|About the Book
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
In addition, established writers including Julia
Hosseini, Ted Kooser, Gregory
Picoult, and others 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
| "...Something inside
writers makes them need to put words on the
page, regardless of their boot-stomped egos. Writers may ignore or deny
that need for years out of fear or good excuses or lame excuses, but
the need remains, manifesting in a sense of excitement and agitation
when an intriguing idea or character pops into their consciousness,
whispering insistently, 'Write about me! Write about me! Wouldn’t I
make a great story?!'"
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