Writers On Writing / Finding Gems in Feedback with Josie Montano


“I have always been open to feedback, even if it hurts my creative pride. I know that somewhere in it is either a ‘gem’ I can use, or it can trigger my inner critique to emerge and see the manuscript with a different lens.”



Writers on Writing is our regular conversation with a writer or industry professional about the writing craft, industry insights, and their own practice. This week, we spoke to Josie Montano about the importance of getting feedback on your work.

How has receiving feedback on your work developed your writing practice?

Over the 22 years of writing to be published, feedback received has been crucial to moving forward and taking my creative route seriously. I have always been open to feedback, even if it hurts my creative pride. I know that somewhere in it is either a ‘gem’ I can use, or it can trigger my inner critique to emerge and see the manuscript with a different lens.

What’s the best way to give someone constructive criticism?

Gently! I like to provide two positives and one reflection (notice I didn’t call it negative). As creators, we are attached to our work. Somewhere in that manuscript is a piece of ourselves, even if it wasn’t intentional when we wrote it. Therefore, coming in like a bulldozer is going to hurt. I also like to ask the person receiving the critique questions about the issue I see in their manuscript. At times, this can trigger their own realisation and perspective on what it is I’m trying to get across.

What children’s books are on your to-read pile at the moment?

During COVID lockdowns I actually decluttered and sorted my bookshelves, and have rediscovered all the books from my childhood. It brought back all those warm and fuzzy feelings of being curled up somewhere as a bookworm. I also found my collection of vintage children’s books written by Australian authors, and have decided to start reading through some of them: Playing Beatie Bow, Seven Little Australians and Riverman.


Josie Montano is an award-winning author with 64 resources published internationally. She writes under two pseudonyms:- fiction under Montano; resources on Autism under Santomauro. Josie works freelance with a multitude of journal articles, narrative scripts and regular columns published. She’s also an actor, playwright, scriptwriter and has produced her own award winning short film, hoping to create a sitcom series from it. Her passions as a storyteller are to give a voice to those who aren’t able to, or are no longer here.

Join Josie’s course, Online Feedback: Writing Children’s Books, Monday 6 February to Friday 23 June, online. Enrol here >>

Online Feedback - children's books

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