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Writing for children

Posted by on Jul 6, 2016 in Blog, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Writing for children

Writing for children

Imagnary House is a new boutique publishing house for children’s literature in Cape Town, South Africa. Founder and CEO, Brad Harris, says: “We are focused on building a larger market for African children’s authors and illustrators by both igniting the local readership and engaging with international readers.” Website: https://imagnaryhouse.com/. Imagnary House has just opened their submissions after launching their debut publication (Seven by B. D. Harris), and is now looking to build up their publication list for the next 2 years. What are they looking for? “We love stories that are fun and imaginative, but also address current societal issues for children. We want simple stories that mean something and can feed positively into our children’s futures,” says Brad Harris. Imagnary House will consider submissions in the following genres: Children’s long form fiction (think Roald Dahl and CS Lewis narratives) Picture books Rhyming verse books (think Dr Seuss) Writers and illustrators can submit their work on Imagnary Houses’ submissions page at https://imagnaryhouse.com/pages/submissions. Writing for children is a challenging endeavour; it demands swiftness, characters that appeal to the age group, fitting dialogue, and factual explanation. Many people today claim they don’t like to read, although there is a marked revival among young people who are finding works by contemporary writers appealing, as well as books from the past by well-known authors. While some non-readers are diagnosed as Dyslexic and may experience specific learning disabilities in reading, most others who seldom if ever pick up a book or magazine to read admit to finding reading for leisure boring, too difficult, not important and a waste of time. Children, in particular, with poor reading habits usually get poor grades at school; they are easily distracted, exhibit anti-social behavior, fail to achieve ego-identity during adolescence, and often fail to develop to their full potential. >...

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Brand Journalism

Posted by on May 22, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Brand Journalism

Brand Journalism

Tell your story! Imagine a video presentation with zoom-in and zoom-out functions with music and narrative that draws the viewers’ attention to your branding message. Businesses can grow their reputation and identity by telling their company’s brand story. Why? Because consumers have for so long been bombarded with blatant marketing and advertising propaganda, to the point where they are reluctant to accept much of anything on face value. People generally hate being sold. More so today’s consumer because they are more savvy at deciphering typical advertising jargon, instantly recognizing empty promises written in marketing lingo, and being duped into blind acceptance of just how much they would benefit from parting with their hard-earned cash. Build Consumer Trust Even though the commercial landscape today of supply-and-demand has been a constant since the Industrial Revolution, producers of goods continue to flood the already saturated market with new must-have items. Of course ever-evolving technological development is essential to the progress of mankind and to accommodate our fast-paced lifestyles, society continues to build on its adverse status as being wasteful. Our landfills are bursting at the seams with discarded possessions to make place for the next best thing. Many argue that this cycle is precisely what makes the world go round, keeping the wheels of industry [and consumerism] well-oiled and economically sustainable. Yet, some things have changed to make us re-think our current automated acceptance of a so-called ideal existence. Social Responsibility Consumers expect the companies that produce goods and deliver services to be accountable for the outcome it has on people and the environment. In fact, any action that has the slightest risk of threatening our future must be questioned. As a starting point, people whose job it is to influence consumers or decisions that impact society at large are obligated to step up their game. Waffling about good intentions that are watered down as time progresses or making bold promises beyond their capabilities is a death knell to many industry or political campaigners. Once they lose the trust of their target audience, future attempts to salvage collateral damage are doomed. Marketers, for example, recognize that simply running an advertisement with a few catchy lines to provoke a desire for ownership, are long gone. Consumer Involvement Consumers today demand in-depth insight into behind-the-scenes decision-making processes and policies that effect end-users. They want the freedom to evaluate the validity of what is on offer for themselves, and in particular the source. Successful companies endorse a collaborative relationship with their public. The modern consumer is diverse in their expectations, which means companies must build a lifelong relationship with them to keep track of evolving behaviors. But is telling a company’s story enough to significantly sway a consumers’ loyalty to that business? Business managers and entrepreneurs, even politicians and educators, should utilize brand journalism to tell their story to strengthen public perceptions and experiences of products, services and solutions to social ills. Authenticity promotes loyalty A presentation video, supported by a catchy tune and text or voice-over narration, uses storytelling to connect with target audiences. The power of a well-written story lies in bonding with people in an honest, transparent, responsive and above all accessible manner that explores the culture of the brand, appeals to buyers’ interests, and creates meaningful impressions. But is telling a company’s story enough to significantly sway a consumers’ loyalty to that business? The bottom-line return on investment for sharing an authentic story people can relate to, prompts viewers to want to know more. The essence of a compelling story starts with an attention-grabbing introduction, and continues through the body of...

