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Some “Must Reads” In 2019

From the best non-fiction, through fiction to children’s books, you can voyage into the planet’s past and future with Robert Macfarlane, return to Gilead in Margaret Atwood’s explosive follow-up to The Handmaid’s Tale and celebrate the 70th anniversary of the dystopian classic Nineteen Eighty-Four. These are the books and literary moments to look out for in 2019.

Enjoy the rest of the list over at Penguin.co.uk

Investing In Yourself As A Writer With Susannah Marriott, Professional Writing Academy

Susannah Marriott, Professional Writing Academy
This week, the ladies from WriteClubThePodcast.com discuss investing in yourself as a writer. Be it time and/or money, if you don’t’ take yourself and your writing seriously, who will? Theresa reads from her Work In Progress and they interview Susannah Marriott, from the Professional Writing Academy.

“WriteClubThePodcast.com is a weekly show for aspiring writers, published authors and readers everywhere. Join Stephanie Rouse, Theresa Stoker, Heather Worsley , Linda Jack Werlein, Pat Woolfe & Nicola Cairncross each week where they’ll share guest readings and interviews, along with what they’re reading, what they’re writing and what it’s really like to be a writer. You can join in the weekly “Name the Novel” quiz and find out “What’s On The Bedside Table?”.

If you like what you hear, come and join our community! Firstly, “Like” our Facebook Page, then join our lively private community in our Facebook Group (the link to that is on the FB Page).

How To Critique (Other Writers’ Work)

Here’s an extract from an excellent article by Melissa Donovan on the Writing Forward blog, on how to critique other writers’ work.  Please pay particular attention to the tip on being compassionate!  Read the full article here.

“Constructive criticism involves a little compassion. If someone cares enough about their work to show it around and invite feedback, then it’s probably something in which they are emotionally invested. If you are the person they feel is qualified to provide that feedback, then embrace the invitation as an honor, and approach it with respect.

It can be awkward at first — after all, who wants to be the bearer of bad news (and almost every critique contains at least a little bad news)? After you do a few critiques, you’ll get the hang of it, and it will become easier and more natural. Just keep these basic tips on how to critique in mind:

  • Don’t provide a critique unless you’ve been invited to do so.
  • Don’t waste time on writers who are looking for praise. Seek out writers who want feedback that will genuinely help them improve their work.
  • Take time and make an effort so you can offer a critique that is thoughtful and helpful; otherwise, just politely decline.
  • Critique the writing, not the writer.
  • Always start with the strengths, then address the weaknesses and problem areas using positive language.
  • Be objective, especially if the piece you’re critiquing is not in a style or genre that you prefer.
  • Make solid suggestions for improvement. Don’t be vague.
  • Follow up with the writer to offer support and encouragement.”