All posts in the Writing category

Iris. Daffodil. Iris. Daffodil. Stilling the mind with walking meditation

If you’re nervous about a presentation, an important meeting or an upcoming performance, walking meditation might help. When your brain’s gone into overdrive, the simple act of walking slowly can help still your mind and bring your body back to earth. Walking meditation in New Mexico How do you learn how to do walking meditation? […]

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Amy Liptrot plays Glastonbury

At Glastonbury this year, I talked to best-selling author Amy Liptrot about the success of The Outrun, how to write a memoir and what she’s writing next.   Amy Liptrot’s book, The Outrun, has been an extraordinary success. A Sunday Times Top Ten best-seller, it won The Wainwright Prize and has just been awarded the […]

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A first look at Hull, 2017 City of Culture

Before my first visit to Hull, I knew very little about the city. I was aware it has white telephone boxes because it has its own telephone system, that it should be underwater because most of the land is significantly below sea level, and that Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt from Everything But The Girl […]

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How to become a charity copywriter

The other day, someone asked for my advice on how to become a charity copywriter. That inspired me to write this blog. So thanks for your question, Martha! Here are a few ideas to help you get into writing for charities as a freelancer. Narrow down the field First of all, ask yourself what kind […]

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How to win a D&AD Writing for Design award

How to win a D&AD Writing for Design award Last week a clutch of copywriters gathered in the basement of the Truman Brewery to judge the D&AD Writing for Design category. Led by foreman Nick Hynes, our jury included Ben Afia, Katie Ewer, Dave King, Afy Nou and Claudia Ruane. We’d been instructed to be […]

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How to get over writer’s block

Last week I was running some writing workshops to help people write blogs and articles for their company intranet. One theme that emerged over and over from the day was “How do I get started?” And that’s understandable. Even professional writers have days when we look blankly at the blinking cursor and don’t know how […]

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How to make an impact with charity copywriting

What effect do the words you use have on your fundraising success? Here we investigate the impact of good charity copywriting. At the last count, there were over 195,000 charities in the UK, all looking to attract support, donations and – wherever possible – life-long allegiance to their cause. Whether charities succeed or fail in […]

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Nick Drake in Northumberland

A pint of fruit cider and a dish of cockles It’s mid-afternoon on a Wednesday in February and I’m sitting in a village pub by a station a few miles outside Newcastle. A man wearing black jeans and a smart jacket walks in, looks around the silent, almost empty bar, and asks: “Who died?” Then […]

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7 things I learned at The Story

Every year, Matt Locke and his crew bring together extraordinary speakers for The Story, an exploration of storytelling at Conway Hall in Holborn. The ideas fizzle and crackle all day, colliding and coalescing, firing up synapses and sparking a host of connections, leaving the audience buzzing. This year’s edition, on 20 February 2015, was my […]

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Ten things I learned at The Story 2014

You never know quite what will happen at The Story, except that it will illuminate distant areas of your brain with unpredictable copper sparks for some time to come. Here are a few of the things I learned from this year’s gathering of storytellers of all stripes – from film makers, writers and artists to […]

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Auxiliary verbs perish in boating accident

Do you know those Duck Boats that roam up and down the Thames? Bright yellow amphibious boats. Great fun for kids and tourists. Well, one caught fire the other day. Luckily no people were injured. But a load of innocent auxiliary verbs perished in this ITN report shortly afterwards. Have a listen to the story. […]

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Designer soapbox: Tim Foster

Born in Yorkshire and raised in Kent, Tim Foster trained at Ravensbourne and since then has worked for everyone from the Observer magazine to Dorling Kindersley and Mitchell Beazley (twice). Here he talks about combining his roles as an editorial designer and art director, why he loves working with text, and what inspires him. What’s […]

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Once upon a housing estate

Since Procter & Gamble hired Jim Bangel 40 years ago and made him their official ‘Storyteller’, the profession of ‘corporate storyteller’ has become increasingly mainstream. Storytellers now pop up all over the place, not just in their natural habitat – marketing and advertising – but in oil and gas companies, the automotive sector and software […]

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Language: with extra chilli sauce

‘Arrange the langoustines on top in a wigwam fashion’. This instruction caught my attention when I was cooking dinner the other night.  I’ve never made a wigwam of langoustines before, but this was an admirably clear piece of stage direction. Of course, if the shellfish had been alive it might have been tricky. But as […]

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Designer Soapbox: Dave Petherbridge

Dave Petherbridge is one half of the Two Teas design partnership based in West Yorkshire. As ‘Purveyors Of The Finest Pamphlets, Motifs, Slogans & That’, the agency works with clients including the RSPB, Kelly Hoppen, Motorola and WharfeBank Brewery. They may work with a brewery, but these are people with a serious love of tea. […]

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