Writing for the Ear

Course Overview

Writing for the Ear
Self-Directed Course
This $29.95 course is free thanks to support by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Time Estimate:
From start to finish, “Writing for the Ear” takes about three hours to complete. You can work through this self-directed module at your own pace, starting and stopping at your convenience. You can access the course sections in any order and return anytime once you enroll.

About Self-Directed Courses

In a self-directed course, you can start and stop whenever you like, progressing entirely at your own pace and going back as many times as you want to review the material.

“Writing for the Ear” is about writing for audio, a core skill in broadcast and online ― and for every newsroom with a digital presence. Writing well for audio ultimately means telling compelling stories and communicating information to time-pressed listeners ― key skills for a 21st century journalist.

This requires a dramatic shift in the way we have been taught to write. In school, our teachers rewarded long, complex sentences with multiple commas and parenthetical clauses that showed we have mastered the basic rules of grammar, spelling and syntax while exhibiting critical thought, nuanced arguments and SAT-level vocabulary. Great writing, we have been taught, is meant to be read ― silently. “Writing for the Ear” will teach you that great writing can also be spoken.

What Will I Learn:

In this five-part module, you’ll learn everything you need to write more effective audio narratives, from generating an idea to recording your story. “Writing for the Ear” covers these topics:

  • Introduction to audio stories - How audio stories are different from their print counterparts and examples of great audio stories
  • Picking and pitching stories - Generating story ideas that work well in audio form and pitching stories and sharpening their focus
  • Writing the story - Everything you need to write effectively at the story, scene and sentence levels
  • Revising the story - Strategies for applying the tools of revision to audio writing
  • Voicing & special topics - How to perform an audio story and other topics, such as “translating” a print story to audio form
Who should take this course:

This course is for anyone interested in improving their audio storytelling skills ― radio and TV reporters, print journalists shifting to digital storytelling, multimedia correspondents and more.

Course Instructor:

Dan Grech

Dan Grech a digital marketing, strategic communications and storytelling specialist who works with startups, nonprofits and universities to tell their story for maximum impact and effectiveness. He founded the MarketHack digital marketing training program at the Idea Center at Miami Dade College, the nation’s largest college. He has worked as an award-winning print, radio and digital journalist, including his work at The Miami Herald and Marketplace, and as a university educator. You can follow him on Twitter at @dgrech.

He has master's degrees in nonfiction storytelling and Spanish-language journalism. He is a graduate of Princeton University. He is fluent in Spanish, proficient in Portuguese and is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Spain.

Technical Requirements:

This course requires Flash Player 9 or higher. (Get the latest version of Flash now.)