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Basics of Feature Writing

Welcome to the Basics of Feature Writing  Course at NZ Writers College.

Want to write articles for print or online publications, from newsletters to webzines?

Being able to write an article that is interesting, accurate and gripping is a fine art - a craft that can be mastered with plenty of practice and feedback from an expert.

The Basics of Feature Writing Course introduces you to the structure and format of feature articles and teaches you how to write a good article for both print and Web outlets.



  • What is a feature article?
  • How do print articles differ from articles for the Web, and how can you write for both?
  • How to write compelling openers
  • Twenty key tips to write the body of an article
  • How to close your article in style


“This was my first exposure to any sort of writing course, and in my opinion, without a doubt the best value for money I have received in a while. The guidance, notes and corrections I received from my tutor made all the difference.”

Leonore Roux, Basics of Feature Writing Course



Course Details:


Students must complete:


Admission Requirements:

  • Cost: $ 795.00 GST inclusive
  • Modules: 5 Modules over 140 pages
  • Duration: Course can be completed at own pace within five months
  • Start date: At any time; applications all year round
  • 20 writing exercises with feedback on each
  • 1 full-length article
  • Student Feedback
  • Basic writing skills are essential
  • Computer skills, e-mail and Internet access required
  • No previous tertiary qualification required


Tutors for this course:

Ewan McDonald
Ewan McDonald is a multi-award-winning editor, journalist and critic. As features editor of the NZ Herald, editor of The Aucklander, and as a travel and food & wine writer, he and his teams have won more than 50 national and international awards. Read more about Ewan here>
Hayley Leibowitz
Over her 20-year career in the media industry, award-winning writer Hayley Leibowitz has published articles in a variety of magazines, ranging from glossies like Your Family, Infinity Magazine and Food & Home, to newspapers such as the Mail & Guardian. Read more here.

(You may select a tutor in your application motivation or we will assign a tutor to you who we feel most suits your areas of interest)


Course Curriculum

Module 1 – What is Feature Writing?

  • A look at the structure of a feature article
  • Writing articles for print publications
  • Web-writing tools and tips for online articles
  • Selecting a target publication
  • Writing Assignments

Module 2 – Writing the Lead

  • An overview of different article openings
  • Writing Assignments

Module 3 – Writing the Article Middle

  • Twenty key tips to write a feature article
  • Writing Assignments

Module 4 – The Perfect Closer

  • Ending your article in style
  • How to create sidebars, pull quotes, sub-headings and contributor bios
  • Writing Assignments

Module 5 – Tying up the Loose Ends

  • Editing tips and final checks
  • Writing assignments


“I absolutely loved the course... It was a perfect, industry-tailored course.”

Michelle Souza, Basics of Feature Writing Course




How does the course work?

Detailed class notes covering the content of each module are e-mailed to students. At the end of each module, students will be required to complete writing exercises. In total, the course includes twenty short writing assignments, all of which count towards the final result of the student. This includes a full-length article.

Once the writing assignment has been completed, and e-mailed to the lecturer, an assessment and feedback will be sent to the student, and the module will be considered complete. Students can also participate in ongoing online discussions by posting comments about the materials covered in the course or other issues pertaining to writing in the college blog.


Conditions of Certification:

Students will receive an NZ Writers College Certificate upon successful completion of the course, provided they meet the following conditions:

  • Students must have completed all 20 assignments
  • The course must have been completed within five months of registration.
  • Students are expected to attain a minimum average of 50% for the course

Minimum Estimated Time Commitment:

  • Reading time: 8 hours
  • Writing time: up to 15 hours
  • Research time: 2 - 5 hours, depending on the complexity of the selected topics for articles.

Need more advice about the best course for you?

We would love to chat to you if you have any questions about our writing courses.

If you need some advice about the best course or writing field for you, drop us a line or give Koos or Nichola a call at 09 550 4635. We can tell you about going rates in the field, chance of publishing success and general writing career options both in New Zealand and internationally.