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21st Century Business

Posted by on May 4, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on 21st Century Business

21st Century Business

Question? A question people of all ages from all walks of life ask today is “Will I succeed in this new world of work?” I’ve been told by many human resource practitioners that success in any profession has three prerequisites: knowledge, perspective, and attitude. While I support this basic notion I also believe the ground rules to becoming successful and continuing riding the wave, is way more involved. It stands to reason that the individual must be competent in the particular skills the task at hand requires, but acquiring the relevant peripheral knowledge goes far beyond basic skills. It is important to not only know the concepts and principles of the project or process, one must also be committed to lifelong learning, be prepared to take spur-of-the-moment risks, and have enough insight to circumvent threats. Impending Excellence We all know that some skills can literally become obsolete overnight, and that keeping up-to-date is an ongoing challenge. While companies today are geared to identify and recruit highly talented employees, most do not know how to instill fundamental inventiveness or impel their staff to continually pioneer re-engineering strategies and rethink predictable approaches. The definitive workforce for emerging enterprises is expected to be multi-skilled, resourceful and practiced at adjusting to swift change. However, many people struggle to adapt to ongoing change. Our conscious mind interprets change as a significant loss of some sort, which makes us hold on to efforts already exerted. It’s the same when people hesitate to end a doomed relationship because it’s hard to accept the whole experience was an utter waste of time, even though in reality valuable lessons were learned. Consequently, change isn’t about having wasted time on past efforts but should rather be viewed as a leap forward in finding new fertile ground to assess the possibility of impending excellence. Elon Musk Resistance to change has no place in 21st Century business. Constant change should be embraced, not feared. If it was not for his aversion to accept anything less than outstanding, engineer and visionary Elon Musk might not have founded Tesla Motors and SpaceX, amongst other organizations. Colleagues and associates fittingly refer to Musk as the “real change-management man”. The success of 21st Century business depends on innovative process management, defined as “a systematic approach to making an organization’s workflow more effective, more efficient and more capable of adapting to an ever-changing environment.” But what does that actually mean? And how does it help a business determine its goals? Incidentally, Business Process Management isn’t a new concept, although it needs to be re-introduced to today’s mode of business thinking if an amicable answer is to be forged for people worrying about whether they can succeed in this new world of work. Konosuke Matsushita I wonder how many people today would recognize the name Konosuke Matsushita. This remarkable entrepreneur began working for himself in 1918. Despite having limited funds, no real formal education, and no connections his small firm flourished. Matsushita founded Panasonic and set the business on a journey to become one of the largest electronics companies in the world. It all started with the invention of a two-socket light fixture. Powerful lessons from Matsushita – as applicable today as was the case close on a century ago – reasoned that for management to be effective it should be perpetually creative and dynamic.  He also stressed that one should never assume that something is impossible, and that bad times in business are crucial windows of opportunity to re-think objectives, recognize hidden imperfections, and capsize conventional thinking. Challenge the Absurd Like all true corporate giants, including Elon...

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Believe You Can!

Posted by on Apr 24, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Believe You Can!

Believe You Can!

