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Creating Short-form Copywriting for Impact

So much pressure. So much to compress. You landed the job way back. You’ve been at it for a year or ten. There’s been the refresher course, the sped-read text-book, a guru lecture or two and the opinions of ‘co-workers’, welcome or not. You’ve suffered the slings, arrows and whimsy of passing creative directors. Above all, you’ve put the in hours, the client time, the short form, the shorter form, the headline options and, well…is that it?

You want to write short and you fancy some objective, improving help. Welcome to a masterclass that’s all about (on the writing front), the less said, the better.

Masterclass Outline

This masterclass is about the ratio of time spent ‘thinking’ to ‘doing’. Pressured to produce nuggets of pitch-perfect, condensed thinking in concise sentences during office hours, this is instead time spent leaning back.

You will consider the concentrated summary; the act of compression; maximum illumination with minimal expression; the written articulation of ideas; compacting the medium of your message. Throughout, brevity is welcome.

In advance, you will be asked to ‘sub’ a particular piece of text, before producing some headlines for another brief tract. Your work will be critiqued with a view to opening up other ways of approaching the same in an exchange, rather than a awaiting a verdict

Learning Outcomes

Better copywriting is not the result of passing a test. It’s about flexing a particular muscle over and over till fluency and communication become second nature. By the end of this advertising copywriting masterclass, you will:

  • Gain a refreshing reappraisal of how you currently write.
  • Understand how tightly edited thinking can lead to better edited writing.
  • Get it down: thought flows and how to short circuit them
  • What’s left unsaid. Examples from conversation. You don’t have to say much
  • Become a minimalist. Fun but hard work.
  • Write shorter than Twitter. Who needs 140 characters?
  • Learn about headline articulation - from newspapers to D&AD Pencils….

Suitable For

This masterclass is intended for advertising practitioners who have been in the game for a while. The centre of gravity is ten years in, but the material should prove helpful to all standards – as a refresher, re-booter or pathfinder. The assumption will be that you know your way around the discipline already.

Your Facilitators

Will Awdry has a geography degree and over three decades of stupidly lucky time spent in ad agencies behind him. Most of that has been spent as a copywriter or creative director. Or at least, he made it look as though that’s what he was doing.

He’s coached D&AD’s Writing For Advertising masterclass since 2001, won lots of awards and plundered hundreds of dictionaries. You’ll have a good time.

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