Connecting as a Columnist: Your Voices, Your Choices

This Webinar was originally broadcast on:
October 01, 2015 Enroll Now
Watch and listen to the original one-hour Webinar in its entirety. This Webinar recording features the full presentation led by Poynter faculty and visiting faculty including Q&A from the audience and resources from the presenter.

Course Overview

Connecting as a Columnist: Your Voices, Your Choices
Originally Broadcast On:
October 01, 2015
Time Estimate:
One hour for the main presentation and questions. Sometimes presenters stay longer to answer additional questions from participants.

Members of the Association of Opinion Journalists get 20 percent off this Webinar. Watch your member email to get details about the discount.

About Webinars

In this virtual classroom, participants can join in a seminar led by Poynter faculty and visiting faculty. This screencast includes live audio and a slideshow presentation in which participants can post questions and respond to poll questions posed by the host.

When readers turn to their favorite columnists, it's for more than just the subject matter of that day's piece, or even the columnist's overall beat. Successful columnists connect with their readers by offering not just the tale, but the "teller," a person with a distinctive style.

The voice a columnist chooses to use is a key part of making that connection. So what goes into making your voice your voice? What are some of the writing and editing decisions you face when you want to put a personal stamp on your writing? For that matter, how can you vary that voice to handle different subjects, or appeal to different audiences, or produce different reader reactions? (That's allowed, you know. It might even be essential!)

Join columnist, Emmy-winning TV commentator and writing coach Rick Horowitz for a lively Webinar on identifying and fortifying -- and even tweaking -- your writer's voice. You'll come away with lots of valuable tips that you can apply right away, and plenty of helpful strategies to add to your writer's toolbox.

What Will I Learn:
  • How to choose your audience, your purpose and your "identity" whenever you write
  • How to use the rhythm and structure of sentences to build your voice
  • How to make smart choices among words that claim to be synonyms
  • How to decide when it's OK to "mix" voices
  • How to enlist punctuation marks as a vital tool, and "Word Fonts" as your secret weapon
Who Should Take this Course:
  • Anyone who opines online, over the air, or in print
  • Anyone who writes with a personal bent about lifestyle or policy or specialty matters (e.g., reviews, critiques, how-to, advice, etc.)
  • Anyone who wants his or her publication's "institutional" voice to sound less like a robot and more like a human being
  • Columnists, editorial writers, speechwriters, ghostwriters...
Course Instructor:

Rick Horowitz

Rick Horowitz is founder and Wordsmith in Chief of Prime Prose, LLC, offering writing/editing/coaching/training assistance to journalists and other writers coast to coast. A popular writing coach and workshop presenter, he's worked with everyone from newbies to Pulitzer winners. Rick has won two National Headliners Award for his syndicated column and two regional Emmys for his TV commentaries. He's a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and other opinion sites.

Technical Requirements:

1.4GHz Intel® Pentium® 4 or faster processor (or equivalent) for Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1
512MB of RAM (1GB recommended) for Windows 7 or Windows 8
Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, 9, 10, 11; Mozilla Firefox; Google Chrome
Adobe® Flash® Player 11.2+

1.83GHz Intel Core™ Duo or faster processor
512MB of RAM (1GB recommended)
Mac OS X 10.7.4, 10.8, 10.9
Mozilla Firefox; Apple Safari; Google Chrome
Adobe Flash Player 11.2+

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