Plain Language Awards

Celebrate the stories of our clearest business communicators

Finalist: Best Plain English Technical Communicator 2015

Sarah Wilcox, Descipher

Judges’ comment

Congratulations on all your hard work. We can see that you understand the importance of using plain English to communicate complex scientific information. It’s clear you’ve really thought about your various audiences and worked hard to create documents that have meaning for them. Well done.

Overall, each of your four documents displays very strong plain English characteristics. You’ve presented scientific information in easily understood formats and used vocabulary that addresses the needs of the intended readers. In general, we found everything easy to understand on first read. Great work!

Media statement

I am delighted to be a finalist in the 2015 Plain English Awards. First-up, I’d like to acknowledge and thank my clients, without whom I would have had nothing to write about and no stories to tell.

I started Descipher, my science and technical writing business, not because I love to write, but because I want people to know about stuff — stuff that’s important or fascinating, but outside their everyday world. I love the process of teasing a story out of an expert one fact at a time, then reassembling that story so it will make sense for a non-expert.

As an interpreter of science and technical subjects, I think I have the best job. Fisheries management, new drug manufacture, environmental reporting, health contracts, superconducting materials, or the behaviour of little penguins, I’ve had the pleasure of writing about them all.

Final thanks to the Plain English Awards for waving the flag for simple, clear communication.

Sarah Wilcox