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Toxic Feedback
Helping Writers Survive and Thrive
Joni Cole

University Press of New England



Contents

• Every Writer Has a Story
Rethinking Feedback
What is Feedback?
• EQ
• Sarah Stewart Taylor: “Wow! This could be my job.”
Getting Feedback
Is It You . . . or Is It Them?
• Processing Feedback
• Samina Ali: “I would have sold my soul.”
• Twenty-Two Years
• Editing Your Editor
• Ernest Hebert: “I wanted writing to be easy for me and it wasn’t.”
• Feedback Hotlines
• “Danger, Danger, Will Robinson!”
• Jennifer Crusie: “A story is a collaboration between a writer and a reader.”
• The Club
• Waiting for Feedback
• Archer Mayor: “Emotion is a blinding force.”
• The Value of Toxic Feedback
Giving Feedback
Preventing Mental Meltdowns
• The Power of Positive Feedback
• Grace Paley: “My nature wasn’t ambitious enough to go ahead on my own.”
• A Right Way and a Wrong Way
• Can You Please Be More Specific!
• Khaled Hosseini: “Even if the book is good, no one is going to want to publish it.”
• The Moment of Truth
• Common Human Decency
• Don (D. B.) Johnson: “My best advice is to marry well.”
• Editorial Biases
• Get That Look Off Your Face
• Ted Kooser: “We all serve communities.”
• Small Miracles
In the Company of Writers
Hey, Let’s Put On a Workshop!
• How to Have a Good Group Discussion
• Gregory Maguire: “I don’t revise in an architectural way.”
• Who’s in Charge?
• The Top Ten Rules of a Successful Writing Group
• Julia Alvarez: “My dream of becoming a writer was a fool’s dream.”
• Meet the World’s Worst Workshop
• Publishing
• Jodi Picoult: “I call our relationship my second marriage.”
• Can Creative Writing Be Taught?
• Crystal Wilkinson: “Processing feedback has to be a meditation.”
• In Appreciation of Bad Writing
• Epilogue: Feedback and the Real World
• Acknowledgments
• About the Author

Sat, 2 Sep 2017 11:29:30 -0500