Raves for The Elements of Writing
Charlie Euchner brings a broad range of experience to teaching writing. Here’s what people say about Euchner’s work on all our offerings — the book, seminars and presentations, and coaching and consulting:
Seminars, Classes, and Presentations
“We’ve already seen a marked improvement,” says a corporate training director (More)
This was truly the most successful education program I’ve run here at Amneal, and everyone I have spoken with agrees that taking the program was time well spent. On a scale of 1 to 10, I think we scored at least a 12. … As a professional writer and corporate trainer, I was very impressed with Charlie’s passion, refreshing approach, and interesting strategies he brought to the Effective Writing seminar we presented to our supervisors and managers. We have already seen a marked improvement in the reports and email correspondence we are receiving from them. If you are looking for someone to deliver an amazingly effective business writing class to your staff, Charlie Euchner is the person to do just that.
—Alan Z. Fromm, director of training, Amneal Pharmaceuticals
“Excellent … Very valuable writing techniques … Passionate,” say Fortune 500 executives (More)
Excellent presentation, well delivered, lots of useful info. … This presentation was engaging and informative. I enjoyed learning about writing and the parameters of good writing. … Needed more time. Excellent session. … Terrific presentation with enough detail to pique one’s interest. Good engaging speaker. Nice PowerPoint covered lots in short time. Great presentation. Very passionate. … Very valuable writing techniques discussed/demonstrated. Very effective presenter. Didn’t feel rushed like some others. Managed time well. … This is wonderful. The content is relevant in a number of areas. … Passionate, engaging speaker. Interesting speaker and topic. Good mechanics about classic storytelling.
— Assessments of Fortune 500 executives at Richmond Events
“A good investment of your time and money,” says Ann Marie Sidman of Gen Re (More)
I personally recommend Charles Euchner. He delivered a keynote presentation that was absolutely fascinating. If you once loved writing, hearing Charlie will move you to once again reengage in that art. If you write marketing material for your business, you will learn some great tips how to draw readers in and leave them wanting more. Take advantage of the opportunity to hear Charlie—it is a good investment of your time and money.
— Ann Marie Sidman, Vice President, Learning and Development, Gen Re, a Berkshire Hathaway Company
“Practical tools, enthusiasm, and confidence,” says one Washington mother of her daughter’s experience (More)
Charlie’s two-day seminar gave my daughter the practical tools, enthusiasm and confidence that she needed to write a compelling college essay; she enters Columbia University this fall. In this super-competitive environment where most applicants have stellar grades and scores, Charlie shows the kids how to write an essay that allows them to stand apart. His passion for writing, friendly style and on-site writing and review propel the kids toward their goal of completing a draft essay before school starts in the fall. More than that, The Elements of Writing seminar gave our daughter a fresh outlook toward writing that has made subsequent writing assignments less of a chore and more of a positive challenge!
— Mary Beth Pendley Ray, mother, National Cathedral School senior, Washington, D.C.
‘Skills and style are way above average. … I attribute this solely to your teaching,” says Yale graduate (More)
I’m a couple months into my first year at the University of Chicago Law School (and loving it). One of my classes is Legal Research and Writing, and my professor just repeats everything you taught us in the writing seminars I took freshman year. We had our first assignment due a couple of weeks ago, and then had individual meetings for feedback. My professor told me that my writing skills and style are well above average and that I write simply and to the point, which is exactly how legal writing should be. I attribute this solely to your teaching.
Camila Panama, Yale 2011[/EXPAND]
“A bounty of useful information and advice,” says Chris Carroll of Vanderbilt University (More) The genius of a Charlie Euchner presentation is in the simple eloquence with which he delivers a bounty of usable information and advice. He connects with people using a conversational style loaded with ideas borne from his years of application and research. Given his impressive academic and real-world experience, he’s earned his credentials as an intellectual, but he is as accessible as an old friend. Listening to Charlie extemporaneously engage a group is an exhibition of a brilliant and nimble mind at work.
