Beyond The Basics

Beyond the Basics:

Creating and Selling Short Stories & Articles

An advanced writing program for selected graduates

Beyond the Basics: Creating & Selling Short Stories and Articles is an advanced training program specifically designed for selected ICL or IFW graduates. This course gives you advanced training to increase your prospects for success as a fiction/nonfiction writer for children's and teen magazines.

The most important feature of Beyond the Basics is the in-depth involvement and participation of your instructor throughout your training. He or she will help you to define and set your goals, and keep you on track as you work toward your objectives.

You'll create a plan in advance of most of your assignments, and submit it to your instructor for comments before you begin writing. 

Admission to the course is only by recommendation of your instructor.  You'll hear from us if you qualify or you may contact us at

The emphasis is squarely on targeted writing

•    Your relationship with your instructor will be more than that of student-tutor. The entire course will mirror a writer-editor, professional relationship because Beyond the Basics is designed to train you for independent, professional-level work.

•    You'll take full advantage of your instructor's expertise in the ever-evolving magazine field to help you define and set your goals, plan your research, and keep you focused precisely on what to write. He or she will be involved in–or participate in–every phase of the process from goal-setting to marketing. This includes planning, researching, targeting, writing, editing, and revising, querying editors, and setting the specific strategy for you of where and how to submit your work.

•    You'll concentrate on the analysis of specific markets in depth, as part of a pre-planned approach to writing stories and articles targeted to specific magazines.

•    You'll learn how to make your manuscripts saleable to multiple markets by revising them to meet different specifications; you'll learn how to sell to one magazine and then revise your manuscript for additional sales to other magazines.

•    You'll dive into an anthology of 64 fiction and nonfiction models. You'll study and analyze these examples of former students' published work, and the work of established professionals; you'll read what the authors say about their work, and how they marketed it; and you'll read the comments of editors who explain why they bought it.

Although we cannot promise you publishing success, we know of no other course as well suited to the challenging task of transforming a promising writer into a successful writer, marketer, and author of short stories and/or articles. If success in writing is your goal, this should be your course.

Course Outline

Beyond the Basics: Creating & Selling Short Stories and Articles includes eight assignments to be submitted via email to your personal instructor for editing and critiquing, as well as numerous home assignments that require the reading and analysis of stories and articles, and editorial analysis of selected magazines.  Your assignments will be graded using the same pass/fail grading policy that you are familiar with from your basic course, and returned via email from your instructor.  

If you want to complete our course in six months it’ll take about 12-14 hours per week. The average amount of time required to complete our course is about 6 hours per week, based on a one-year completion schedule (that totals 360 hours), but you’ll be able to work at your own pace and have up to two years for completion.

 For more detailed information about the course outline, please contact Student Services at

Graduates receive the Institute's coveted diploma.

Included Course Materials

Beyond the Basics: Creating & Selling Short Stories and Articles

The course textbook is a 359-page instruction manual published exclusively for our students. It is divided into three study sections containing a total of eight send-in assignments plus numerous home assignments. The emphasis is on heavy instructor involvement and targeted writing aimed at specific markets. 


Magazine Markets For Children's Writers


Magazine Markets for Children's Writers is the most comprehensive survey published for freelance writers, listing editorial requirements for more than 679 children’s magazines. In addition to full listings for all major children’s and young adult periodicals, it includes selected parenting and educational magazines, writing contests, conferences, sample query and submission letters, rights and payment information, and website addresses.

First-Time Authors


First-Time Authors is a collection of 64 children’s authors’ first story and article sales. The stories have been reproduced complete with illustrations. The authors themselves describe the process of planning, writing, revising, submitting, and selling their work. Editors’ reactions to each piece are included.

Your course materials for Beyond the Basics will be supplemented with assignment­ specific materials.


The tuition for the complete course of instruction, if paid in full at the time of enrollment, is $895 plus $19 shipping. With our monthly payment plan, $85 is due upon enrollment, with $85 payable per month for 10 months, for a total of $935 plus shipping. Tuition is all-inclusive: texts and sales taxes, where applicable, are all included.

For more information, please contact:

Start Your Enrollment Here

College Credits

The Connecticut Board for State Academic Awards recommends that graduates be awarded six college credits for completing this advanced course. We have arranged for you to obtain these six college credits from Charter Oak State College, which functions under the credit-granting authority of the Connecticut Board.

No matter where you live, you can have these credits submitted on a Charter Oak transcript to another college or university, for a fee, when you complete the course. (If you are a teacher, the transcript will be sent to your local school board, at your request.) Full information is available from the Institute’s student counselors to help you take advantage of this opportunity.

Our Promise to You:

By the time you finish this course, you will complete at least four manuscripts that are suitable for submission to magazine editors.

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