Bill Foster

Bids after Brontë, Ransome & Simenon

Bill-FosterWould-be writers are often told to read widely before picking up a pen. Bill Foster believes proposals also benefit from such scrutiny and often uses classics in storyboard and wider training.

About Bill

Next January, Bill Foster marks 20 years in bids, 15 of these leading bid consultancy and training at Foster Brandt.

Bill’s key interests are in bid analysis; tool creation; and higher-level writing. He is also an experienced bid scorer, who has devised scoring and specifications across Europe.

Although new to APMP, Bill is known across the UK as trainer and mentor to 4,200+ bidders via open and in-house programmes.

Beyond the UK, Bill has specialised in grants work, including bringing ex-combatant communities together in reconstruction projects in Bosnia. In Brussels his roles have included running and improving EU bid frameworks.

In 2009-10, Bill led a team devising the BID4 response model, created from a bid scorer perspective.

Bill also draws on skills acquired from spending ten years in journalism and TV.


Those working on modern £multi-million proposals have much to learn from the way ideas are presented in literary classics.

Bill will suggest that once you start filtering approaches in anything that you read, see, or hear (a tube advert, radio piece, or TV show) you are well on the way to significantly more engaging bids.

This interactive, discussion-based session explores ideas and text for bids at multiple levels, from three authors:

  • the series and the book (Arthur Ransome);
  • the book and the chapter (Anne Brontë); and
  • the page, paragraph and sentence (Georges Simenon).

Why are Simenon’s Maigret crime novels significantly shorter than all those of his peers? (It brought him a considerable fortune to enjoy beside a lake in Switzerland, but rarely, it seems, a call from a bid director saying ‘there’s not enough in Chapter 3’!) And was Anne Brontë the world’s first and best exponent of the storyboard and/or bid skeleton?