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In Praise of Friends Who’ll Read Your Manuscripts

Writing, friends, editing, support, help

Fantastic advice. I was recently blessed by being able to take part in the Virtual Writer’s Workshop and joining a writing group called Writing Wenches. Both have afforded me some fantastic new friends and contacts who have unabashedly offered their reading/editing help as I progress in my journey. I can not support the idea of a writing group enough to anyone looking towards a career in Writing.

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

girl with bookWhen students ask me what my “one piece of advice” is for aspiring writers, it’s usually: Read. But my second piece of advice — something people rarely ask for — is almost as important. That piece of advice: Cultivate a group of friends willing to read your stuff before it’s published.

I recently taught a workshop about writing book proposals, and a professional copyeditor was among my students. This was his advice, too: Don’t turn anything in ever without having at least one other person read it first. Other people can see holes in your work that you can’t. They can point out places where your knowledge and research is overwhelming your ability to see that others won’t understand something. They can tell you, whether you like it or not, when you’re not making a lot of sense to anyone who does not have your brain. (One of the other…

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