So you think you can write?


Mastering your pen

This might look like another article on how to write great articles. In a world where it’s all about 140 characters because no-one has the time to read, but everyone has the time to express an opinion, some may feel the art of writing is dead. Others may feel that a new art to writing has emerged. In the meantime book sales dwindle. Newspapers disappear. Writing has been democratised way beyond the revolution of the printing press and anyone who has something to say can find a channel to say it.

But let’s not forget the true art of writing. Hand writing. The physical craft. The skills needed to put pen to paper have been enshrined in the Master Penman. Who knew?

Known as “The Pen Wizard” by his peers, Francis B. Courtney (b.1867) was truly unique among penmen.  A flamboyant, he gave dashing demonstrations on exotic and novel forms of decorative writing, a number of which were his own creation. His Needlestitch script, Courtney’s Backslanted script, Figure Writing, and Letterheads became trademarks for this great penman. Throughout his long life, he was an avid teacher, and influenced many young writers with his flawless work.

Today there are just 12 living Master Penmen worldwide. A dying art, or ripe for reinvention? Maybe it just needs a passionate entrepreneur and some good marketing.