Training Courses

Sub-Editing : Introduction

  140 reviews

Two Day Course

Now Available As Online Training!


Our Sub-Editing course is designed to help you develop the skills you need to be an outstanding sub-editor; an orderly mind, scepticism, an eye for detail, an obsession with accuracy and the ability to work quickly under pressure. It is perfect for anyone new to or with limited experience of editing copy so it’s fit for purpose: for journalistic pieces, marketing/content creation and internal communications.

By the end of the course delegates will have a clear understanding of the role of the sub-editor within their environment, and have a defined process to work with.

What are the five things you will get out of this course?
• The skill of rewriting problem copy - with a focus on improving sentence structure
• How to use structure to improve different types of copy and maximise reader engagement
• The difference between ‘light touch’ edits and total re-drafts
• How to write headlines and titles that work for human beings and search engines
• Writing captions, callouts and the ‘display copy’ that helps sell a piece of writing

You need no previous sub editing experience to attend this course.

Public Course Dates & Pricing

London Bridge
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SOLD  OUT London Bridge SOLD  OUT

London Bridge
London Bridge
London Bridge

Public Courses

Small class sizes so you get the maximum amount of trainer time possible. You attend with delegates from other companies.

Private Courses

One to one tuition or a private group with just your colleagues. Your choice of duration, content and location. We can train at one of our centres or onsite with you wherever you are located.

We offer a free consultation service to help work out every detail and build the perfect course for you.

From £599 + VAT per day

Enquire Here

Course Outline

  • Day one

    Part one
    • Brief introduction to the role of the sub-editor in your organisation
    • How sub-editing differs from proofreading
    • Building a process based on appropriate essential checks for the type of copy, usually including:
    • Does the copy fit the brief/meet its intended purpose?
    - Is it pitched at the right level for the target audience?
    - Is it factually accurate?
    - Is it a good read – and written to house style?
    - Does it meet SEO requirements?
    - Is it legally sound?
    • Intro exercise

    Part two
    • Practical exercise
    • Feedback and good practice examples of sentences that work well, versus the poorly constructed.

    Part three
    • How to use structure as the foundation for efficient sub-editing:
    • Demonstration of the inverted pyramid for news (a top-loading format also effective for online content of all types including emails, short form content including marketing copy)
    • Introduction to the 5Ws - a formula to help subs check content has key information readers require

    Part four
    • Practical exercises
  • Day two

    Part one
    • How to use structure as the foundation for efficient sub-editing:
    - Demonstration of a variety of feature/ long-form structures – including the diamond, hexagon, egg, egg timer, multi-pyramid …
    • Discussion of common problems and examples of how to fix copy that needs more than a tweak, with emphasis on improving intros and conclusions:
    - weak intro
    - lack of pace
    - clunky transitions
    - repetition
    - length
    - flabby sentences
    - lame conclusion

    Part two
    • Practical exercise
    • Feedback and group discussion.

    Part three
    • Discussion on how to work well with writers on opinion or first-person pieces, in particular learning to respect a writer’s individual style and voice.
    • Examples of when to change copy and when to leave it alone – particular focus on how to edit direct quotes/ paraphrase effectively.

    Part four
    • Writing titles and headlines that inform, promise and engage
    - How SEO influences and helps headline writing
    - How to balance creativity with practicality
    - How to stay on the right side of click-bait
    - How to use the other complementary display copy, that helps sell a piece – blurbs, call-outs, captions
    • Final practical exercise

    Questions and answers
Experience + Flexibility

We know training inside out. We can advise you on all the options to make sure you get the best possible course.

Tell us you need to cancel more than 7 days before your course and there's no charge. Great for your peace of mind.

Our trainers bring their years of industry experience into the classroom. You'll leave confident and prepared.

The smallest class size in the industry. More one on one time with the trainer and a less intimidating group size.

Tell us which you use and it'll be booted up and waiting with the latest software when you arrive.

