How am I supposed to get an academic writer

Training to become an author

Education> Author become a course objective

The FJS's distance learning program to become an author offers a professionally qualifying, state-recognized degree for a variety of professional applications at the interface between journalism, academic textbook and non-fiction production. The offer conveys theoretical and practical basics and a systematization of first writing experiences for full-time or part-time knowledge utilization in academic contexts, in journalism and related fields. The course imparts the skills to independently conceptualize, implement and successfully market specialist and non-fiction books in structured work steps.

Admission requirements

  1. Initial training / work experience
    • A university degree, d. H. Bachelor, master, diploma or master’s degree or first state examination at a university, college or university
    • Vocational training and then at least three years of professional experience.
  2. linguistic proficiency
    • Very good written and spoken German language skills. Applicants who are not native German speakers must have their German language skills at the level of the German language test for university entrance (DSH), Goethe-Zertifikat C1 or TDN 5 of the TestDaF ("Test of German as a Foreign Language") or through another suitable test prove.

Duration of study

The recommended length of study is 12 months. The course can be regularly extended to 24 months (plus thesis).

In addition to your regular care time, we offer all participants a grace period extension for a further 12 months (care time + grace time). This means that you have a total of 36 months of study time (including your thesis) at your disposal without incurring any additional costs.

After your registration, you will receive the learning modules you have taken and you can determine your pace yourself and thus shorten the duration according to your own learning progress or extend it to the maximum duration.

Core modules

Module 601

Based on the basics of writing research and our knowledge of understandable and effective specialist texts, the module introduces scientific writing in connection with creative writing. The creative academic writing is presented as a prerequisite for modern and successful specialist books and also leads very practically to questions of brainstorming, topic development, argument development (based on rhetorical principles). The module shows the phases in which writing projects can be developed in science, how topic structuring is just as successful as developing your own writing voice, scheduling and quality management.

Reading sample module 601PDF, 160 KB

Allocation to the course

Module 602

Non-fiction books are based on a brilliant idea and a socially relevant topic. This is also the starting point for this module, which, on the basis of current non-fiction research, presents all the relevant steps in non-fiction writing as the “author's workshop”. Topics in this “workshop” include brainstorming, market research, topic development, rhetorical principles and the transformation of knowledge and ideas into convincing factual texts. The linguistic and stylistic peculiarities of the non-fiction book, in particular the development of a narrative attitude and an appealing narrative tone, are conveyed, as is the question of what it means to write texts that are relevant for the audience. The module clarifies the necessary formal aspects for nonfiction writing as well as it presents a way of quality management for the writing process.

Reading sample module 602PDF, 144 KB

Allocation to the course

Module 608

Specialist and non-fiction authors are confronted with numerous legal questions, questions of publishing and contract law, copyright and usage rights. The module conveys the necessary knowledge to survive in the market, to secure one's rights and to manage one's rights in one's own favor. The legal ropes of writing and publishing lead to disputes again and again, which is why the module also shows ways in which legal conflicts can be purposefully and constructively avoided or, if necessary, resolved, for example through mediation - or in the last instance through lawsuits. All topics of this module are illustrated in an easily understandable way with examples from practice and current case law, so that no previous legal knowledge is necessary.

Reading sample module 608PDF, 146 KB

Allocation to the course

Elective modules

At least nine further modules from the following offer of your choice:

Module 101

Research is a central journalistic task. The module explains research as a systematic and efficient collection of information. A special focus is placed on internet research, which goes far beyond entering a search term in an internet search engine and has to be flanked by "classic" research media. In addition to the topic of credibility of sources, an understanding of how one's own value orientations and prejudices can influence the research process is created. Research also means sifting through data and statistics, evaluating them and finally making them reader-friendly. You will learn how to do this in this core module, which is rounded off on the one hand by the press law and on the other hand by the ethical possibilities and limits of research.

Excerpt from module 101PDF, 132 KB

Allocation to the course

Module 103

This module introduces you to journalistic forms of presentation. You will learn the journalistic tools of the trade to assign articles to various forms of presentation and to write them yourself. The module is devoted to the informative forms of representation message and message, report, interview, reportage and feature as well as the portrait. You will also get to know the expressive forms of expression comment, criticism, essay and gloss. The module concludes with explanations on special formats such as service, magazine and boulevard. On the online campus, you will find a large number of additional guidelines for the individual forms of representation to deepen your knowledge. Note: This module occasionally requires you to pick up your phone or computer. We recommend completing the "Research" module beforehand.

