How Style Guides Affect Profits— An Apple, Inc. Case Study

by Lynn S. Schwebach Business in the 21st century requires almost all employees at all levels to produce either in-house or external communications—or both. Time spent writing and editing dramatically affects workers’ productivity, and, what many companies fail to realize, the company’s profitability. Nearly everyone writing an e-mail hesitates over capitalization, spelling and grammar questions. …

What are Style Guides and How do They Earn Readers?

by Lynn S. Schwebach Given any writing project, writers want to express themselves today—not tomorrow. They want to get the words down and move on without revising for grammar and usage. Add to that impatience, bad memories from grade school make us avoid checking grammar; style might be a topic we never learned. Yet bypassing …

Interview: Jenny Wortman—What a Writer Wants

Not only is Jenny Wortman a great writer, but she's also a master teacher. She has that unique ability to immediately identify the allusive problem in your story you've been struggling with yet unable to identify yourself—what I call the writing "curse." Online classes allow anyone anywhere to take Lighthouse classes, and I recommend this …

Lit Matters: How HARRIET THE SPY Taught Me to Be A Writer (and a Spy)

I have taken classes from Erika Krouse for...gasp...7 years. I hope to take classes from her for another 7 years. Not only is she a great writer, teacher, mentor and friend, but she is a blazing soul. Her collection of short stories, "Come Up and See Me Sometime"(Scribner), won the Paterson Fiction Award, was chosen …

Heidi Pitlor Shares Short Story Writing Tips

by Lynn S. Schwebach Sometimes writers think they’re flexing their creativity when they’re actually rehashing story lines. Because we work so insularly, we fail to notice changes in writing and the world around us. I learned that last Thursday at a workshop with Heidi Pitlor, series editor of “The Best American Short Stories” published by …

Jennifer Egan’s Writing Process Defines Creativity

by Lynn S. Schwebach Author’s talks and readings bring together a curious crowd, and during those gatherings when it comes time for questions from the audience, one question always inevitably gets asked: “What is your writing process?" The audience—both readers and writers—want to know how authors work, how they take imaginative thoughts and ideas and …

Audrey Niffenegger: An Interview on Writing Books, Creating Art, and Teaching

by Lynn S. Schwebach When you discover an author who is also a visual artist, you’re on the path to uncovering the secrets of creativity. Someone who works in both artistic domains is defying those experts who say we are either “word” people or “image” people. Which happens to be the case with Audrey Niffenegger. …