“How can I become an author?” How we can help…

This question is a lot harder to answer than it is to ask! However here is what I wrote in response to Amelia, who posted on the HTWB Facebook page asking “how can I become an author?”

What additional advice on becoming an author can we give her?

Agony Columns on How To Write BetterPlease share in the comments…and I will delete any that are facetious or rude! Here we go…

Hi Amelia,

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Writing essays: what can we learn from nature?

Here’s a question I was asked recently by a student, that really made me think: what can we write about of what we learn from nature? This was for an essay she was about to write.

writing about nature on HTWB

The business world seems to claw at nature to make its commercial points.

In fact, how many of us still can take the time to look around us and absorb the lessons nature teaches us, especially when our heads are mainly buried in electronic devices while sat in antiseptic urban homes and offices? [Read more…]

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.

the-htwbagonycolumns

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

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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…]

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