Business

Write with clarity and power, in a way that best serves your needs.

Community

Write together for pleasure, to express yourself and to share your world with others.

Education

Write in a way that suits your audience and purpose. Write to succeed and achieve.

WHAT THEY SAID

ABOUT ME

TEACHER

I’ve taught English in secondary schools for more than 20 years. Sharing my passion for this subject with students and teachers has been extraordinarily fulfilling. Now I’ve taken that passion outside classrooms, to focus on targeted, intensive teaching and learning with individuals, departments and schools.

WRITING COACH

My ideas and insights will help you develop a distinctive voice for your business, company or organisation. I can work with individuals, small or large groups to help you achieve your communication aims, whether that be on your website, in publications or in your in-house communications.

WRITER

My own writing encompasses everything from academic writing, to blogs, to poetry. I understand the struggle that good writing involves – as Nathaniel Hawthorne once said: “Easy reading is damn hard work”. I love working with other writers in person or on-line, exchanging ideas and suggestions.

READ MORE STORIES ABOUT ME HERE

Highly qualified

  • President of the New Zealand Association of Teachers of English (NZATE) for six years; Council member for sixteen
  • Head of Department of English (later Faculty of English and Languages) for more than fifteen years
  • Recipient of an NEiTA (National Excellence in Teaching Award) in 2012
  • Recipient of a Woolf Fisher Fellowship in 2013
  • MA in English (Otago); MA in Creative Writing (Victoria); Graduate Diploma in Arts (Massey); Diploma in Teaching (Dunedin)

Widely recognised

  • Published in English in Aoteoroa and Interface.
  • Writing team member for Ministry of Education projects (Senior Secondary Teaching and Learning Guide for English, New Zealand Curriculum)
  • Writing team member for NZQA projects (Unit and Achievement Standards, Tasks, Revisions of Standards, Conditions of Assessment documents, Facilitator)
  • Recently led a two year, school-wide project examining and improving writing for assessment.
    Producer of professional resources and workshops for (NZATE)
  • Convener for NZATE Conferences
  • Poems published in Landfall, Sport, Turbine, Cordite and Trout.
Who can use me?

Anybody at all who has basic reading and writing skills. You can work alone or with friends or colleagues, at a time that suits you.

How long do I need coaching help?

I specialise in specific, goal-focussed coaching, so you’ll need help until you decide you’ve met the goals we set. This usually takes between one and six sessions.

What do I need?

We’ll work that out together. All my work begins with a consultation, where we look at where you are and where you want to be.

How much will it cost?

Costs vary, depending on the length and nature of the work, where it takes place and how many are attending. Contact me to discuss your requirements and needs.

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2 days ago

The Write Coach

Self Isolation Boredom Buster #14

Today, I’d like you to write one sentence. (Yep, just one - so make it a good one!) I’ll even give you the first two words.
I want a sentence about where you are, or what you’re doing, or what you’d like to be doing, or how you’re feeling. Once you’ve written your sentence, I want you to post it the comments below. In a week or so, I’ll gather them up and put them together.
Easy, aye? Here are the rules:
1. You sentence will begin “I am...” (or I’m, if you want to be more casual).
2. You have a maximum of fifteen words (including the ‘I am’)
3. It doesn’t have to true- if you want to say you’re gambolling on the moon, go for it.
4. Use great verbs (doing words). See how I used ‘gambolling’ above?
5. Aim, as always, for specific detail. For example, instead of just saying ‘I’m bored,’ say ‘I’m slouched on the couch, and I can’t even be bothered to eat the Maltesers in front of me.’
Happy writing, and remember to post your sentences in the comments!
Stay safe and be kind.
#boredombusters #selfisolationhelp #quarantinechallenge #lockdownchallenge #creativewritingprompts #writingforkids #writingprompts #thewritecoach #collectivepoem
...

Self Isolation Boredom Buster #14

Today, I’d like you to write one sentence. (Yep, just one - so make it a good one!) I’ll even give you the first two words. 
I want a sentence about where you are, or what you’re doing, or what you’d like to be doing, or how you’re feeling. Once you’ve written your sentence, I want you to post it the comments below. In a week or so, I’ll gather them up and put them together. 
Easy, aye? Here are the rules:
1. You sentence will begin “I am...” (or I’m, if you want to be more casual). 
2. You have a maximum of fifteen words (including the ‘I am’)
3. It doesn’t have to true- if you want to say you’re gambolling on the moon, go for it. 
4. Use great verbs (doing words). See how I used ‘gambolling’ above?
5. Aim, as always, for specific detail. For example, instead of just saying ‘I’m bored,’ say ‘I’m slouched on the couch, and I can’t even be bothered to eat the Maltesers in front of me.’
Happy writing, and remember to post your sentences in the comments!
Stay safe and be kind. 
#boredombusters #selfisolationhelp #quarantinechallenge #lockdownchallenge #creativewritingprompts #writingforkids #writingprompts #thewritecoach #collectivepoem

Comment on Facebook

I am waiting for the return of the Goodies, they are the only people who can safe us now....

