Nice Things Said Re: EWN

  • "Dan Wickett is serious about a good read. But the EWN email list doesn't just deliver his sure-footed reviews; it also brings you news and connections to other writers. Sign up now - he understands what readers want to know about books." Quinn Dalton, author, Bulletproof Girl
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    "Mr. Wickett is that rarely heard from but best of all possible reviewers - the dedicated and knowledgeable fan. He writes clean-cutting and fresh reviews that represent a sensibility unspoiled by over-exposure to the biz of books, but deeply in love with them." Daniel Woodrell, author, Winter's Bone
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    "Dan Wickett is a reader's best friend. Not only does he read and trenchantly review new work, but he looks back to books that deserve ongoing readership. I've lost track of the number of times he's led me to boks that I overlooked (or never knew about), and that were a delight. There aren't many reviewers I will let shape my library, but Dan Wickett is one." Erin McGraw, author, The Baby Tree

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    November 15, 2006


    Chris Bryson

    I can say from first hand experience Mag will, if you let him, make you a better writer. I've told all the first year fiction writers to buy books on rhetorical grammar so they won't get destroyed once they get into his workshop. I have also seen Mag reduce a grown man to tears during an hour long (a solid hour, mind you), line-by-line critique of a story. If you're not on the receiving end of a Magnuson critique, it's a beautifully tragic and often enlightening period. If you're on the other end of the stick, it's apocalyptic, but most students, once they rise from the ashes, cannot deny Mag has pointed them in the right direction.

    I won’t taint this website with the worst critiques he’s given my work. As Mag would say, they shall remain unspoken. Some pet peeves of his: Comma in direct address, damnit. If you’re under the age of 40, you’re not allowed to write about God or existence. Finally, if you send him an email, make sure it’s punctuated correctly or his response will consist of nothing but a grammar lesson (this goes for text messages, too).

    Best teacher ever? Sure.

    J.W. Dunnan

    Magnuson's workshops are fantastic. I've never been in another workshop at the undergraduate or graduate level that focuses so intently on sentence-level problems. Mag is much more concerned with how you write as opposed to what you write and damn the inexperienced students who can only discuss fiction in terms of “believability” and “character motivation”. When a student turns in a six-page piece with more grammatical errors than a chatroom log and then tries to direct the workshop to focus on their “character development” Magnuson will say something like, “What’s the point of working on your characters when you can’t write a sentence to save your life?”


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