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Thursday, February 26, 2009

About Editors By An Editor

The distinguished author, editor and publisher Barbara Rogan says:

Hi John,Thanks for the nice mention on your blog, courtesy of Mike. I'm not sure which of my websites you visited---I have two, one for my writing: http://barbararogan.com and one for teaching: http://nextlevelworkshop.com and evaluations--but I'm glad you liked whichever one you visited. (Probably the former; it's prettier.) The content actually overlaps a good deal, and if you check out the writers' lounge in either of the two sites, you'll find a lot of useful information there for beginning writers. Feel free to extract suggestions or pointers for your blog if you'd think they'd be useful to your readers.

I agree with what you said on your blog about writers needing to think twice about having books edited privately. For unpublished writers, it almost never pays; and in fact, learning to edit your own work is one of the essential stages of learning to write. I teach an online course on that---quite rigorous, and the reactions have been very gratifying. For people who've actually completed a novel, a professional evaluation can be useful, though. When agents and editors reject work, they generally don't explain why; and it's awfully hard to improve if you don't know what you're doing wrong.
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