Excerpt from module 103PDF, 139 KB

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Module 104

The interview is one of the most popular journalistic forms of representation. If the journalist knows his trade, an interview conveys information much more lively and exciting than, for example, a report. But there is more to a good interview than unwinding prepared questions. In this module you will learn what is important: from the content and organizational preparation of the interview to professional questioning and interviewing to post-processing and authorization processes.

Excerpt from module 104PDF, 134 KB

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Module 109

Would you like to build on your distance learning course on your own? Module 109 offers you practical guidelines and helps you answer questions such as: “How do I position myself in the market? What do I stand for? What can I do better than others? Which target group am I addressing? How do I write an offer? What fee can I ask for? Can I survive financially as a freelance journalist or author? How do I acquire successfully? How do I bind my customers to me? ”Not to lose sight of the fact. The competition in the market is great. Here it is important to distinguish yourself, build a brand and market your own texts, but also your own person. Module 109: Self-Marketing makes it easier for you to get started with self-employment in the context of your dream job.

Excerpt from module 109PDF, 125 KB

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Module 111

Photos and videos are more trusted by the public than written words. Due to their technical and apparatus production, they are given more credence than written reports. Images taken on the scene are often viewed as objective evidence. However, the general public often overlooks the decisions that a photojournalist has to make every time a picture is taken. When he presses the shutter button, he has, among other things, beforehand

  • the moment of recording,
  • the section shown in the picture,
  • the arrangement of the elements to each other

and thus decided which section of a situation it shows.

Despite extensive planning of the reporting in advance, all image recordings produced in this way are a reaction to the situation at the location of the recording and are shaped by life experiences and personal attitudes - ethical, moral, political. In the best case scenario, photo journalists are authors with their own handwriting. To do this, however, they not only need knowledge of the function of their technical means, but also journalistic know-how and the ability to reflect on what is presented and the developments in the media.

In this module, in addition to practical knowledge of image and sound recording, you will first acquire theoretical knowledge about the use and function of images in the form of photos and videos in journalistic media. The exercises in this module can be carried out with standard cameras.

Excerpt from module 111PDF, 144 KB

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Module 112

Journalists can write. What could be more obvious than the application of this ability to the medium of the book? Your own textbook or non-fiction book is a prestigious and, moreover, inexpensive instrument for very personal public relations. However, book projects are extremely time-consuming and threaten to fail if the book market is misjudged. What do you have to pay attention to? In this compulsory elective module, book professional Oliver Gorus shows how to plan and implement a book project in a results-oriented manner. All phases of the publication process are considered - from the generation of ideas to the search for a publisher to the manuscript work. A particular focus is on the book concept in line with the market and the right presentation to suitable publishers.

Reading sample module 112PDF, 114 KB

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Module 205

Media economics is an economic discipline that deals with questions of economics with regard to media. While media management (module 206) deals with the active design of corporate management in media companies, media economics creates the basis for understanding the specifics of media in the economic process.

Knowledge of media economics is important for journalists and they are becoming increasingly important. The aim of the module is to familiarize its readers with the special and idiosyncratic economy of journalistic goods in a scientifically demanding yet entertaining way. Media products are not screwdrivers or washing machines, but are economically much more complex and exciting goods.

How these special goods and their markets “tick” economically, and what significant consequences this has for media companies, society as a whole and, above all, for all those who are professionally involved in journalism, is what this module aims to explain in the most appealing and informative way possible. It shows how the recipient and advertising markets of journalistic media products are to be delimited and how the most important media studies and key figures are to be interpreted. Using case studies and many exercises, it explains the special economies of scale and scope as well as the particularly strong tendencies towards concentration in journalistic media markets. It deals with socially significant forms of market failure in journalistic media products and with current developments in the journalistic media markets.

Reading sample module 205PDF, 285 KB

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Module 208

Anyone who wants to develop suitable production strategies for Facebook, Twitter and Co. has to continuously monitor what is happening on the internet in general and on social media in particular. Based on these observations, own strategies are examined and developed. The engagement in the social media should therefore be understood as a long-term experiment in which new constellations arise again and again, which one should take into account in the further development of one's own projects. No definitive rules can be formulated for such a long-term experiment. What can be trained, however, is how to recognize the movement figures that drive social media and how to deal with them productively, innovatively, but also critically.

Excerpt from module 208PDF, 135 KB

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Module 303

The third module on public relations deepens the basic understanding of press and media work with considerations on the relationship between journalism and PR. Building on this, the module gives concrete instructions for addressing the press and dealing with journalists. The reader learns how to write a press release, set up and maintain distribution lists, hold a press conference, and evaluate and document the success of press and media work. Knowledge of the contents of module 302 is recommended, but not absolutely necessary.

Reading sample module 303PDF, 142 KB

Allocation to the course