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JoAnne Sutton

JoAnne Sutton is a writer teacher dancer who loves it when she can spend her time exploring different cultures, especially in relation to dance, healing, and spirituality. She is leery of all this social media but enjoys daydreaming about the possibilities if we can figure out how to make it work as a force for good in the world. She occasionally feels compelled to express in spite of herself though she's pretty sure she would prefer to spend her days living in a tiny cottage next to a river in the depths of an enchanted forest. But she would still like for you to visit her there.

Story: The Important Things


Each week authors will be given a new question to answer which will lend additional insight into their story and writing process. Do you have a question you'd like to see the authors answer? Tweet it to @aNextAuthor!

What is the best writing advice you've ever heard?
The best advice I've ever heard in relation to artistic pursuits is from The Artist's Way, I think. Sometimes we think that writing should be difficult, but actually what comes most naturally to us is often the most inspired.
When you start a new story do you prepare an outline in advance or do you just jump right in?
I'm a teacher so I guess I'm supposed to be some sort of an advocate for outlines, but I'm not. Honestly I think the best writing is the kind that comes easily without too much forethought, and outlines are the enemy of that kind of inspiration.
How do you deal with writing criticism, apart from just ignoring it?
I like to use criticism to look at my writing in a way I couldn't before, and to use those new ideas to play with what I've written.


The Pearl

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Interesting and insightful story - well written by a writer with a future.


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This is a super cute story! It is well written and kept my attention. Anyone who has ever taught, no matter what age the students are/were, can appreciate this story. Plus she is really good at choosing character names! ;-) Please read and vote "brilliant" for this story!


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I think teachers are the best.well created, grate literate awesome!!!!

Jhampa Kalsang

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I do like this story. I usually don't read things like this but I liked it, and the interactions between the teacher/students. It seemed sort of poetic, especially at the beginning.


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This is one of the more neglected stories in this contest. "The Important Things," is a typical day in the life of a teacher with a strong narrative arc. I am not sure why this story does not have more attention. It is a literate, original and interesting tale.

Rich Shipling

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Very insightful read, I loved it!

Bip Roberts

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The writing was absolutely fantastic.


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I very much enjoyed reading about a day in the life of a Kindergarten teacher. I can relate. I especially love how spirited the charactor Adrienne is.


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I have several friends who are teachers and they would agree that this is a typical day. Brilliant! Well explained and well created. The ending was so lovely. Did not expect it and was a fantastic ending. I am also in the competition and would appreciate some feedback emma2812 dinner at eight.

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December 18th, 2012
The winner of America's Next Author 2012 has been announced! [...]
December 7th, 2012
Questions and answers about the Battle Round. [...]
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#ANA2012 | What Fans Have To Say


America's Next Author is the first social writing contest. Friends, family, fans and publishing industry experts will read authors' submissions and nominate their favorite to be America's next major author. Everyone can participate!