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The Writer's Workbench: 50 Tools You Can Use

About This Course

This course contains essays — written by a master of the trade — on 50 writing tools that are essential to everyone who wants to be a better writer.

The course's author, Roy Peter Clark, vice president, senior scholar and reporting, writing & editing faculty at The Poynter Institute, shares with you the writing tools he has compiled from reporters and editors, from authors of books on writing and from teachers and coaches. The essays illuminate these tools and teach everything from the importance of strong verbs to the necessity of learning from criticism.

What Will I Learn?

Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate mastery of word choice, sentence structure and architecture for your stories
  • Use special effects to refine your writing voice
  • Trim needless words and tighten your writing
  • Write with confidence and develop your own useful habits

Who Should Take This Course?

Anyone who has ever struggled with writing. You'll get the tools that not only will make your writing stronger but will make writing easier to do.

Course Instructor

Roy Peter Clark

Roy Peter Clark

Roy Peter Clark is vice president and senior scholar at The Poynter Institute, where he has taught writing since 1979.

He is the author of the book Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer and course on Poynter's NewsU, The Writer's Workbench: 50 Tools You Can Use, and the book The Glamour of Grammar: A Guide to the Magic and Mystery of Practical English.

His latest work includes the book Help! For Writers: 210 Solutions to the Problems Every Writer Faces. He is part of the one-day workshop, The Writing Process, offered through Poynter's NewsU. He also blogs and chats about writing tools on You can follow him on Twitter at @RoyPeterClark.

His newest book is How to Write Short: Word Craft for Fast Times.

Clark has taught writing at every level — from school children to Pulitzer Prize-winning authors — for more than 30 years, and has spoken about the writer's craft on The Oprah Winfrey Show, NPR and Today; at conferences from Singapore to Brazil; and at news organizations from The New York Times to the Sowetan in South Africa.

His other books include: "Free to Write: A Journalist Teaches Young Writers," "Coaching Writers: Editors and Reporters Working Together," "America's Best Newspaper Writing," "The Craft and Values of American Journalism" and "The Changing South of Gene Patterson: The Journalism of Civil Rights, 1960-1968."

He is a Distinguished Service Member of the American Society of News Editors.

Read his complete Poynter profile here.

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