This month’s Industry Influencer spotlight is shining on Mignon Fogarty. Mignon is the creator of Grammar Girl, one of Writer’s Digest’s 101 Best Websites for Writers and winner of “Best Education Podcast” in the Podcast Awards. Mignon is the author of six books, including the New York Times best-seller Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing.
CONTEST: Mignon Fogarty will award one lucky commenter a free copy of her new iPad app, Grammar Pop! Leave a comment on this post by Friday, October 18, to enter to win. This contest is now closed. Grammar Girl loves us so much that she gave away two codes: Congratulations to our winners, Patricia Anne Elford and Bob Minteer! Thank you to all who participated!
Did you always love grammar, or was it something you grew into?
I always loved writing, but it wasn’t until I became a working writer and editor after college that I developed a deep interest in grammar because I realized how many little rules I didn’t know.
You’ve published many nonfiction books about the art of good, clean writing. How important a role has social media played in your writing career?
I spend at least a couple of hours a day on social media, so I believe it plays a big part in my career. Writing grammatically correct tweets is a particular challenge. Twitter forces me to be concise.
What’s been your biggest challenge in maintaining your blog?
For years, Quick and Dirty Tips (the site where Grammar Girl resides) had a ridiculously clunky back end that made it difficult to post articles and correct typos that would slip through. We just did a huge website update, and now it’s a breeze. It’s made a real difference in how many articles I can get out each week.
Okay, we’re inviting you to climb up on your soapbox now if you like. In an age when written language is rapidly changing, thanks to texting and Twitter, are the classic rules of writing MORE or LESS important now to writers who are hoping to get published?
The rules are as important as they always were, but we have more opportunities to make ourselves look stupid and sloppy. In the past, your query letters and previously published work easily could have been all publishers saw from you; but now, they can see the tweets and Facebook posts that you fire off without much care. I’ve seen feeds from writers that would make me hesitate to hire them (and on the positive side, I’ve seen feeds from writers that were so well written and clever that I’ve been inspired to buy their books).
What’s next for you?
I’m getting fabulous feedback on my new word-matching game, Grammar Pop, so I plan to devote the next year or two to games—both enhancing Grammar Pop and creating new games.
Check out Mignon’s new iPad app, Grammar Pop!
Grammar Pop: An addictive word game for adults and a great way for kids to learn parts of speech. Match words with speech parts to pop clouds and progress from nouns and verbs to gerunds and participles. The sentences get longer, the parts of speech get harder, and the timer gets shorter as you pop more clouds and advance through Grammar Pop. You won’t even know you’re learning!
“This is a completely awesome and addictive game.” Eyeque783, iTunes Reviewer
“I am an adult writer using this to brush up on my skills. Love everything about the game.” NookFair, iTunes Reviewer
Remember to leave a comment by Friday, October 18, for a chance to win a FREE copy of Grammar Pop! This contest is now closed.