Well, knock me down with a feather and all that. Last week I learnt that this blog - yes, THIS blog!! - had been nominated for a Top Writing Blogs Award! After I’d picked my jaw off the floor, I read the message again to see if it was a joke, but apparently not - or if it is, it's a very elaborate one.
The awards, it seems, are hosted by eCollegefinder, an established online education resource representing over 120 accredited online institutions, and they’re intended, I gather, to provide students with a collection of "helpful and encouraging blogs from authors, publishers, book reviewers, writing experts, and talented bloggers". The nominated blogs are ones that they hope will “inspire and teach” their student readers to “find their writing style and improve their skills, whether the students are writing an essay for Composition 101 or starting their first novel”.
Inspiring? I like that. Excuse me while I have a little preen. In truth, I think what I liked best about the nomination was discovering that someone in the great ‘out there’ beyond my small but perfectly formed band of loyal followers (and you know who you are, although probably not how much I appreciate you!) was actually reading the blog at all.
I have to admit that it all seems deeply unlikely to me. How on earth did they stumble across this blog, in all the millions of blogs out there? They must have alighted here on a day when I was dishing out some writing tips, as I can’t imagine my more normal wittering (like today, in fact) would garner any nominations for anything other than wasting cyberspace.
Anyway, one of the requirements of accepting the nomination was to provide a brief description of the blog, and to offer some equally brief tips on writing for students, so I did stop and have a think about that.
I’ve often thought about offering a course on everyday writing, called something stern like “How to use a full stop” or “Shaping up sloppy sentences”, and now’s my chance. I am seizing on eCollegeFinder’s suggestion of expanding my advice into a one-off blog. Next time I’ll be aiming things squarely at students, and we’ll just see how many of them flock here to pick up tips on writing that essay …