Jane Eyre: The Writer's Digest Annotated Classic by K.M. Weiland and Charlotte Brotne

Win an Advance Copy of The Annotated Jane Eyre!

We’re getting close! I’m currently elbow deep in preparations for the launch party for Jane Eyre: The Writer’s Digest Annotated Classic. I can’t wait to see it in its finalized paperback and digital versions! Be sure to mark your calendars for August 1st, 2014. You all know how much I love giveaways, and we’ve got some absolutely killer prizes lined up this time, courtesy of Writer’s Digest. In the meantime, I’m pleased to share with you the finalized back cover blurb–and a mini giveaway!

This week, I’m giving away two paperback advance reader copies of The Annotated Jane Eyre herself! Check out the Rafflecoptor widget at the bottom of the post to enter. But, first, here’s the blurb:

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will…”

Jane Eyre: The Writer's Digest Annotated ClassicOne of the most sweeping and enduring novels in English literature, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre has become a beloved classic and a must-read for fans of period romance. Filled with memorable characters, witty dialogue, emotional scenes, social commentary, and intriguing twists, Brontë’s novel, written in 1847, still has much to teach writers about crafting exceptional stories.

As part of the Writer’s Digest Annotated Classics series, this edition of Jane Eyre features hundreds of insightful annotations from writing instructor and author K.M. Weiland. Explore the craft and technique of Jane Eyre through the lens of a writer, and learn why and how Brontë made the choices she did while writing her iconic novel. The techniques learned from the annotations and accompanying study guide will aid in the crafting of your own celebrated works of fiction.

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About K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland

K.M. Weiland is the award-winning and internationally-published author of the acclaimed writing guides Outlining Your Novel, Structuring Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs. A native of western Nebraska, she writes historical and fantasy novels and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.


  1. thomas h cullen says

    Story. Story-Universe. Story-form (or literary form).

    These, are the three cornerstones to make up a work of fiction – it’s capacity to be remembered depending upon how much each together, and in their own right are memorable.

    The question to ask yourself, whoever you are…..how memorable, based on the aforementioned criteria, would honestly you project your own work of fiction to be?

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      There’s nothing new under the same, which makes unique ideas extra valuable. Whenever we hit upon a unique premise, it’s gold in the bank.

      • thomas h cullen says

        It’s hitting gold, when one can think up a story, story-world, and literary-form that are each in their own right new and striking.

        When I think of Lord of the Rings, for example, instinct tells me its served just by form and world; elsewhere too, James Bond.

        The original Terminator film – a great story, and world from my POV, only under-served by a standard form.

  2. I want this so desperately. Thanks!

  3. Classic books I’ve learned the most from are: Dickens and Austen.

  4. What a great idea, annotating a classic from a writing craft perspective.

    I must admit that I’ve never read Jane Eyre, and must further admit it is possible I’ve never read *any* of the Brontes’ work!

    I guess I’ll need to correct that deficiency.

    Best of luck with the launch!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Once you’ve finished Jane Eyre, be sure to grab Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. Some people say it’s the best English novel ever written. I wouldn’t argue.

  5. I actually didn’t read Jane Eyre until high school when it sort of fell its way into my life. The very next year the senior class was required to read it for class and I was able to help my friends with their homework. Always fond memories of this book!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      The books we read when we’re young just seem to have an extra special glow around them.

  6. Of all the Classics I have read over the years since I was a small child, I would have to say I learned the most through Pride & Prejudice and North and South.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I keep returning to P&P again and again for structural guidance (as readers of this blog probably know!).

  7. Rachel Larow says

    The two classics I rely on religiously in my writing are Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre. In Pride and Prejudice I find a more traditional romance story structure, but in Jane Eyre I find the depth of character (as well as the Gothic feel) I strive to emulate in my novels.

    I have, surprisingly, found romantic inspiration from a lot of Dickens’ works as well. (But seriously, who can help but be inspired by Dickens).

  8. I learned so much from reading To Kill a Mockingbird as an adult and a writer.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I still haven’t read that one. But it’s definitely on my list!

