Mastering the Craft of Revision

Course Overview

Mastering the Craft of Revision
Seminar Snapshot
Time Estimate:
About an hour

Poynter Prepared members pay just $19.96 for this course. Save 20 percent on this course and more by becoming a Poynter Prepared Member. Learn more and register now.

About Seminar Snapshots

A Seminar Snapshot features video highlights that capture the key learning of a seminar presentation.

Everyone needs an editor! Don't fool yourself into believing that your writing is too good for revision; this mistaken notion only gets in the way of polished writing.

Trimming and refining your writing makes the story clearer and more easily digested by your readers. This presentation will teach you to rake through your story and skim off the excess words and ideas. You'll find out what healthy revision looks like — and learn tips and techniques that will make revision painless.

This presentation is part of a workshop that covers five important steps in the writing process: generating story ideas, collecting the facts and details, finding focus in your story, structuring your work and revising your writing.

The other presentations in this series are:

Generating Story Ideas: Seeing the Stories All Around You: Alexandra Zayas, general assignment reporter at the Tampa Bay Times, introduces you to proven techniques that will help you recognize and refine your best story ideas.

Hunt and Gather Details for Your Stories: Tom French, teacher and facilitator at The Poynter Institute and at Indiana University's journalism school, teaches you to research and report the kinds of human detail and vivid scenes that will make your writing come alive.

Finding the Heart of the Story: Tom Huang, Sunday and enterprise editor at The Dallas Morning News and adjunct faculty member of The Poynter Institute, presents essential writing techniques that produce compelling, sharply focused stories with strong underlying themes.

Planning and Drafting Your Story: Roy Peter Clark, writing instructor since 1979, vice president and senior scholar at The Poynter Institute, teaches you how to draft your story using a quick plan and outlining its most important parts.

Check out the Training Package to purchase the entire five-part series!

What Will I Learn:
  • Strategies to tighten up long sentences and simplify complex paragraphs
  • Techniques for improving clarity
  • Digital tools that can assist in editing and revision
Who should take this course:

Writers who are eager to improve their writing through revision.


Chip Scanlan

Chip Scanlan is an affiliate faculty member of The Poynter Institute. From 1994 until 2009, when he retired as senior faculty for writing, he directed Poynter’s writing programs, co-directed the summer fellowship in reporting and writing for college graduates, and taught and led multimedia seminars. He has coached journalists around America, Europe and Asia. His three self-directed News University courses, The Lead Lab, The Interview and Get Me Rewrite: The Craft of Revision regularly rank among NewsU’s top courses.