Materials writing news and views, September 2021

Way too busy at the moment to put together anything that organized. Sorry! Here are some updates since the last post from mid-July.

New releases (lots)

Let me look back at screenshots…

Viviane Kirmeliene shared this new resource for lower-secondary in Brazil. A bold name:

Congrats to Amir Hamidi on a first published coursebook. Cool!

Then there was this from Emily Bryson. She seems to have lots going on at the mo – think her graphic facilitation course might have just started too.

What else? I think this was from Mary Roulston but I cut the name off the screenshot! Claim ownership someone!

Looks cool though. Oh, there was a new series of PAW Patrol graded readers from OUP too. I’m sure most of us bloggers got a press release about it. Here’s a link if interested.

I don’t like the new PAW Patrol series much on Netflix. PJ Masks and Octonauts (Above and Beyond) currently top two in our house. Hey, if any publishers have the rights (or get the rights) to Octonauts, I’m in! I’d love to write a lesson based on the Narwhal episode.

Those writers/teachers who studied GCSEs, do you remember CGP revision guides? Well, here’s an EAL workbook for CGP from Cristina Taylor. It’s in a three-part series.

Kath Bilsborough shared news of a new version of this activity book for Primary:

This from Patricia Chappell, book for learners in Egypt (I think…)

Quite a few things there!

Interesting chat

This was a good chat on Freeed. They’ll be a catch-up on the platform no doubt.

Writing bug

I had a working holiday recently in a house next to a forest. The nearest tree had three resident peacocks in it. Monkeys patrolled the fence around the house which was kinda cool. But this bug on my work table was the best. Huge thing!

Brown and Nanguy’s latest research

‘Global ELT coursebooks and Equalities Legislation: a critical study’ is published by NYS TESOL and is available here (maybe being amended right now though).

This small scale study analyses how characteristics such as age, race, and sexual orientation are represented in published materials. It’s a really worthwhile read and reminded me a bit of the ‘reading disruption’ research from Winter that I summarized last year.

All through reading it I was half ‘important point/wow that’s eye-opener’ and half ‘hmmm, bit too subjective’ but either way it’s hard to find fault with the motivation for the research. Deffo important CPD read for writers anyhow.

Packagers webinar

ELT Publishing Professionals’ latest webinar was on working with packagers:

Good presenter, interesting insight from different perspectives (freelancers, publishers, packagers themselves). Here was a summary of freelancer perspectives:

Peter Fullagar offered his take on working with packagers in a follow up blog post here. Worth a read.

My own writing work has mostly been direct with publishers. Only a few contracts through packagers. I’ve only had one negative experience of working with a packager but I certainly don’t judge them all by the same token. Ha, them! Sounds funny.

I’ve only been freelance writing for a short while compared to others. Packagers have just been a normal part of the publishing landscape for me. I didn’t realize this was a more recent thing in some ways. They seem to reach out directly to me more than publishers do, so I say they’re great! Haha. That said, I haven’t actually worked with too many yet.

Renewable English

Renewable English is back for a new series of live lessons! Check out the press release from Harry Waters here.

Showcasing new writers/projects

This ties in with the Renewable English thing. I’ve offered the ‘featured content’ section on this blog to any new writers looking to promote their work. I know there are a few writers planning to put themselves out there next month which it’s great! The more the merrier 🙂 It’s awesome to have Harry’s project there at the moment – such a good initiative and the lessons I’ve seen from series one are really worth a look.

Tamara Belloti

Acknowledging great writers

I was looking back at some of the Secondary Plus resources from British Council the other day. There’s a great module booklet on the topic of food insecurity – some awesome writing in there. Acknowledging this team as they did a great job – don’t know any of them personally to tell them though!


I haven’t been keeping up with blogs or vids from the usual suspects in the last month. Seen Kath Bilsborough come out with a few useful posts though. I think the ‘brand’ of that blog really helps me pick up on it. This week in writing post is worth a read.


DLA have released their first LGBT+ themed resource for ELT. This is from the press release:

‘In the first of a series of videos by and about LGBT+ people Wenzile, a young trans woman from Johannesburg, talks about make-up and what it means to her. Watch her video and do get back to us with any reactions or feedback.’

It’s been a while since my early review of DLA (see here). They’ve made improvements to lesson content since then, but the videos have always been good and push boundaries. I know they (what’s the phrase?) ‘white-label’ vid content for coursebooks so hopefully we’ll see some content like this in global books in the not-too-distant future.


Usual places for job spots – either Facebook groups like ELT Freelancers Hub (I’d guess, although I’m scaling back on social media so can’t say for sure) or ELT CPD (haven’t seen the latter link to them recently though). There have been a few more job spots from ELT Publishing Professionals recently.

One job spot on LinkedIn that did seem cool is this role writing Business English materials for Busuu.


Rachael Roberts’ latest Clubhouse was about self-publishing. Dorothy Zemach co-hosted and is also great to listen to. I’m a big fan. She mentioned the importance of having 2 or 3 ebooks in mind rather just one publication. My first big mistake!

Always lots of good tips from Zemach. She mentioned Draft2Digital again which is a great tool for making epubs.

Recently I’ve been

I’ve just finished a book with Paul Murphy. It’s an IELTS self-study resource and the first reviews out (see Jim Fuller’s awesome blog here) are super positive!

Worked on a cool Business English project recently too.

And the ebook is going well. I made my money back on it. It’s been free to download in recent weeks and been pretty popular (about 200 or so downloads so ‘popular’ is all relative! Haha!)

If you only look at one writing thing this month… is a cool hand drawn illustration library. Free to use. Thanks for the recommendation @lucyhughes_PR

Categories: materials writing

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4 replies

  1. Thank you, as always, for recommending useful sites. However, I need some explanations regarding the Open Peeps. Do I need special software in order to use it? Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person


  1. Year in review – ELT Planning

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