It's All About the Voice: How to Make Your Writing Sing

This Webinar was originally broadcast on:
April 20, 2017 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

It's All About the Voice: How to Make Your Writing Sing
Originally Broadcast On:
April 20, 2017
Time Estimate:
One hour for the main presentation and questions. Sometimes presenters stay longer to answer additional questions from participants.

This unique half-hour event is just $9.95.

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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.

The great writing coach Donald Murray once said that "style" is something you bought off the rack at Brooks Brothers or T.J.Maxx. But "voice" was the discovery of the music in your writing. Donald Fry defined "voice" as the sum of all the strategies the writer uses to created the illusion that the writer is speaking to the reader directly from the page or screen.

Think of all the ways we use music as a metaphor for our writing. The writing has pace and rhythm. We read it aloud to listen to its voice. A story is "composed" with a beginning, middle, and ending. Inside the story there may be pauses, crescendos, refrains, repetitions. We want the story to flow.

All these can be discovered by exploring the relationships between music and writing. We'll share 20 tips about music and writing in this special 30-minute training session.

What Will I Learn:
  • How to use music to prepare to write
  • How to control the pace of a piece of writing
  • How to tune your voice as a writer
  • How to appreciate musical moves that might influence your writing
  • How to analyze a piece of writing the way a composer might listen to a musical score
Who Should Take this Course:

Because music and writing both carry a universal influence, any writer in any genre or platform would find this webinar useful. Reporters, feature writers, columnists, bloggers, writers on social networks — all these need to write with a distinctive voice. Where is the music in your writing? We guarantee it's in there somewhere. Let us help you find it.

Course Instructor:

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, companion course on Poynter's NewsU, Help! for Writers and mobile app Help! for Writers. 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.

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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