If you’ve ever been frustrated by the humdrum pace your life has assumed, you will relate to the powerful magnetism of the law of attraction. Bear in mind that it works both ways. Think negative thoughts and you will attract more of the same. Think positive thoughts and you will set in motion an avalanche of occurrences that will surprise and delight you. Don’t be misled. Simply deciding you want some profound change to occur will not magically bring it to pass. You need to bring your mind and heart into alignment first, and make your aspirations totally believable before the law of attraction is triggered. Our brain controls everything we see, say, feel, and do. Yet internal programming acquired throughout our lifetime can block any significant change. Believe you can address destructive habits or unwanted expressions, and replace the void with constructive goals and aspirations. In other words, you must adopt a mindset that is free from fear or self-doubt. You must train your mind to recognize signals that prompt further investigation. Our mind deciphers information from our external world and determines whether or not it is important to process into reality. However, herein lies the problem. Our sub-conscious mind picks up an excessive amount of impressions from the outside world, while our conscious mind is only made aware of a small fraction of those pieces of information. The brain cleverly compartmentalizes sensory data to facilitate your current mental conditioning, whether it is positive or negative. Because it is totally an inside mental attitude the best technique to initiate the law of attraction is to identify and use healthy habits to generate an attractive lifestyle, whenever you feel lost and in need of direction. I don’t prescribe experimenting with a random bunch of mismatched hypothetical hit-or-miss outcomes. Avoid the impulse to overwhelm your senses with too many opposing ideas. Remember, there is nothing sinister about the law of attraction. Decide what it is you want to achieve or improve on, and calmly elaborate on that specific aspiration. I believe it is simply hard work mingled with faith and a strong expectation of a realized outcome. It is akin to harvesting an abundant crop; the soil must be optimally nourished before planting the seed to ensure the growth of healthy plants. Similarly, you must prepare your mind to fully understand the implications of the outcome, by thoroughly acquainting yourself with the object of your desire. Everyone is different. Some people have spiritual aspirations while others want to attract material rewards. Irrespective of the anticipated outcome, it is crucial to devote time and energy to enriching your mental environment. The knowledge must be perceived as a tangible reality. Let’s pause for a bit, to think about why you would want to summon the law of attraction in the first place. Is it because you have grown impatient waiting for some profound opportunity to change the course of events? Are you ready to embark on a new chapter in your life? Or are you simply ready at this moment in time to embrace your life’s purpose with dedicated fervor? In my case it’s the latter. The urge to internalize my personal growth is a driving force that suddenly makes perfect sense. It is comforting to be introspective, without being selfish. Allow yourself to evaluate different options. Think things through, but don’t overthink it. Sometimes it pays to be impulsive. You may want to enroll for a course in a career line that has little or no correlation with your current line of work. Or you may want to break with tradition...

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Calling all Publishers

Posted by on Apr 11, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Calling all Publishers

Calling all Publishers

“Go Ahead, Rock the Boat” pitches a transitive action to be daring, different, and unreasonable, whatever it takes to assert constructive and positive change. Get up. Seize opportunities. Take creative risks. Learn from failure. Because life affords us with choices; we can either steer our boat into calm waters, paralyzed by fear and complacency, or we can purposely make waves so that we may raise the sails and soar in the breeze. This book is about how five teenage friends, through insightful conversations and life-changing events, discover their life purpose. Each surrender their common life for an exceptional one, but the transition means they have to step from the known to the unknown. The varied topic-specific conversations encourage the friends to go after what they believe to be important, by stretching themselves beyond their comfort zones and building their wings whilst in flight. They strike out new paths to find new fertile ground. The exchange of viewpoints and thoughtful problem-solving theories are intended to illuminate ideas aimed at solving universal problems about issues like erosion of national pride and identity, politics, religion, poverty, education, disparity, materialism, substance abuse, single parent households, exposure to cultural diversity, the consequence of rapid technological development, and the difficulty of cultivating dependable relationships, amongst others. Together the friends discover what it is like to work on a Kibbutz in Israel. In this unusual setting they forge new friendships, get caught in the middle of political conflict, identify with the hero’s journey, and learn Krav Maga. “Go Ahead, Rock the Boat” is a learning curve that humanizes the transitive action that by rocking the boat to make a few waves you too will find where your life’s course lies. [Synopsis by Theresa Lutge-Smith] Extract from the book: Chapter IV: Heroes’ Journey Wise men throughout history, other than theologians and academics, have advocated that in order to become a ‘man of  knowledge’ you must first conquer fear, recognizing that it is a treacherous enemy and often difficult to overcome. If you are terrified in its presence yet choose to remain passive, this enemy will have put an end to your quest. You will never learn. You will never become a ‘man of knowledge’. You will instead be timid, detached and defeated. Fear will succeed in manipulating your every thought and action. But if you absorb knowledge in the midst of fear, you will eventually conquer it. The defense is to be fully afraid and yet take the next step in learning, and the next, and the next. Finally, a moment will come when this enemy retreats, and you begin to feel sure of yourself. You become stronger. Learning is no longer a terrifying task. Clarity of mind is achieved. Your desires are known. Nothing is concealed. Zach, Jon, Lea, Emma and Connor had taken the first amazing steps on the road to each becoming a ‘man of knowledge’. In their own unique way they had conquered fear. They had learned important skills in survival. They had learned to question everything. They had learned never to give up. However, their experiences had uncovered more questions than answers. The friends welcomed the supposed serenity of their two-storey house at the Kibbutz. Things were ostensibly back to normal. The familiar sounds of the compound were reassuring, yet strangely unnerving. The knowledge that anarchy prevailed in the county, that clandestine criminality reigned between opposing factions, that a terrorist attack, however minor, could disrupt the calm within seconds. The friends’ recollection of petty terrorism had broadened their perspective of what a massive onslaught might look like. They knew they were vulnerable,...

