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Short courses

Sub-editing Fundamentals

4 classes | 7 hours per class

Learn to select appropriate stories for your readership; write strong headlines and captions; edit with authority for different readerships and capture attention with attractive page layout and design.

This course covers the fundamentals of sub-editing, proofreading, layout and design for print publications. Topics covered include understanding your readers, story selection, copy editing news and feature stories, writing headlines and captions, marking copy, proofreading and avoiding defamation and contempt. Basic concepts of page layout and design using industry standard InDesign will also be covered.

People who edit articles, put together newsletters or magazines and/or need to learn about the role of a sub-editor will benefit from attending.


Dan Kaufman is a UTS lecturer and has worked as a journalist, sub-editor and editor for 18 years. He writes for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian and The Age and publishes Bar Zine, a website that reviews Sydney bars. Dan previously edited a number of SMH sections including Icon, Travel, Radar and Health & Science. He has also worked on a range of lifestyle and computer magazines.

Dan has been involved with online publishing since the late 90s and has taught online journalism at UTS in addition to a variety of workshops on writing for the web, WordPress and the usability issues online publishers, editors and writers need to grapple with.

Clive Collins teaches the InDesign component of the course. Clive formally worked for Fairfax Limited as Art Director on MIS magazine. Clive now works as a full time support officer in the UTS journalism area. He worked for 11 years with Australian Consolidated Press as art director on Motor magazine, as well as the Ansett in-flight magazine Panorama. After commencing with UTS Clive introduced the InDesign publishing program to UTS, when InDesign was relatively new in the industry.



Register your interest for our next course: acij@uts.edu.au


  • $1,490 full fee
  • $1,341 ACIJ Members
  • $1,192 concession (students and low income)
  • $1,043 UTS staff and students

Limited to: 14 participants

Location: UTS Broadway: CB10.05.330 (map)
Building 10, Level 5, Room 330, 235 Jones Street, Ultimo

To discuss this course or for more information please contact acij@uts.edu.au or call +61 2 9514 2488.

* A concession rate is available to low income, unemployed and all students. A 20% deposit is required to secure your place.

Course outline

  • Day 1
    • Introduction: Subbing in a high tech world
    • What is news: why?
    • Know your readers
    • Copy-editing: the basics
    • Introductions/lead paragraphs
    • Full stops and other friends
    • How to mark copy: the symbols of correction
    • Do’s and don’ts: clarity; simplicity
  • Day 2
    • Headlines and captions: telling and selling
    • Styles: newspapers/magazines/newsletters
    • Feature editing: the basics
    • The cover, the introduction, the middle and the end
    • Workshop: magazine rewrites
  • Day 3
    • Presentation/layout
    • Introduction to layout and design principles words and pictures: thinking visually
    • Typography
    • More about design
    • Introduction to publishing program InDesign
    • How to place text and photographs
    • Workshop: Laying out your own A4 page and writing headlines, captions, pull quotes and stand firsts
  • Day 4
    • More about presentation
    • In the eyes of the law: defamation and contempt of court
    • Recap on the fundamentals
    • Exercises
    • Workshop: Questions and answers


“Dan was a fantastic teacher. He was obviously very experienced, but still managed to deliver the content in a way that was easy to understand and engaging. Both presenters were very well prepared and approachable. Overall a very engaging workshop.” A. Glavin (2011)

“A very informative and enjoyable course.I felt inspired to be more critical of my writing and to start being more creative with my headings and captions.” E. Kwa (2011)

“Thought the practical exercises were great - a real hands-on course.” K. Still (2011)

“I really liked the one-on-one feedback. I really felt like I was learning something new and helpful for my degree every day. I particularly liked working on InDesign. Dan and Clive were fantastic and very helpful.” L. Judd (2011)

“I found all of it really useful for my job. Clive was very patient with InDesign and the class was small enough so you could ask questions one-on-one. Dan was very flexible in how he taught the course, which was great; we covered everything I wanted to learn.” S. Walker (2010)

“Very practical, great industry-knowledge and therefore very useful and very hands on.” Emma Rennie (April 2013)

“No passengers, rapid fire, interactive and very enjoyable.” Tom Richardson (April 2013)