  • If you have questions about how we work, we have information in our FAQ section and How We Train section.
  • If you want to pay off your course fee, please read the information here.
  • For information on our refund policy, please read our policies here.
  • To register for the course, please click here:




Feedback from past students on the course:

"I absolutely loved the course. It was extremely clear, covered different aspects of writing for feature articles perfectly, and my tutor Sarah's  guidance was extremely helpful and included great direction. I also loved the addition of the grammar tips in the beginning. Sarah inspired me to write from the heart, shared tips to write more effectively, and revealed areas I could improve on. She was encouraging at every step, and that's what gave me more confidence in my writing. It was a perfect industry-tailored course." Michelle Souza, Basics of Feature Writing Course

"It was a very well structured, easy-to-follow course. All in all - it was FUN! My tutor was clear and incisive with her feedback. She gave excellent explanations for any changes she suggested (leading to some good learning on my part) and also provided encouragement and motivation. Importantly, she balanced a high level of professionalism in giving feedback, with an approachable manner. I always felt comfortable asking questions and always got clear and timely responses." Esther Water, Basics of Feature Writing.

"My experience on the course was generally excellent. I learnt a great deal and feel my writing improved. The feedback my tutor gave was excellent. I was made far more aware of structures within writing. My aim was to generally improve my writing skills. I was not sure where to start, but I feel I made progress. I would recommend the Writers College to anyone wanting to have a go at writing, or up-skill themselves with a view to possible career changes in their future." Nick Ward, Basics of Feature Writing

“I enjoyed the practical aspects of the course and working with a highly credible and talented tutor. The course didn't feel like an extension of academia, but as though I'd plunged into a real-world writing experience, with the safety net of a tutor to guide me along the way. My tutor’s  feedback was exceptional. She was frank, honest and extremely complimentary at the same time. The courses at The Writers College are not about gaining a qualification but about gaining a practical and real-world writing experience. Without The Writers College I don't think I would have the confidence to get out there and publish my writing.” Rochelle Sewell, Basics of Feature Writing Course

“This course met my objectives exactly. It was well laid out, including a manageable amount of learning per module. I was very happy with my tutor, her eye for accuracy was excellent and her comments were honest but helpful. This course has enabled me to take a step further in my aim of freelance writing – I now have the technical tools and confidence to achieve this.” Fran Weerts, The Basics of Feature Writing

“This course completely met my expectations. The course notes were informative and useful, and the pace fit perfectly with my life. Paul was always very prompt with his replies. His feedback was always easy to understand and useful; I was dealing with someone who really knows their craft. The experience allowed me to sharpen my writing skills, with practical tips and techniques. I now feel more motivated to write.” Oliver Pomfrett, Basics of Feature Writing Course

“The course was easily understandable and very accessible. My tutor Lisa was extremely supportive and helpful. She was very prompt with responses and a pleasure to work with. I recommended the Writers’ College to others.” Kayleigh Snyman, Basics of Feature Writing Course

“I enjoyed the course thoroughly. The notes are well presented, easy to understand and provided the tools to complete the writing exercises. My tutor  gave me quick feedback and constructive criticism. It was exactly the kind of course I was looking for. It was structured in a way that prompted me to work towards time deadlines, whilst allowing me to follow at my own pace. Overall, it was a brilliant experience!” Aneesa Noorgat, Basics of Feature Writing

“I enjoyed the course - it was fun but challenging at the same time. I will recommend the course to anyone who is willing to learn, whether it’s with putting yourself out there in interviews or just writing in a different style. My tutor was always there to answer any questions I had. When I was stuck with what to write about, Lisa was always ready with suggestions. The Writers’ College has taught me a lot about the industry of writing; it absolutely met my objectives! I have grown as a writer for sure.” Grace van der Westhuizen, The Basics of Feature Writing Course


More Testimonials Here



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About Us

NZ Writers College is a leading online writing school in New Zealand.

We offer specialised, online writing courses tutored by award-winning writers. Get the writing tools you need, expert insider advice and hours and hours of writing practice. Work one-to-one with a professional writer and realise your writing dreams.



NZ Writers College offers online writing classes all over New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands. We have students from Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Napier, Whangarei, Rotorua, Hastings, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Invercargill, Dunedin, Hawkes Bay, Palmerston North, as well as Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne, Australia.

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Nichola Meyer or Koos Turenhout

Phone:      +64 9 550 4635

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