Helping You Write What You Mean to Write...
Quickly, Easily, and Effectively
The Writing Company is a 35+-year-old custom-consulting firm.
The name “The Writing Company” may make it sound like a large firm, but it isn’t. It is one person: Ken Mirvis, who personally provides all of The Writing Company’s training, coaching, and facilitation, and most of the writing services.
Over the years, a remarkable team of collaborators has provided graphic arts, illustration, technical collaboration, teacher training, and more.
After three decades of work, describing The Writing Company’s core business becomes increasingly difficult. Simplified, it includes:
- Teaching and coaching writing, presentation, and communications skills in corporate, educational, governmental, and non-profit environments.
- Writing and developing educational materials - mostly about energy and water, but not exclusively.
- Facilitating complex or volatile processes that might otherwise lose their focus.
Explore this website to learn more about each, and feel free to discuss any of them.
The Writing Company is about long-term, trusting relationships, creativity, and customization.
We want to:
- Work for organizations and on projects we believe in.
- Help organizations become more functional by breaking down silos and communicating more effectively.
- Help everyone in an organization become a leader and a professional.
- Help workers write and communicate more professionally and more confidently.
- Create a more sustainable world by being more mindful of the impacts of all of our actions.
The Writing Company specializes in transforming clients' ideas into clear, active forms of communication that express complex information in a straightforward, easy-to-understand, and interesting manner.
TWC's business writing workshops help clients prepare employees to do their jobs more effectively, more professionally, and more efficiently with workshops customized for employees at every level within an organization.
The written word can leave a strong, lasting impression. When the writing is done well, that impression is good. When it is done poorly, the impression can create a long-lasting problem.
For writing to work, it must make your point succinctly, present your message clearly and accurately, and carry the right "feel." Such writing does not happen by chance. It takes expertise, skill, and hard work.
TWC is skilled at formulating ideas, at creating structure, at managing complicated tasks, and at conveying complex technical information to an untrained or lay audience. We always keep the reader or listener in mind and avoid flourishes, fancy vocabulary, complex sentences, and jargon that might hide a message. We embrace active language, straight talk, and clear, down-to-earth explanations. We practice this philosophy in our own writing, and we instill it in others in our workshops.
Kenneth W. Mirvis, Ed.D., TWC's principal writer, trainer, and facilitator, entered the field of communications in 1980 after a ten-year career in education. I earned my doctorate in education from Boston University in 1980 after completing a dissertation based on life in the coalfields of Virginia and Kentucky. Subsequently, I have authored and edited many books, articles, and educational materials, and I now spend about half of my time teaching and facilitating, and the other half writing.
For the past few decades, I have taught in Harvard University’s Center for Workplace Development and Boston College’s Leadership for Change program. I have led writing workshops for people in business, industry, and government, and I have facilitated dozens of high stakes meetings and strategic planning efforts.
Neil Clark, TWC principal collaborator, joined The Writing Company after fifteen years as School Education Manager for the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. While at MWRA, he co-authored two curriculum supplements on water education, “Water Works” and “Water Watchers,” and he built a fledgling program to one that served more than 40,000 students per year. He was named the EPA Region I Environmental Educator of the Year in 1995. Before joining MWRA, Neil spent fifteen years as a middle school mathematics teacher and administrator. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Masters in Education.
Sample Publications by The Writing Company
• Wise Energy Use at Home (public presentation), San Diego Gas and Electric Energy Innovation Center, 2014.
• Action Plan for the Upper Flint River, American Rivers, 2014.
• Adventures in Solar Energy (statewide high school curriculum on solar energy), Connecticut Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority, 2013.
• Declining Sales and Water Utility Revenues: A Framework for Understanding and Adoption, Facilitation, Alliance for Water Efficiency, 2012 and 2014.
• Assessing the Economic and Environmental Benefits of Industrial Water Use Efficiency Within the Great Lakes Region, Alliance for Water Efficiency, 2012.
• Smart Meters: The Knowledge of Power, San Diego Gas and Electric Company, 2011.
• Fuel-to-Home, (a public education program on electricity), Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, United Illuminating Company, and Connecticut Light and Power, 2011.
• Addressing the Water-Energy Nexus: A Blueprint for Action and Policy Agenda, (process facilitation and document development) Alliance for Water Efficiency and American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, 2011.
• Electricity Today and Tomorrow, 2009, a classroom presentation on options and effects of electricity generation, San Diego Gas and Electric and others.
• Watersheds, Water and You, 2008, a fifth-grade curriculum supplement on water conservation and watershed awareness used in conjunction with the county’s Splash Mobile Science Lab, San Diego County Water Authority, 2008.
• eesmarts™, 2005 to present, an energy awareness/energy conservation program for elementary and middle schoolers across the state of Connecticut.
• Water Times, a sixth grade school education/water awareness program, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, 2005. Winner of the 2005 Award of Excellence for Public Education from the Los Angeles Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.
• To Quench a Thirst: A Brief History of Water in the San Diego Region, San Diego County Water Authority and the Hans Doe Foundation, 2004. Winner of the 2005 First Prize for Special Publications from the San Diego Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.
• ConEd for Kids, a series of lessons and lesson plans for students in the Con Edison service territory in New York City.
• JEA Science Projects, a series of lessons and science project ideas for students in the JEA service territory surrounding Jacksonville, Florida.
• Your World, A Magazine on Biotechnology, Biotechnology Institute, twice yearly, 1992 - 2003.
• The Qualities and Science of Water, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (1999).
• Water Politics, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (1994, 1997, 2001).
• Water Quality, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (1993) and the San Diego County Water Authority (1995).
• How Many Light Bulbs Does It Take To Change a People?, New England Electric Systems (1990). Winner of the 1994 Massachusetts Governor's Energy Award for Education.
• Water Wisdom (with Neil Clark and Darrel and Ardith Hoff), Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (1989). (WINNER, 1990 Camel Award from the American Water Works Association for being the nation's best school-based water awareness program.)
• Water Works! San Diego County Office of Education, 1999.
• Water Ways, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (1995).
• The Case of the Trinity River Fish Kills, Texas Water Issues, 1998.
• Graduate School: It Pays to Go and Get Ready to Go, NASA (1988).
• Comet Fever: A Popular History of Halley's Comet (with Donald Gropman), Simon and Schuster's Fireside Books (1985).
• SolarMod: An Engaging Introduction to Solar Thermal Energy, Energenics (1981).
• Solar Energy: An Installer's Guide to Domestic Hot Water, National Association of Solar Contractors (1982).
Our articles have appeared in: Appalachian Notes, Atlanta Magazine, The Boston Globe, Boston Reports, The Christian Science Monitor, France Magazine, the Journals of the American Water Works Association and the New England Water Works Association, The Old Farmer's Almanac, Photovoltaics International, USA Today, and Yankee.
For five years, Ken wrote a bi-weekly editorial for the Watertown (Massachusetts) Tab.
• Water Times (Metropolitan Water District of Southern California)
2005 Award of Excellence for Public Education from the Los Angeles Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America
• To Quench a Thirst: A Brief History of Water in the San Diego Region (San Diego County Water Authority and the Hans Doe Foundation)
2005 First Prize for Special Publications from the San Diego Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America
• How Many Light Bulbs Does It Take To Change a People? (New England Electric Systems)1994 Massachusetts Governor's Energy Award for Education
• Water Wisdom (Massachusetts Water Resources Authority)
1990 Camel Award from the American Water Works Association for being the nation's best school-based water awareness program
• In 1995, Region I of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency named Neil Clark the Environmental Educator of the Year