I am feeling lost and all alone in this strange new world, until I realise that I’ve just logged onto the wrong teams site.

I'm aching all over, barely able to type, thanks teachers for the torturous, tiresome workouts. Elise & Callum

I am holding my growing stomach a lot more, hoping we’re safe by September.

I am watching a pair of blue socks disappear into an ambulance, wondering whose grandma?

I am overwhelmed by the opportunities of isolation and have the will for none of them.

I am discovering that I'm hopless at following jamie Oliver's 30 minute meal recipes.

I am repeatedly glaring at my partner for his rambunctious zoom etiquette.

I am constantly thinking about my next meal while snacking all the time.

I am watching how the economic system collapses while I drink a black beer

I am missing my Friday yoga then coffee + B&E sandwich at Adoro, Ahuriri

I am, it is.

View more comments

3 days ago

The Write Coach

Self Isolation Boredom Buster #13

Start a list of all the little things you took for granted before lockdown.
Try to add a few flourishes to your list, by adding alliteration, similes and specific details (like names of people/places, or numbers). Try to add some sense details (see SIBB #8) as well.
Put the list somewhere you can see it (on the fridge maybe?) and add to it whenever you think of a new one.
By the time the lockdown is over, you’ll have an awesome list of things to do, places to go and people to see!

#boredombusters #writingprompts #writingforkids #thewritecoach #selfisolationhelp #quarantinechallenge #lockdownchallenge
...

Self Isolation Boredom Buster #13

Start a list of all the little things you took for granted before lockdown. 
Try to add a few flourishes to your list, by adding alliteration, similes and specific details (like names of people/places, or numbers). Try to add some sense details (see SIBB #8) as well. 
Put the list somewhere you can see it (on the fridge maybe?) and add to it whenever you think of a new one. 
By the time the lockdown is over, you’ll have an awesome list of things to do, places to go and people to see! 

#boredombusters #writingprompts #writingforkids #thewritecoach #selfisolationhelp #quarantinechallenge #lockdownchallenge
Load more

Self Isolation Boredom Buster #14

Today, I’d like you to write one sentence. (Yep, just one - so make it a good one!) I’ll even give you the first two words.
I want a sentence about where you are, or what you’re doing, or what you’d like to be doing, or how you’re feeling. Once you’ve written your sentence, I want you to post it the comments below. In a week or so, I’ll gather them up and put them together.
Easy, aye? Here are the rules:
1. You sentence will begin “I am...” (or I’m, if you want to be more casual). 2. You have a maximum of fifteen words (including the ‘I am’)
3. It doesn’t have to true- if you want to say you’re gambolling on the moon, go for it.
4. Use great verbs (doing words). See how I used ‘gambolling’ above?
5. Aim, as always, for specific detail. For example, instead of just saying ‘I’m bored,’ say ‘I’m slouched on the couch, and I can’t even be bothered to eat the Maltesers in front of me.’
Happy writing, and remember to post your sentences in the comments!
Stay safe and be kind.
#boredombusters #selfisolationhelp #quarantinechallenge #lockdownchallenge #creativewritingprompts #writingforkids #writingprompts #thewritecoach #collectivepoem
...

3 5

Self Isolation Boredom Buster #13

Start a list of all the little things you took for granted before lockdown.
Try to add a few flourishes to your list, by adding alliteration, similes and specific details (like names of people/places, or numbers). Try to add some sense details (see SIBB #8) as well.
Put the list somewhere you can see it (on the fridge maybe?) and add to it whenever you think of a new one.
By the time the lockdown is over, you’ll have an awesome list of things to do, places to go and people to see! As you can see, my lists begins with coffee (@littleblackbirdeatery) and would probably end with another one!(@13thstag)
#boredombusters #writingprompts #writingforkids #thewritecoach #selfisolationhelp #quarantinechallenge #lockdownchallenge
...

5 2

Self Isolation Boredom Buster #12

Part 5
So you’ve left your story at the worst possible moment. You’ve left your readers (and possibly your characters) hanging.
The solution is obvious. Today you’ll finish your story. And to finish, you need to solve the problem you set up in Part 3.
You don’t need a happy ending, necessarily. But your reader must feel satisfied that the problem is resolved, in a way that is believable.
So write about how your characters get themselves out of the situation and sorted out.
Note: you’re not allowed to use the old line ‘and then I woke up and it was all a dream.’
Note 2: You can’t kill off your own character - because then how could you tell the story?
Happy writing. Check in for a completely new writing prompt tomorrow. I’d love to see your stories, so please send them!
#boredombusters #selfisolationhelp #quarantinechallenge #lockdownkids #creativewritingprompts #writingprompts #thewritecoach #writingforkids
...

