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Dear Bobbie:

I'm a youngish poet with a Ph.D. in creative writing and some fairly good publications in my original field (many periodicals, one chapbook, came close to winning a couple of national contests).

For the past year or so, I've been writing a memoir on my experience of being bullied as a child, as well as a few other episodes that might be interesting to a some readers.

The rub is that I have only one close friend who's a nonfiction writer. She's given me a lot of advice and been wonderful. She's also read my prose and loves it, but I'd really like a second opinion.

Would you consider glancing through a reasonably short chapter of my manuscript (about ten pages) and honestly telling me if you think my writing is good, or at least likely to improve with work?

Thank you for your time and consideration, and for offering your help to the writing community. That's truly admirable--and rare.

Best Regards,

I understand your plight, and I hope you understand mine. Because I edit manuscripts for a living, I cannot do it for free. If you can't find a critique circle of nonfiction writers to evaluate your work for free, join my group, The Writers Network, by signing up for the free newsletter, then send me an e-mail blurb saying you are looking for a nonfiction-writing critique partner to evaluate works by e-mail. I will put the notice in the next newsletter, which has a section for people looking for critique circles and critique partners. To sign up, go to and click on "Free Newsletter." You'll find my e-mail address on my Web site, too.

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Bobbie Christmas


Book Doctor Bobbie Christmas owns Zebra Communications, a book-editing firm in metro Atlanta. She not only edits books, she also helps writers power up their prose to increase their chances of success. She is the author of Write In Style (Union Square Publishing), a creative-writing guide that won three awards.


Bobbie has spent more than 40 years in the publishing and communications industry and has run Zebra Communications, a book-editing company, since 1992. The editor of many publications and periodicals, she has worked with book publishers and trade magazine publishers as well as working in marketing communications and corporate communications.

Past president, Georgia Writers Association; past vice president, South Carolina Writers Workshop; charter/lifelong member, Florida Writers Association; Southeastern Writers Association; Atlanta Writers Club; Society for the Preservation of English Language and Literature (SPELL); International Guild of Professional Consultants

Write in Style (Union Square Publishing), A Cup of Comfort (Adams Media Corporation), A Cup of Comfort for Friends (Adams Media), A Cup of Comfort for Mothers and Sons (Adams Media), Haunted Engounters (Atriad Press), Remembering Woolworth's (St. Martin's Press), First-Time Home Buyer magazine, HomeBusiness Journal, Apparel Industry Magazine, Edge Magazine, Atlanta Jewish Times, Time Travel Australia, American Writers Review, Points North, That's Entertainment, Atlanta Parent, Agnes Scott Alumnae Magazine, etc.

Journalism: University of South Carolina plus four decades of working in publishing, marketing, communications, advertising, newspaper and magazine production, book publishing, etc.

Awards and Honors
First Place, nonfiction, Georgia Writers Annual Contest, 2005; First Place, education, Royal Palm Literary Award, 2004; Best in Division, Georgia Author of the Year Awards, 2005; Finalist, Best Books 2005, USA BookNews Third Place, nonfiction, Georgia Writers, 1999; Nominated for Georgia Author of the Year, 1998; plus many other awards

Past/Present Clients
Capital Books, Sourcebooks, Olin Frederick, The Writer's Machine, Russell Dean & Company, Outskirts Press, and hundreds of writers.

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