Helping Writers Survive and Thrive
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All writers have stories of how some teacher, workshop participant, friend, or spouse gave them commentary that undermined their confidence and their writing. This “toxic feedback” has tainted feedback's reputation as a whole, causing too many writers to avoid or mismanage this valuable resource. In the first book to focus on this vital but delicate dynamic, Joni B. Cole applies first-person experience, real-life teaching examples, and her own unique ability to entertain while reaffirming the many merits of feedback. Cole shows writers how to use feedback to energize and inform their writing at every stage of the process. For feedback providers, she delivers insights into constructive criticism and the difference between being heard and being obnoxious. Finally, she offers advice to workshops and critique groups on how to thrive in this collective experience. In addition, established writers ranging from Julia Alvarez and Khaled Hosseini to Gregory Maguire and Jodi Picoult share their own feedback stories -- from useful to inspiring to deranged -- underscoring Cole's message that feedback plays a critical role in every writer's success. Through a mixture of instruction, anecdotes, and moral support, Cole manages to detoxify the feedback process with humor and without laying blame, inspiring both sides of the interaction to make the most of this powerful resource.
University Press of New England, 9781584655442, 168pp.
Publication Date: July 31, 2006
About the Author
Nominated for a US Fellowship Award and Pushcart Prize, Joni B. Cole has authored two books for writers, including Good Naked: Reflections on How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier (listed as one of the "Best Books for Writers" by Poets & Writers magazine). She is also the author of the acclaimed essay collection, Another Bad-Dog Book: Essays on Life, Love, and Neurotic Human Behavior, and creator of the three-volume “This Day” series that shares a day in the life of hundreds of women across America (“fascinating and eye-opening,” Publisher's Weekly). Joni is on the creative writing faculty of the New Hampshire Institute of Art, and teaches workshops within the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at Dartmouth College. She is the founder of the Writer's Center of White River Junction, VT, and also leads expressive writing workshops at a diversity of nonprofit and educational organizations. Joni is a frequent speaker at conferences and universities around the country, and is a contributor to The Writer magazine. She lives in Vermont and has two daughters. For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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