3 0

Self Isolation Boredom Buster #11

Part 4
You know that problem from yesterday? Today, I want you to ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen next?” and then write it. (Of course, you’ve got to keep yourself and some other characters alive, because otherwise the story would be over too soon.) Every time you run out of ideas, ask the same question again, so that things get worse, and worse, and worse. And then, at maximum worseness, (I know, worseness isn’t a word. But I’ve just invented it.) Anyway, at maximum worseness, I want you to ...
STOP.
That’s right. Leave your characters on the edge of the cliff, or in that standoff with an eight legged alien, or whatever. Leave your reader holding their breath.
Happy writing!
#boredombusters #selfisolationhelp #lockdownchallenge #creativewritingprompts #creativewritingforkids #writingprompts #thewritecoach #quarantinechallenge
...

4 0

A humdinger of a sentence! ...

5 1

Self Isolation Boredom Buster #10

Part 3
Recap - you’re sitting in the place you invented in Part 1, looking at the person you invented in Part 2.
The tattooed person sees you and comes towards you. They have something in their hand. Something for you. Something that’s a problem.
Today, write about that encounter. How does the person know you? What do you say to each other? What do they give you? What’s the problem?
Extra for experts: remember that word you chose back in Part 1? Aim to write in a way that evokes that feeling.
Happy writing!
#boredombusters #thewritecoach ##selfisolationhelp #selfisolationideas #selfisolationwithkids #quarantinechallenge #lockdownchallenge #creativewritingprompts #writingprompts #writingforkids
...

2 0

Self Isolation Boredom Buster #9

Part 2 (continued from yesterday)
Okay, you’re in the place you invented yesterday. You’re looking around, and notice someone with the distinctive tattoo
In the picture. The thing is, you’re pretty sure you’ve seen that person before - the tattoo is hard to forget!
Today, you’re going to work out who the person with the tattoo is.
1. Make notes (I like to make scribbly, messy notes on big sheets of blank paper) on the following:
* Their gender and age (and species if you’re not writing about humans) * Where the tattoo is on their body, how big it is, and what’s around it. * Two unusual things about their head/face (more tattoos? Hair colour/cut? Eyes? Piercings? Etc)
* Two unusual things about their body. (Scar? Limp? Lots of muscles? Etc)
2. Using your notes, write about noticing the person. Describe them, and what they’re doing.
#boredombusters #quarantinechallenge #selfisolationwithkids #selfisolationactivities #creativewritingprompts #writingforkids #writingprompts #thewritecoach
...

2 0

Self Isolation Boredom Buster #8

Today, I’m going to give you Part 1 of a series of prompts that could, if you wanted, build up to a story. Here goes... 1. Think of a adjective (word that describes a noun, which is a naming word) that you could use to describe a place. Some examples: calming, scary, horrifying, bustling, creepy. (Don’t use beautiful- it’s boring!)
2. Think of a place. It could be real or imaginary - whatever you feel like. But it has to be specific. So instead of your hometown, write about the main street. Instead of a planet, write about its highest waterfall. It might even be as specific as the view from your bedroom window.
3. Now write five sentences about that place. Try to use at least three senses (you know: sight, sound, taste, touch, smell) in your description.
4. Extra for experts! Aim to create the feeling from #1. So make your place sound scary or calming, or whatever your word was.
5. Wait with excited anticipation for Part 2 tomorrow!
#boredombusters #selfisolationhelp #lockdownchallenge #quarantinechallenge #writingforkids #writingforadults #creativewritingprompts #writingprompts #thewritecoach
...

3 1

Self Isolation Boredom Buster #6

This mysterious object has been found near you. It has clearly been carefully hidden for many years. What’s its story?
You might write about any or all of these:
* What the object is and/or what it does
* Who owned it
* Why and where they hid it
* What special power or property the object has
* Who found it and how
* Who has it now
* What happens next.

#boredombusters #selfisolationhelp #quarantinehelp #lockdownchallenge #writingprompts #writingforkids #writingforchildren #writingforadults #creativewriting #creativewritingprompts #thewritecoach
...

5 0

Self Isolation Boredom Buster #5

1. Write three ‘to-do’ lists, about anything you like, but as different as possible from each other. Each list should have between 8-15 steps. For example, you might make lists about the steps involved in putting socks on, how to tidy a bedroom, and how to tame a sabre-toothed tiger.
2. Cut the lists up into individual steps.
3. Make three new lists by mixing up these individual steps. (You can add up to four new steps, and leave out up to four of the originals.)
4. Give each of your new lists a title.
#boredombusters #selfisolationhelp #quarantinehelp #quarantineboredom #writingforkids #writingforadults #creativewritingprompts #writingprompts #thewritecoach
...

1 2

Self Isolation Boredom Buster #4

This is a left knee. (Specifically, my husband’s. I decided his was more photogenic than my own.)
Look at it closely. Very closely. What do you notice?
What caused that little scar on top?
Why does there appear to be a bit of twig stuck to it?
If it was a mountain, who would want to climb it? What obstacles would they find? How would they overcome them?
How would you describe it to an alien? What would you say it’s for?

Today’s prompt: Write about a left knee. This one, your own, or any other (real or made up) of your choosing.
#boredombusters #selfisolationhelp #quarantinelife #creativewritingprompts #writingprompts #writingforkids #writinginspiration #thewritecoach
...

3 0