Materials writing news and views, August 2020

*Opens hands expressively* Hello everyone, and welcome to this month’s update.

*Does cup holding/triangle hand thingy in front near belly* My name’s Pete, and today …

Ahhh you’ll get what I’m going on about in a minute.

New releases

Other resource news

  • Monica Ruda-Peachey and Billie Jago have a new resource for teachers in the pipeline. Details are sparse but it is deffo through Prosperity Education. Due Oct 2020.
  • 50% reduction on Alphabet Publishing video learning products. Click here.
  • A free e-book on how to self-publish, by David Gaughran. Click here. The same guy also does a free course on self-publishing. Shared somewhere by Dorothy Zemach.
  • Nik Peachey has made a catalogue/teacher toolkit app using glide, which looks good. I think I’ll try it out.

Training opportunities
ELT Publishing Professionals are offering free Avallain training for members. I know some big publishers use this, some don’t anymore, but recent job spots on the ELTpp site suggest this is would be worth doing.

I’m deffo joining this.

There’s a new training course coming up through ELT Author Academy on becoming a materials writer.

A ‘teacher materials writer’ was the wording I think… It’s in partnership with ELT Teacher 2 Writer. More details here. Lots of interesting experts involved, including Sue Kay.

895 Euros without the early-bird deal. My MA Module on Materials Development was about 1200 Euros but meant 30 MA credits too. If I was made of money then I’d do the course to compare the training on offer. But I’m not.

Looks awesome though. Apart from one thing! There’s a session called ‘How to write flawless sequences of tasks’. Surely that’s impossible, right? It would be better if it was called ‘How to write what seem like flawless sequences of tasks only to have to chuck all the hard work out the window straight away when you realize you overestimated the prior knowledge of the learners. Additional session: how to wing it when your materials crash and burn’.

Freelance rates survey 2019

The results of this survey from ELT Freelancers’ Community are out. You can access them here.

Job stuff

Join the Cambridge Learn English team as a YouTube presenter, woooah!

I considered applying for all of ten seconds. Then I saw the description in the blog which mentioned the criteria ‘have a fun and engaging presence’ and I was like… er…

I wonder if one day I’ll come across an ad for an ELT YouTube presenter that actually suits me:

‘We’re looking for someone who …

… is camera-shy

… has wonky, yellowish teeth and lots of forehead wrinkles

… keeps sprouting more hair on their ears

… gets tangled in knots when they explain grammar points’

Anyway, they’ve grown their subscription channel in a short time and it’s actually really good. All the presenters do that stuff with their hands though – the cupping in front of them thingy and the hand wiggles for emphasis and all that… and once you see it then you can’t unsee it. Just saying.

*opens hands expressively*


*holds imaginary mug near belly*

onto the next *slightly turns palms open and closes again* topic.

LinkedIn has been the place to be for random jobs posts. Things like this have been popping up:

… and others but not going to scroll through my feed to find them because they are not active.

Remember that list I wrote on ‘Finding work as a writer’? So, did you get in touch with those publishers/companies? I may have put a few in there that I knew were after writers. I attended one group meeting with a publisher about a new project but didn’t recognize anyone I ‘knew’ ☹

Interesting stuff

  • TransformELT have been interviewing various experts on the future of ELT. Check it out. The one with Lou McLaughlin is pretty good (last 10 mins in particular).
  • Speaking of the future of ELT, my latest book review on international education may be of interest.
  • The TTT podcast did an episode recently with Chiara Bruzzano and Marc Jones on teaching and developing listening skills.
  • Speaking of Marc Jones, he also has an article written with Jon Steven titled: Duoethnography of Two EFL Teachers Developing Their Own Classroom Teaching Materials which you can read here.
  • MaWSIG have been more present on social media, running #sigtweetmeet sessions recently moderated by Fiona Mauchline and (I think) Julie Moore. There was a materials writing comp for MaWSIG too for new writers but it’s already closed.
  • Oh, speaking of Julie Moore – a recent article on reviewing in ELT publishing, well worth a read. Off the back of that, Atena recommended getting involved in Cambridge BETA.
  • Garnet Education have been promoting lots of different things, including their ‘Life cycle of a book’ posts. Their podcast has a few interesting episodes for budding writers too and is worth exploring.


A post I saw and thought ‘I wonder if that person writes published materials…’

Quick task out of nothing! (Jo Szoke)

This month I’ve mostly been…

… on holiday.

 If you only read one materials writing related thing this month…

John Hughes is blogging again! Expect tips for new writers and interesting insights. Check out his blog here.

I know I’ve missed lots from this one. Sure of it. What?

Categories: General, materials writing

Tags: , , , , , ,

3 replies

  1. Lovely blog post and update about all things ELT-work related. Nice to see how the Cambridge YouTube Channel has evolved. That is great work!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Cheers for the links, Pete. Much appreciated!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “Then I saw the description in the blog which mentioned the criteria ‘have a fun and engaging presence’ and I was like… er…”


    Liked by 2 people

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