Being Your Own Best Editor

4 hrs, best for four to six people at a time, firm maximum is seven people

Choose new habits

See exactly what concrete steps to take when advised to “make it punchy” or “be more concise.”

Explicit clarity about all of the steps in a seemingly “intuitive” writing process illuminates and motivates.

  • Diagnosis

    Clarify writing standards for digital era, see work objectively as if with eyes of third-party editor

  • Process

    Demystify what to do when, with whom, how & why; learn when to slow down to speed up overall

  • Accountability

    Clean & tighten, invite readers visually, rev up verbs the real way without a thesaurus

Who: Interns through AM/AD/SAS, but AE/SAE are most likely to see the biggest changes right away.

Workshop nicknames: “How to Have a Calm Supervisor,” or “How to Write Like **David Pogue (award-winning tech columnist extraordinaire)”

This workshop is a series of discoveries that writers make about their own writing. Each person brings three to four samples of their own work, and measures it against criteria, standards and examples in a workbook.

Attendees share ah-ha moments, and learn as much from their peers’ reactions as from the resulting discussion. The outcome is not just illumination but also motivation. Because they see it and feel it for themselves, they find the changes easier to make.

The advice is concrete and specific, unlike the feedback that’s common in most offices (“Be more concise,” “Make it punchy,” “Get to the point.”)

Like “Creating Compelling Content,” this class improves all writing, from emails to bylines (including press releases). Although this workshop will also improve press releases, attendees should not include press releases in the work samples they use during the session.


**Apologies to David Pogue 😉

He didn’t participate in the creation of this workshop, but his writing appears in some of the examples.

David Pogue was the tech columnist for the New York Times for 13 years before moving to Yahoo Tech. He’s a monthly columnist for Scientific American and host of science shows on PBS’s “NOVA.” He’s been a correspondent for “CBS Sunday Morning” since 2002. He’s won two Emmy awards, two Webby awards, a Loeb award for journalism, and an honorary doctorate in music.


Like “Creating Compelling Content,” this session works best if levels are mixed, but it can skew a little lower in job level, topping out with AMs/ADs instead of VPs.

If the number of people in your agency or division is growing fast and at risk of losing cohesiveness as a result, this workshop — along with “Creating Compelling Content” — will create common ground and and strengthen team interactions.

The two “Best Bet” foundational workshops are prerequisites for workshops on press releases and – although they aren’t about press releases per se – they will yield results that show up in every type of writing, including press releases.

Both of the “Best Bet” workshops are limited to seven or fewer people per session.