Words by Design's latest publications and updates...


New Partnership Announced

Words by Design and Oxford Centre for Life-Writing

Personal Biography Service

The Oxford Centre for Life-Writing and Words by Design are pleased to introduce a new collaboration. Together we are making skilled writers available to help clients write their biographies. 
The Oxford Centre for Life-Writing (OCLW) is a research centre based at Wolfson College at the University of Oxford, designed to support those who write auto/ biography and those who undertake research on different forms of life narratives. OCLW was formally established in October 2010, and since its creation it has built up a busy schedule of events (including talks and lectures, ‘in conversations’, seminars, workshops, conferences and symposia, and concerts). 
Words by Design is a publishing consultancy offering a range of bespoke publishing services to individual and corporate clients, as well as to the printing and publishing industry. One of its core services is getting alongside clients to help them record their life story and turning the manuscript into professionally produced books for family and friends. Among its clients have been peers of the realm, CEOs, philanthropists, polar explorers, a taxi driver and a chimney sweep!

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The Story So Far

Nick Isbister and Jude Elliman

just published

‘The Universe is made of stories not of atoms.’ So says American poet Muriel Rukeyser.

Our belief is that people’s lives are made of stories - some forced on them, some chosen, some ever-present for them, some half-forgotten, some bringing life and some closing people down and boxing them in. Stories define. Stories confine. Stories affirm. Stories constrain. Narratives and the connections they make, and the conversations they engender are the basis of all relationships, all groups, all tribes, all organisations. The health of the groups we belong to, and are part of is critically dependent on the quality of the conversations between people.

The Story so Far is a guide for executive coaches about the function of narrative in their client’s lives. Everyone constructs their identity through the stories they tell. This book is about Transformational Narrative Coaching, a process that supports and challenges clients as they re-story their lives and shape different, more generative futures. This is the resource you will need as an experienced executive coach to add a narrative dimension to your repertoire of coaching approaches. The book lays the foundations for narrative coaching and outlines the practicalities of becoming a Transformational Narrative Coaching Practitioner.

The book is the distilled wisdom of two highly experienced executive coaches - Nick Isbister and Jude Elliman. Each of them have thirty years of working with a diverse range of clients from a variety of sectors, using their stories and a narrative methodology. The draws coaches into the world of narrative identity and of how to work with it. Businesses are dependent on engaging their constituencies in better conversations and this approach equips you to work with these narratives too. Insightful, relevant, practical The Story so Far is a must for any experienced executive coach, or L&OD practitioners who want to work more effectively with the complexity and power of narrative expression.



Lord Nuffield and His Double Legacy

David Cranston

Brand New Medical Biography

William Morris’ legacy is immense. From mending bicycles in the house of his parents to becoming the motoring giant of the UK where the MG insignia (Morris Garages) is universally known sixty years after his death... not to mention the two war efforts in which he played a major role, rebuilding the RAF several times over especially during the crucial days of the Battle of Britain in 1940. His interest in, and philanthropy toward, medicine in particular may have been stimulated by his early connections with Sir William Osler, who was Regius Professor of Medicine in Oxford between 1905 and 1919. He endowed the four original Nuffield Chairs of Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Anaesthetics, and a few years later Orthopaedics. One of the authors (PJM) held the Nuffield Chair of Surgery between 1974 and 2001 stimulating his long-term interest in William Morris. Ennobled as Lord Nuffield in 1934, this book uses both ‘William Morris’ and ‘Nuffield’ or ‘Lord Nuffield’ when referring to him (mainly but not exclusively ‘Morris’ before 1934 and ‘Nuffield’ after 1934).