      • Becky Avella says

        Never read To Kill a Mockingbird??? Oh, I’m so excited to hear what you think after you do! It is my absolute favorite, and I bet you will fall in love. Atticus Finch is, in my humble opinion, the most noble literary hero. You are in for a treat.

  9. Jennifer Lorz says

    Charles Dickens is my favorite classic author. It would be a lifelong study to emulate his style… and a good excuse to continue to read his books!

  10. When I read Jane Eyre for the first time, several years ago, it really hooked me. I enjoyed it a lot, and even though I haven’t read it in a long time, I still consider it quite a masterpiece. I’d love to win your annotated copy!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I’d read it prior to taking on this book, but I didn’t *really* come to appreciate it until I started reading it with a writer’s eye. It really is a masterpiece.

  11. I have read most of the classics. I remember reading Vanity Fair when I was living in Israel. It seemed somewhat strange reading something so quintessentially English when living so far away. It gave me time to savour the book and really take in what it was talking about.

    By the way. I could not post to Pinterest as the Pin had previously been reported as spam by some users

  12. All of Jane Austen’s book, but also George Eliot’s Middlemarch. I find that classic books written by women teach me the most about how to write an historical work of fiction.

  13. I can’t wait for your book to come out Katie. I read Jane Eyre when I was in high school. I fell in love straight away and it’s become one of my favorite book. Charlotte Brontë knew how to turn her romance so perfectly, the descriptions, the characters, the conflicts…she managed to make her story something unique. A story that we can’t forget once we put it down.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      It’s insane out unique it is, even all these years later. The characters, the romance, the suspense, the deep and honest themes. It’s no wonder it’s a classic.

  14. I like the blurb. I’m pretty sure it was on an old copy of Jane Eyre that I read what appeared to be a quote from the text that was not really in the novel. A woman is quoted as telling Jane how much she does not appreciate “quibblers” (something like that) and I could not find that quote in the novel. There was something similar in the novel, but not the line that was put in quotation marks and presented as though it were in the novel. Not truthful advertising, in my opinion. (I haven’t been able to find this particular copy of Jane Eyre to check for my own accuracy here. But I hope you get the gist of it.)

  15. One way another I’m getting a printed copy of this book. Winning one would be fantastic. Thanks for your generosity, Katie!

  16. Many decades ago I read Jane Eyre and many of the Classics. Not sure what I learned back then as many of them were college requirements. Time to revisit at least Jane Eyre to start with, and then Dracula.

    [Suspect that Lord of the Rings has more to it than some people give it credit for, but then I’m a Tolkien enthusiast]

  17. Thanks for giveaway! I look forward to getting my hands on this book one way or another.

  18. I believe we all want others to think we hated “having to read the classics.” And now I can’t help but think how much we learned without even knowing it as we read Austen, Dickens, Bronte, and more. Looking forward to your launch and getting my hands on a copy of this!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I love the classics. They’re rarely easy reads, but they’re always worth the effort.

  19. My classic is “The Tell-Tale Heart.” I learned that words could frighten as well, if not better, than visuals. It’s when I really understood the power of words.

    And I’d LOVE to win a copy of your book!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      My sister was so freaked out by that story when she had to read it in high school. I still tease her about it!

  20. Lizzie Madsen says

    I’ve learned the most from Dickens, especially Oliver Twist and David Copperfield. In fact, I’m going to be writing a story much in the same form as DC. I know people consider it an old-fashioned and long-winded form these days, but I’ve always thought the story of a life is timeless. 🙂

    Thanks for the giveaway, I hope I win! 🙂

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      It’s hard to think of a better “life story” opening than David Copperfields: “Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must shown.”

  21. I’ll join the club and say Dickens is my most inspiring classic author to read. His characterizations and plotting are excellent. We’re reading Martin Chuzzlewit aloud as a family right now, and it’s just fantastic, with a heavy dose of satire for American society.

    Congrats on the book release! I hope you enjoy the fruits of your labors with the blog release. It’s always exciting to see books getting out to the public.


    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I recommend the BBC adaptation of this, with Tom Wilkinson. Absolutely blesses my heart how the costume department made everyone look like they do in Cruikshank’s illustrations.

