It’s been quite a good year on the writing front. Balancing writing with full-time teaching is tough, but the rewards are great! It’s only three weeks until our xmas holidays so I’m calling this the end of my writing year. Here were my highs and lows.
Contracts offered to me this year: 17
Contracts offered directly through LinkedIn: 6
Total contracts taken: 8
Coursebooks written: 1
Workbooks written: 1
Coursebook contracts (regrettably) turned down: 1
Percentage of contracts – publishers vs editorial agencies: 75/25
Editors worked with: 17
LinkedIn connections gained: around 800
Moment of the year
Co-authoring StartUp Level 8 (Pearson). That was a tough gig but really rewarding. We came up with some great texts and really rich, PARSNIP-flouting video scripts. Without doubt one of the best projects I’ve been involved in, and also quite a bit of freedom from the publisher.
Other reasons to celebrate
I’ve achieved one of my career goals as a materials writer – working for Onestopenglish! I won the OSE Lesson Share competition earlier in the year, which turned out to be a springboard to great things. I’m producing my best work at the moment for Onestop – lots of freedom to express myself.
Oh, and I also co-authored an ebook for Peachey Publications, which has sold surprisingly well!
Reason to kick myself 1
Turning down a coursebook! Unbelievable! I never thought the day would come when I would turn down the chance to write a book.
First and foremost, I’m a teacher. If contracts are too big to take on, or if they might impact negatively on my teaching practice (hence my learners), then I can’t do them. I sensed that might be the case when offered another coursebook contract this year, so I did the sensible thing and passed. Here’s hoping I haven’t burnt bridges with that publisher…
Reason to kick myself 2
I accepted an intense two weeks of writing – bulky and time consuming but it was money. Then, a few hours after accepting, I was offered the perfect opportunity (for me): writing pronunciation resources for a coursebook. Such is life.
… when one of my editors changed mid-contract during a project. I had that ‘what’s gonna happen? Will the new editor hate me?’ moment. Turns out they were equally supportive.
Longest period I’ve waited for payment after a contract completion
Three months. Ongoing. Grrr…
Most interesting topic written about
As always, there have been a lot. Highlights have included…
- fake news
- Dunbar’s number (Thanks Del Spafford for the suggestion, interesting)
- how power corrupts
- paddle boarding
- women in science
- gulper eels
- El Capitan (Yosemite)
Most puns in a resource
Wait… I can find that one…
That was actually last October, but it just makes the cut.
Late in the year I did some work for BBC Learning English. I forgot that my CV was on their freelancer database – has been for a couple of years. That’s a great addition to my list of clients.
Editors comment of the year
‘I’m not anti the poo’.
Really. That was actually a comment.
Goals for next year
That really depends on what comes along. Personally, I’d like to…
- publish more resources for YLs and teens
- get involved in some EAL writing projects
So, writers: what have you been up to this year? What were your highs and lows?