“Few human beings are proof against the implied flattery of rapt attention.”
“If you wish to write great literature you are very stupid to read my books, because I do not, cannot, and would not write great literature.”
“One of your first jobs, as you write for money, will be to get rid of your vocabulary.”
“Editors are the immemorial adversaries of writers, because most editors are editors because they wanted to be writers and failed, and they instinctively hate those who wanted to be writers and succeeded.”
“I got my favors the hard way. I found out what the dame most wanted, and either gave it to her or pretended I was going to give it to her, and that in all cases got action—always does, always will, for any man.”
“Money talks. And writes. And publishes. And reviews. But it can't read.”
“Constantly writer after writer would come to me in Hollywood to invite me into Communist activities and I would laugh at them and point out the utter inconsistency of a man making fifteen hundred dollars a week or more, doing next to nothing, going for a philosophy which would destroy just that and put them back where they were when the golden cornucopia splayed them.”
Ray Bradbury, fantasist, prose poet, playwright: "Jack Woodford's Trial and Error was the first book on writing I ever read, at the age of fifteen. He said all the right things and said them clearly. I stayed afloat and got my work done because of him."
Jerry Pournelle, co-author of Lucifer's Hammer and Inferno and author of A Step Farther Out: "I strongly suspect that I would not have attempted to write for money if I had not read Jack Woodford's books..."
Piers Anthony: "I have a strong feeling of affinity for Jack Woodford, an ornery cuss who answered his mail and his critics and told it as it was — as I do now. Actually we are nothing like each other, apart from having attractive daughters, when you go beyond the business of writing — but writing is my life, as it was his. Jack Woodford was writing on writing back when I was born — and he still makes more sense than anyone else. His references may be dated now, but his truths are eternal. You want to be a writer, you fool? If Woodford can't discourage you, he'll tell you how to make good. Start with Jack Woodford on Writing, which is a collection of excerpts from his books on the subject. After that you will be able to handle any current reference with appropriate cynicism. He did that for me."
Robert A. Heinlein: "It pleases me enormously to see dear old Jack Woodford (may his bones rest in peace) given his due. I read Trial and Error in 1939, started writing and did exactly what he said to do, and it works and I've sold it all. Hooray for Woodford."
Richard A. Lupoff, author of Circumpolar! and Circumsolar!: "I learned from a book by old-timer Jack Woodford how to interweave plot and subplot in a manner that sustains reader interest and suspense for several hundred pages."