Writing Chats: Chat bi-weekly with Roy Peter Clark about writing. Supported by CCI.

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Let Abe Lincoln become your writing coach

Tomorrow, Nov. 19, turns out to be the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. To celebrate, Poynter published a chapter I wrote about it in my recent book “How to Write Short” last week.

There is a great opportunity … Read more

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Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013

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How to turn hard facts into easy reading

I was recently hired by a department of the federal government to conduct a workshop on how to write reports that were short and clear. The director of the department who hired me pointed out the problem in her own … Read more

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Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013

rpc

Have you lost that writing feeling? Is it gone, gone, gone…?

The dialogue with a stranger on a plane often goes something like this:

Stranger:  “What do you do for a living?”
Me:  “I’m a teacher.”
Stranger:  “What do you teach?”
Me: “I teach writing.”

The response … Read more

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Wednesday, Oct. 02, 2013

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Why stories need a focus … or do they?

If there is one writing lesson that Poynter has taught for more than three decades now, it’s that good stories need a sharp focus.

I once heard my friend Chip Scanlan say that all parts of the writing process amount … Read more

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Thursday, Sep. 19, 2013

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How to write longform stories

You knew it was only a matter of time until the author of “How to Write Short” would turn his attention to “How to Write Long.”

It turns out that long and short writing are not necessarily in … Read more

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Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013

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Are you a happy writer or a sad writer?

Yesterday was a happy day for me as a writer after I received an enthusiastic review of my new book “How to Write Short.”

But what if it had been a negative review, or a hostile review, or an insulting … Read more

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Thursday, Aug. 08, 2013

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Tips for writing short and well

With official publication date three weeks away, I am happy to hold in my hand the first copy of my latest book: “How to Write Short: Word Craft for Fast Times.”

I have never had more fun writing a book, … Read more

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

girl writing at table by pen and ink indoor in summer day with s

How to practice ‘escapist writing’ this summer

It’s a standard of American culture that we use the summer for both enrichment and escape. On the sour end are high school students who receive a recommended summer reading list. On the sweet side are those opportunities to head … Read more

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

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How to write the ‘perfect’ sentence

The best way to write a perfect sentence is to lower your standards.

I hope that advice doesn’t come across as some bait and switch, that there is no such thing as a perfect sentence. I do believe in the … Read more

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Thursday, May 02, 2013

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How to include narrative elements in a hard news story

During this week’s writing chat, we talked with Boston Globe reporter Eric Moskowitz about his story that describes the experience of a young man who was carjacked by the Boston bombing suspects.

Poynter’s Roy Peter Clark praised Moskowitz earlier this Read more

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