TArticles tagged with: Julia Quigley

An introduction to editing for non-editors (Part 2) – copy editing

In part 1 of this series, I explained the difference between content editing (big picture re-writes) and copy editing (fine-tuned corrections), and lamented that we’re not all lucky enough to work in proposal shops with dedicated editors. Too often, proposal managers and project staff are asked to edit proposals when they aren’t expert editors. This is overwhelming because there are too many rules and nuances in grammar to expect a non-expert to find and fix them all. The good news is that evaluators aren’t typically grammar experts either. This means evaluators typically only care about errors that are glaringly obvious, look sloppy, or make writing hard to understand. Instead of trying to fix every mistake (impossible!), non-experts tasked with editing a proposal—presumably under an unrealistic timeline—should prioritize the following five editing concerns. 1. Implement consistency in bulleted lists Bullets make important text stand out, so errors in bulleted lists stand … Continue reading An introduction to editing for non-editors (Part 2) – copy editing

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An introduction to editing for non-editors (Part 1) – content editing

In an ideal world, we’d all work in proposal shops with dedicated proposal writers and editors. The proposal writers would interview SMEs to craft compelling, clean text, and the editor would not only fix grammar mistakes, but also re-write as needed for one voice, clarity, and impact. Unfortunately, many of us work in proposal shops without these resources. In these cases, project staff write proposals in their spare time, and the proposal manager is often responsible for managing the proposal, re-writing text as needed, and editing the document before submission. Teaching regular contributors how to edit their own work will improve their writing skills over time and reduce the amount of re-work required by the proposal manager. A proposal manager should introduce the concept of self-editing work at the proposal kick-off meeting and share this article to jump-start the process. If you’re a proposal manager tasked with editing, you might … Continue reading An introduction to editing for non-editors (Part 1) – content editing

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APB: A Writing Model for Reluctant Writers, Enigmatic Engineers, and Circuitous SMEs [presentation slides]

2016 APMP Bid & Proposal Con Presentation – Julia Quigley

Proposal managers routinely receive non-compliant, unclear, and dry content. Those asked to write proposals often resist because they aren’t good writers or they’re new to proposals. In this presentation, Julia Quigley introduces the “APB writing model” to alleviate those concerns. APB stands for Approach summary, Process, and Benefits explanation: three essential elements for responding to every requirement in the solicitation. This presentation explains what each element should accomplish, connects these elements to evaluator scoring habits, explains how to scale APB to fit page limitations, demonstrates APB’s impact on evaluators, and shows how to build a response from scratch with APB. Download presentation With a Master’s in Rhetoric and Composition, Julia Quigley has created proposal writing strategies and conducted training to help subject matter experts understand how to respond clearly and compellingly to solicitation requirements. Prior to joining Lohfeld Consulting Group, Julia managed proposals for small and mid-sized federal contractors and … Continue reading APB: A Writing Model for Reluctant Writers, Enigmatic Engineers, and Circuitous SMEs [presentation slides]

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Lessons learned from the circus: consistently succeeding

There’s more truth than jest to the saying that a proposal submission is a bit like a circus. In today’s post, learn from professional performers how to handle mistakes.

Several years ago, a performer at Cirque Du Soleil died during a performance because of a mistake in her rigging. This was newsworthy not just because of the tragedy, but because this was the first time a Cirque Du Soleil performer died during an act, despite the death-defying, acrobatic feats that fill their show. Everyone involved in a circus performance works diligently to have a successful performance, free from mistakes. While the mistakes we make as proposal professionals may not cost us our lives, there’s certainly a lot on the line. From circus performers, we can learn the importance of communication and adaptability to succeeding consistently. Communication is critical in collaborative projects like trapeze and other circus performances. Acrobats and aerialists have to communicate about what is working and what’s not in real time in order to succeed. Sometimes people are afraid to express their needs because they think it … Continue reading Lessons learned from the circus: consistently succeeding

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