Posted by: wordsmithsuk | August 9, 2012

Review of Writing Skills Pocketbook

Writing skills are becoming more important today because we are all caught in a massive technological revolution that has permanently changed how we communicate. With so many of our activities being conducted on-screen or online, it‘s more important than ever to be able to use the written language correctly.

The authors of The Writing Skills Pocketbook, Stella Collins and Beth Curl, are well aware of these issues, and have produced this engaging and clear guide to effective business writing to help people develop their skills and their confidence. The book sets out to respond to common questions about writing: everything from how to get started, how to organise information, how to structure paragraphs and sentences to the importance of reviewing and proofreading. And it succeeds. The writers pack the answers to all our questions into 100 short pages, achieving this feat without making us feel at all overloaded.

As a writing skills trainer, I am relieved to find that my workshops contain most of the same learning points. I was concerned about the lack of sample or model documents, but the book includes examples of certain key items. Moreover, the writers practise what they preach: their writing style, structure and tone model the key messages they set out to convey.

I particularly like the chapter that suggests how we can develop a positive relationship with readers and influence them. Great stuff – if we take steps to build rapport we can achieve many of the same things in a written communication that we can in a face-to-face meeting. It’s all about talking to the reader, listening to them, asking them questions, being aware of their concerns and keeping them interested. Do all that and you can’t go wrong!

The Writing Skills Pocketbook is an essential reference book for all writers, and I thoroughly recommend it.

You may also like Effective Business Writing for Success, a self-help audio resource for business writers who want to develop their skills in this important area. You can find more details and listen to a sample on our website.



  1. A wonderful analysis of this tremendous book, thank you !


    Zac Egs

  2. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I don’t know who you
    are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  3. Thank you Zac Egs and online speed reading test for your encouraging comments. Writing Skills Pocketbook is a book that has inspired some very positive thoughts!

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