A fumbler’s guide to live online video chats and meetings

How are you doing with your Zoom / MS Teams / Facebook Lives / Facetime and various other incarnations of live video on the internet, especially now that there are very few – if any – ways to communicate with our clients / customers, colleagues, friends and family otherwise?

The Zoom meeting … our new normal?

A while back I wrote about, and asked my learned colleagues to share their advice on, how to perform on online video as you’ll find from this incredibly comprehensive guide here. And that was before the coronavirus stopped us talking F2F.

But today, as we cope with the most recent restraints … let’s take another look at how we are communicating now. Speaking as a prime techno-fumbler myself and a beginner at this talk-and-chew-gum-at-the-same-time online video lark, I sympathise with other beginners starting out … especially as so many friends and colleagues are becoming online TV superstars…

Some tips about live online video that I’ve discovered the hard way

[Read more…]

How have we become so selfish? An 18-year-old writes about coronavirus

by James Tierney

Please welcome James Tierney, 18, a highly talented young writer who hopes to make writing his career. His current projects include excellent fiction for children and young adults: this time, however, I asked him to share his nonfiction thoughts on the coronavirus pandemic from the point of view of a teenager in the UK. Over to James…Sz.

Now can you see the benefits of being tech-savvy, as we young people are?

At first, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It is like something you see in the movies.

Some sort of disease and no one is allowed to go out.

However, as the days have gone by the realisation has hit home. At first, they were saying it was only the elderly that were affected. As time has gone on, I have heard more cases of people around my age, or even younger, getting it and dying from it.

I think the worst of these was the 13-year-old boy who died from the coronavirus. [Read more…]

Write Around The Web: literary festival, proofreading, typography, adverbs and a smile

Welcome to our new selection of curated info from around the web — hand-picked for HTWB readers by yours truly. Enjoy!
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Milton Keynes, England — easy to get to from London, Oxford, Cambridge, Birmingham and beyond…Sz 

Milton Keynes Literary Festival 18-22 September 2019

A fabulous festival of books, words, writers and ideas that celebrates everything literary, bookish or wordyMilton KeynesAfter a triumphant debut in 2017 – with Lynton Kwesi Johnson, Michael Rosen and much more – we returned in 2018 with an even more ambitious programme, working with new Festival partners and venues to bring a cornucopia of the finest contemporary writing to the city.  Highlights in 2018 included Hollie McNish, Mark Haddon and Lemn Sissay. [Read more…]

How bad writing will cost you sales opportunities

Today we welcome sales expert Niraj Kapur, who quite rightly spits fur and feathers about the way wannabee business suppliers ruin their chances with prospects due to writing the wrong words in the wrong way. Over to Niraj…

We’ve all experienced this truly bad writing

bad sales writing

Don’t talk about yourself. Write about how you deliver benefits & help prospects.

You connect with someone interesting on LinkedIn and they sent you a terrible sales pitch.

You ask someone at a networking event to send you information and it’s full of attachments, all about them and nothing to benefit you.

You attend an exhibition and the sponsors send you an impersonal automated email within minutes of your leaving their exhibition stand. [Read more…]

Three million reads about writing: check out the most popular here

Just checking out my stats and found that HTWB has now had more than three million page views.

I’m “gob-smacked,” as we say in the UK: surprised, thrilled, delighted and humbled all at the same time. What a wonderful testimony to those of us willing to share our expertise for no financial gain.

3 million page vieww for HTWB

Celebrate with us: more than 3 million page views of HTWB

And what a wonderful testimony to the many writing and allied contributors who have made this humble site what it is. You all know how you are: too many to name individually but covering all aspects of writing that I can’t, from writing fiction to business plans to terms and conditions to bids and tenders to music to poetry and much, much, more.

No ads, no covert links in articles, no need to sign up, so no spam

(But you can buy some books from the Bookshop or right side bar if you like!)

Here are some of the most popular articles and tutorials you can choose from: [Read more…]

Want a naughty gift at the last minute? Read this review

In case you’ve still got a couple of gifts to get for the Big Day next week, you might like to read this review of my dearly beloved book, Mischieverse … adult poems about many of the little things that p*ss us off from day to day.

The review is from Muddy Stillettos, a lively online women’s magazine in the UK. 

Why Mischieverse makes a very good adult Christmas gift

The perfect book for the downstairs toilet…

The perfect stocking filler for the intelligent female in your life…

and we’re sure the blokes will like it too!

Let me start by saying I loved this book of poetry and I think your mums, daughters, sisters and friends will too. Mischieverse is proper rude humour that laughs at life’s every day irritations that you’ll all recognise. It’s social commentary at its wittiest best and perfect for the intelligent people in your life (especially those who don’t take themselves too seriously).

[Read more…]

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