Literary Prizes·Writing Tip

Want to be a better writer? Learn from others

CBC Books regularly publishes writing tips.
Leah Mol's advice: "Anything you can learn from other people is helpful." (Shutterstock / WAYHOME studio)

This writing tip is from lthe 2018 CBC Short Story Prize winner, Leah Mol

"Let other people read your work. Anything you can learn from other people is helpful, whether it gives you new ideas, fixes issues or just confirms that something is or isn't working. Even if you're not ready to take advice or make changes, talking to someone you trust about your writing can give you a better idea of your own feelings on the work — what you're attached to and protective of, and what you're not as confident about. And I think it goes the other way too.

"Helping other people work through writing issues has given me some light bulb moments about my own work. For me, talking about writing (anyone's writing) is an important part of being a writer."

Leah Mol has an MFA in creative writing from UBC and an undergraduate degree in journalism from Carleton University. She works as a proofreader, writer and piano teacher. Her story Lipstick Day won the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize.