Review: The Forest for the Trees, Betsy Learner

I’ve been enjoying Betsy Learner’s blog for a long time so I feel a little silly that it has taken me so long to read her book: The Forest for the Trees: An Editor’s Advice for Writers. In fact, I can’t even take credit for having finally decided to do so, as it was the first book chosen for discussion in the new book club which is an offshoot of the #scribechat tweetchat, which I try to join on Fridays. However it happened, I am so glad that I finally got round to reading it!

The Forest for the Trees  is not a how-to-write manual like Donald Maass’ books, nor a right-to-write inspirational like Julia Cameron’s, rather it is a memoir-style book, along the lines of Stephen Kings’ On Writing. The book has everything that keeps me reading Betsy’s blog; it is written with grace and humour, generous with her insight, blunt when necessary but never cruel, and it is peppered with just enough industry gossip to make us feel clever but not dirty.

I highly recommend this book to anyone considering publication, living with or loving someone considering publication and anyone considering a career in the publishing industry. Betsy worked as an editor for 15years before becoming an agent, and is also an award winning author and poet, what she shares with us in The Forest for the Trees is hard-earned experience.

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