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A Writing Refresher for Grant Professionals

This writing refresher takes a humorous look at grammar, usage, organization, diction, syntax, tone, and coherence and how they affect the success of grant proposals.  While you may have hated diagramming sentences, you will leave this session with a whole new appreciation for creating a polished, effective sentence. While some of you are groaning aloud, the session aims to ensure that each attendee leaves with a quiver of strategies ready to use. The entire session will improve your proposal writing and stewardship communication skills and competencies.

The session uses actual examples from funded and unfunded proposals as well as an array of pop culture artifacts to examine lazy writing.  We will examine the importance of positive tone and language; the expectation of correct usage, grammar, punctuation, and syntax; the allure of variety in diction, transition, and sentence structures; the power of simple, vivid words, and the joy of a fresh, clear sentence.  

As a result of the session, each participant will be able to identify five quick strategies to employ to strengthen their writing; understand three grammar rules to improve sentence structure; and identify and use three "quick tips" in the editing of proposals to help find problem sentences.    

GPC Competencies Addressed:
How to craft, construct, and submit an effective grant application 
Methods and strategies that cultivate and maintain relationships between fund-seeking and recipient organizations and funders 

Gail Widner, Ph.D., GPC, has worked on more than 400 proposals (formula and competitive) and garnered nearly $1 billion for diverse clients. She holds a doctorate in English from USC Columbia; a master's degree in English from UMASS Amherst, and a bachelor's degree in English and history from the College of Charleston.