November 2012

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Written by Elizabeth Eyre on 1 November 2012 in Magazine

It's that time of year again. No, not Christmas but forward features list time: when I think back over the previous few months, remembering conversations I've had, events I've attended, people I've met and things I've read, to pinpoint trends, issues, predictions and viewpoints that, hopefully, will  strike a chord with you during the coming year.

Then I decide on a different theme for each of next year's editions of the magazine, which are broad enough to bear several different interpretations and that reflect what people within L&D are talking about. The next step is to reconnect with the people with whom I've had conversations, to whom I've listened at conferences, whose books, reports or articles I've read or whose websites contain interesting information or opinions, and persuade them that contributing an article to TJ makes absolute sense!

You can see the forward features list for 2013 on our website, at, or on the forum (

If there is an issue current within L&D that you feel passionate about or an aspect of either L&D practice or theory on which you can speak authoritatively and engagingly, and you would like to contribute an article to TJ about it, please do contact me about it and I will be happy to consider commissioning something from you.

There are, of course, a few guidelines to follow when writing for TJ, as with any publication. They include things like writing for the reader, not for yourself; keeping jargon and acronyms to an absolute minimum; being professional but accessible and friendly in your tone, and ensuring you give readers something that they can take away and apply to their own circumstances.

I would also suggest you read the article by Barry Johnson and Mandy Geal on pp52-56 ("Writin' stuff is fun, innit"), which offers a lot of sound advice about writing for publication. The pair have a long and illustrious history of contributing to TJ, amongst others, and have a lot of wisdom to pass on.

However, the last word must, of course, go to author and journalist George Orwell, who, in his essay Politics and the English Language (, provided the definitive guide to effective writing:

  • never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print
  • never use a long word where a short one will do
  • if it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out
  • never use the passive where you can use the active
  • never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent
  • break any of these rules sooner than say anything barbarous.

Follow his advice and you won't go far wrong! Happy and successful writing!

Elizabeth Eyre, Editor



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