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Kate van der Borgh

Kate van der Borgh

I have many ways with words

Thinking and writing

I can help you think through what you want to say. Then I can help you to say it in a way that works for your audience.

That’s what I did for UCL’s The Bartlett, when they opened up a new space in East London and wanted to tell people about it. It’s what I did for Brighton Women’s Centre, in a project that picked up a D&AD pencil.

And it’s what I do for clients day to day. Like the global healthcare company, whose team needs to talk to consultants and customers about anything from X-rays to genetic testing.


I run bespoke workshops for brands. For instance, I worked with teams from Unilever and Vodafone to look at some of the specific communications they have to share with their colleagues and customers – from long, technical reports to blogs and tweets.

I also work with clients to explore some perennial principles of great writing. These clients – who have included a leading management consultancy and a business lobbying group – often have complex things they need to get across in a clear and compelling way.

I also run writing workshops with D&AD. Come along.

Latest from the blog:

Play area

Ghost in the machine

I wrote this story back in 2019. I’d just read To Be a Machine by Mark O’Connell, a book exploring how, for some people, death is a problem to be solved by technology.

The History Lesson

This story is about how a moment in time can’t tell the story of a life. It was published by the Fiction Desk in the anthology Separations.


This isn’t a classic short story – it’s more like a pitch for a film or TV series, in fact – but it was fun to write.

The Curfew

This poem is inspired by a tweet that asked women what they’d do if men had a curfew. Many responded that they’d go for a walk. [5 minute read]

For those who love

In this short story from 2016, I wanted to explore how we define ‘ghosts’. [10 minute read]


This story is about how so much of what we mean – perhaps especially in our online culture – lives in the gaps between words. [25 minute read]

One and one

This story was written as part of the 26 project 26 Miles, in which different writers wrote a story about each mile of the London marathon. [15 minute read]

Copy chat

Why tone of voice is not your problem

Loads of brands are convinced they’ve got a problem with their tone of voice. They think they need some tone of voice guidelines – ideally featuring some nice adjectives like ‘straightforward’ and ‘friendly’ – to share throughout their organisation.

Why asking for ‘a rewrite’ is A Bad Thing

Think your brochure, your report, your website needs a quick rewrite, just to get the right tone of voice? Think again…

Why ditching that last draft is a false economy

It’s been almost two years since I handed in my key fob, tore up my travel card and became a freelance writer. That’s right – time doesn’t so much fly as screech hysterically through the sound barrier.

How to give feedback to a writer

‘I like it. But it needs to be… Different.’ Hmmm. Give feedback in the right way, and get the results you want – faster, and without any fuss.

How to work with a writer on your new website

Do I need an information architect? At what point should the copy go into design? So many questions. Here are a few answers.

Going solo: what I’ve learned

It’s been almost two years since I handed in my key fob, tore up my travel card and became a freelance writer.

Why cutting back on drafts is a false economy

Thinking of cutting costs by cutting back on the number of drafts your writer creates? Hmmm. Careful now. It might cost you in the end…

Freelance writing: things I’ve learned

It’s more than 18 months since I went freelance. Now I’m looking back at everything I’ve learned, so I can do better work and clients can run more successful projects.

What happens when your vision is unclear

Think your message about ‘massive global change’ is inspiring? Think again…

A painful conversation

The language we use tells people whether we’re on the same page as them. It tells whether we want the same thing. And that’s one of the reasons why language is extra important for those people who work in healthcare…