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Toxic Feedback: Helping Writers Survive and Thrive [Paperback]

Our Price $ 14.41  
Retail Value $ 16.95  
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Item Number 448186  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   168
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.96" Width: 6.06" Height: 0.47"
Weight:   0.57 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 31, 2006
Publisher   UPNE
ISBN  1584655445  
EAN  9781584655442  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
All writers have stories 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 collective experience.
In addition, established writers ranging from Julia Alvarez and Khaled Hosseini to Gregory Maguire and Jodi Picoult 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 powerful resource.

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More About Joni Cole

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! A professional writer and editor, JONI B. COLE is creator of the "This Day" series, including This Day: Diaries from American Women (2003) and This Day in the Life: Diaries from Women Across America (2005) and Water Cooler Diaries: Women across America Share Their Day at Work (2008). She is a writing instructor and frequent speaker at universities and writing conferences around the country, and co-founder of the Writer's Center of White River Junction, Vermont.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Got me back in the game  Feb 1, 2007
Toxic Feedback totally reinvigorated my interest in my writing group. I was about to give it up because I wasn't feeling great about my work and also had no confidence in the feedback I could offer the other writers. Having worked as an editor, I have no problem taking red-pen-hacking criticism, but this book offers great advice on how to actually use it, if at all. The section on giving feedback has given me more tools and ways to articulate advice and has probably spared my writing group from my overzealous efforts to be a "real" critic. Now I am re committed to the group and to my project. Thanks!
Addicted to feedback!  Oct 31, 2006
I used to be afraid to show my work to anyone, but now I crave responses. Toxic Feedback really helped me make the transition, and I can't tell you how rewarding it is.
Toxic Feedback by Joni B. Cole  Oct 9, 2006
THE most useful book for writers I've read since Anne LaMott's Bird by Bird. Joni B. Cole describes the writing life and the giving and receiving of feedback with the wit and humor and honesty that can only come from personal experience. In Toxic Feedback, Cole provides specific examples from other successful writers (like Grace Paley and Ted Kooser, to name only 2)as well from her own life as a writer, which, it turns out, is a lot like that which the rest of us live ~ right down to the same fears and frustrations and making deals with the cosmos if "someone, oh dear God _anyone_, will just agree to publish me . . . ." If you're a writer you'll find yourself in these pages ~ and you'll also find the information Cole provides singularly helpful in coping with toxic feedback when you receive it and in avoiding being a person who gives it, even unintentionally. Indeed, Toxic Feedback really does what the subtitle promises: Helping Writers Survive and Thrive.

Rebecca Longster
Writer, Writing Teacher (Purdue University), and Creative Writing Student (University of Southern Maine's Stonecoast MFA Program)
For writers - for everyone!  Sep 14, 2006
Managing feedback -it's something we do all day long, perhaps not even realizing it. So why not see the positive side of feedback -even if it's toxic! That's the perspective of Toxic Feedback's Joni B. Cole -
As a talk show host I've had an opportunity to speak with many writers and one theme is constant - feedback. How necessary the feedback is in order to write, rewrite, rewrite and so on. Learning how to best process this feedback is key in making one's writing as sharp as possible.
Toxic Feedback also speaks to those who are doling out the (sometimes) toxic feedback. It cautions that the way something is said can make all the difference in the writer's world. What would have happened if Khaled Hosseini had given up and not had The Kite Runner published? Thank goodness we'll never know! Joni has included stories from Khaled to fiction writer, Jodi Picoult plus many others. You will know that you are not alone in your quest for publication and that all feedback can be seen in a positive light!

Robin Kall
host, "Reading With Robin" WHJJ, Providence, RI
Toxic Feedback  Sep 9, 2006
Joni Cole discusses what to do and what not to do in reviewing others' writing and receiving reviews, and gives pointers for holding writing workshops.

As a writer and a longtime writing workshop member, I found this book very useful. I've experienced most of the forms of toxic feedback she describes (and worse). In particular, I liked what she had to say about learning styles, about not overwhelming the reviewee with too much information or too much large-scale negative commentary, and about assessing a work in terms of what it is trying to do, not trying to make it into something else.

Vengefully, I wanted more castigation of toxic-feedback-givers, but it really wouldn't have been necessary.

I think this book is a must for anyone involved in a writing workshop or creative writing instruction.

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