— Chris Carroll, Director of Student Media, Vanderbilt University
“Motivates individual transformation,” says Harris Stone of The Graduate Institute (More)
Charlie Euchner’s two-day seminars on the writing revolution are both engaging and effective, not an easy task. As the commencement speaker at The Graduate Institute, he delivered a powerful message about how writing can change culture from the grassroots. Charlie’s passion touches every listener and motivates individual transformation in an instant. Speaking without notes, he connects with an audience in just a few moments, allowing the intensity and importance of his message to permeate straight in to the learner. At the heart of his work is the power of storytelling, and his style of storytelling is impactful from the very first moment. He helps the listener understand their own life as a journey driven by language, and thus he empowers the individual to put thoughts into words and words into action. I recommend Charlie as a workshop leader who makes a difference, and does so in an easy yet intense manner. And on top of it all, he’s a very special human being. I appreciate him.
— Harris Stone, Chancellor, The Graduate Institute
“A hit,” says Irv Richardson of the NEA (More)
Charlie was a big hit at our Fall Instructional Conference. Our participants are experienced teachers who have years of prior experience teaching writing. After spending time with Charlie, the comments on their evaluations were, “inspirational,” “one of the best workshops I have been to in a long time,” and “Charlie used great examples from literature to demonstrate concepts.” We had over sixty speakers at our conference and Charlie was definitely one of the highlights!
— Irv Richardson, Coordinator for Public Education and School Support, National Education Association, New Hampshire
“Memorable … elegant,” says Brad Gioia of Montgomery Bell Academy (More)
In a visit to the Montgomery Bell Academy, Charles Euchner gave a memorable talk about writing and literature. After hearing one of my students speak, he launched into a elegant presentation about the various approaches to writing. Charlie began with the topic of in media res. He suggested to the students that they provide some mystery and point of departure in their writing. He reminded them that the most important person in writing is the reader or audience. Charlie made some unique comparisons to film and music. He captured my students’ attention through his examples, appropriate perspectives, and engagingly and positive comments about their own points of view.
— Bradford Gioia, Headmaster, Montgomery Bell Academy
“A treat,” says Lesley Mills of Griswold Special Care (More)
“Start strong. Finish strong.” Charlie Euchner follows his own writing advice in his powerful presentations. Charlie conducted a tour-de-force five-hour seminar on writing in all genres for the New Haven Chamber of Commerce and the response was universal: we all left as better writers. Thoroughly prepared, with nary a note, splashed with humor and anecdotes, Charlie’s presentations are a treat. Encapsulating the sprawling English language into digestible nuggets, he has managed finally to accomplish what so many have tried before: a predictable system for writing well. The range of beneficiaries is broad — from recalcitrant high school students through the Ivy League into not–for-profit venues and Fortune 500 boardrooms. No one comes away disappointed for Charlie does not oversell the promise on his website as he teaches us to “write well, write fast, right away.” He delivers!
— Lesley Mills, Griswold Special Care
“Entertaining,” says Gary Alan Jaeger of Vanderbilt University (More)
Charlie Euchner is as entertaining as he is informative, weaving together insightful advice and compelling stories. At ease with his audience, he instills optimism in the heart of aspiring writers with simple and practical strategies.
— Gary Alan Jaeger, The Writing Studio, Vanderbilt University[/EXPAND]
“How easy … A wonderful present … Motivating … Excellent … Enlightening,” according to evaluations of seminars (More)
“I liked how he showed how EASY all these skills are. Until now, I thought writing was some skill that only a few people could get. That if you weren’t born to be a writer, you didn’t have a chance. He showed us that’s not the case.”
“Thank you for spreading such clear and helpful insights. The kids were energized by your visit and web site and proceeded to spend the period removing conjugations of ‘to be’ from their drafts. One student claimed 42 instances. Others yelped in pain. Yet, the results of editing, as you said, were instantaneous and gratifying for all. I also promoted your theory of threes and helped them apply it to The Crucible. Your formula illuminated their thinking about the text and is much more practical than asking them to note contrasts, or foils, or juxtaposition.”
“The Elements of Writing seminar was a wonderful present since I need to improve my writing and learn how to teach it better. I only wish we had this as a first workshop. I was surprised all day, but also understood what you were talking about right away. To use this concise format was amazingly helpful.”
“Early in my first semester at Yale, I got a C on a history paper. That semester I took Charlie’s class and learned how to write anything. At the end of the semester, my history teacher let us rewrite a paper. I used Charlie’s techniques and turned that C into an A.”
