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Posts Tagged ‘Joel Schwartzberg’

The 7 Biggest Mistakes Personal Essay Writers Make

As an official judge for the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition, Joel Schwartzberg has seen his share of cringe-worthy essays. And, in his latest piece for mediabistro.com AvantGuild members, he says there were a few glaring errors that kept them from being potentially powerful stories.

“The biggest mistake essay writers make is finishing a piece at three in the morning, deciding it’s brilliant and, without getting any feedback, sending it to The New Yorker,” said Susan Shapiro, a writing professor published in The New York Times‘ “Lives” and “Modern Love” columns. ” After you write your piece, get a serious critique in a class, a writing workshop or by a tough ghost editor. Listen carefully to the criticism; then rewrite.”

Get more tips from Shapiro and other writing pros in The 7 Biggest Mistakes Personal Essay Writers Make.

Mediabistro Course

Copy Editing: Intro

Copy Editing: IntroStarting January 6, learn basic copy editing skills using the AP Stylebook! In this course, you'll learn how to use dictionaries and online reference tools to edit work, ask the right questions to clarify convoluted copy, prepare for a copy editing test, and tailor your resume to find more work as a copy editor. Register now!

The 7 Biggest Mistakes Personal Essay Writers Make

As an official judge for the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition, Joel Schwartzberg has seen his share of cringe-worthy essays. And, in his latest piece for mediabistro.com AvantGuild members, he says there were a few glaring errors that kept them from being potentially powerful stories.

“People tend to write personal essays in which they’re either the hero or the villain, but most of us are squarely in the middle, which creates an opportunity for a narrative as unexpected as real life,” said Salon.com personal essays editor Sarah Hepola. “I love it when a writer says, ‘I thought you were the one to blame, but actually, now that I think about it, maybe I am.’”

Get more tips from Hepola and other writing pros in The 7 Biggest Mistakes Personal Essay Writers Make.