Online Freelance Writer Training Course

Why ICS Canada?

  • DEAC Accredited
  • Self-Paced
  • Supportive
  • Low monthly payments

Program Overview

Develop your writing abilities with ICS Canada’s online Freelance Writer Career Diploma training course. Learn how to write marketable material and take the first steps toward working in the freelance writing field. With ICS Canada, you train at home and at a pace that's right for you, and you can complete this program in as little as nine months!

You’ll learn about the business of writing, how to reference resources and materials, the techniques and structural differences between fiction and nonfiction, the process for submitting manuscripts, what is involved in working with agents and editors, and how to use the Writer’s Market.

Curriculum Details

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

The program goal for the Freelance Writer program is to prepare amateur writers to refine their writing style so they can professionally market their work to publishers.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Identify the stages in freelance writing and publication, including choosing a market, writing an engaging work, and submitting to prospective publishers/publications.
  • Recognize appropriate research techniques for identifying and analyzing the best markets for your writing and to gain information when writing.
  • Comprehend how research can develop and inform writing, and how research sources are appropriately cited.
  • Critique and revise your own writing according to rules of grammar and style in order to create a professional end product.
  • Demonstrate understanding of laws governing writing including copyright and trademark and maintaining careful records of business transactions, contracts, and expenses.
  • Identify your qualifications for a specialized market based on your professional and life experience.

Instruction Set 1

Learning Strategies

The advantages of learning at home; types of study materials; types of examinations; accessing and using the features of our website; determining what kind of learner you are; establishing a study schedule; using study tips; preparing for and taking examinations.

The Freelance Life

Explains the publishing industry; how to identify staff-written and freelance articles, market a freelance product, submit a professional manuscript, and work with agents and editors.

Instruction Set 2

The Writing Habit, Part 1

Explains how to discover ideas from other articles, identify types of freelance articles, recognize the difference between objective and subjective writing and the essential elements of all objective articles, how to recognize the most marketable types of fiction and keep a notebook or journal for writing projects.

The Writing Habit, Part 2

Review basic grammar elements, learn how to distinguish connotation from denotation, increase your vocabulary, use language effectively, critique and revise your own writing, and write a short feature article.

Additional Material

Supplement: Winning With Words

Instruction Set 3

The Business of Writing

Explains how to generate ideas for articles, understand specialized markets, research markets for your article, write a query letter, understand the copyright laws, set up a home office, keep accurate records of correspondence with editors and publishers, and tax receipts.

Reference Sources for Writers

Learn how to use library resources, search the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature and other resources, recognize the available specialized periodical indices, use professional directories to locate expert sources, contact recognized experts for information and/or interviews, and understand the Internet's resource potential.

Additional Material

Supplement: Parts of Speech

Instruction Set 4

Reading for Writers, Parts 1 and 2 (study guide)

Learn to identify writing techniques and structural differences in fiction and nonfiction, trace the genesis of a piece of writing from initial concept to completed work, and how to critique others' work for structure, focus, and market.

Additional Material


  • A Pocketful of Prose, Volume II
  • Telling Stories/Taking Risks

Supplement: Word Usage

Instruction Set 5

Using the Writer's Market (study guide)

How to quickly find information in the Writer's Market, understand the terms used in it, how to request writer's guidelines from publications, locate suitable markets in the guide, and judge the marketability of your work.

Additional Material

Textbook: Writer's Market

Supplement: Sentence Skills

Instruction Set 6

Becoming a Professional

Learn to assemble a writer's resume, conduct a successful interview, get commissions and assignments from editors, present your manuscript to an editor in a professional manner, supply photographs to accompany articles, guard against accusations of libel, and maintain high ethical and professional standards.

Becoming a Specialist

Discover how to analyze your life and educational experiences, know the requirements of the writing trade and technical publications and house magazines. Learn how and when to specialize in more than one type of freelance writing, how to present editors with credentials qualifying you as an expert in your area, how to discuss your specialty with editors to obtain publication opportunities, and learn what it takes to maintain expertise in your specialty area.

Additional Material

Supplement: The Elements of Style

Graded Assignment

Once you've reached this point in your studies, you'll be able to choose an area to specialize in and complete a graded assignment. The assignment will be a short article or story, a proposal, outline, or synopsis for a piece that you could send out for publication.

These options are available:

  • Option 1: Literary Fiction
    The materials include an introduction to fiction, an overview of children's literature and the short story, and instructions on planning a novel.
  • Option 2: Genre Fiction
    The materials include an introduction to fiction, and an overview of the mystery, science fiction and fantasy, romance, and horror genres.
  • Option 3: Nonfiction
    The materials include an introduction to nonfiction, an overview of the essay, feature writing, writing for the media, and writing for business.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 7® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to participate in and complete your program.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
In order to further enhance your performance in this field, ICS has researched and recommended specific practical activities designed to complement your coursework.
To ensure that you acquire the manual skills which are important in this program area, we encourage you to follow all of the course instruction.

Sample Lesson

To view a Freelance Writer sample lesson, click here.

Freelance Writer Training Course Details

In the ICS Canada Freelance Writer Training Course, you’ll cover topics such as:

  • The writing habit
  • Marketing your freelance product
  • Becoming a professional writer
  • Becoming a content specialist

This program also includes a Specialization Elective - choose Literary Fiction, Genre Fiction, or Nonfiction.

Online freelance writing course

Freelance writers work for many different companies writing news articles, short stories, advertising and marketing copy, blogs, technical manuals, and textbooks. Here are a few qualities that effective writers have in common:

  • Independent: You are self-motivated and work best on your own.
  • Innovative: Employers are most interested if you have fresh ideas and unique perspective.
  • Persistent: You work well despite obstacles or setbacks.
  • Creative: Writers often need to think outside of the box to create and sell their work.

"I chose to further my education and accounting knowledge with ICS Canada while working as an accounting clerk, which allowed me to move up within the company at which I am currently working. Studying with ICS Canada was a great experience, and the instructors were very helpful when it came to resolving any issues I had while studying."

- Sean S., ICS Canada graduate

"I have taken three diploma courses with ICS Canada. It has been very rewarding and challenging. I love to increase my knowledge level and share experiences. ICS Canada is great. Enrol! The contact with them is always very pleasant. You feel like a part of the ICS team."

- Connie K., ICS Canada graduate

Your program includes:

  • Customized payment plans with 0% interest
  • Books and learning aids
  • Study Planner App to customize your study plans and keep track of your progress
  • Instructional support from our experienced faculty
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Exclusive access to ICS Canada’s Student and Alumni Facebook Group
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising

Does ICS Canada have any useful tips, hints, or tricks for students just beginning the Freelance Writer Career Diploma Program?

Develop a professional work area in your home where you can do all of your writing. Set aside at least a small amount of time each day to dedicate to your Freelance Writer Program. When you finish your program, you can use this time to advance your freelance writing career. Be professional in all correspondence that relates to your freelance writing career. The best thing you can do to begin your Freelance Writer Program is to read and write. Be sure to write something every day. Try writing a response to something you read or hear. Develop an idea that you have into a short story. You should also read something every day, whether it is a newspaper or magazine article, blog posting, or short story.

More FAQs >