Need some help with your creative writing? Grab these tools now

Writing creative material that’s good enough to grab publishers by the short hairs is always big challenge. Here, guest contributor Gloria Kopp shares her top tips on the tools she finds invaluable for getting manuscripts ready to, er, grab prospective publishers by the short hairs and with luck, lead to a publishing contract. (And best of all, these tools work for most other types of writing, too – for business, blogging, web content, and more.) Go, Gloria …

Essential proofreading and editing toolkit for creative writers

book writing help on HTWB

Writing a book, or thinking about it? Here are some tools you may find very helpful.

Everyone has always got that secret weapon hidden in their back pocket – that trick that helps them get the job done easily, quickly and properly. For creative writers, your secret weapon is right here; a cache of essential proofreading and editing tools to improve the quality of your writing, and turn it from something good to something spectacular. [Read more…]

How to get your kids to write better – and enjoy it

Now that many of our children are going back to school after the summer break, it reminded me that when my son was at high school I had to suppress my screams when reading through his English assignments every time I saw a spelling or grammar mistake.

How to get your kids to write better - and enjoy it

As with so many things, acting as a coach for your child to help them write better and enjoy it, will go a long way towards achieving that goal.

Despite being utterly ignorant of the “right” way to handle this my instincts told me not to threaten him with castration if I ever saw another “it’s” when it should be “its,” but to move on to the big picture – the content of his writing and how it worked – and go back to the details later. [Read more…]

Going to college/uni soon? Here’s how to survive it

Whether you’re a new university student or an old-timer, this series of articles by recent graduate and hugely talented young writer Jackson Rawlings will have you laughing all the way through … and yet learning the best ways to cope with university life, study, write essays, assignments and sheer survival. Enjoy.

Going to college/uni soon? Here's how to survive it

Some great advice if you’re off to college/uni soon … from a guy who just graduated a while ago.

Here’s a checklist of all the brilliant articles Jackson wrote for HTWB about how to survive college (USA) or uni (UK) and emerge with the best possible outcomes. Just click on the green titles to go to the articles you want to read. [Read more…]

Melania Trump’s speech: why plagiarism is always damaging

Did Melania Trump’s recent speech plagiarise an earlier speech by Michelle Obama? Was it accidental? Was it deliberate? Does anyone remember what else she said? Does it matter?

Melania Trump and speechwriting - plagiarism is always damaging

Did ghosts get into the Trump family’s speech-making machine?

What should we take note of on how to write our own speeches, from that scruffy row? [Read more…]

Telling teens why good writing matters: the point that hits home

If you have teenage relatives you’ll probably know that they clam up like, er, clams, when you tell them why writing matters. Mainly they regard “proper” writing as a pain in the posterior. What’s wrong with leaving apostrophes out? Using the latest Instagram jargon? Speaking and writing in hip terms everyone who’s anyone in rap, metal and other such contemporary cultures knows and appreciates?

Telling teens why good writing matters: the point that hits home

When you apply for a job, most of the CVs/résumés on the recruiter’s desk will have mistakes in them. If yours doesn’t, it will stay at the top of the pile. Then, guess what?

As you’d expect, with my own son (poor kid) I hammered the need for correct spelling, punctuation, grammar and syntax into his head before he could walk. These days I’m a little more gentle with teens, but the metaphorical slap-in-yer-face still works. Read on … [Read more…]

“I’m a business writer and business writing trainer. Questions, kids?”

OK, that’s what I am … but who understands what it means, especially when you’re a teenager?

Recently I have been doing some (voluntary) work here in Milton Keynes, England, helping secondary/high school kids learn more about the realpolitik  of the business world. We’re very lucky to have two organisations running schemes where business people go into these schools and talk to students: one is ProActive Education, and the other is the charity Worktree.

Teaching high school students about business and business writing

Students need to know that no matter how boring it may seem, correct grammar/spelling/punctuation in job applications and CVs/résumés can make the difference between getting a job … and not getting it.

So what exactly does this entail, and how much do these teenagers know – if anything – about the importance that business writing will have in their future careers? [Read more…]

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