“There were so many useful tools that you passed along. I will pass this along to the writing specialist in my building.”
“Great job! You’re an inspiration! I loved learning how to make connections to the human experience. Starting with storytelling is really the way to go!”
“The little tricks can make all the difference. Having our students write in a landscape format with extra space will help them to write better.
“I enjoyed learning the [strategy of] ‘Start strong, finish strong.’ It’s a great way to get students to focus on their sentences. Learning about all the threes in writing helps me to remember the lessons for all aspects of writing.
“Charlie shared a powerful message about Aristotle’s narrative arc and the importance of focusing on a specific desire in driving the narrative of the story.”
“Charles Euchner was motivating. He not only challenged us to expose ourselves to unknown parts of history, but encouraged us to find our desires–our specific throughlines.”
“He presented ideas of identifying the narrative arc — and in the process, he encouraged us to look more deeply into our own lives and our passion for the heroes in our world.”
“The one-minute presentations, which started with ‘So there I was,’ was memorable.”
“The videos were excellent. I loved The Elements of Writing Workbook. It clearly explained your writing code. I enjoyed your ‘tricks of the trade.’ They will be used! What can be better?”
“What will I remember? 1. The reader is the most important person in the equation. 2. We are all communicators. 3. First draft of everything is s—. Thank you for the website and workbook!”
“I found your information about character development the most helpful. The way characters interact tells the story. Writing strong sentences in the landscape format is also something I will use.”
“The use of threes throughout the seminar as you described each phase [of The Elements of Writing] was very useful. The tee-short helped me remember! Learning the eight archetypes helped clarify story characters.”
“Now I really understand: storytelling is all about tension, change, and growth. We need to train ourselves to observe details. People notice what they don’t expect to see. Cut out the crap like too many adjectives and adverbs.”
“This presentation was enlightening and validating—enlightening because of the tools you gave us, validating because you reinforced what I try to do in my class. One suggestion: Tell more risqué jokes—they’re good.”
“I loved it. So much good stuff—the character dossier, the emphasis on action verbs, archetypes and character-building through interactions, put surprises into your stories, the setting must be small and knowable.”
“You made a great impression on me when you made us conscious of our word choices; we must choose words to suggest our recipients to desire what they’re about to do or receive. You pointed out that the most important person in the equation is the reader—think of the reader as someone like yourself. ‘Front and follow’ is a great reminder of how to keep the reader in mind while telling stories. Understanding archetypes (and using The Wizard of Oz>/i> as an example) was powerful for me.”
“Without peer,” according to bestselling author Wayne Coffey (More)
Charles Euchner is as passionate about the craft of writing as anyone I know. The texture and cadence of language, the architecture of story-telling and the simple magic of a well-constructed sentence — he loves all of them, and the passion is amply demonstrated in his superb seminar program. Euchner offers indispensable help for anyone who wants to improve writing and find a fresh and authentic voice. Several years ago, I was utterly lost as I grappled with a book about the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team and its miracle in Lake Placid. The success of The Boys of Winter
resulted in large measure from Charlie Euchner’s coaching. Whether I need an honest editorial take or an astute line-edit or help designing a piece, Charlie Euchner is the first person I turn to — not just because he’s so terrific at what he does, but also because his enthusiasm and energy for the writing process are without peer.
Sports Writer, The New York Daily News and author of The Boys of Winter (New York Times bestseller)
“Trust me; it works,” says former Ambassador Nancy E. Soderberg (More)
Charles Euchner is the rare talent who can both write and teach. As I struggled to write my first book, he pulled me back to reality and explained the tricks of the trade. With brilliant simplicity, he explained all the big — and little — things that lead to a successful book. Remember what you are trying to say. Open each story with a strong lead. Use stories to explain your analysis and concepts. Help the reader see, feel, and smell the situation.
Within a month, I had learned what I needed to write a book. Euchner has now codified his wisdom in The Elements of Writing, a seminar that offers all the skills you need to become a strong writer. One day in a classroom with Charlie Euchner will save you months of frustration and make writing anything — books, articles, reports — much easier. Trust me, it works.
