Thursday, December 31, 2009

And Now, for the Peer Review...

No, you're not reviewing a published book. You're reviewing a friend's book - and a friend is reviewing yours.

Welcome to peer review.

Scientists and researchers do it all the time: they hand their raw research articles to publishers and editors, and the publishers and editors hand the articles to the scientists' peers. These peers edit the work, sniff out possible frauds, and send in reviews to make the paper better (or send an order for it to be tossed out altogether).

In this review session, you and your friend will help each other achieve literary greatness. Your job is to pretend to be a mere reader to a writer friend's work. Review that person's work as though it were already out in the bookstore. You don't need to do any editing. Your job is to look through the work, review it, and suggest (VERY GENTLY) how it might be made better - in other words, this is just like any other review that you do, except that you know the author personally and the work isn't out on the bookshelves yet.

In the same vein, be ready to accept suggestions and criticism about your work. Be open to these suggestions because they may actually make your work logical, readable, and - who knows? - publishable!

What a way to end the year!

Good luck, happy reading, and happy reviewing!

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