Picture of author.
24+ Works 2,544 Members 64 Reviews

About the Author

Roy Peter Clark was born in 1948 in New York City and raised on Long Island. He graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island with a degree in English and earned a PhD from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He was hired by St. Petersburg Times in 1977 to become a writing coach. show more He worked with the American Society of Newspaper Editors to improve newspaper writing nationwide. He was soon elected a distinguished service member which was a rare honor for a journalist who has never edited a newspaper. He has nurtured Pulitzer Prize winning writers such as Thomas French and Diana Sugg. He has worked full-time at The Poynter Institute starting in 1979 as director of the writing center, dean of the faculty, senior scholar and vice president. He has authored or edited several books on journalism and writing such as: Free to Write: A Journalist Teaches Young Writers; Coaching Writers: Editors and Reporters Working Together Across Media Platforms and Glamour of Grammar. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: By Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17323896

Works by Roy Peter Clark

Journalism: The Democratic Craft (2005) — Editor — 13 copies

Associated Works

Journalism and Realism: Rendering American Life (2011) — Foreword — 1 copy


Common Knowledge

Manhattan, New York, USA
Places of residence
Long Island, New York, USA
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
Providence College
State University of New York, Stony Brook (PhD)
academic (The Poynter Institute)
editor (St. Petersburg Times)
Director, National Writers' Workshop
American Society of Newspaper Editors
St. Petersburg Times
Awards and honors
American Society of Newspaper Editors, Distinguished Service Member
Short biography
Clark was born in 1948 on the Lower East Side of New York City and raised on Long Island, where he attended Catholic schools. He graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island with a degree in English and earned a Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. In 1977 Clark was hired by the St. Petersburg Times to become one of America's first writing coaches. He worked with the American Society of Newspaper Editors to improve newspaper writing nationwide. Because of his work with ASNE, Clark was elected as a distinguished service member, a rare honor for a journalist who has never edited a newspaper. Clark is the author or editor of 14 books on journalism and writing.



The Glamour of Grammar by Roy Peter Clark (July 2010 ER) in Reviews of Early Reviewers Books (September 2012)


One of the best teachers...

Insightful, useful, and entertaining. One of the best 'how to write' guides I have read. Beyond technical advice, Clark prompts me to revisit great works. Thank you.
Parthurbook | 10 other reviews | Nov 6, 2023 |
I liked the previous works of Roy Peter Clark; however, this book failed to resonate with my expectations. I didn't read the blurb nor the jacket cover of the book before I bought it. I expected it to be along the lines of his previous books: the Glamour of Grammar, and Writing Tools. I am tad disappointed. There are portions of the book I liked, not because they stated something radically new, but they reinforced a few percepts of penmanship.

My rating could alter when I look at the book with fresh eyes or when I reset my expectations. I 'yam' just being what I 'yam', probably nothing wrong with the book… (more)
harishwriter | 3 other reviews | Oct 12, 2023 |
This writing guide was actually inspiring. I would highly recommend all aspiring writers to read it. He provides good, simple exercises at the end of each chapter, which I did not do. It may be worth a second read, but a little more slowly next time, and to perform the exercises to train my mind how to see the things he's saying not to do as I'm reading, or even as I'm working on my own writing projects. Most assignments are to scour the newspapers or read certain books. You will learn what bores you to death and why.

From now on, I will read news articles, novels and nonfiction now with some extra tools in my toolbox. I usually don't even pay attention to whether or not a sentence is a good sentence or bad sentence until I come across one that throws me off. Maybe words were ackwardly twisted around or the punctuation was off. Then, and only then, will it grab my attention. Facebook news is usually where I find journalists are constantly repeating themselves, lengthening the article, and wasting everyones time. Maybe it's because they don't really have anything else to say on the subject, or they are trying to beat everyone else on getting the news out that they aren't taking the time to organize their thoughts and write a good piece. I definitely could learn from them what not to do as a writer.

He provides loads of simple tips for writing and organization, and provides plenty of examples from other writers in all genres. If you're like me, you are going to want to tag some of his many references to read again later on.
… (more)
MissysBookshelf | 16 other reviews | Aug 27, 2023 |
"To be a good x-ray reader, you must learn to overread, or overinterpret, a text." (ebook p. 163)

This book is about learning to read between the lines and to discern the deeper meaning meant by authors of classic writings, which I have NEVER been able to do. This author read The Great Gatsby six times to uncover what he believes the author meant by words, phrases, sentences, punctuations, and even names. I could read any classic or any poetry over a hundred times and never understand the deep meaning of it. I am a very literal reader. I'm that way with history books as well, and I usually have to keep Google handy for looking up the meaning of words. If you are into this kind of reading, and are becoming an aspiring writer, then you will most likely enjoy and understand this book, giving it a 5-star.

But, me? After reading this book, I now know there are just too many things to think about when forming a story, a paragraph and sentence structure. I will never be able to read a story and get into it if I’m dissecting sentences and paragraphs and trying to figure out why it works or doesn’t work, much less write a story and taking into account all the facets of writing well-structured and powerful sentences from beginning to end.

There are a few books on his personal recommended reading list, which I have read:
1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin (1-star)
2. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (2-stars because at least I understood what I was reading)
3. Hiroshima by John Hersey (4-stars)
4. Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (3 - stars)
It boils down to personal preference. Classics are just not my preference at all.

At the end of each chapter, he does give you tips and writing lessons, which I did not do because I don't understand what he's talking about. I take reading at face value, no more or no less. If there is one thing that draws and holds my attention and interest, it is an author who can describe things so well that it is easy to visualize and feel like I'm there, or make me feel connected to the character so much that it draws a multitude of emotions from me. Now, that is a rare find! I have read many memoirs, and there are only a few that I have found were very well written:
1) Atchafalaya Houseboat: My Years in the Louisiana Swamp by Gwen Roland (one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read)
2) We Took to the Woods by Louise Dickinson Rich
3) Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
4) The Emancipation of Robert Sadler by Robert Sadler

The very last chapter included a few tips that I would like to keep in mind because there have been those rare instances where, as I was reading certain books, I did stop to say, “Wow! That was profound! That was beautiful! I love that description!, etc…”

1. Begin with your routine habits, reading for information or the experience of story.

2. Look for passages that make you stop, not because they are bad but because they are so good that you want to enjoy and appreciate them.

3. Look for the part of the passage you like best: it could be a paragraph, a sentence, a metaphor, even a word.

4. If the passage comes from a book or magazine, mark it with a pencil, then write some words or phrases in the margins that describe what interests you.
… (more)
MissysBookshelf | 10 other reviews | Aug 27, 2023 |


You May Also Like

Associated Authors

Hugh Kenner Contributor


Also by

Charts & Graphs