by David Tandet

If you’ve been around a library, bookstore, coffeehouse, or airline seat in the last few decades, you know who Sue Grafton is — “A” is for Alibi . . . “U” is for Undertow.

I saw an interview with Ms. Grafton and she said she took classes to learn about police procedural stuff. That’s to write fiction. Oh, and she’s supposed to be a pretty good shot as well.

I think with that type of preparation and attention to detail, (but where’s that Santa Theresa place?), and the ability to captivate readers’ imaginations, she’d have a pretty good chance of making it as a grant writer if she ever gets tired of being one of the best selling authors ever, published in 28 countries and in 26 languages.

Unfortunately, too many grant writers look like they’re going for some sort of mystery fiction award.

When you’re doing grant work, it’s okay to highlight important facts and figures in a way that makes them stand out. It’s your job, in fact.

If you’re going for a grant to a neighborhood watch program or some such, don’t just say there were 62 murders in Santa Theresa in 2009. I mean, is that more or less than the year before? And how does it compare with a neighbor like Ventura? Also, don’t be using the numbers from 2000 because you’re too lazy to call the sheriff’s office to get the most recent figures.

Would Sue Grafton be too lazy to call?

Be accurate. Be complete. And go the extra mile.

You owe it to your client. You owe it to yourself.

Make sure you own it.

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Post filed under Grant Writing, Reliability, Reputation, Writing Tips.