Sunday, June 20, 2010

Book Review: "Careers in Grant Writing" A Good Primer for Anyone Considering Becoming a Pro Grant Writer

I was recently asked to review the book, Careers in Grant Writing (2009, Cats Pajamas Press Houston, Texas) written by Caroline S. Reeder.

In the interest of full disclosure to you, I do not know Reeder, I was not paid or in any other way compensated for this review, and this review is truly my own opinion without any influence, at all.

Careers in Grant Writing is a very clear primer and also a helpful overview that does a good job of describing the grant writer's profession for anyone considering becoming a professional grant writer.  Reeder clearly explains everything from the basics, to what the work and professional field are like, to what an average salary is and where anyone seriously considering the work may learn more.

Reeder begins by simply clarifying what a grant is and what grant writers do (for instance, famously, the job title is a misnomer; grant writers do not actually literally "write grants' but rather we write the proposal that will be submitted in order to hopefully receive a grant).  Then she describes what skills are typical of a good professional grant writer so that anyone who is considering becoming one may do a 'self check' and consider whether they have these skill, or if they don't, where they may go to learn them.  Reeder then describes where grant writers typically work, for what kinds of organizations, and what kind of work they do, on average, for each type of employer.  Next, she describes 'a day in the life' of a professional grant writer by describing well what the average grant writer does in our work environment (no matter what type of organization we work with) and she even describes some of the common misconceptions of the job and common pitfalls.  She then goes into the nitty gritty: what do grant writers earn, do we only work only as staff members or whether we grant writers can consult, what the typical educational or professional backgrounds are that lend well to being a good grant writer, and she even shares what a grant writer job description looks like.  She closes the book with an outlook for and final thoughts on this professional field, and then she provides one of the books strongest features, a great list of recommended resources (which are mostly online).

This book is a quick, clear, and complete read as it is 39 pages and includes the all important suggested resources that are good for anyone either looking to just learn how to do grant writing, or how to become a grant writer (or both).

I recommend this book as it is clear, concise, helpful, and instructive.

Careers in Grant Writing is also available for sale through amazon.com but it is for sale there, for $21.97, and cheaper through Caroline's own site, at $19.97.

If you're thinking about doing grant writing work, but never have, or if you are considering becoming a professional grant writer, then this book is for you!

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