Writing Stitch Directions
for a Needlework Festival Brochure

As I mentioned in my file about teaching needlework, there are four primary reasons a student would take your class:

The main draw for your class is the written description since not all brochures have pictures. Those that do have pictures have small ones which do not show details (such as which stitches are used).

Normally you write your class description. If not, ask if you may. Or ask (insist) that you see the copy someone else wrote before it is finalized. It is to the festival's benefit that you be given a right to review: if you make a lot of money for them, they want you back and will want to cooperate with your reasonable requests. Asking also tells them that you take a lively interest in how your materials are presented through the brochure; not all teachers care.

Usually there is a word-count limit for the description, so be prepared to be concise.

Decide who your target market is. Advanced students? Aida stitchers? Any level? Those who like small projects? Early American-themed samplers? You want to pitch your class directly at these people. If other people sign up, too, that's fine (and if you have room in your description to toss in some items of general interest, this is a good way to attract someone not in your original target market), but write your description so it's aimed squarely at the folks for whom you designed the project and the class!

What should go in your brochure description? Some suggestions:

To give you more ideas, look at brochure descriptions from previous years. What was mentioned? What was omitted?

Look at brochure descriptions by popular teachers. How were those written? What was emphasized or played down?

Overall, look at the descriptions and analyze them statistically. How many mentioned "mood words?" How many played up stitches? By having some numerical values for certain components of the description, you can see what other teachers (or the staff author) thought was important. Now compare those stats with the descriptions of the classes by the most popular teachers. Do they match or depart?

Last, go back to your target market again. Imagine you were such a stitcher. What description would make you want to take your class? What would catch your eye?

Count the number of words in several descriptions and calculate an average. Write a class description in -half- that number of words. Hard, huh? Now use the other half of your allotment to spice up your bare bones description and entice stitchers to your classroom!

copyright 1999, Martha Beth Lewis
Contact me about reprint permission.

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