Announcement: Langford Book Accepted for Publication; MS Readers Wanted

Hi all. Chris Bigelow has provisionally agreed to publish No Going Backward, my novel about a gay Mormon teen coming out and coming of age, with Zarahemla Books. I’m looking for readers who would discount code united pharmacy be willing to look over the MS within a relatively short timeframe (my revised MS is due to Chris for editing by the end of April), in exchange for bribes, favors owed, baklava, what have you.

Just to let you know, we’ve received some very positive responses on the MS, including reviews from LDS playwright Tom Rogers and BYU English professor Steve Walker. The MS has been through several rounds of revision already. But we’re still hoping to make it better.

This is also, as Theric reminded me to mention, the book I’ve been blathering on about here at AMV for months now. For a list of my Writing Rookie blogs describing my writing process, click here.

I’m NOT looking for a proofreader/copyeditor (Chris will do that, after I’ve polished as much as I can). Rather, what I’m looking for is honest overall responses to the book, plus feedback about what works and what doesn’t work for you as a reader: scenes, character developments, plot events, stylistic irritations, etc.

Rather than going into much detail about the book here, I’ll simply jot down a few points of orientation. First, this book is about a teenager who’s trying to stay in the Church, and who by the end of the book is still holding to that decision, although he’s had a fair number of difficulties along the way. Second, I’d rate this as about a PG-13, both for language (though it’s less than what many teenagers use) and for a reported sexual encounter (which is, however, critical for the story).

My primary intended audience for this book is believing Mormons who are doctrinally orthodox but relatively liberal in their reading tastes and tolerances. I’m hoping the book will appeal not only to those with connections to gays (e.g., family members who are gay) but also to those (bishops, other leaders, and just ordinary folks) who may wonder about the kinds of challenges that those who are same-sex attracted face in the Church and how the rest of the LDS community can help support them.

Our plan is for the book to be released this summer. Chris and I figure that having more people read it in MS now will mean more good comments to guide my revision, as well as generating more publicity for the book itself. What you get out of it is a chance to read this groundbreaking book – okay, groundbreaking within the LDS market – for free! And possibly even have an impact on it and get your name mentioned as one of my readers on the Acknowledgments page! What more could you ask for? (Don’t answer that…)

Honestly, we really do want a range of opinions and perspectives. No literary credentials needed – just a willingness to read and give feedback. I may not take your suggestions, but I will listen to them carefully.

If you’re interested in reading the MS, contact me at for details.

15 thoughts on “Announcement: Langford Book Accepted for Publication; MS Readers Wanted”

  1. I’m looking forward to reading it, and I do hope that Jonathan gets the range of perspectives he needs so don’t be shy.

  2. Shows you where my mind is. I saw “MS Reader” and thought, “Why is he asking for Microsoft Readers?”

  3. Hmmm. . . Jonathon, I’m wondering if I scratch your back, will you scratch mine? I am in the midst of a rewrite of a creative nonfiction work about Deaf Holocaust survivors and am going to need someone to read my ms when it’s ready. What do you think?

  4. Laura,

    Sounds great! Especially since I’m probably a better critiquer (and writer) of nonfiction than fiction anyway…

    Go ahead and email me at with more details (e.g., when you’d need the MS read).

  5. .


    I think you should rewrite this story’s lead to remind us that this is the book you’ve been writing about these past few months–give us a link.

  6. Theric,

    Great idea. I’ve added it as a new third paragraph. Thanks!

  7. [lightbulb appears in a balloon overhead….]

    Jonathan – Y’think Carol Lynn Pearson would be interested in offering you notes?

  8. Dunno. Unless she comes and seeks me out, though, I’m not going to go asking…

    I really don’t know what her take on this would be. The rhetorical slant I’m taking is rather different from what I take to be her position, based on her recent published work.

  9. Jist sent an admittedly awkward and disjointed (…..if, it would be hoped, winningly sincere?) epistle to Pearson, Jonathan

  10. Wow. CLP wrote right back!

    “In terms of the suggestion you make of my asking to read the manuscript–my plate is so overflowing that I can’t imagine going out of my way to find something else to put on it. And, also, there is the very real difference in point of view on this subject. Happily, there is room for many kinds of contributions to the very challenging situation of our gay brothers and sisters. I hope their book will add to the conversation in a positive way.

    “Many blessings to you,

    “Carol Lynn”

    Phew! incredible

  11. I just want to point out that it’s rude to report the results of a e-mail conversation without the consent of all of the correspondents involved.

    Carol Lynn may be fine with it — she’s a very gracious individual. But I won’t go to the mat for the above comment, and it may come down at some point if I discover there is reason for that to happen.

    Also: I think it’s unseemly to take on such matchmaking on the behalf of an author when he or she hasn’t asked you to.

  12. oops! (oh — but then of course my email to her had been so illiterate she’d no doubt assumed i’d do as much (?? sorta like i’d been invited in the servants’ entrance somewhere where i’d been making a delivery — only to somehow get invited to take a cup of tea and i ended up eating marmelade off a fork……. )

  13. Yeah, I’m not really buying it. But so far you are within the boundaries of my dictatorial benevolence and I’m sympathetic to much of what you are trying to do/accomplish discursively so how about we let this matter go for now and move our play to future sandboxes.

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