Help! English past tenses are driving me nuts…

English probably is the most insane language in the world. Its grammar is stuffed full of rules which we then have to break because of all the exceptions. It’s not surprising, then, that non-native English speakers get a trifle confused.

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Here’s a note that landed in my inbox recently…

Salut Suze, [Read more…]

Help! How do I train staff to write better local government reports?

Hi Suze:
Do you have any tips for writing ‘interesting’ reports for committees in a local government environment? I am doing some internal training in my local government department and am looking for ideas for exercises for our staff, which go beyond the ‘basic’ report writing.”
David from Manchester, England.

Training staff to write better reportsHi David!
Here are a few tips you might like to build into exercises – not just in writing interesting reports, but also in the thinking staff need to get right before they start writing.

7 ways to create more interesting reports for local government and similar organisations

[Read more…]

Social media: why you should advise, not adVERTise

Have you ever been guilty of confusing social media with free advertising? This guy did…here’s what he posted in the discussion thread of a locality group on one of the very large social media platforms…

Social media: why you should ADVISE, not ADVERTISE

Tips on car maintenance, or very short case studies, work well on social media.

Hi there everybody. I just wanted to quickly advertise my business. [Read more…]

Children’s books? Sooo hard to get a publisher. But wait – there’s hope

Hundreds if not thousands of people have great ideas for children’s books and many of them are absolutely brilliant.

Trouble is, there is so much good stuff around that in the first instance, children’s book publishers AND relevant literary agents have the pick of crop dropped into their laps and can afford only to take on what they think will be not just good, but utterly sensational.

Children's books? Sooo hard to get a publisher. But wait - there's hope

The books are all based on the adventures of her dogs

Plus, these publishers think, at least, that they know what’s fashionable where in the children’s books market and to an extent can influence that according to their own whims. It’s a tough, tough market to crack.

However in this exchange between me and a friend whose friend has written some amazing stories for 7-10 year-olds, there may be light at the end of the tunnel…

[Read more…]

My new recruitment business: how should I promote it?

Here’s another question from the inbox: how to promote, market and write about a brand new early years (Kindergarten) education recruitment business. Like most crossovers between professionals and the commercial world, care has to be taken to make sure any promotion is squeaky clean.

My new recruitment business: how should I promote it?

You might also like to blog about early years/Kindergarten education issues within the localities in which you operate.

This lady started off with what I reckoned was somewhat the wrong approach … [Read more…]

My friend’s in hospital with a serious eating disorder. What can I write to her?

Here is a young girl in hospital with anorexia. She is not allowed phone calls or visits from friends. Her best pal from school is desperate to tell her she hasn’t been abandoned. Their only lifeline is written letters.

My friend's in hospital with a serious eating disorder. What can I write to her?

It now feels like I can’t speak to her without awkwardly skirting round the topic.

And her friend wrote to me, for advice on what to write to this poor girl.¬†Would you have advised the same? If not, what would you have said? Read on…

What to write to someone with an eating disorder: the problem

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