Summer 2018 Newsletter
Congratulations to the 2018 ClearMark Winners
|Since 2010, the Center has been recognizing excellence in plain language communication with the ClearMark Awards. This year’s ClearMark winners are an impressive bunch. See the list of 2018 Grand ClearMark winners and Category winners and finalists. You can view the winning entries and read the judges’ comments, too. Take a look at our Facebook gallery for photos of the happy winners and the plain language advocates who attended the May 8 ClearMark Awards Ceremony and Networking Reception. There are lots of smiling faces!|
Center founder Annetta Cheek made Honorary Fellow of the Society for Technical CommunicationMany congratulations to Annetta Cheek, Center founder and former chair, who was made an Honorary Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication at the Honors reception during STC’s annual conference in May.
|The citation for Annetta’s honor reads, “For your pioneering leadership and significant contributions to advancing the plain language movement, including cofounding and chairing the Center for Plain Language, and your legacy efforts on the passage of the Plain Writing Act of 2010, which champions clear and reader-centered communication from federal agencies when communicating with the public.”|
October 13 is PLAIN’s International Plain Language Day
|How will you celebrate International Plain Language Day this year? The 2018 theme is “Let’s Be Clear,” so the possibilities are endless. Mark your calendar for October 13, and head over to IPlainDay.org and PLAIN to learn more. Get ready to share your plain language success in social media, too. This year’s hashtags are #IPlainDay and #LetsBeClear.|
Plain language resources: Five fabulous finds
- Editors Canada has a great two-minute video, which asks the question “What is Plain Language?” Answer: It’s not “dumbing down.”
- Under a section of the Texas Finance Code, certain contracts must be written in plain language. Read about this initiative and download the Plain Language Contract Submission Form, which may serve as a model for readable contracts in your organization.
- Sometimes, the best plain language may not be language at all. Read about the Australian engineering company that’s using jargon-free, comic-strip-like visual employment contracts.
- Tips for using gender inclusive language from UNC-Chapel Hill Writing Center
- An article for you to read or to forward to your boss: “Six reasons why using Plain Language is a bullseye for your business”
Upcoming Plain Language events
|September 25-27, 2018 in Philadelphia, PA and October 9-11, 2018 in Emeryville, CA||Plain Language Writing for Health Literacy and Health Equity, a three-day advanced workshop for writers and designers. Register for this training.|
|https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5604X89rvU||October 25 to 27, 2018||Clarity 2018 in Montreal offers two days of training sessions under the theme “Plain Language in Modern Times.” For the first time, the Clarity conference will be held in English and French. Register for Clarity 2018.|
|https://vimeo.com/234668711||September 25 – 27, 2019||PLAIN 2019 in Oslo. The conference program will be available in February 2019. The conference will showcase the results of plain language efforts around the world. Register for PLAIN 2019.|
Member spotlightCheck out Center board members’ past and future plain language talks:
- Susan Kleimann and David Lipscomb on October 27 at Clarity 2018: “Making the Rubber Meet the Road: How the Center for Plain Language Created Accountability for the Plain Writing Act of 2010”
- David Lipscomb on July 20 at the Plain Language Summit 2018: “Center for Plain Language Report Card”
- Amy Hasselkus on June 13 at the pre-Form-a-Palooza DC meeting: “InFORMed: How to revise government, one form at a time.” Amy’s presentation was titled, “Plain Language: Audience and Jargon.”
Volunteer spotlight: Leslie O’Flahavan
|Leslie is a new volunteer who agreed to help compose the Center’s quarterly newsletter. We are grateful to have her expertise and know our readers will be, too. A member since 2009, Leslie is a plain language advocate, trainer, and—some would say—fangirl. She’s been interested in plain language since she moved to Washington, DC in 1988 and got caught up in the community’s efforts. Since 1996, Leslie has been the owner of E-WRITE, a writing training and consulting company that helps people learn to write well for online readers. Much of Leslie’s recent work has focused on teaching customer service reps to write better email, chat, social media, and text. She’s even helped several global airlines learn to apologize more sincerely. If you have a plain language event, speaking engagement, project, or publication you’d like featured in an upcoming Center newsletter, please email Leslie.|