Wednesday, February 22, 2012

SpineOut Magazine Assistant Editor checked out MY MANUSCRIPT!

Back in 2010, while Evergreen was still in one of it's earlier, less-refined drafts, my wonderful English teach, Mrs Dianne Goulding, took the liberty of sending it to Bonnie Goodman; SpineOut Magazine's Subscriptions and Library Manager. Ms Goodman forwarded it to the assistant editor, Lizzie Riley, who wrote back to Ms Goodman about it, and Ms Goodman forwarded Ms Riley's reply to my teacher... who then showed me.

Lizzie Riley wrote (lazy people: just read the first paragraph):

We read Evergreen: A Fallen Star by Bonnee Crawford and quite enjoyed it. Although we've only read the first two chapters the story has good potential; it's an engaging read and a different concept from what you usually see. I think Bonnee could improve the story by trying not to focus on the little things as much - the trick with writing is often trying to find a balance between telling the story and keeping the story rich with detail. The characterisation of the main characters is good - each has a distinctive voice and personality that the reader can identify.
We would encourage Bonnee to keep working at it. We would also encourage her to try and write every day. Even if it's just a few hundred words or one paragraph, if you keep writing you will hone your craft. Try not to be too concerned about editing as she goes. Most authors recommend finish the story as a whole draft then finding parts that need work.
When Bonnee thinks she's ready to send the manuscript off, there is a small publisher, Atlas Productions that has a competition where the winner will have their novel published by the company. She can find out more here: there are other competitions for young writers as well.  
It might be worth considering looking into creative writing summer courses and uni courses if she thinks writing is where her future lies. often these courses are taught be experienced and published authors which is a great bonus. 
SpineOut will be published later this month. This will be a place Bonnee could submit her work. We will be publishing a selection of submitted work each edition. short stories might be a good regular writing exercise. SpineOut will provide information on writing competitions as well in each issue so if she keeps an eye on these. -Lizzie Riley

I found the copy of the email Mrs Goulding sent me earlier this week and wanted to share it with you. It made me feel amazing to hear from a professional in the writing industry that my book was actually good. My teacher underlined the part where she wrote "trying not to focus on the little things as much" and since then, I've kept that tip in mind every time I've edited. Admittedly, it's something Mrs Goulding has said to me a thousand times before. I think I'm overcoming my detail-overload now though; my current manuscript is soooooooooo much shorter than the first draft was.

So big thank you to Lizzie Riley for this review. Thanks to Bonnie Goodman for relaying the messages between Mrs Goulding and Ms Riley. A huge thank you to Mrs Goulding for getting me noticed to begin with and, who just the other day, gave me a booklet full of information on writing courses in 2012. And another thank you to my friend Kacey Stephenson, who thrust a piece of paper with info about a local writing competition into my hand yesterday. I plan on entering that competition. One more thank you to another teacher of mine, Mr Gorton, who's been sending me links and suggestions about writing resources and who is in the process of reading Evergreen himself and giving me feedback as he goes. You guys are the awesomest.

Sorry for the huge-arse blog post! I just wanted to share this experience with the world :)
- Bonnee


  1. Congrats! What a great feeling.

  2. Very cool, to get feedback like this. Congrats!!



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