One aspiring teen author wrote to Roald Dahl for advice and his response was amazing
Everyone grows up reading the wonders of Roald Dahl. Whether you’re a chocolate dreamer like Charlie, or wish to get lost in a world of books and magical spells like Matilda, the master storyteller had a way with words we still cherish today.
So when an aspiring 17-year old author wrote to Roald Dahl, we can’t imagine his reaction when he got a response from one of his idols.
Jay Williams sent a sample of his writing to the famous author in 1980, with dreams of being mentored by the wordsmith.
Instead he got some pretty blunt, if not helpful, advice. But being a Roald Dahl fan we bet he was pretty excited to get such attention from the man himself.
Williams, said he hoped to hear how he was a talented writer, saying:
“As a callow youth, I was expecting him to tell me how marvellous the story was, and offer to introduce me to his publisher. Instead he gave me this fairly forthright criticism
“The story was for an A-Level English Literature project, and was probably really self-indulgent, overflowing with flowery adjectives, which Dahl quite rightly bristled at.
“After considering his advice, I have to admit it was probably fair and I’ve taken heed of it ever since.”
In fairness, if you have to take constructive criticism – at least it’s from the best."