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From: "Andrew Bollen" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Wolfe Walks - my rant
Date: Sat, 26 Jul 2003 22:26:29 +1000

I took a friend of mine to lunch yesterday to celebrate her first book being
accepted for publication by Random. She found the workshop thing very
valuable. Before the workshop, she had a draft manuscript and scattered
comments on it from all over the place, but nothing very informed. The main
value of the workshop was *useful reading*, to use her phrase. She was told
the manuscript was totally unpublishable, for this reason and that, and that
she would have to rewrite it. So she spent a couple of years rewriting from
scratch, taking note of the specific criticisms, and ended up published.

She believes her work experience as a speech-writer, policy analyst etc for
various senior politicians and bureaucrats was very helpful in being able to
use criticism effectively: she'd spent years being told, brusquely, that
pieces were no good & to rewrite them. But others in the workshop found it
much harder to handle.

Being able to use criticism is one of those things you get from experience,
if you're lucky. Sounds like these people have a way to go.


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