We provide a lovely onsite lunch so you can relax. We can cater for any dietary requirement with no fuss.

Comfort + Location
Reputation + Feedback

Our Clients

We've worked very hard over the last 20 years to grow our business through personal recommendations.

When you attend a course we ask you to tell us how it went. We use your feedback to help us improve our courses.

We publish all our customer satisfaction stats live on our site (good or bad) because we want everyone to know just how highly you rate us every day, every week and every year.

We know that choosing the best course can be difficult, maybe the thoughts of the 20861 other clients we've asked will give you the inspiration to join us too.

The most recent comments from attendees of our courses are shown below. We reckon they will give you a pretty good indication of how they think we perform.

  Client Ratings

Attendees surveyed20861
  Trainer Knowledge9.8 / 10
  Trainer Materials9.6 / 10
  Trainer Preparation9.8 / 10
  Overall Trainer Score9.7 / 10
  Centre Lunch9.6 / 10
  Centre Staff9.9 / 10
  Overall Centre Score9.7 / 10
  Overall Experience9.6 / 10
  % Who Would Recommend Us99.7%

  Recent Feedback

"Keeping things focused, efficiency"

"Pasty Isles was an excellent teacher, very patient and explained things in a clear way, she made the course enjoyable! "

"Informative, relevant and friendly "

"I enjoyed the small class size as it allowed for all participants to be constantly involved in the discussions. The breakout exercises were interesting and a great way to reinforce the theory were had covered. "

"Very responsive organisation. Experienced and personable."

"Really good - very good examples. I loved the interactiveness of the course and the chance to talk things through and explain reasonings behind decisions. Really good! Definitely lots to put into practice "

"Explaining, being welcoming and personable"

"well organised, good facilities, great teachers"

"Really liked the practice on writing titles and going through the points to ensure you cover when editing text"

"Being accessible and inspiring"

"Class size, resources, knowledgeable and friendly trainer. "

"Patsy was fab. She was interesting and knowledgeable, using examples from her experience and applying it to attendees needs. Good pace. Good space. Thank you."

"Very approachable, flexible trainer."

"The course was excellent and gave me more confidence in my subbing activities. "

"Very useful learning about features on the course, given me the confidence to do these in future. The lunch is amazing as ever and good small courses. "

"A friendly and hands on approach."

"Our trainer was very knowledgeable and I found the centre really friendly and modern"

"Really live the size of class - trainer was rly helpful and answered our questions, sitting area is nice and food was lush! "

"excellent teacher, knowledgeable and friendly. The day was run very smoothly and office is lovely. no complaints! "

"Everything was excellent - staff and trainer was very friendly, course was genuinely useful and practical."

"Great food, v welcoming atmosphere, lots of breaks, fab trainer."

"amazing food. loved the activities and found it all very relevant"

"Explaining everything, making it fun with exercises and the use of examples. Alice was great at keeping us engaged."

"Legal law explanation part was clear, workshops were effective and informative too."

"The content of the course was well communicated, interesting and relevant. It was great to have exercises to consolidate what we'd learnt and good to be able to feed back to the tutor. Delicious food and very friendly atmosphere."

"Pierres was a fantastic tutor throughout this two day course."

"Everything was fantastic, from Piers to the venue to the food and drink. So pleasantly surprised and will definitely recommend."

"Great class sizes and one-to-one support available."

"The course with Piers was incredibly well put together, interesting, and very useful. The facilities are fantastic and the team is lovely and approachable. I would highly recommend the course and am already looking forward to taking another one in the near future! "

"Very professional, laid back environment"

"Small class meant having great support and 121 attention from the trainer - that was super valued!"

"Experienced trainer, the course covers areas that are useful for my work"

"Environment, friendly, relaxed. I have thoroughly enjoyed being here. "

"Varied activities, positive feedback, making the content interesting "

"It was a really great course and friendly informed teacher. "