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This is a course on how to write about sport.
I never finished highschool, never finished any higher learning, never worked for a newspaper, had no real contacts, started without knowing anyone in the sport I was writing about and without a single friend who was a journalist. And so, like the Unabomber, I wrote, and wrote, and wrote. I wrote my way into a weird job – global writer – at one of the world’s biggest sports websites, ESPNcricinfo.
I wrote like no one else because I didn’t know there were ways you were supposed to write about sports. I wrote about things that I cared about because I didn’t understand about news cycles. And I wrote with a piece of me in each article, because no one was around to tell me not too. All this means I have built a career on writing about sport that isn’t like the careers of others.
This course is me reverse engineering my writing.
It is a workshop more than academic learning. We’ll be talking, writing, and brainstorming. I have tried to make it as practical as possible, so that if you find yourself in a press box the next day or writing a feature from your living room, you could take what you’re learning and apply it.
I want you to come out of this a better writer.
This is not a course of how to get into the industry, most of those are a bit scammy, I don’t want you to think you take my course and suddenly believe that you can learn the shortcuts how to be the Times chief sports writer. There will be a section on how to get into the media, but in reality, the best way to get a job is to work on your writing. The better a writer you are, the more interesting things you say, the better the stories you write, the more chance you have of making it than anyone who is trying to game the system.
The areas covered:
Who you are as a writer
How to think about athletes and teams
What kind of articles you can write
My biggest fuck ups
How to find sport stories
The tools of modern sports writing
A guide to interviewing
How to write for different publications
A start to finish guide on long-form writing
Data and writing
Breaking into the industry
Podcasting, videos and film
And Giant Lizard Theory
It doesn’t matter to me if you went to Oxbridge, now work at the Guardian covering Premier League, or are an uneducated 57-year-old plumber who has always wanted to write her thoughts on trends in Handball, this course is for everyone. This course is for anyone who wants to write better about sport.
All I ask is that you love sports and writing, we’ll work out the rest. While I am a cricket writer, I don’t give two shits about what sport you love. The things I have learnt can be used in any sport, and in truth, probably outside sport too.
I have no qualifications as a teacher, mind you, I have no qualifications as a writer either, but that hasn’t seemed to matter. I have won a prestigious award, presented a guardian masterclass this year, written for an arseload of major publications around the world and am hopefully still in my prime, not some old guy with patches on my elbow talking about how sports writing was great when people chewed cigars and worked with one finger on a typewriter.
I am a working writer, learning every day, striving to get better, and using my work, my failure, as a way of helping you.
Sports writing, with the birth of internet and cable TV has never been better. I want each and every one of you to write something as good as you can write, it doesn’t matter if you don’t all become David Remnick, but it does matter to me that you get that rush when you get a story that you are so passionate about on the page.
All info on latest dates can be found here.
To register interest for the online course, click here.
Midweek courses run over four weeks, two hours each class.
Saturday courses are one off superclasses.
My Cricinfo work.
My guide to writing.
(This has not been edited, so all errors are down to that; first lesson, sub-editors are important, kiddies)