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Lisa Rose

Since the age of five, when my big sister taught me to read, I have had the desire to become a writer. But, to help with family obligations, I unfortunately had to drop out of highschool at eighteen. I returned four years later and received my GED. Now, when money allows, I supplement my education with correspondent courses in writing. And my dream has come true, I am a writer; just not a published one.

Story: Drift Away


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What is the best writing advice you've ever heard?
Read as much as you can and write everyday if possible.
When you start a new story do you prepare an outline in advance or do you just jump right in?
It depends on the piece. Sometimes the story is already written in my mind before the first keystroke. Otherwise I jot down where a story might go and let the characters take it from there. (They hardly ever end up where I tell them to go.)
How do you deal with writing criticism, apart from just ignoring it?
I read every review, pick out the things that I can use and try not to take the rest personally. Everyone gets bad reviews.
America's Next Author has been running for almost 8 weeks. If you could re-submit now, would you change anything about your story?
There are a few typos here and there and I wouldn't use as much foreshadowing. But, basically the story line would be the same.


Sharon Evans

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Hi, Lisa. I've given up on this site for promoting, etc., but I checked it and found your review of my short story and thought I'd read yours as you requested. I enjoyed reading your story. You certainly have a feel for good writing, and that is the most important thing. Yes, I figured it out after a while, and suspected early on that she was a ghost. No matter. You made me want to read to the end where she finally figured it out. Sure, there are things that could be tightened up, as some of your other reviewer have said, but to be honest, I didn't notice the problems with grammar, etc., because of my being drawn into the story. You did a good job of making a very important statement about drinking and driving. Personally, I think that this is a story that can be expanded with more detail. Keep it up. You'll find an audience. For encouragement, read some of the trash that's found it's way into print though a traditional publisher. If you find that you need to self publish, don't feel lesser-than. There are a lot of fine writers with good books that have been rejected by publishers/agents--or contests. It has nothing to do with talent.


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Opening sets up the situation and introduces the characters. It had a good middle and ending although I figured the narrator was a ghost because she still wore her prom dress after the accident and I was positive when a paramedic said the driver was dead.


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Sorry I got to this so late, Lisa. I didn't go back to the site for so long because I got tired of spamming my friends and associates to read and review my story. I ended up just deciding I'm not that much of a promoter, more of a WRITER!! Thanks so much for reading my story and for reviewing it. I was moving through this and I was so confused until the ending...GREAT JOB!! Nice imagery too. I'm still not certain as to how the crash was your protagonist's fault unless you mean that she decided to ride on with Chris without any dissent. The teary parts were a little hard for me to move through, being such a motor-head as I am and as can be found from reading my story but that is certainly not your fault! Cool!


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First I want to thank you for reviewing my story 'He who finds a wild cat.' Now, that ending caught me by surprise. I had kept wondering why she was lurking in the shadows and why they kept expecting 'him' to wake up when he was dead. I did struggle a bit with the beginning but it reeled me in soon enough. Very good writing, good story. Well done.


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nice one :)


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Lisa, first I want to thank you for taking time out and reading my story, “Missy’s New Home”; the part you really liked in my story is one of my favorites too. I am hoping it will help lots of children. I really liked your story, and it was written well. I am hoping that someday it be put into high school classrooms for writing/reading assignments, to help show the dangers with drinking and driving. Your story was easy to read, and easy to follow, it takes a lot to keep me. Everything was clear and simple. Thanking you for your story, and keep writing. :)

Fred Ruark

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Lisa: First off, thank you for reading and reviewing my story, and for your helpful feedback. I enjoyed reading "Drift Away". It was well written, but if the ending was meant to be a surprise, it wasn't. You revealed too many easy to interpret clues that the one in the casket was your narrator. e.g. - Still in a prom gown at the funeral. - The masculine pronoun for the one in the wreck who was still alive. I'm not sure of your intended readership. If it is written for 'young' readers, it might work, albeit a tad depressing. For an old dude like me it was totally predictable, and perhaps a bit too didactic.

Mike Gasaway

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The flow felt very fun throughout even though I figured out what happened to the main character pretty early on. There could be a different use of hiding her fate earlier and throughout. Sixth Sense did a great job of this - see how Bruce "interacted" with other people. Take a look at this book - "A Writer's Coach" by Jack Hart. It's a great book to help polish and form more interesting sentences - it's helped my writing significantly. Keep writing!

Renee Rose

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i figured out it was her in the casket about halfway through, but it didnt diminish the story. Great communication without getting too wordy. Writing style was good and flowed nicely. You did a good job seperating past from present. All in all, a great read!


