5 ways to wrangle your writing tasks

Black manual typewriter with a blank piece of paper loaded in it

Writing is one of those things you either love or hate. But even when you love working with words, sooner or later we all run into the same wall. Whether the trigger is a blank page, a looming deadline, or any number of other issues that can bring on the dreaded writer’s block, once it hits, you must act. Here …

Always in style: Tools to help automate your style checks

A person works at a laptop with a cup of coffee beside them.

Being an editor is great, right? If we didn’t love the work we wouldn’t be writing/reading a blog about editing! But between us, certain parts of the job can be … how do I put this … tedious. I’m looking at you, terminology checks. Not to mention, if your work involves multiple clients, you likely find yourself on the business …

Thoughts on the past weekend’s events

Dayton's Oregon District

Several colleagues have written me this week about the shooting that happened in Dayton last weekend, offering your condolences. Thank you. It does hit home for me and for Dragonfly. For those of you who don’t know, I grew up in Dayton, as did my sister Lexy, who’s our designer. Our office is about 15 minutes from downtown Dayton. Several …

Fact-checking 101

The Chicago Guide to Fact-Checking

We don’t do a lot of fact-checking per se here at Dragonfly. Only one of our clients specifically asks for the service. But in a sense, good copy editors are always fact-checking, whether they call it that or not. That’s because we take an objective — even skeptical — approach to the material we review. Factual inconsistencies make us flinch — until …

Writing for inclusion: “It does not mean what you think it means”

Poster of the movie "The Princess Bride"

My daughter is seven and her favorite move is The Princess Bride. We have to help her discern what’s real (or at least possible) and what’s ridiculous or exaggerated for effect. Rodents of Unusual Size – not real. Six-fingered men – extremely rare, but possible (the condition is called hexadactyly). Her most recent question was about the word blave. Billy …

From politics to parenthood: Meet writer & editor Nancy Brooks

A woman, Nancy Brooks, in a salmon-colored jacket is smiling in front of a wooden wall

Assuming Albert Einstein was right when he said “politics is more difficult than physics,” we might have a genius in our midst. Although writer/editor Nancy Brooks is able and willing to tackle just about any topic for Dragonfly, much of her expertise lies in politics. Nancy’s work in government began with her very first job. With a freshly minted degree …

3 questions every copywriter should ask

Note from Dragonfly president Sam Enslen: I was talking with writer Jill Davis, and she mentioned in passing that there are really only three questions you need to ask when approaching a writing assignment: “Who am I talking to? What do they think now? And what do we want them to think?” There seemed to be some simple brilliance in …

Give clients what they want: Show them the copy

a black and white photo of typewriter keys

So you have a new writing client? Great. It’s exciting to get that new project in. Soon, you’ll either meet in person or interview your client over the phone. You’ve got your list of items to cover and begin asking questions. One of two things will usually happen during this process: They’ll either dance around these items with generalities or …

4 ways to make proposal pages readable

A white keyboard, black tablet, and black stylus pen rest on a yellow background

A few years ago at the Association of Proposal Management Professionals’ (APMP) Bid & Proposal Con, I heard one of the best sessions, so I thought I’d share it again. It was given by graphic design consultant Nancy Webb. Nancy spoke on page architecture—the art of constructing layouts for maximum readability. Here’s some of what she had to say. Picture …

No matter where she is, Beth Golden is at home with words

a woman with blond hair and green and gray eyes wearing a white tank-top smiles at the camera while sitting in front of trees

The fact that Dragonfly writer/editor Beth Golden grew up to be a wordsmith was either preordained or a miracle. While her peers were learning to read and write in the elementary schools of 1970s suburbia, Beth was spending the bulk of her early years on what she described as the then “quite rustic” island of Guam, where she and her …