Weald & Download Open Air Museum

Writing workshop at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum

Jonothan Potter joined members of the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum’s interpretation team for a writing workshop given by Cathy Lewis, a writer of interpretation copy. The workshop was extremely useful and made everyone think carefully about how they wanted the interpretation to feel. It also became clear how challenging it is going to be and how long the process is likely to take. As an exhibition designer I often (half jokingly) tell clients that graphics are the first thing to be started and the last thing to be manufactured, such is the complexity of the process.

Cathy certainly gave us a lot to think about. For me, her best piece of advice was that one shouldn’t approach writing not as teachers but as storytellers. My own bit of wisdom for writing text is to print each panel’s words onto a sheet of A4 paper and stick them on a wall. Because standing up to read is much harder than sitting down, and concentration wanes rapidly, if you can get round all your panels without skipping or losing interest then you are definitely on the right track.

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