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Rhino carnage

Posted by on Apr 4, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Rhino carnage

Rhino carnage

by LOUISE CARTER for TALK OF THE TOWN [Port Alfred, Eastern Cape] THE stench of blood and death hung in the air last Thursday morning following the discovery of two butchered white rhino cows and a severely injured bull at Sibuya Game Reserve, near Kenton-on-Sea. All three rhino were older than 14 years, and one cow had a calf aged three, while the other had a eleven-month-old calf. The cows were de-horned and dead when discovered around 4am, while the bull’s face, according to owner Nick Fox, had been butchered. The massacre of the rhinos has devastated local communities as well as Sibuya Game Reserve staff, and has had anti-poaching teams and law enforcement departments on high alert. According to reports it is determined that the animals were darted and their horns sawn off at around 3:30am in a clearing in the reserve’s thick bush. The alarm was raised from the anti-poaching unit when the two calves were spotted running around without their mothers. “I certainly have to give credit to the police and rhino community. We had about 30 people on the scene with every police department represented, but I still believe if we are going to stop this purge we need a specialised rhino unit. These poachers are professional highly resourced syndicates and if there is a genuine desire to stop this scourge we need a better and more specialised rhino unit,” said Fox. After the police arrived, the spoor was tracked but no suspects were found. While a police forensics unit combed the scene for evidence, the scale of injuries endured by the bull became apparent. A vet inspected the bull and analysed his injuries. His face had been dismembered but it seemed he might recover, according to Fox. His leg, however, was also badly injured as he laid on it in a bad position causing blood flow to be blocked. In the days that followed, Bingo the badly maimed bull hung on for dear life but sadly did not make it and was put down after he got stuck in deep mud behind a steep river bank. The bull, which had been the first rhino at the reserve, had gone blind after being dehorned by poachers as a result of blood pressure building up and stumbled down the cliff into an estuary. According to the Sibuya Rhino Foundation it was evident that he had been struggling to get out and kept sliding back into the mud. “We spent the entire day putting rocks and brunches around him to give him a foothold in the mud and cutting away at the bank so he could hopefully walk out. Sadly, although he managed to get out of the river a couple of times, he could not see the pathway despite our coaxing, calling and even prodding,” Sibuya Rhino Foundation reported on Facebook. In the end Bingo was buried with his family. The Sibuya Rhino foundation decided to return him back to the scene where the lives cows were murdered. “Although it is a place that will forever haunt us with bad memories, it will also be remembered as their favourite spot where they loved to be at daybreak to catch the early morning sun. We are all saddened but have not given up. We will work even harder to protect all their offspring,” reported the Sibuya Rhino Foundation. As both rhino calves are suckling, they still need to be fed, so have been successfully darted and placed in a baby Rhino orphanage. According to the Sibuya Rhino Foundation Facebook page, the two orphaned calves are stable after been moved...

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