If there's a writer in you, I'd like to try to bring it out. I love the idea of nurturing talent. I want to help you to do work you'll be proud of, and I want to be able to be proud of you.
- Which subject(s) do you teach?
What I'm offering is a master class in journalism as creative writing, including coaching on constructing feature articles, interviewing, reviewing as a creative response to the artefact â€” be it book, movie, play, record or anything else â€” in front of you; working as a columnist; being on both sides of the camera or microphone in broadcast journalism: ie how to be a competent interviewer AND how to be a competent interviewee. and assorted aspects of practical professionalism. From the most basic tricks of the trade to the most subtle aspects of style, I can raise your game whether you're just starting out and want to find out what mistakes you're making (because editors to whom you submit work may not have the time and energy to tell you) or whether you're already a working journalist seeking to refine your craft and improve the quality of your writing.
I can't guarantee to turn a bad writer into a good one, or even a good writer into a great one. What I CAN do is help a good writer become a better one, and a promising writer to develop the skills and sensibility necessary to be able to deliver on that promise.
I want to help you to see journalism as creative writing, and I'll guide you through every aspect of work as a jobbing writer.
- Tell me about your qualifications.
Forty years' worth of journalism, criticism and polemic, not to mention a few well-regarded books and a fair amount of broadcasting.
- How much do you charge?
£70 per hour. Or £230 in advance for a block of four sessions.
Group rates negotiable.
I also teach an eight-week Journalism As Craft And Art Writing Course in West Hampstead on Tuesdays commencing 28th September 2010, for £195.
- Where do you teach?
I teach in my West Hampstead home. It's one of the easiest places in London to reach, a few minutes from the West Hampstead Jubilee Line and Overground (Silverlink and Thameslink), and on three bus routes: C11, 139 and 328. It's also near some good cafÃ©s and restaurants and a fairly decent pub.
The eight-week Journalism As Craft And Art Writing Course will be held at The Rooms Above, 174 Mill Lane, NW6.
- When are you available?
Weekdays and early evenings.
- Which ages and levels do you teach?
I'll work with anyone of any age who's seriously up for honing their literary craft, either for career purposes or simply because they enjoy writing and want to do it better. It also helps if you can already spell, punctuate and construct a vaguely grammatical sentence, and if you already have some expertise in a specialised subject.
- Do you have a personal message for students?
Writing is both a professional skill and a fundamentally life-enhancing ability well worth developing even for those who have no ambitions to turn pro. Whatever else you do in your life, being able to write coherently, informatively, entertainingly and eloquently is an asset comparatively few people possess.
- What kind of experience do you have?
According to RocksBackPages.com, 'Charles Shaar Murray, "the rock critic's rock critic" (Q Magazine), "front-line cultural warrior" and "original gunslinger" (Independent on Sunday), is the Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award-winning author of Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix And Post-war Pop, and Boogie Man: The Adventures of John Lee Hooker in the American Twentieth Century, short-listed for the same award. The first two decades of his journalism, criticism and vulgar abuse have been collected in Shots From The Hip (Penguin). He's been appearing regularly in print for four decades, and has long been recognised as one of the most admired stylists in British pop-cultural journalism.'
I was a staff writer, eventually becoming Associate Editor, on NME for most of the 1970s. I've also contributed to a variety of newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Observer, The Sunday Times, The Evening Standard, New Statesman, Prospect, Rolling Stone, Vogue, The Face, Q, Mojo (as a founding contributor to both the last two), The Word, MacUser, Guitarist, Guitar World, Classic Rock ... and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
I've also written and presented BBC radio shows on Lenny Bruce, Frank Zappa, Jaco Pastorius and the history of jazz guitar; worked both in front of and behind the camera for the Seven Ages Of Rock TV series, and supplied quality punditry to innumerable radio and TV shows, including frequent appearances on Channel 4 News, BBC2 Newsnight and BBC World Service radio and TV.
My first novel, The Hellhound Sample, is due for publication by HeadPress in late 2010.
- Do you have an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service, formerly CRB) Certificate?
- Where and with whom did you train?
Exclusively on the job.
• National Union of Journalists
journalism lessons closeby? Here's a selection of tutor listings that you can check out.
|at his home||at your home||By webcam|
|1 hour||£70||£70||Not available|