Friday, 25 October 2013

Getting it right

Okay, I admit it. I'm a stickler for good grammar and spelling. It drives me insane when I see grammatical errors and simple spelling mistakes, particularly in articles or any written communications aimed at children. How can we expect them to learn proper usage of English grammar and spelling if the books and magazines they read are littered with errors?

I'm currently the unofficial proof reader of the newsletter produced by the school I work in - now, on the whole, it's pretty good, as you would expect from a school. But I've been in some schools and seen letters produced by some schools that have very silly mistakes in the most basic of grammar and spelling. Tut, tut.

Now, I'm not perfect. I know that - no-one can be. I'm sure I've made lots of such mistakes in my own writing. Lots of articles and books have mistakes in them that have been missed or misused by the spell checker, or the eagle eyes of the author, editor or proof reader. It's just one of those things.

I do worry, however, in the days of text speak, that our youngsters will not only lose the ability to spell and form sentences correctly that they won't even care! But for we professional writers, our standards must be high. It would be unlikely that an editor or publisher, when faced with a pitch or article that has impeccable spelling and grammar and one that has not, for them to chose the one that has not. Your pitch not only tells the editor your intentions for the article, but it gives them a good idea about your standard of spelling and grammar and ability to construct a sound and engaging piece of writing too, one they aren't going to have to do a lot changes to or spend a lot of time getting ready for print.

So let's hear it for sticklers all over the world - there aren't many of us left! And don't forget to get your spelling and grammar as perfect as it can be in your pitches and articles. If you don't know, learn. There are plenty of books out there on the subject and there's always the Internet for advice too - and other writers.

So what do you think?

Happy writing!

Julie xx

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Funny Ha Ha

I have to admit to being stuck. I've been doing the Writers' Bureau article writing course for more time than I care to admit to - and the thing that is stalling me at the moment is writing an article that is funny. Now it's not the writing of the article that is the problem - so many funny things happen in my life, and I find such a lot of things funny in life - I do have a warped sense of humour - that I have plenty of material to draw from. It's finding likely magazines that would want a humorous article that's stopped me in my tracked.

This is very unusual for me, as I can always identify potential markets for the other articles I pitch and write, but for some reason this latest assignment has left me stumped! Now some kind writer soul did suggest The Oldie as a possible market - but I've looked on the Internet and tried to find a copy in various newsagents but have failed miserably to find one so I can do market research on it.

Does anyone have any other suggestions for other possible markets for a humorous article, or even know where I can get hold of The Oldie? (Here's an example of my strange sense of humour - in that last sentence I did a typo and missed out the words 'get' & 'of''! Ooh matron.

Does anyone else ever have these ridiculously silly potential market blips?!

Happy (funny ha ha writing)!
Julie xx