Same words, different order

March 18, 2010

I’ve recently added a couple of new slashes to my already /-filled career. Both involve writing, just very different kinds. And so the answer to “And what kind of writing do you do?’ grows ever longer. In addition to arts (and whatever) reporting and blog writing and playwriting, I now also do copywriting and grant writing. And now I feel a little bit like Willy Wonka as he’s listing all the ways his great glass elevator goes.

The copywriting is the more different skill I’ve had to learn. First of all, there’s a lot of weird formatting stuff that I’m still figuring out. But I really enjoy the mechanics of it, probably in part because I’m still so new to it. But it’s refreshing, you know, to have no real personal investment to the material you’re writing. Obviously, I care about doing a good job, but it’s not emotionally involving in the way that most of my other writing is. Which I love, because it leaves me with a lot more energy to work on plays. Also, it’s really funny to be praised for writing a great error message (when the site I was working on launches, I’ll link to it so you can see my TRULY EXCELLENT error messages).

The grant writing isn’t exactly new, since I have written grants before (well, one) – I’ve recently been hired by Roseneath Theatre to help them do some corporate fundraising. I’m thrilled to be working with Roseneath – the artistic director, David S. Craig, pretty much invented theatre for young audiences in Canada, and is quite an extraordinary playwright himself. Last night he gave a talk about creating theatre for young audiences for the Playwrights Guild of Canada, and it was such a privilege to hear him share his experiences and wisdom and to perform excerpts from some of his own excellent plays – a brief overview of the history of Canadian theatre for young people. He also has plenty of interesting things to say about how to write about “issues” in a dramatic, interesting, and sometimes ambiguous way (as opposed to the cheap, obvious way issue plays are often written for young people).

But although I do know how to write a grant, I am very, very new to the fundraising game. And the theatre administration game. So I’m learning a whole bunch, and it might take me a few more weeks before I am even any good at this job, but I love the office, and they seem to appreciate me so far, and if anyone has any tips about fundraising, please please please let’s talk.

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