Monday, January 16, 2012

Around the Word

Ladies who speechify. Although today is a day to honor Martin Luther King, one of the country's best-known orators, he's not the only one who could deliver an incredible speech. In early 2011, the blog The Eloquent Woman started compiling a list of outstanding speeches by women in a weekly feature, "Famous Speech Friday." They've got quite an impressive list—from luminaries like Sojourner Truth, Phyllis Schlafly, Helen Keller, and even Lady Gaga.

Classes for all: Want to take a food-cart tour, learn to print a poster, or study the art of great conversation? No? Well, maybe "Intro to Memoir Writing" or "Nuts & Bolts of Writing Nonfiction Book Proposals" are more up your alley. Either way, Skillshare, a community marketplace that aims to democratize learning, has you covered. Anyone can teach a Skillshare class, so the topics are eclectic, and courses are offered all over the country. If you're looking for classes on writing, GalleyCat has a short list of those here.

User-generated magazine: In a bold move, Ladies' Home Journal plans to start letting their readers write much of the content for the magazine, AdAge reports. This is especially daring for a publication whose readership skews older, and points to the brand's desire to court younger readers and remain relevant. And lest you think this is simply a way to stop paying for content, Editor-in-Chief Sally Lee allays those fear, saying, "We're going to pay [the writers] professional rates."

Wordy meals? In the latest attempt to revitalize their image, McDonald's will begin distributing something new in their Happy Meals across the UK—books! They've signed an agreement with HarperCollins to give away six different books from the Mudpuddle Farms series over the next few weeks. According to The Telegraph, "In 2011, sales of children's books averaged 1.16 million per week...which means that McDonald's will be handing out considerably more books than are usually sold in the UK in the same period." Incredible!

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