It’s hard to believe it’s been 4 1/2 years since I updated this post. Still retired, still in Santa Fe, still doing the things I’ve done in the past.
I’m looking forward to the release of Writer’s Help v3.0 from Macmillan/Bedford (F2020). It’s being class-tested right now (Sp2020) in multiple classrooms around the company. The product has evolved toward a full class management system from what was originally an online reference for writers. That means apps within Writer’s Help for making assignments, circulating and commenting on drafts, diagnostics, exercises, annotated models, and links to supporting reference content.
Nancy Sommers (co-author at Harvard) and I worked with disciplinary specialists to create a number of guides to writing in science, economics, art, professional writing, psychology, and other fields. These can be purchased as stand-alone guides and are also part of the larger Writer’s Help. Each has annotated models of writing genres typical in a given discipline.
Macmillan has invested heavily in the product. Writer’s Help will be part of a suite of textbook/learning systems for the full catalog of Macmillan’s offerings (within a platform named Achieve). I think the main lesson for me is that textbooks and instructional materials are part of an intensely challenging, rapidly changing market.
I’ve continued working with Greg Cuppan on a variety of consulting and training projects for the pharmaceutical industry. Recent clients include Sandoz, Novartis, Pfizer, Retrophin, EMD Serono, and GSK. Projects center on designing documents, preparing briefing packages for regulatory reviewers, improving clinical trial protocols, assessing document quality, and training groups of scientists who write these documents. It’s been enjoyable to teach groups of scientists in Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia, Austria, and elsewhere, all via teleconferencing.