Children’s Word of the Year from 500 Words competition #Writing

The 500 Words children’s writing competition is in its seventh year. This year it attracted 131.798 entries. In the car the other morning, I heard Oxford University Press’s Vineeta Gupta talking about the Children’s Word of the Year and kids’ evolving use of language. In the clip, here, she’s talking to the competition’s originator Chris […]

Happy birthday, Adam Smith – @ASI

June 16th is Adam Smith’s birthday. His namesake organisation, the Adam Smith Institute summarises his influence: “Smith’s ideas were highly influential. The great free-trade era they ushered in, and the enormous rise in wealth it created—particularly for the poor—did indeed amaze the world.” A great overview and a reminder for those tempted by populist, drawbridge […]

The true doctrine of self-reliance, self-help and self-mastery

The ever rich and varied Hammock Papers has this great quotation from Theodore Roosevelt: Something can be done by good laws; more can be done by honest administration of the laws; but most of all can be done by frowning resolutely upon the preachers of vague discontent; and by upholding the true doctrine of self-reliance, […]

Stories are told in the body – @JeremyAdamSmith #writing #contentmarketing

Stories are told in the body, says Jeremy Smith: It doesn’t seem that way. We tend to think of stories as emerging from consciousness—from dreams or fantasies—and travelling through words or images to other minds. We see them outside of us, on paper or on screen, never under the skin. But we do feel stories. […]

Trees. Awesome.

There is something truly awesome – in the true sense of the word – about trees that have stood for hundreds or even thousands of years. Thousands! Can you imagine? Before Rome, before the pyramids, before the internet. The BBC has a piece on the oldest living things on earth, including trees 5,000 years old: […]

In praise of poetry #Writing

The Art of Manliness blog lists “20 classic poems every man should read“, stating: “However, we do ourselves a great disservice when we neglect the reading of poetry. John Adams, one of the founding fathers of the United States, commended poetry to his son John Quincy. Both Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt committed their favorite […]

The iconic Fallingwater featured in @Dezeen

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th birthday is this week (apparently). Dezeen has a review and great pictures of his iconic Fallingwater, here.   Photograph by Robert P Ruschak, courtesy of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

Hungarian Soul – curator of beautiful images

After a long break, Hungarian Soul is back: Mostly a collection of beautiful images from across the web… Worth a visit just for these, but if further incentive is needed, Mr Hungarian is on a Deep Purple roll.

The Basics: Confidence – Nicholas Bate

Another in Nicholas Bate’s series of the Basic 7s. This one is interesting. Working independently as a freelancer, portfolio worker, sovereign professional or even as an individual contributor within a large organisation, it’s easy to have lapses in confidence. Here are seven basic steps to follow: “2. Read about those who inspire you and copy their […]

Bob Dylan’s Nobel Lecture @bobdylan #writing

Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize lecture has just been published, transcript and audio, on the Academy’s site, here ( In it he describes his early influences and the the books that informed him. He outlines three major influences: Moby Dick, All Quiet On The Western Front and Homer’s Odyssey. Throughout, the language is rich and lyrical and Dylan’s […]

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