Lead with the future — not background. That’s the most important of eight journalism skills that will transform your writing. The others: write your readers’ language, be positive (to be both clear and upbeat), lay out logically, be consistent, be precise, be brief, and choose strong verbs. Highlights: communicate in a crisis, correct errors the correct way, choose between raw numbers and a ratio, and write around generic “he.” (Plus a Speak Like the News skill: avoid “uptalk?”) Emulate the vivid news examples you’ll see in this workshop, and you’ll strengthen your writing voice with lively, engaging news style. At 7 sharp, we’ll critique TheWallStreetJournal.com homepage, seeing how to communicate your main point in just a few words. Then we’ll talk our way through the workshop booklet, emphasizing reasons, not just rules, for your writing choices. To cover as much ground as possible, we’ll have just a few writing exercises and most of them will take less than a minute each.