Benjamin Dreyer

Five Things I've Learned About

How to Make Writing Better

LIVE: Sunday, June 45:00pm pacific / 8:00pm eastern

Join Random House copy chief and author of Dreyer’s English Benjamin Dreyer in this live two-hour class and discover the Five Things He’s Learned about the roll-up-your-sleeves-and-do-the-work work that makes writing more effective, clearer, and sharper.

Online Event Details

  • 120 minutes


  • Single ticket price - $60.00
Add to Calendar 06/04/2023 05:00 PM 06/04/2023 06:00 PM America/Los_Angeles Benjamin Dreyer | How to Make Writing Better

Join Random House copy chief and author of Dreyer’s English Benjamin Dreyer in this live two-hour class and discover the Five Things He’s Learned about the roll-up-your-sleeves-and-do-the-work work that makes writing more effective, clearer, and sharper.

Join me in this live two-hour class and discover the Five Things I’ve Learned about the roll-up-your-sleeves-and-do-the-work work that makes writing more effective, clearer, and sharper.

For the last thirty years I’ve worked to help writers make their writing better: first as a freelance proofreader and copy editor, then as an in-house production editor and eventually the copy chief of Random House, and more recently as the author of Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style

I’ve been fascinated by the written word ever since the magical moment I figured out, as a late-stage toddler, how to read, and if you share that fascination I hope you’ll find enlightenment and practical advice in my Five Things I’ve Learned About talk. 

In this two-hour live class I’m going to dig deep into my bag of tricks and offer up ways that you, as a writer, can make your writing more effective, clearer, and sharper, including: 

• how the simple act of reading your writing aloud will reveal its virtues and weaknesses (and what to do after the revelation)

• how to free yourself of the dreaded nonrules of prose

• how to stop being afraid of semicolons and adverbs

• how to carve away the fat with which we all clog up our writing 

Along the way I’ll also show you, in the most practical nuts-and-bolts way, why some great passages of writing are indeed great, and share with you what I’ve learned over the years works and doesn’t work in the dance between copy editor and writer. What I’ve learned matters most is paying attention to what a writer is doing so that your every edit demonstrates that you’re trying to support rather than distort their writing. Listen before you fix. (And maybe that’s a life lesson that goes beyond writing.) 

To whatever extent writing is part inspiration and part alchemy, it’s also roll-up-your-sleeves-and-do-the-work work, and that’s where I come in. 

I’m sure you’ve been carrying around myriad questions (or is it a myriad of questions?) about how to do this in your writing and how not to do that, so please ask away. 

I do hope you’ll join me,

– Benjamin Dreyer

Benjamin Dreyer

BENJAMIN DREYER – beloved by authors, editors, and his social media followers – has a unique knack for playfully deconstructing the English language. In his book, Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style, he distills his experience as the managing editor and copy chief of Random House into a useful guide for everyone who wants to improve their writing skills. Included are all the lessons on punctuation, grammar, and spelling a writer could ever desire, combined with insider wisdom and fun facts. Benjamin brings the same enthusiasm, authority, and irreverence to his talks, delivering valuable lessons on clarity and wit to students, professionals, and aspiring writers.

A graduate of Northwestern University, Benjamin began his publishing career as a freelance proofreader and copy editor. In 1993, he became a production editor at Random House, where he worked with a roster of writers that included Michael Chabon, Edmund Morris, Suzan-Lori Parks, Michael Pollan, Peter Straub, and Calvin Trillin. Benjamin has copyedited books by authors including E. L. Doctorow, David Ebershoff, Frank Rich, and Elizabeth Strout, as well as Let Me Tell You, a volume of previously unpublished or uncollected work by Shirley Jackson. He currently travels from New York City.

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  • Unfortunately, we can only accept cancellations and refunds up to 48 hours before a scheduled session.
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For reasons we hope you’ll understand – the biggest of them the fact that we make a point of compensating the folks who host Five Things I’ve Learned classes as quickly as we can – we can’t accommodate refunds for tickets purchased within 48 of the start of a scheduled live event. We can also accommodate refund requests for the purchase of an archived session only within 24 hours from the time of purchase.

If you’ve purchased a ticket for this online class and you find that for some reason you can’t make the live session, you have two choices:

  • The first: View the session archive. You can view the session archive as soon as it’s posted – or any time, as often as you like. We’ll make an archive of this class available within 48 hours of the live session, and we’ll send every ticket holder details on how they can view it. As a ticket holder, you’re able to view this full session archive any time– as often as you like.
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