WriteClub London: after the event


What can you expect from a WriteClub get-together? That’s a question that lots of people ask, so here’s a sketch of last week’s WriteClub.

A total of 8 people were present. Including: two science fiction authors, two copywriters, an entrepreneur, a web designer (who writes short stories), a journalist and a project manager.

The Book Club is a loud and lively pub, so we just chatted in pairs and trios. Despite many of us meeting for the first time, it felt like we were a gathering of old, familiar friends. Perhaps our shared love of writing was enough to unite us, or maybe it was just the booze talking.

We variously discussed work, writing for pleasure, reading our work aloud, improving performance skills, the purpose (or lack thereof) of WriteClub, day jobs, freelancing and yurts (and loads of other stuff that I wasn’t privy to).

If you’re looking for a massively popular high-powered networking event, ask someone who wears a suit to recommend something. If you want to talk to people who share your love of writing, then come to WriteClub.

Copywriters – how can we kill the jargon?

Panama Business 2

Copywriters! It’s time to fight back against jargon. Who’s with me?

A battle-cry

We all know that good copy is concise, open and easy for everyone to understand. Good copy relies on captivating stories, clear messages and compelling benefits. Jargon and management-speak are not part of the good copywriter’s toolbox. A large part of a copywriter’s work involves detecting BS, stripping it from copy and replacing it with something real.

How do we fight the tide of jargon?

We know the perils of jargon, but how do we handle clients who love it?

I have clients who cannot bear to call their spades “spades”, because “spade” doesn’t sound sophisticated enough, or because (allegedly) the garden managers they sell to do not respond to such lowly language – these captains of industry must read of “soil-shifting leverage devices” – anything but “spade”.

I argue, I persuade, I persist. But however hard I try, some clients remain locked to their ideas, convinced that pseudo-smart fancy-pants copy is the best thing for their business.

Please help!

I want to know your secrets, your tactics and your tips for dealing with clients who love jargon. Do you cite evidence – perhaps a book or a blog post. Do you have stats? Is there a pie-chart I can lob at recalcitrant clients?

Please sponsor me – I’m cycling 60 miles for YOU!

Cycle Path

Well, I’m not really doing it for you. I’m cycling 60 miles for Norwood, The Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Bliss, The Down’s Syndrome Association and Heart’s Have a Heart.

The ride starts in Hove, heads towards London but then loops back towards Hove. Luckily, I live in Hove.

So how about it? Small donations are as valued as the massive ones – and thanks to the wonder of the web you can do it all directly:

Sponsor Leif now.


WriteClub: all change for London

For the past few months Al Robertson and I have been meeting in a London pub and inviting other writers and non-writers to join us. And it’s been jolly nice. We’ve met journalists, science-fiction writers and copywriters that we would not have met otherwise.

But the venue was never quite right and we eventually decided that a subtle shake-up of the time and place might help us attract a bigger crowd of writers (and non-writers).

So we’re moving to the appropriately-named Book Club and starting earlier at 6pm.

Our WriteClub email list is growing and currently has over 60 writers. It’s a handy place to pass over work that doesn’t suit you and equally handy for finding work that does!

Join us, or miss out:

WriteClub starts at 18:00 and lasts as long as it lasts. Come and go whenever you like. Bring friends, family or acquaintances. All kinds of writers and non-writers are welcome, so don’t worry if you’re just starting out or not even a writer – you’re as welcome as everyone else.

The Book Club

100 Leonard Street
London EC2A 4RH

Nearest tube: Old Street (The Book Club is a <10 minute walk from Old Street)

Future WriteClubs

As summer unfolds, we may venture beyond The Book Club and mingle in parks, with cans of lager, boxes of wine and packets of chip-sticks.

Want to support WriteClub?

The value of a group like WriteClub is the members – we all benefit from knowing each other. And I don’t mean we benefit financially; we benefit through making friends, through learning about our profession or our craft, through sharing hard-earned wisdom and we benefit in deeply intangible ways just from leaving our usual enclaves and meeting new people.

So the only thing WriteClub needs is people. You know people that WriteClub doesn’t. Please tell your friends about WriteClub. And even if you’ve never been, please write a blog post about WriteClub, or tweet about it, and make sure you come along.

Let’s chat about your projectContact us