—Former Ambassador Nancy E. Soderberg and author of The Superpower Myth[/EXPAND]
“Equal portions of instruction, humor, encouragement, and inspiration,” says William Walker (More)Call him “coach,” for that’s what Charlie Euchner is. He’s an extraordinary mentor who can help convert a competent writer into a compelling writer. Like every great coach, Charlie practices his trade with equal portions of instruction, humor, encouragement and, yes, more than a little inspiration. Give him a try, and he’ll help you transform your game.
—William T. Walker, former associate vice president, College of William and Mary
“I learned more about writing than I had in an entire lifetime,” says Lesley Roy of Yale University (More)
As an entrepreneur and businesses owner, it was never my job to write creatively—only to think creatively. But I developed a deep desire to tell my story. When I heard about Charles Euchner, I called. After an inspirational initial conversation, we set up a two-hour coaching session. In those two hours I learned more about writing than I had in an entire lifetime. Charlie quickly set a framework for my work, with an easy system to keep me focused and clear-headed. The Elements of Writing offers a simple, intuitive, and inspiring system to write well, right away.
—Lesley Roy, Yale Initiative in Religion, Science, and Technology
“Gave me the high-leverage skills I needed to write my first book,” says Tania von Allmen (More)
Working with Charlie Euchner gave me the high-leverage skills and strategies I needed to write my first book. Working with a short sample of my work, Charlie identified a number of simple principles — and, more important, ways to apply those principles – as I organized my story and produced drafts. We worked together for about four hours to identify and fill the gaps in my repertoire. Overall, I have felt confident, equipped, and focused to write. I now know that I have the tools I need when I need to ‘kick it up.’
—Tania Von Allmen, author, Return of the Phoenix
“Both useful and a pleasure,” according to Columbia writing professor Aaron Ritzenberg(More)
The Elements of Writing is the rare writer’s handbook that is both useful and a pleasure to read. The book’s structure is original and smart; aspiring writers can read the book cover-to-cover or can look up specific issues. Besides articulating his own “tricks of the trade,” Euchner offers a huge, wonderful array of examples. In clear, lucid terms, The Elements of Writing explains and shows what makes for strong prose.
— Aaron Ritzenberg, Department of English, Yale University
“I wish I had known about this years ago,” says Australian author Marian Edmunds (More)
I found this book a few months ago and refer to it often and have recommended it to several people. It has some techniques that were very easy to implement and that have changed the way I write and edit. It’s a technique that means the writer considers the integrity of each and every sentence. As soon as I adopted The Elements of Writing I found I worked much more quickly and felt in greater command of the text. I wish I had known about this years ago. I’ve been writing professionally for many years, and this has been one of the most helpful books I have ever found. The book also offers fiction and non-fiction writers some highly readable and useful tips on storytelling as well as plotting, characterization and more.
–Marion Edmunds, Australian author
“A dead-simple tool,” according to business consultant Gerry Lantz (More)
Mnemonics work to help people to remember all kinds of knowledge and skills. Charlie Euchner, like all good teachers, knows that and has applied it to teaching writing basics. He has cleverly turned the alphabet into an easily remembered mnemonic for the principles of good writing. My sense is that people, especially writers in business, know what they want to say but are not sure how to get it down in a comprehensible and simple fashion. Euchner has a dead-simple tool that will help in composing and editing any written work.
— Gerry Lantz, president of Stories That Work [/EXPAND]
“Inspired, but practical as well,” says author Katie Hafner (More)
Charles Euchner’s Elements of Writing isn’t merely inspired but practical as well. Euchner teaches by showing some of the world’s best writers at work: Joan Didion, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Norman Mailer. Aspiring wordsmiths and established professional writers alike will benefit from Euchner’s inventive approach.
— Katie Hafner, technology Writer for The New York Times and author of A Romance on Three Legs
“A must read,” says teacher David Cass (More)
With The Elements of Writing, writer and educator Charles Euchner provides a simple, intuitive, skill-based approach to writing in all genres. I’ve incorporated the approach in my classroom to help my students write their autobiographies. It is difficult to write about one’s life, but The Elements of Writing helps students to find the right words, in the right order, to construct their personal narrative. It’s a must read for all educators who are serious about guiding the young authors to unlock their unique voices and develop as both writers and thinkers.
— David Cass, teacher and advisor at The Met School, Providence, R.I.