writing.

Every time you’ll learn a new technique – such as writing in the active voice – you’ll then be given exercises to allow you to practice it until it becomes second nature.

As the course progresses, the exercises become progressively more complex, allowing you to gradually put all the techniques you’ve learnt together.

If you'd like, you can also get personalised feedback and workshop your own writing with optional one-on-one Zoom sessions (this costs extra, depending on what you need).