The North American School of Outdoor Writing
#2009 – 135 Brinkworthy Place
Salt Spring Island
British Columbia, V8K 1S2
Tel (250) 537-4713

North American School of Outdoor Writing

How To Be An Outdoor Writer

Earn While You Learn

Detailed Course Outline

Lesson One
Getting Started

  • This lesson covers developing a strategy for precisely targeting your ideas for outdoor magazine articles so they have the best chance of selling. You will learn how to determine what outdoor editors need and want.
  • You will learn how to analyze your markets.
  • You will learn how editors will help you supply exactly the stories they need.

Lesson Two
Targeting your Talent

  • This lesson covers more techniques of learning how to successfully anticipate what editors need and want.
  • You will learn how to analyze magazines to determine your best chances of publication.
  • You will learn what sells, and why, in virtually every outdoor publication on your newsstand.

Lesson Three
Query Letters

  • This lesson covers query letters – your passport to publication.
  • You will learn how to write query letters that sell.
  • You will learn the four rules of the good query letter.
  • You will learn why queries are rejected.
  • You will learn the cardinal rule of freelancing.

Lesson Four
Types of Articles

  • This lesson is the first in a series which examines the various types of articles outdoor editors are looking for.
  • You will learn the type of writing you are best suited to try first as you begin to establish yourself as a freelance outdoor writer.
  • You will learn how to become a valued regular contributor.

Lesson Five
More Types of Articles

  • This lesson covers the How-to and the Where-to-go magazine article, the bread -and-butter stories of freelance outdoor writing.
  • You will learn how to analyze these types of articles so that, as you begin to write them, you will have the confidence of knowing they will be published.

Lesson Six
Still More Types of Articles

  • This lesson covers writing Columns, Shop Features and Personality Profiles.
  • You will learn how to develop a strategy to become a regular columnist.
  • You will learn how to develop your own distinctive voice.
  • You will learn interviewing skills.
  • You will learn about the responsibility that comes with writing about people.

Lesson Seven
Even More Types of Articles

  • Lesson Seven covers writing Adventure-Destination features, the Documentary, the Me ‘n Joe Story, Humour articles and we take a more in-depth look at writing Travel articles.
  • You will learn how to get assignments to lodges and resorts.
  • You will learn the six things you should do when you get a Travel or Adventure – Destination assignment.
  • You will learn how to investigate the Documentary article.
  • You will learn the subtleties that make a Me ‘n Joe story come alive.
  • You will learn why Travel writing offers so many opportunities for the outdoor writer.

Lesson Eight
Building Your Story

  • The lesson covers leads, body text, transitions, endings, and more on the use of anecdotes and quotes.
  • You will learn to recognize the internal structure of a story.
  • You will see examples of leads and endings from published articles.
  • You will learn how to diagram the basic structure of a story.

Lesson Nine
Grammar and Punctuation

  • This lesson gives the basics of grammar.
  • You will learn about paragraphs, sentences and vocabulary.
  • You will learn about verbs, adverbs and adjectives.
  • You will learn about metaphors and similes.
  • You will learn various types of punctuation.

Lesson Ten
The Business of Writing

  • This lesson examines the various aspects of the business of freelance outdoor writing. You will learn to set goals, track your income and keep climbing the freelancing pyramid to success. You will learn about what RIGHTS to sell, how to keep proper books and records, how to maintain a vehicle log book and track your articles, correspondence and commitments.
  • You will learn where to find the assignments that pay the most, and learn how you can network with outdoor editors and other freelance writers.
  • You will get a glimpse of the opportunities for freelance writers that exist on the Internet, and learn about what office equipment you can’t do without.

Lesson Eleven
Other Venues

  • This lesson covers writing Press Releases, Sportsmens’ and Trade shows, Slide Shows, writing for Non-Profit Societies, producing Outdoor Videos, Radio and Television work, and writing for Foreign Markets.
  • You will learn what makes a successful Press Release.
  • You will learn how to get the most out of Sportsmens’ Shows.
  • You will learn about foreign markets for outdoor writers.
  • You will learn how to target non-profit societies.
  • You will learn about outdoor videos, radio and television work.

Lesson Twelve
More Opportunities

  • This lesson covers writing the outdoor book and outdoor photography.
  • You will learn the six things your query must have.
  • You will learn the secret of finding a book publisher.
  • You will learn how to organize your book project.
  • You will learn about self publishing your outdoor book.
  • You will learn about cameras and photographic equipment.
  • You will learn to prepare a Shooting Schedule.
  • You will learn to utilize stock photo agencies.

Course Completion:

Because of the time it takes to get material back and forth in the mail or via e-mail, to complete the writing assignments and to hear back from publications, some students may take longer to complete this course. There is a three year course completion deadline, which may be extended at the discretion of the School. Completion of all 12 Lesson Quizzes constitutes course completion, at which time a certificate shall be issued by the school.


A simple “thank you” does not do your course justice!

Greetings Roger,

A simple “thank you” does not do your course justice! Your school opened an entire new venue for me in 2017.

North American School of Outdoor Writing is so mush more then just improving ones writing skills. While…

Wanted to take the time to thank you.

Hi Roger,

I wanted to drop you a line this morning – since I am near your neck of the woods – with some very, very exciting news.

Since taking your course several years ago now, I have spent a lot of time exploring different outdoor …

Wow! Great Course

To Roger Brunt,
North American School of Outdoor Writing
Jan. 2014

Your outdoor writing course was by far one of the best things I have ever done. From a financial standpoint the course info said students could earn their tuitio…

David O’F arrell
Tagish, Yukon