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Hi Lisa,I enjoyed your story. Although the grammar wasn't perfect and at times I became a bit lost and had to reread to understand parts, overall it had great substance. There were also sections that were so descriptive I felt like I was part of the scene. I like that when I'm reading. This is a really remarkable story for a "newbie". I admire your passion, and don't worry, with practice and polish if you keep it up you will definitely be published. Thanks for having the courage to enter this, and thanks too for reviewing my "Advice for Life".

Ann Mason

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I really enjoyed this story, despite the tragic subject matter. The author imbues the narrative with a real sense of pathos, and the language and imagery are lovely. The characters are well and sympathetically drawn, and the twist ending was a real surprise! Very, very well done!

J.R. Verwey

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I enjoyed your story. I think I got your ending a bit early and wonder if it could be clouded a bit more. All in all though it kept me reading. If you get a chance please read and review my story 'Harbinger'

Vanessa Zetrenne

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I actually like your story, at first when I read the first few paragraphs, I just stop because it wasn't very interesting at the beginning and I'm not saying it was boring either. When I got to what I considered was the climax, it become little bit predictable and I don't really like reading a story and I already have an idea of what's going to happen. I totally agree with you that my story needed some work, well a lot of work but you're critisizing other people's typos, but it seems to me that you had a lot of those. So I'm going to give you your own advice, have a friend or husband, boyfriend or whatever proofread it for you first. Keep working on it and it might turn out to be a bestselling.


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Well.. I read your review to me where you commented that some of my sentences have more than 20 words... but so do yours. You also picked up a typo and I had a laugh when you actually had the same typo! Then, in reading other stories & finding the reviews you had left there it was a bit of a joke to find you had also critisized them for exactly the same errors that were in your own story. Your story isn't bad. It isn't terribly clever, but it's written well and you have potential. I just don't think you are as talented as you think, and should not be leaving the types of reviews you do to people who, like you, stil have a long way to go in honing their craft. We all are learning. We are all are in this together. Let's all support eachother, yes?

Addai Agyemang

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I loved the ominous tone your story set early on. I found myself wondering who this girl was and why she lurking in a grave yard. I also loved the theme and concept of your story. The dialogue was good as well. I would suggest however working on the way you told past events. I think instead of having the main character specifically tell the reader what happened to cause the deaths you could have slowly revealed the circumstance behind the funeral through tidbits of conversation(as I noticed you had done at certain points). It would have retained the mysterious aura the story had started out with. Instead of explaining early on what happened at prom you could have had the main character remember the events via flashbacks she got after listening to some people’s conversations and seeing the ring. Final I think you should have ended the story with just the words that had been written on the grave stone and nothing else. I think they said everything they need to say and more without adding the extra unnecessary information the last sentence did. Trust your readers to make their own conclusions, put out hints but don't spell it out for them. That's also a problem I've noticed in my writing as well. Great story and if you have time could you please read and review my story "The Freedom of the Stars". Thanks :)


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Lisa, I think you did a good job with your story and I can see a lot of potential with your writing. The only thing I would add is that I wanted to feel more with the death of the daughter. I felt people should have been really upset and I just didn't feel sad reading this. I still liked the storyline and think you are a good writer. Good luck with this contest and your future in writing.


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This was a nice story, but not great. I thought the storyline was good but, overall, it needs to be more polished. The ending was a nice surprise.

Anne (Valerie)

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So moving. So surreal. It took me back to another place and time. Write on, sister.


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Lisa, you do a wonderful job of dropping clues without being too heavy handed about it. The description of the catastrophic event at the center of the story is strong. The twist at the end was nicely done, though I think I'd ditch that last line and trust your readers to figure out what you've shown them so well. Thanks for the review on my story and for directing me here!

J. K.

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I think everyone can identify with your characters, which is good. I had a little problem with the time between the paramedics and showing up for the funeral in her prom gown, but it was an interesting read.

Christine Sutton

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Very touching, well-paced story. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire thing. There were a few tiny errors, but absolutely nothing that detracts from the reading. Please continue writing. I feel that you have a natural talent, and will only improve. Thank you for honestly reviewing my story as well.

brannon charles

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Very good! The surprise ending really got me. I do agree with others that a thorough proof-read would have helped, but it's a great story. I think you might be allowed to e-mail an edited version to ebook, but check the FAQ's. Thanks for sharing, and KEEP WRITING!

Tracey Joseph

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I really enjoyed this story. The dialogue was believable and it kept me entertained. Though I would agree that the story line is one I've read before, you are obviously a talented writer.

HM Gruendler-Schierloh

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I really liked the story. Your portrayal of this tragic accident captured the immense void and sadness left by the disastrous consequences of irresponsible drinking. Your writing is good and with a bit more editing it could be excellent. Keep on working, practice makes perfect...

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Not a great read
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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