Category Archives: Copywriting

4/2: (FREE) Writing Wednesdays: From Snippets to Stories (with a Special Guest)

writing_wednesdays_jpeg“From Snippets to Stories” showed writers how to take the germs of ideas and incidents and fashion them into stories–whether for books, articles, presentations and even coaching and sales situations. It covered where snippets come from, how best to collect and catalog them, develop and shape them, and ultimately present or perform them. We looked at kernels of stories and identified their universal truth or archetypal echo, and learned how they can be combined, enhanced, or otherwise massaged to serve our goals and purposes.

Craig Harrison has fashioned stories from bad school behavior, bad job interviews, bad dates, and good fortune to be at the right and wrong places at the right and wrong times. He also has a keen ear and observant eye and realizes context and time often inform what’s funny, poignant, meaningful, or magical.

The recording is now available: HERE.

craig_2010About Craig Harrison:

Craig Harrison is a SF Bay-Area based speaker, trainer, author and coach who helps professionals express their excellence as communicators and leaders. His first publication, Recycled Jokes, came as an eleven year old, when he went door-to-door in Berkeley peddling joke books and good cheer amid the protests and riots of the late 60s/early 70’s. Today he is prolific article writer–having published four books, a pocketbook, three tips booklets, and numerous special reports–and is the principal of the training firm Expressions of Excellence.

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From Snippets to Stories

craig_storybook[Dalya's Note: This guest post was written by Craig Harrison who will be a Special Guest on the 4/2 Writing Wednesdays call. He is the Principal of Expressions of Excellence.]

Don’t look now, but did you realize we’re surrounded by stories? They’re everywhere. Last week I was traveling and everywhere I turned I heard stories: on the shuttle to the airport, while going through the security lines, at the gate, on the airplane, and while waiting for our baggage. Everyone was telling stories… to each other, to the flight attendants, and the attendants were no doubt telling stories to each other about us!

What’s most exciting are the new stories we fashion from our experiences, observations, and imagination.

As the Principal of Expressions of Excellence!™ I speak, train, write, coach, and facilitate. As such, I use stories a great deal, whether to educate or illustrate, to entertain, inspire, or even to sell. My specialty is the telling of personal stories. I’m often asked about my stories: How did you fashion that story? Where did it come from? How did you develop it? (And on occasion I am asked if my stories are really true. Yes, they are, to me!)

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Describe Your Unique Role in Collaborative Efforts

fabric threads[Dalya's Note: This is an excerpt from my award-winning book, Writing to Make a Difference: 25 Powerful Techniques to Boost Your Community Impact.]

You may recall my post about the value of collaboration. Today I want to talk about the importance of carving out a unique niche for your organization in those collaborative efforts.

Your work to advance your organization’s unique brand involves illustrating how you contribute essential threads to your community’s interwoven fabric. You serve as a crucial resource and contributor to social and/or environmental responsibility.

Collaboration combines your organization’s power with that of other organizations that share your values, in a strategic effort to benefit a larger number of people than you could alone.

Ask yourself: How does your work fit into the larger picture of your community’s well-being?

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Interview Questions for Your Main Characters

GCfGN_symbol-drop-shadow[Dalya's Note: This guest post was written by Beth Barany, an award-winning novelist, keynote speaker & creativity coach for novelists.]

Many nonfiction writers may be unfamiliar with how to develop characters in their how-to or other pieces. But with some guidelines and some investigative questions, you’ll be able to create interesting and compelling characters for your teaching stories.


Many fiction writers start with this next exercise even before they start their stories. How do I know that? I’m an award-winning novelist, with 2 novels and 2 novellas published, and when I’m not working on my own stories, I help authors write, publish, and market their novels.

Start with your character’s outer goal. What does she want? Have it be something anyone could see. Example: to get a job. Also, all characters have an inner and non-tangible goal, like to feel satisfied.

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6 Tricks to Make Your Content Skimmable

eyeglasses[Dalya's Note: This guest post by Laurel Dykema was originally published on November 14, 2013. Laurel Dykema joined Mission India in 2010 and currently serves as the staff writer and social media guru.]


Twitter-ers are tweeting.

Facebook-ers are posting.

Pinterest-ers are pinning.

Instagram-ers are picture-taking.

More micro content on the internet is piling up each day! So, what’s a great nonprofit to do in this age of bite-sized information?

Adapt. Or die.

Okay, okay. Maybe that’s a tad melodramatic.  :)

But if you want to engage today’s faster-than-a-cheetah-runs readers with content longer than a 140-character tweet, here’s what you need to do: create “skimmable” content.

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