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 Academic Writing Studio

Supporting your research and writing journey

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Dealing With Reviewer Comments

A Self-Paced Online Class 

You finished your article and submitted it to a journal. You’ve waited, possibly longer than you would have liked, for a decision. Now you have that decision, along with comments from the reviewers and, hopefully, the editor.

Congratulations on getting this far!

You are probably not feeling celebratory though, are you.

You might even be reluctant to open the decision.

You certainly aren’t looking forward to rejigging your plans to fit in working on a project you thought you were finished with.

It’s normal to be at least nervous about reading feedback on your writing. It’s not uncommon to feel dread. The jokes about Reviewer 2 don’t actually help. Your past experiences of feedback will also contribute to these feelings.

Your feelings are not irrational. They are what they are.

You still need to read these comments and revise this article.

Dealing with Reviewer Comments offers a way of approaching the feedback that addresses both the emotional and practical elements of the work.

You are centred as the author. This is your work.

  • I help you manage your emotions so you can respond (rather than react).
  • I help you make decisions about whether to take the reviewers’ suggestions or address their comments in a different way.
  • I include support for protecting the time to do the work.

You can enrol in this class for £50 (incl tax)

-Class Structure

This is a self paced class.

There are 4 main sections:

1. Introduction

  • Principles
  • Notes on confidence

2. Giving yourself the time you need

  • Protecting the time to do the work
  • Communicating with editors and co-authors about timelines

3. Before opening your decision and comments

  • Centring yourself as the author
  • Addressing the emotions feedback brings up

4. Reading the decision and comments

  • Noticing the positives first
  • Clarity of contribution and significance
  • A structured approach to problems & possible solutions
  • Making a revision plan

Each section contains short things to read (or listen to) explaining the approach, and detailed prompts to apply the principles to your situation.


You will have access to the class resources for 6 months. Hopefully you won’t need that long, but you are busy and sometimes revisions are complex.

I strongly recommend blocking 2 hours fairly soon after registering to listen to work through the first 2 sections of the course. This will include making a plan for the next stages.

Your plan will need to take into account all the other demands on your time. Time will not magically appear just because you want to finish these quickly.

Your plan will also need to take into account the emotional and intellectual labour required before you can actually start revising the document.

It may be more effective to block 1 to 2 hours per week over several weeks, than to try to do the whole thing in a longer intense burst. This allows time for strong emotional reactions to defuse, and for tricky intellectual problems to percolate.

It’s also usually easier to find and protect a 1 to 2 hour block of time than full days.

You know yourself. Just don’t let your gremlins convince you that you should be able to work differently than you do.

What past participants say

“Taking this course was a game changer.

I was frustrated with one of the reviewer’s comments and Jo easily and elegantly translated what that comment meant. I could easily address it in my edits and keep moving forward.

I cannot emphasize the degree of relief I felt and how it freed me to keep going.

I highly recommend this course.”

Michelle Dionne Thompson

historian and coach

“Jo’s class helped me to identify and then move past my emotional reaction to the reviewers’ comments. Jo’s strategies enabled me to be analytical in both appreciating and addressing reviewers’ concerns, and they showed how I could break down what needed to be done in clear steps.

Beyond this, the class forced me to articulate the main message of my article, and in so doing helped me see how to communicate it more effectively in the revised version.

The session was small and interactive enough for me to receive specific feedback on my own particular revise and resubmit struggles, as well as to learn from Jo’s discussions with other participants.

I found the class gave me a much-needed boost to kickstart the revisions I had been delaying and, as a result of that session and subsequently working one-on-one with Jo, I can report that the article has now been published in one of my dream journals.”


mid-career sociologist

Still have doubts?

If you’ve read this far and are still thinking about it, you need to decide. Deciding will free up cognitive and emotional capacity you need for something else.

If you don’t have reviewer comments right now, a quick no is a good decision. This class is designed for people who have actual comments to work on during the session. Don’t register because it might be useful in the future. Your time and energy will be better spent getting your article ready for submission.

My book Peer Review, A Short Guide will give you the basic information you need at this stage. Read a sample and purchase.

I plan to offer this class again. To find out when I next offer this class, sign up for my newsletter.

If you do have an article with reviewer comments to work on, and nothing I’ve said so far puts you off, is this a yes? Getting started is often the hardest part. This class will get you started on those revisions.

Or, buy Peer Review, A Short Guide and use it to help you get started. It will introduce you to my general approach and includes guidance for addressing the comments. As long as you register before the session on 13 January, you can get group coaching support, and then use the class materials to finish your revisions.

All prices are inclusive of applicable sales taxes, which may be charged based on place of supply (where you live and receive the service), and remitted to the appropriate tax authority.

Register Now