how does this letter sound to you? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 03-22-2007, 11:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i am applying for a writing grant, and one of my instructors wrote this letter in my support.

i need a minimum of 2 letters, but with his i will have 4; 3 without him -- though only one of them would be from a writer and writing instructor.

would you include his or not?

I would like to recommend "annabanana" for the blah grant for her work-in-progress...annabanana is one of my students at the Humber School for Writers and her writing is incisive, evocative, and, in many respects, quite professional. Throughout my interactions with annabanana, she has impressed me with her considered views on the themes explored in her stories, as well as with her enthusiasm to constantly improve her writing.

I have looked through her proposal and I feel strongly that it is a worthwhile project. Moreover, I believe annabanana's writing talents will do justice to this original yet relevant novel. I know she is quite passionate about this project, and the grant will ensure that she gts the opportunity to complete it.


my deadline is march 27.
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#2 of 6 Old 03-22-2007, 11:20 PM
 
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I would include it. Are you apprehensive about including it for some specific reason? I think it sounds fine.
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#3 of 6 Old 03-22-2007, 11:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twocoolboys View Post
I would include it. Are you apprehensive about including it for some specific reason? I think it sounds fine.
well, three things bother me:

1. her writing is in many respects quite professional. i feel it begs the question in what respects it is not professional.

2. quite passionate about the project. i think it weakens my intent, kwim? i am passionate, very passionate. not quite passionate.

3. original yet relevant. sounds like a jab.

but my relationship with this person went sour after he wrote the letter, for other reasons, and maybe i am overthinking this letter. it just leaves an after-taste in my mouth, kwim?

but i wonder what others think. maybe i am biased.
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#4 of 6 Old 03-22-2007, 11:47 PM
 
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The only thing that stands out to me is the "in many respects" part--sounds almost snarky, kwim? But the others seem fine to me. I think I'd use it, particularly if the source is well-respected.
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#5 of 6 Old 03-23-2007, 11:04 AM
 
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The letter is fine. Having written letters like these myself, I would put an alternate interpretation to what the reviewer said.

Quote:
1. her writing is in many respects quite professional. i feel it begs the question in what respects it is not professional.
The reviewer does not want to cast you as a professional writer. Since a professional writers is by definition a person that writes for a living, such a person might not really need the grant. The reviewer is saying that while you have professional qualities, you are not making a living as a writer, because all things being equal, the review committee is more likely to give the grant to someone they think needs it rather than to someone who doesn't.

Quote:
2. quite passionate about the project. i think it weakens my intent, kwim? i am passionate, very passionate. not quite passionate.
Two things here. First, the reviewer is casting himself or herself as dispassionate observer of your writing in order to convey the idea that he or she is not backing you from some emotional stance. (That's what "quite" means here.) Second, the reviewer in the rest of the review has stressed the rational side of your abilities, in effect saying that you possess real skill. What the reviewer is trying to avoid is the idea that you are all attitude and no talent. On the other hand, the reviewer also wants to portray you as being passionate about your writing, because the issuer of the grant wants some assurance that you will in fact finish the project.

Quote:
3. original yet relevant. sounds like a jab.
The reviewer here is trying to say that you are not a writer who tries to be original by just mixing into your work a bunch or odd or shocking stuff. Some people think that they need to "prove" their "originality" by punching up their work with little surprises. By saying that you are original, but relevant, the reviewer is saying that you do not rely on gimmicks and yet you do have an original voice. So this is not a jab. It is high praise.

The letter is very good and you should use it by all means. I hope the other letters are just as good.
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#6 of 6 Old 03-23-2007, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Unagidon View Post
The letter is fine. Having written letters like these myself, I would put an alternate interpretation to what the reviewer said.



The reviewer does not want to cast you as a professional writer. Since a professional writers is by definition a person that writes for a living, such a person might not really need the grant. The reviewer is saying that while you have professional qualities, you are not making a living as a writer, because all things being equal, the review committee is more likely to give the grant to someone they think needs it rather than to someone who doesn't.



Two things here. First, the reviewer is casting himself or herself as dispassionate observer of your writing in order to convey the idea that he or she is not backing you from some emotional stance. (That's what "quite" means here.) Second, the reviewer in the rest of the review has stressed the rational side of your abilities, in effect saying that you possess real skill. What the reviewer is trying to avoid is the idea that you are all attitude and no talent. On the other hand, the reviewer also wants to portray you as being passionate about your writing, because the issuer of the grant wants some assurance that you will in fact finish the project.



The reviewer here is trying to say that you are not a writer who tries to be original by just mixing into your work a bunch or odd or shocking stuff. Some people think that they need to "prove" their "originality" by punching up their work with little surprises. By saying that you are original, but relevant, the reviewer is saying that you do not rely on gimmicks and yet you do have an original voice. So this is not a jab. It is high praise.

The letter is very good and you should use it by all means. I hope the other letters are just as good.
thank you for your reassurance!

the other letters are much better :-)
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