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Writing as a Group Activity – First Readers and Personal Contacts

By Janice Alonso

Give Your Writer Resources: Article Nine

The term “first readers” is exactly what it implies: the first individuals who read your story when you feel it is absolutely perfect and has arrived at the ready-to-submit stage. I firmly believe no writer can effectively proofread his/her own finished piece. At least, I cannot; I am too familiar with the story and proof it the way I want it to read. These first readers will change from story to story as you understand what it is exactly you need to look for in a first reader. If each person is carefully selected, this particular reader will enhance your writing because he/she may contribute something you didn’t know you needed or solve a problem you had no idea how to correct. While these readers may not know the individual reasons they were chosen, you will have them look for a specific “exactness” in your finished manuscript. I didn’t learn this until after I had presented several stories for a first reading.

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