Sunday, January 15, 2012

Real Estate Agents: You need an editor.

Anyone who never turns off his/her inner editor (yes, I'm putting my hand up) will know that reading the listings in the local newspaper's real estate supplement is torture. Please allow me to relieve my anguish by sharing a few anonymous zingers I encountered this morning. Note: The following examples came from the same publication. No, I am not making this up.

The classic its/it's battle - and a hint of overcompensation:

"Best in it's Class!"
"Country Living At Its's Best!"

Please consider proofreading for typos/spelling and other goofs:

"Cut as a button from the great layout to the great yard."
"If your looking for a great place to invest money & your life into, [address] might be for you."
"The wide open spaces of the great room, country kitchen and deck compliment the private nooks of the study, porches and balcony." (This line was part of a description that appeared in two separate listings. Different houses. Same description. Not very complimentary - or complementary, for that matter!)

Comma splices are okay in advertising, right?

"Come and see for yourself, you will be glad you did."
"Don't worry about bringing your decorating ideas, the owner has tastefully updated & decorated with unmistakable quality."

Punctuation? Who cares?

"...on a magnificent 190' foot deep professionally landscaped lot..."
"While most new freehold towns are much more than this to build. These owners have priced this one to sell."
"[Address] is a beautiful tree lined street..."

Let's just invent new usage, shall we?

"Bright 3 bedroom, 1,436squft unit..."


Calling all Realtors: If you want to impress potential clients with your ability to communicate clearly, concisely and correctly, please consider asking someone to look over your listings before publication.

Better yet: hire an editor!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

My Annual Writing Contest Adventure: The Elora Writers' Festival Writing Competition 2012

Volunteerism is something that most of us take seriously. It's hard to find the time and energy in a busy life to commit to an obligation outside of family and job. 

This wolf is on a journey in the Yukon...
And if you're a writer, as I am, it's even harder to give up potential creative time in order to contribute to a cause or organization.

But we do it anyway, don't we? Not for glory and not for thanks: we do it because we believe strongly in the causes we support.

Outside of health, happiness and the well-being of those I love, I don't think there's anything that means more to me than writing, so when I have the chance, I do my best to help support writers and spread the word of books, reading and writing.

One of my favourite volunteer commitments, the annual EWF Writing Competition, is about to rev up for another year. The Call for Entry is almost ready to go, and the Frequently Asked Questions page is drafted and waiting. A few more loose ends need to be tied up and then - the official announcement.

Stay tuned here at Writer's Life and also at the Festival blog, Elora Writers' Festival, for all the news on this year's adventure.

Psssst! Want a hint? This year, the competition has a theme: A Journey....