What makes this writing course so special?

  • Taught by a former Sydney Morning Herald editor and journalist who worked across almost every section of the newspaper, from travel, entertainment and health to business and technology. He's also worked in marketing, consulted for PR firms and has over a decade's experience in teaching (including at the University of Sydney).

  • There are plenty of exercises throughout the course that allow you to put theory into practice.

  • You can study this course at your own pace, whenever it suits you.

  • Equivalent to a full-day course, with six sessions that each take between 45 minutes to an hour and a half. However, you can start and stop whenever it suits you.

  • Suited for all skill levels – whether you're a beginner or a pro who needs to refresh your skills.

  • You'll receive an ebook filled with practical writing tips and techniques, a digital certificate of completion and a free copy of Dealing With Grumpy Editors (an ebook that explains how to pitch stories to the media).

What will you learn in this course?

Writing is a craft. It’s not enough just to learn something – you also need to practice it. This course develops the skills and techniques you need by combining theory with practical exercises. It covers:

  • why short sentences are key to good writing
  • how to write in the active voice
  • how to use 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
  • commas
  • using the correct tense
  • how to write in the inverted pyramid style
  • top 10 news criteria (what makes a story interesting)
  • frontloading content
  • writing a news feature
  • grammar and punctuation
  • considering the medium – and the purpose – of your writing
  • proofreading tips
  • writing great headlines.

Your instructor

Learn from someone with over 20 years of newspaper, magazine and marketing communications experience.

Dan Kaufman


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

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.

He has also: 

  • 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, a communications consultancy and training organisation.

How much does it cost?

A communications and journalism writing course that's suited for anyone.

Although this course was originally designed for journalists, editors, content producers, bloggers, as well as PR and communications professionals, it'll help anyone who wants to make their writing more effective. In other words, this course will help you regardless of whether you're writing a news story, marketing copy, press release, event listings, business emails or general correspondence.


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

Carol Bosnjak

“Thanks for a great writing course.”

Steve Cook

“Loved it!”

Sarah Crump

“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