Write Better at Work
Date: Online courses starting: 5 June 2023; 18 September 2023
Cost: £495 / £198 (bursary places available)
Type: Online Writing Course , Writing and Publishing Skills Hub
Sharpen your writing skills and get your point across
Writing is an important part of your job, but how do you do it well?
This four week, online professional development training, brought to you by experts in writing for business, will give you the tools to communicate clearly and persuasively, and the confidence to make people listen.
You’ll study in a small group with an expert tutor who will arm you with a practical toolkit of tips and tricks to give your writing impact, energy and, above all, clarity.
As this course is CPD accredited, you can book a place on the course as an individual, or block-book a class for your team.
Duration: 4 weeks
Skill level: Beginner
Bursary places for North of Tyne residents
Our funding from North of Tyne Combined Authority allows us to offer 60% off the price of this course for residents of Newcastle upon Tyne, North Tyneside and Northumberland.
Piers Alder, course director
Piers is a copywriter who has worked with some of the biggest brands in the UK (Audi, Lloyds Bank) and some of the smallest (the local organic farmer).
He’s happy writing at length – for example web content or a video script – but particularly enjoys dreaming up headlines, slogans and company names. He also trains other people to write more memorably, drawing on his own daily struggle to put the best words in the best order.
As well as helping define what businesses should be saying, he also advises them on their marketing, helps create new websites and fresh brands, and trains people to write better. At the heart of all this is careful critical thinking as well as creativity, a combination of the rational and intuitive.
“I have already started applying what I have learned on the course. In particular, when we have a potential new client and have to pull together a proposal. Identifying what they need, what they specifically want has been really useful.”
- Zoey, course alumni
Full course information
Who is the course for?
Write Better at Work is for anyone who needs to write for work – emails, presentations, product descriptions, online content, blog or social posts.
It is designed both for those new to the workplace and anyone who wants to give their writing a boost. Whatever your level of skill, you’ll gain fresh perspectives on how you write and discover new ways to write better.
The training is suitable if you:
- Write regularly at work, whether internally or to customers
- Would like to improve your writing skills
- Want to be more influential and effective in the workplace
- Would like to learn a set of techniques and frameworks to apply in your day to day role
- Need templates for emails, presentations and blog posts
- Work remotely and would like to communicate more effectively with a scattered team
- Are looking to grow your creative skills
- Enjoy the discipline of deadlines and peer feedback
- Want to join a friendly and supportive small group of learners
- Can dedicate 2 hours per week to the learning (at a time to suit you)
What will I learn?
This professional development training allows you to:
- Learn how to write clearly, confidently and effectively
- Dismantle the habits that make your writing hard to read
- Untangle complicated sentences and paragraphs
- Learn a set of simple new techniques for clear, persuasive communication
- Benefit from templates for effective emails, presentations, product descriptions and online content
- Feel confident in ‘what to say’ when you start writing
- Refresh your knowledge of the ‘rules’ of business communication
- Build confidence in the quality of your writing
- Nurture your creativity
- Develop transferable professional skills (discipline, attention to detail, ability to work to deadlines)
- Increase professionalism in working with others and in networking
- Feel more confident in giving feedback to peers and receiving critical notes
- Build greater independence, autonomy and critical judgment as you self-direct, self-manage and realise a final project to the course brief
What are the sessions?
Session 1: Clear Language
The nuts and bolts of language – word choice, quantity of words vs quantity of information, simplicity – and how to strip back your writing to unclog, cut the clutter and write shorter and clearer. We’ll tackle jargon, clichés and the passive voice, and you’ll rework a very short piece of your own writing.
Session 2: Effortless Sentences
A guide to the simplest structure you can build out of words – the sentence – and how to sequence information in a way that is easy to read using paragraphs. We’ll introduce the concept of ‘The News’, and how to use it to construct a clear argument or story. You’ll find an example of writing at work to re-engineer.
Session 3: It’s About People
Why you need to take your reader’s perspective to get your message across. Who to address when writing, speaking to a single reader, and the single most important word in your writing: ‘You’. You’ll rewrite a corporate announcement to speak directly to the reader.
Session 4: Strong Sentences
We’ll look at a basic structure you can use for all kinds of writing at work – the inverted pyramid – then zoom in with a pocket practical guide to writing four key types of communication: email, presentation, blog post and production description/social post. There are handy templates to takeaway. You’ll plan and write two key pieces of writing you use most often at work using the News–Problem–Solution–What Next structure.
At the end of the training you will submit two from the following, for individual written feedback from your tutor:
- An email to a team member, customer or manager
- A short presentation
- A very short piece of writing eg. product description or social post
- A short blog post
How much time do I need to commit to this course?
You will need to put in around 2 hours per week. The deadline for posting your final assignment each week is the end of Saturday. The deadline for giving feedback to others is the end of Sunday. Other than that, you can work through the course materials each week at your own pace.
What time will I need to log on?
There’s no need to log in at a set time to take part – sessions open to a timetable and you have until the end of each session to work through the materials in the online classroom.
So you can read the tutor notes and listen to the podcasts, watch the videos, analyse extracts, react to prompts and work through mini-exercises at any time of day or night that’s best for you. You can also contribute to discussions on our forums 24/7, so the online classroom feels like a rich and lively shared experience.
Most people on the course fit learning around their work and caring responsibilities, which is why we teach in this non-synchronous way. It also suits those studying in another language, and offers advantages in terms of accessibility and different learning styles. We ask that you submit your final exercise in each session by the deadline, then read and critique the work of some of your peers.
If there are live Zoom sessions in your course, your moderator will let you know the timing. If you can’t make it, you can send in questions in advance and catch up with the recording afterwards. Past sessions and any recordings remain available throughout the course – and in the alumni area afterwards – so you can revisit any of the learning, revise exercises and chart your progress at any point.
What happens after the course?
Join our alumni community
After your course, you can join our online alumni community – a friendly group of writers supporting each other as they continue to explore and develop their writing. There’s no cost for this. It’s easy to access via the online classroom, where you can:
- Revisit all your courses materials, including tutor notes, feedback, videos, podcasts and forum posts
- Rejoin your classmates, and continue working together in a private space
- Meet alumni from other courses to find beta-readers and share work on our critiquing forum
- Network with other writers working in your genre or area of interest
- Take part in regular ‘sit and write’ Zoom sessions, to push forward with your work-in progress
- Join our monthly live alumni events with our expert tutors and industry guests, including agents, editors, publishers, competition and festival organisers, and prizewinning writers
Commission a report on your work
If you’d like to receive a personalised, detailed report on your final piece of writing from your course tutor, this is available at an extra cost. You’ll receive detailed written feedback assessing your ideas and writing, plus advice on what steps to take next.
If you are a writer based in North of Tyne, you may be eligible for a bursary discount through New Writing North.
You can submit your application through this site.
This course is open to writers all over the globe. If you are based anywhere else in the world, you can buy now here.
How it works
We give you the theory in the form of videos, podcasts, written lectures and reading extracts.
You put it into practice by completing the writing assignments.
You share your work with the small group of fellow writers and the teaching team.
Your tutor and fellow learners read your work and give professional-style feedback on your submission. Giving feedback notes helps to build your skills as an editor – a critical part of the writing process.
You reflect on the exercises with the group and share what you’ve learned.
Review and Improve
You use what you learned from the feedback and discussions to review your work and improve it.
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