August 19, 2017

Turn Strunk & White upside down

Three new ways to approach classic writing wisdom

After 50 years on writers’ bookshelves, Elements of Style — aka “Strunk and White” — still offers perhaps the best collection of techniques for compressing copy:

  • Use the active voice.
  • Put statements in positive form.
  • Avoid a succession of loose sentences.
  • Express coordinate ideas in similar form.
  • Keep related words together.
  • In summaries, keep to one tense.
Turn Strunk & White upside down

See Strunk & White from a new perspective Instead of omitting needless words, try highlighting needed words.

And, most famously:

  • Omit needless words.

So how can you omit needless words?

Read full article >

Related stories

“I try to leave out the parts people skip.”
— Elmore Leonard, author of Get Shorty and 39 other novels

Get a clutter-cutting workout with Wylie

Boost readability by up to 300% when you practice your new skills on your own work

In the crunch of writing headlines and meeting deadlines, it sometimes seems as if there’s not enough time to pause and consider how you’re doing. But in our practice sessions, you’ll get a great opportunity for reflection and improvement.

Get a clutter-cutting workout with Wylie

Fat camp Feel the burn at our tight writing workshop as you melt away excess verbiage, lose the gobbledygook and jargon, and tone your copy. Image by Keit Trysh

Bring your laptop and a story to work on. We’ll give you a chance to write and rewrite, get and give feedback, and leave with a totally rewritten piece.

At Cut Through the Clutter — our two-day tight-writing master class on April 6-7 in Washington, D.C., and on Aug. 17-18 in San Francisco — you’ll learn:

Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

  • Master the techniques you learn in the workshop by applying them immediately. (That’s how we put the “Master” in the Master Class!)
  • Get feedback with specific ideas you can use to improve your work immediately.
  • Gain valuable insights on your work from your peers and from Ann.
  • Learn to analyze and improve others’ writing — the best skill you can develop for editing others or improving your own work

Get your entire team on the same page and save with our group discounts. Register now.

“I loved the format of the class. Learn a strategy and then apply it. So helpful.”
— Maren Johnsrud, communications associate, Mayo Clinic

Polish your skills at these Master Classes

Learn to Master the Art of the Storyteller, Catch Your Readers, Get Clicked, Cut Through the Clutter and more

Register for Catch Your Reader: Ann Wylie's persuasive writing workshop in Las Vegas on March 22-23, 2017
Register for Cut Through the Clutter - Ann Wylie's Tight Writing workshop in Washington, D.C. on April 6-7, 2017
Register for Not Your Father's News Release - Ann Wylie's PR-writing workshop in Chicago on May 18-19, 2017
Register for Catch Your Reader: Ann Wylie's persuasive writing workshop in Boston on June 19-20, 2017
Register for Get Clicked, Read, Shared & Liked - Ann Wylie's online-writing workshop in Portland on July 27-28, 2017
Register for Cut Through the Clutter - Ann Wylie's tight-writing workshop in San Francisco on Aug, 17-18, 2017
Register for Master the Art of the Storyteller in New York: Ann Wylie's creative-writing workshop in New York on Sept. 25-26, 2017
Register for Catch Your Readers in Dallas: Ann Wylie's persuasive writing workshop in Dallas on Oct. 16-17
Register for Not Your Father's News Release - Ann Wylie's PR-writing workshop in Kansas City on Nov. 16-17, 2017
Register for Get Clicked, Read, Shared & Liked - Ann Wylie's online-writing workshop in Miami on Dec. 11-12, 2017

Rather bring Ann in to train your whole team?

Catch Ann on the road

Save when you book a workshop while I’m in your neighborhood

Ask about piggybacking on my upcoming engagements in:

  • Boston: June 19-20
  • Chicago: May 18-19
  • Dallas: Oct. 16-17
  • Kansas City: Nov. 16-17
  • Las Vegas: March 22-23
  • Miami: Dec. 11-12
  • New York: Sept. 25-26
  • Northbrook, Illinois: June 14
  • Plano, Texas: March 20
  • Portland: July 27-28
  • San Francisco: Aug. 17-18
  • Washington, D.C.: April 6-7

Keep up with my calendar.