  22. Janet Kerr says

    A classic that taught me a lot is A Christmas Carol.
    Congratulations on your new book!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      That one’s taught me a lot too. It’s a perfect example of a positive character arc.

  23. I’m hooked on reading (and watching) the classics. Charles Dickens snappy dialogue and powerful characterizations have taught me how to write strong characters. Jane Austin’s work helped me fall in love with language.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I adore the classical adaptations. BBC has so many great miniseries based on the classics (as well as a few stinkers).

  24. A Little Princess and Hard Times are special to me. Also, George Macdonald’s books have influenced me a lot. They have this beautiful style that feels like a fairy tale.

  25. Thank you so much for this giveaway! Can’t wait to hear who the winner is! Thank you for all of your hard work–I love “Outlining Your Novel” so much! 🙂

    • Oh yes! I love Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Sherlock Holmes. Not sure if Chronicles of Narnia and Lord of the Rings count, but I love those books as well (and I consider them classics.) 🙂

  26. Gloriana says

    I so want this book!!!!

  27. Gloriana says

    Ive learned the most from Austen. Emma is one of my favorite books.
    Although I love Latinoamerican Magic Realism the most. “Como agua para chocolate” (“Like water for chocolate”) is such a great book.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Emma is my favorite of Austen’s as well, although I seem to find P&P a little more applicable for writing techniques.

  28. Carole Nelms says

    I rather am a fan of Nathaniel Hawthorne and I am currently reading Jane Eyre on my kindle so I can really enjoy your book when it debuts on August 1st! Can’t wait to read and learn from your you! Thank you for this giveaway!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I just finished reading his Marble Faun. Good stuff – especially the first volume.

  29. Siegmar Sondermann says

    I must admit, that I haven´t, at least knowingly, read any classic novel up to now.

    My first one is Middlemarch, which I started reading last week.
    Must say, it is written in an entirely different style than what I am used to reading.
    Looks like Mrs. Eliot used a technique of “showing and telling”, the modern writer wants to avoid. It takes getting used to reading that.
    Nevertheless, the characters are well chosen and the “telling” can be a kind of manual to understanding the characters.
    I am already curious about how the story continues.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Narrative techniques have definitely evolved (and will evolve again), and classics can be a little heavier going for us to get used to. But it’s fascinating how the fundamentals of character and structure have remained the same all these years.

  30. Pinned, tweeted, and more 🙂

    Should be a great book, thanks KM!

  31. I’ve entered the giveaway. What a great oppotunity!

  32. I continually learn from Proust. He has taught me ridiculous amounts about sentence structure, how to craft a functional long sentence and how to make it swing. I read a few paragraphs of Proust every night before bed.

  33. Classics. I didn’t read Pride and Prejudice until after I’d spent years working for the marriage tribunal at an archdiocese. The cases involved divorced people telling us why they married and divorced their exes, in order to annul their marriages. It was educational in several ways. I’m not Catholic, so the bureaucracy fascinated me. The relationship aspects and human nature on display in these cases resonated with me when I read P & P:

    1) I was more sympathetic to Darcy’s POV regarding Elizabeth’s family than I might have been otherwise. He was right to be wary of the nature and behavior of his future in-laws. Trust me. It. Will. Matter. Just imagine having to keep future children from spending time with Aunt Lydia because she’s a bad influence 🙂

    2) I especially appreciated Elizabeth knowing her own worth — she refused Darcy’s first proposal given his prior treatment of her. She stood up for herself. She wasn’t so desperate that she would lower her standards.

    3) I loved, loved, loved that Elizabeth paid close attention to Darcy’s nature and how he treated people. When he showed a better side of himself, she came to love him as is, without expecting him to change into another person entirely.

    4) I admired Darcy’s unselfish love in secretly rescuing Lydia’s reputation and securing Wickham’s good behavior for Elizabeth’s sake.

    Austen was astute about human nature and she gave her readers something meaty to chew on. As a writer I look at Austen as a model for:

    – How to show two good people who make mistakes yet are not stupid (Darcy’s initial misinterpretation of Jane’s motives) and retain the audience’s sympathy nevertheless. I find that lesser writers sacrifice the credibility of their characters for the sake of having their plot go a certain way.

