Pitching and Writing Masterclass

Do you have an important story to share about your research? Can you tell that story in a concise and compelling way?

Join us for a day-long masterclass with a senior editor and discover how you can persuade influential people outside your field – including funding assessors, politicians, the media, industry and the public – that your work matters.

Trainers

This Pitching and Writing Masterclass is a collaboration between The Conversation, a not-for-profit project helping researchers share their knowledge with millions of readers worldwide (35 million article views in a month, as of March 2017), and The University of Melbourne's Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education.

The Masterclass was developed in response to requests from universities and research organisations across Australia seeking practical advice from professionals with experience in accepting or rejecting article pitches. Our team of trainers is led by two senior editors:

Executive Editor Liz Minchin is a Walkley award-winning journalist and author. Liz was a reporter and news editor at The Age newspaper for a decade, before working as an executive media trainer and a radio and online producer. In 2010, Liz co-authored a book with a scientist on serious solutions to climate change, called ‘Screw Light Bulbs’.

Sunanda Creagh is an award-winning journalist and The Conversation's NSW Bureau Chief and Digital Storytelling Editor. Sunanda has also worked as a news correspondent in the Reuters Jakarta bureau, and as a reporter at The Sydney Morning Herald. Her work has been published internationally, including by The Washington Post, CNN, ESPN, The Scotsman, and The New York Times.

Testimonials

“This masterclass is now the cornerstone of our academic professional development program. From professors to doctorate candidates, each has participated with interest. For some, the critical analysis process will define their access to readers and, ultimately, funders.”
Ann McLean, QUT Science & Engineering Faculty Corporate Communications Coordinator
“After your workshop I have a better understanding of the relationships between good journalism and good grant applications.”
CDU Pro-Vice Chancellor Research & Research Training, Professor Lawrence Cram
"Excellent. You did a really great job at making the workshop interactive, engaging and well-paced. I especially enjoyed the insight into the inner workings of the publishing world."
Future Fellow and Associate Professor Tim Dargaville
Researchers and academics from more than a dozen universities and research institutes around Australia have taken part in this masterclass. Asked to rate the training in post-workshop surveys, 64% of participants rated it as “Outstanding” or “Excellent”; no one has ever given it a negative rating, or said they would not recommend it to colleagues.

Fees

Members of The Conversation – including the vast majority of universities in Australia and New Zealand, as well as the CSIRO and other research bodies – are eligible for discounted training fees. The masterclass can also be delivered for organisations that are not members of The Conversation, either on-site or at The University of Melbourne, but these sessions attract a higher rate.

The minimum number of participants in a session is 10, while the maximum is 20; 15 is an ideal size.

When holding training on-site, we ask the host institute to organise the venue and catering, as well as cover the cost of return economy travel and accommodation (where needed). In return, we will offer a 50% discount on fees for participants beyond the minimum group of 10.

Fees for on-site training for Conversation members

  • AU$995 per person inc. GST for the minimum 10 participants.
  • AU$500 per person inc. GST for up to 10 additional participants.

To check if your university, research institution or organisation is a member of The Conversation, see our Australian and New Zealand Partners and Funders page.

Fees for sessions hosted by The University of Melbourne, and for sessions hosted on-site for non-member organisations

  • Prices range from AU$995 to AU$1,495 per person. Please contact us for a quote or to find out more.