Founder Speak

This month my business partner Wilder Gutterson and I were chatting about what happens to people’s writing in charities that are strongly “founder driven” — meaning a visionary founder is still at the helm. (Wilder’s just completed a Master’s degree in organisational psychology.) We identified three particular challenges writers face in founder driven charities. Here […] Continue Reading

Story Time

By the time you read this, the EU referendum will be over and all the difficult emotions it’s aroused will, let’s hope, be calming down. Today, it’s 24 hours away and I – like you, I bet – would rather think about anything else. It’s story time. About twenty years ago I was working as […] Continue Reading

Breaking News

Breaking news: scientists have found a cure for cancer! Well, sort of. Some scientists, some cancers, for some people, some of the time. Not such a sexy headline. So how do you write for the public about scientific research? I thought I’d have a go at answering that question this month. I’m focussing on medical […] Continue Reading

Thanks Again

I taught some workshops last week on writing thank you letters. The charity in question had been using the same templates for years, and bit by bit the life had drained out of them. Here’s a sentence from one of the letters they were sending out: “We need to continue our efforts to raise over […] Continue Reading

On The Money

The British have all kinds of strange ideas about themselves. One is that British people don’t like talking about money. What strikes me, after living in a very polite corner of the U.S., is that the British love talking about money – as long as it’s a grumble. What’s more satisfying than complaining about property […] Continue Reading

A Gift That’s (Almost) Free

Last month, I promised that I’d let you know what should be on every great writer’s gift list. I’d no sooner hit “Publish” on that blog post than I thought of about ten very expensive things. A room of your own. A Mont Blanc pen. One of those Italian coffee machines that make the strongest […] Continue Reading


When I lived in the US, I loved Thanksgiving. No presents, decorations, or religion – just eating together and gratitude. Now I’m back in London, I’m grateful that I still get invited to a Thanksgiving dinner. Every November about twenty of us, some Americans, some not, clear a space in a friend’s living-room, shove trestle tables […] Continue Reading

Packing light

When you travel, how do you pack? Do you stuff a suitcase with everything you might possibly need, rain or shine? Or do you have a neat set of matching clothes that fit into one small case? Being a recovering heavy packer myself, I’ve noticed something. Confident travellers (typically people who travel a lot) tend to […] Continue Reading