Advanced Research for Writers

The course

Dive deep to find the truth online.

Our one-day live online workshop equips you with the professional Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) skills you need to add authenticity to your stories, accuracy to your fact-checking and open up new worlds of information and intelligence.

Practise cyberspace safely and master the privacy tools to cover your tracks and guard your personal information.

This short intensive training is for novelists who need to travel back in time, journalists looking for a ‘pure’ search, researchers operating across languages – and anyone needing a cyber-toolkit for the 21st century.

Our workshop runs on UK time, however, everything is embedded and archived so you can access our digital campus 24/7.

 

Adam Lebor

Meet your course director

Adam LeBor

Adam LeBor is an author, journalist and veteran former foreign correspondent for several national newspapers. He teaches Open Source Intelligence at the Financial Times, Citywire and for the Society of Authors. Adam is also the author of several critically acclaimed investigative books.

How it works

We give you the theory in the form of videos, podcasts, written lectures and reading extracts. In the case of our live workshops, this includes a live online seminar.

You put it into practice by completing the writing assignments.

You share your work with the small group of fellow writers and the teaching team.

Your tutor and fellow learners read your work and give professional-style feedback on your submission. Giving feedback notes helps to build your skills as an editor - a critical part of the writing process.

You reflect on the exercises with the group and share what you’ve learned.

You use what you learned from the feedback and discussions to review your work and improve it.

Things to know

This workshop is suitable for writers and editors working in fiction and non-fiction, and anyone who wants to take their research skills to the next level.

It’s also for journalists and researchers looking for greater control and deeper dive access with their internet searches.

It’s suitable if you:

  • Write fiction and would like new sources and ideas to enrich your writing, and access to hidden archives of images and historical documents
  • Write non-fiction or journalism, and require more accurate and authentic sources of detail and ways to check facts
  • Would like to become a more efficient and informed researcher or fact-checker, with simple new tools for increased control with maximum privacy
  • Are intrigued by news stories on OSINT reporting, and want to find out more
  • Want to join a friendly and supportive group of online learners
  • Can dedicate 10am-4.30pm (UK time) to participate in the live workshop.

This professional development training allows you to:

  • Gain the know-how to make internet searches more efficient and accurate
  • Understand how to carry out ‘pure’ searches outside the big tech eco systems
  • Explore ways to get beyond fake news and the same old info served up to everyone
  • Learn how to travel back in time in cyberspace via the Wayback Machine
  • Operate in any language through Google Translate
  • Use search strings to take your research to a new level
  • Conduct reverse image searches to find out more about places and people
  • Guard your privacy and security and stop you and your data being commoditised
  • Use privacy-based search engines such as DuckDuckGo and Startpage, and privacy-based browsers like Brave and Vivaldi
  • Explore instant disposable email addresses and Virtual Private Networks
  • Develop an understanding of the professional skills researchers require (eg discipline, attention to detail, ability to work to deadlines)
  • Build greater independence, autonomy and critical judgment as you work on a final assignment.

Morning session –

  • 10am – Zoom lecture, exercises and discussion in breakout rooms.
  • 11.15am – Mid-morning break
  • 11.30am – Zoom lecture, exercises and discussion in breakout rooms.
  • 12-30pm – Q&A with Adam.
  • At the end of the morning, Adam sets 2 practical research tasks for you to complete this afternoon.
  • 1-2pm lunch

Afternoon session –

  • 2pm – Welcome back and more information on the research tasks.
  • 3.15pm – Guided breakout discussion in small groups of 3-5.
  • 3.30pm – Mid-afternoon break
  • 3.45pm – Adam reveals how he did the exercises, takes final questions and wraps up.
  • 4.30pm – Session ends.
  • You’ll conduct some guided research tasks in this session, and have the chance to share your work with the group and engage in peer feedback. After the course ends, your tutor will give individual feedback on your research tasks in the course forum.

Join our alumni
After your course, you can join our online alumni where you’ll meet our growing network of past students. The alumni is a friendly group of writers who support each other as they continue to explore and develop their writing.

Within our online alumni area you can:

  • Rejoin your classmates on a private forum and access an archived version of your course materials and forum posts
  • Meet alumni from other courses and groups and share your work for feedback on our alumni critiquing forum
  • Join in on discussions about reading, writing, editing and ideas on our general discussion forum. This is also where we share news and useful info
  • Retain access to our resources area, which has interesting and informative links
  • Chat with other people online using the alumni area live chatroom. We also host live chats with guests here

Commission a report on your work
If you’d like to receive a personalised, detailed report on your final piece of writing from your course tutor, this is available at an extra cost. You’ll receive detailed written feedback assessing your ideas and writing, plus advice on what steps to take next.

Taking things further
If you’d like to continue on to another Professional Writing Academy course, we’ll give you a discount. Please get in touch for more details.

The team

Meet your course team

Adam Lebor

Adam LeBor

OSINT Maestro

Adam LeBor is an author, journalist and veteran former foreign correspondent for several national newspapers. He teaches Open Source Intelligence at the Financial Times, Citywire and for the Society of Authors. Adam is also the author of several critically acclaimed investigative books.

More about Adam LeBor

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