First iPhone app developed especially for writers

Monday, August 06, 2012
St. Petersburg: The Poynter Institute has developed a mobile app designed to help writers address their most pressing problems. Based on the groundbreaking work of Poynter Senior Scholar Roy Peter Clark, the "Help! For Writers" app divides the writing process into key steps, identifies the most common missteps and offers writers of all genres useful solutions to difficult problems. The app may be downloaded from iTunes for $1.99. 

"It's like having a writing coach in your pocket," said Clark, author of the book "Help! For Writers: 210 Solutions to the Problems Every Writer Faces" (Little, Brown and Company, 2011) as well as 15 other books dedicated to writing excellence. "Writers are hungry for helpful tips, for practical solutions to their problems -- with a rich dose of encouragement thrown in. You even get to hear my voice giving a pep talk!"

The "Help! For Writers" app outlines five steps of the writing process: Getting Started, Hunting and Gathering, Finding Focus, Building a Draft and Making It Better.

"Good writing may seem like magic," said Clark. "But when you study the best writers, you learn that they follow a set of steps, strategies that all of us can learn from."

Clark is one of the world's most influential writing teachers, the author of the book "Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer" and course on Poynter's News University, "The Writer's Workbench: 50 Tools You Can Use, and the book "The Glamour of Grammar: A Guide to the Magic and Mystery of Practical English." He also blogs and chats about writing tools on, and was instrumental in the development of a self-directed "Help! For Writers" e-learning course on Poynter's News University. Says renowned humorist Dave Barry, "Roy Peter Clark knows more about writing than anybody I know who is not currently dead."

Clark collaborated with several Poynter colleagues to develop the app, including Julie Moos, Director of Poynter Online; Steve Myers, Managing Editor,; Howard Finberg, Director of Training Partnerships and Alliances; Jeff Sonderman, Poynter Digital Media Fellow; Jeremy Gilbert, formerly design director for and currently an assistant professor at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism; and Leslie Passante, formerly an interactive learning producer at Poynter and currently a developer with The Washington Post.
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