I am a well-established widely-published professional writer and trainer. I specialise in plain language, writing for the web and writing to be clearly understood.
Here are a few examples from my long writing career:
- Book: WordPress 2: Visual Quickstart Guide with Maria Langer, Peachpit Press, 2006.
- KnowIT — my blog (ongoing).
- I was commissioned to write a STRmix™ technology case study for Kiwi Innovation Network Limited — STRmix™ software helps untangle DNA that has been mixed together at a crime scene to help identify those who perpetrated the crime.
- Tech Universe — a daily column (weekdays) for the NZ Herald Online for 4 years.
- article for the magazine of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand: SPANZ Magazine Autumn 2014, Pp8 & 9.
- MacTips — one, sometimes 2, new Tips each week for 14 years for users of Apple products. In 2009 I added a YouTube channel too. Most, but not all, Tips include a video. In May 2013 I sold MacTips and all items since then are written by others.
- CommunityNet Panui. — I wrote 2 articles per month for community organisations about the Internet for 11 years.
- I wrote 10 new pages of content for the Moving to New Zealand section of the ANZ website. The brief included copy points and key messages to be conveyed; keywords, and links to be included.
- I rewrote Chapter 12 of the Community Resource Kit, for Department of Internal Affairs (11,000 words).
- Book, ebook and website Webguide: Connect your community — A guide for community groups, iwi groups, and not-for-profit organisations, 2006. (The site has become defunct since it was passed to new caretakers.)
- Groupings — the Webguide blog (2007 & 2008, since handed on to a new author and the website seems to have died).
- Help files for an internal web application at CreativeNZ — 30,000 words in total. This was a major piece of work that involved stepping through a secure online application, testing different scenarios and creating Help text in plain language. The finished Help files totalled more than 30,000 words and represented several hundred hours work spread over many months.
- Extensive rewrites of web text for Te Puni Kōkiri.
- NZAID — I was contracted to design a format for the Programme pages on the NZAID website and then to write the text. This was a major writing job for which I interviewed managers, researched and then wrote plain language text. The pages have since been edited and updated considerably by others.
- Good Practice Funding helps public servants follow good process in funding community, voluntary and Maori organisations. I rewrote materials originally supplied for print. The site has surely been updated and rewritten since my work in around 2005.
- Just Next Door is a resource intended for secondary school Geography students. I carried out major editing on one of the drafts .
- I wrote three of the modules in the first ARLA Literacy Tutor Training Kit published in 1995: Social and Political Context [of Adult Literacy] , Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Adult Learning.
Training and Speaking
In 2003 I received the UNESCO Adult Educator of the Year award for my work with adult students at the Wellington Community Education Centre.
Here are a few of the many training sessions I have presented over the course of my career:
- Whitireia Community Polytechnic Publishing Course: a total of 12 training sessions on HTML & CSS and WordPress.
- Two workshops on behalf of Wellington ICT for community organisations: FFS: write well for the web! & First, Fast, Effective Text: writing for Web Readers.
- Engage Your Community conferences — I was the Keynote speaker at 4 Mini conferences in Hamilton, Wellington and Rotorua. I also presented workshops at each.
- Analysis and Report Writing course for the government department of Lands, Survey and Environment in Samoa.
- Analysis & Report Writing course for government officials in Samoa. The course included: how to write in plain accurate English, how to design relevant formats, how to analyse data and make strategic recommendations, practice using word-processing and spreadsheet applications in relevant ways, planning how to implement what was learnt.
- Business Writing Skills Training Course for Samoa PSC & Treasury staff. The course included: letters, memos, reports, writing more to the point, more directly, more clearly, using active voice rather than passive, eliminating redundancies, tailoring messages to the readers, Plain English in a business setting.
For a full listing of my writing and training please visit my Portfolio page.
Software knowledge and skills
I am proficient with:
- Microsoft Word, Apple Pages
- Microsoft Excel, Apple Numbers
- Microsoft Powerpoint, Apple Keynote
- Email, web, RSS feed subscriptions, Twitter, FTP, HTML, CSS, Mac OS, iOS
- Efficiency apps such as TextExpander, Keyboard Maestro, 1Password.
- Making and editing screenshots & screencasts