    – She shows Elizabeth and Darcy learning from those mistakes in ways organic to their story and natures. I believe this is impossible for writers to pull off until they get inside a character’s head and see their POV.

  34. Michaela says

    I have recently read Les Miserables, and I learned so much from it (in the writing aspect). It really is amazing

  35. Hi Katie,

    Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights are definitely among my favorite classics of all time as I learned a lot about characterization and depiction of love and friendship from these two masterpieces.

    Thanks a lot

    Kind Regards,

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I agree: they’re both fabulous stories. I think I actually like Wuthering Heights a smidge more. It’s an amazing tragedy.

  36. Becky Avella says

    The book that has had the most impact on me is To Kill a Mockingbird. It stands as my favorite book of all.

    You’ve inspired me to start reading the classics again. I’m currently reading A Tale of Two Cities and highlighting like crazy. Dickenson has a lot to teach me about writing.

    Does the Anne of Green Gables series count as classics? I adore those and every few years I have to start at the beginning and re-read them all.

    • Becky Avella says

      Ugh…stupid auto correct keeps changing Dickens to Dickenson. I know better. 😉 But Emily could teach me a lot, too. 😉

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Anne counts as a classic as far as I’m concerned. I still re-read them myself.

  37. I would love to read and share this book! And congratulations, K.M. 🙂

  38. Carlos Franco (@cf318) says

    I’ve actually never read Jane Eyre (ducks behind a chair). So it’ll be awesome to read it while looking at the thoughts behind the scenes. Very cool stuff! Cant wait!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I will warn you there are some spoilers in the annotations, since I talk a lot about how Bronte set up certain techniques. So if you want a spoiler-free ride, read the text first, then go back and read the annotations. I hope you enjoy it!

  39. Jane Eyre has got to be my favorite classic ever. I would love to win this.

  40. I think the book I learned the most from was–surprise!–Jane Eyre. There are so many little jewels on that book (and since I’m familiar with the story, I’m even more interested in the annotated version!). I also really like Pilgrim’s Progress. That’s an amazing classic as well. Still struggling to get into Dickens.

    Thanks for the giveaway! I look forward to seeing who wins!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I adore Dickens, but he is a bit daunting–not just his length but his complexity.

  41. Your blog has been so helpful to me as a newly aspiring writer ! 🙂 I just read your book, Dreamlander, and loved it!!

  42. Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books. I’ve read it a few times since I first read it in high school. I am excited to read an annotated version of it now. Thanks so much for the offer!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      It’s always great when we can actually get through high school and end up *liking* the books we were required to read!

  43. Anomymous says

    I, too, look up to Jane Eyre (I would italicize, but this keyboard is odd :P) as a great work of literature. I enjoyed the dramatic use of symbolism, but even more so, the exploration of different facets of “practiced” Christianity (the faith of Helen Burns compared to the faith of Mr. Brocklehurst or St. John). I also appreciate Hemingway for his concise style, because one of my biggest weaknesses as a writer are run-on sentences. I look forward to reading your annotations, K.M.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Jane Eyre is a tremendously moral book. In my opinion, one of its greatest strengths is that Bronte is able to communicate her character’s moral views in a thoughtful discussion that doesn’t come across as preachy.

  44. I learned a lot from Pride and Prejudice, I learned how to write an interesting characters (every character is beautifully drawn here), and interesting story, everything is just simple and great.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      It’s true. P&P has a huge cast and every single character in it is three-dimensional.

  45. So exciting! I can’t wait to read this. 🙂


  46. Charles Dickens is my favorite classic author for his ability to create a complete story world and larger-than-life characters who live off the page. Oliver Twist is my favorite of his books, but they are all excellent.

  47. You know I’m excited for this! I’ve loved Jane Eyre probably since I was 15 or so.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      The books we love when we’re young have a way of staying with us more powerfully than any others–or at least that’s been my experience.

  48. Can’t wait to get hold of a copy! I’ve been waiting ever since you started talking about working on this.


  1. […] win an advanced copy of the annotated classic before its official publication. Visit her website HERE and good luck to all who […]

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