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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > March 2018 > Grin & bear it

Grin & bear it

Jane Wenham Jones advises a reader not to let the idiosyncracies of peer reviews spoil her pleasure in her first published novel

I recently received a very average review for my debut historical The Spark Girl. I’m absolutely fine with readers leaving reviews of all star ratings, after all not everyone can like everything. However, I am concerned that this particular reviewer called into question my research which I’m rather cross about as it was the one thing I was keen to get right. I spent a long time interviewing those that served in the Women’s Army during World War II, spent months in the archives, went on regular field trips and in short I’m not sure what else I could have done other than time travel back to 1940. The reviewer hasn’t actually specified what the problems were other than they had issue with some creative and dramatic licence that had been taken with plot. Is it worth replying with a humble comment asking what it was they objected to or better left alone?

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About Writing Magazine

Bumper issue! Your guide to 2018's writing events and festivals Inside the new issue, discover what you can learn about writing by studying Sherlock Holmes author Arthur Conan Doyle, and get up to speed on what's happening in the grip lit genre. Learn how to conquer rejection and move your writing on, and see how our star interviewee, Katherine Arden, took inspiration from folklore and history for her magic realist historical fantasies. • Keep up to date with the latest writing competitions and opportunities in Writers' News.