Writing Samples

Madcap

Madcap is a company I helped start in partnership with pedagogy experts and filmmakers that focused on creating interactive educational tools. Funded by Pearson Education and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, we developed a prototype of the Madcap Learning Adventure that included two modules in grade 5 math and two modules in grade 8 history. In addition to leading the digital team and architecting the interactive elements of the experience, I also researched and wrote all of the content for the two history modules, which were about the American Civil War.

Here are copy decks for two parts of the history modules that were used by the designers and developers:

  • Underground Railroad. This activity was an interactive timeline about the life of Harriet Tubman to provide context to the function of the Underground Railroad. The timeline included different layers of information that could be toggled on and off.
  • Young Soldiers. This activity allowed the student to select different options for creating a character based on young soldiers. As the student made selections based on location, education, motivation, and occupation, a customized image and story about the character’s life story was revealed.

Alongside the content modules, the Madcap experience included a supporting website, for which I also created the architecture and provided the copy. Naturally, this included some simple Q&A help:

After the prototype, we applied to the Canada Media Fund to develop a series of mobile apps. The executive summary for the funding application to demonstrates the ability to boil complicated ideas down into succinct nuggets of copy:

 

 

Breaking News

In 2011 I partnered with a production company on a television series concept I created called Breaking News. We got thiiiiiiis close to a development deal with the CBC. It was a risky idea, and timing being everything, it was a time when risk was not something broadcasters in Canada were comfortable with. It was also a drama about the news, also a tough sell. Within 12 months, Aaron Sorkin’s Newsroom appeared on HBO.

Here is the short treatment for the series:

 

 

Decksi

Decksi was a startup company that used the collectible trading card idea to create a digital marketing experience. In my role as a producer for the company, I wrote the copy for a number of decks including one for the television series Glee. The deck included a connection game where you could earn bonus cards by figuring out how to combine regular cards:

 

Canadian Screen Training Centre

Several years ago, shortly before shutting down due to funding cuts, the Ottawa-based CSTC hired me to consult on the content strategy for a new website. It was a very small contract and the resulting report was very brief:

 

Conspiracy of Ages

In my work I develop a lot of games. Unfortunately, the design documents for those are owned by my clients and cannot be shared. Fortunately, I also design a lot of games for my own pleasure. One of them is a collectable card game: