Author Archives: Baihley Gentry

#ThrowbackThursday: Kurt Vonnegut in WD in 1985

At Writer’s Digest, we’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to speak with some of the world’s bestselling and most beloved authors. Back in 1985, one of those authors was Kurt Vonnegut. Over his 50-plus-year career, he published 14 novels—among the most notable, Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat’s Cradle and Breakfast of Champions—along with five...

#ThrowbackThursday: Old-School Ads in Writer’s Digest

Writer’s Digest has been around for nearly 97 years—which means that developments in technology and shifts in culture have, in many ways, wildly altered the litterateur landscape. (Some things, though, like pen, paper, and a good ol’ copy of White’s Elements of Style, never go out of fashion.) For this week’s blast from the past, we...

Your Story #79: Winner!

Prompt: Write a short story, of 700 words or fewer, based on the photo prompt on the left. You can be funny, poignant, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your story. Once again, you’ve made the Your Story competition a success! Thanks to everyone who participated in competition #79 (either by entering, reading...

Want To Earn More Money at Your Job? Be a Good Writer

You don’t have to be a writer to benefit from solid writing skills—For proof, just check out the results of this study from the folks at Grammarly: This infographic is courtesy of Grammarly. Visit them online at grammarly.com. Baihley Grandison is the assistant editor of Writer’s Digest and a freelance writer. Follow her on Twitter @baihleyg, where she mostly...

Enter the WD Your Story Contest For a Chance to Be Published

In every issue of WD, we run a column called Your Story—a place readers can share their most creative responses (in the form of a 700-word short story or a 25-word first liner, depending on the contest) to an editor-selected picture or sentence prompt. It’s free to enter, and the winning entry(s) get published in Writer’s...

#ThrowbackThursday: Stan Lee on the Cover of Writer’s Digest in 1947

Nowadays, you can’t watch a Marvel movie without a cameo by Stan Lee: As co-creator of The Fantastic Four, Spiderman, X-Men, Avengers and more, he’s as much of a Marvel celeb as any comic-book character. We featured him in Writer’s Digest in 1947—long before the invention of The Fantastic Four in 1961 propelled Lee to major fame—while was...

18 Words You Didn’t Know You Needed

While the English language possesses incredible breadth, it nowhere near encompasses the span of expression. Sometimes, we just don’t have the words—for example, being able to define the phenomena of “hearing a joke so poorly told and unfunny you couldn’t help but laugh,” or “the urge to pinch something that is irresistibly cute.” That’s where these fantastic...

#ThrowbackThursday: Writer’s Digest October 1922

Some 90-odd years ago, Writer’s Digest was still providing valuable tips and insight on the writing craft. We dove back into our archives—a full bookcase of hardbound antiques that would make any writer/booklover swoon—to give you a glimpse at some of our favorite bits from the October 1922 issue. For the best of present-day...

Your Story #78: Winners!

Prompt: Write the opening sentence (just one sentence), of 25 words or fewer, to a story based on the photo to the left.You can be funny, poignant, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your story. Thanks to everyone who entered and/or voted in WD’s Your Story 78! Here are the results. The top 10 winners are...

How Does a Word Get Into the Dictionary?

It’s not uncommon for 1,500–2,000 new words to be added to the dictionary every year—and while most additions we barely register (“cold turkey,” “meet-cute”), others (“FOMO,” “hella,” “ICYMI”) can seem less … dictionary-y. To find out just how words nab the high honor of being dictionaried, we went to the pros at Merriam-Webster. The process, it...

33 Common Words & Phrases You Might Be Saying Wrong

This infographic is courtesy of Jennifer Frost of GrammarCheck. Visit them online at grammarcheck.net or check out the free online grammar checker at grammarcheck.net/editor for proofreading help.  Baihley Grandison is the assistant editor of Writer’s Digest and a freelance writer. Follow her on Twitter @baihleyg, where she mostly tweets about writing (Team Oxford Comma!), food (HUMMUS FOR PRESIDENT, PEOPLE), and Random Conversations With...

Your Story #77: Winner!

Prompt: Write a short story, of 700 words or fewer, based on this prompt: When a man takes lunch to his wife’s office, he’s told that she hasn’t worked there in weeks. Once again, you’ve made the Your Story competition a success! Thanks to everyone who participated in competition #77 (either...

The Anatomy of a Bestseller

What makes a bestseller, well, sell the best? While of course there is no magic formula, turns out there are some commonalities among chart-topping tomes. Whether it’s stats for the average number of words per sentence or a comparison of most-loved protagonists, the fun facts are all spelled out here in this delightfully nifty infographic....

Stranger-Than-Fiction Writing Habits of 18 Famous Writers

Sometimes the muse works in mysterious ways. These well-known writers prove that when it comes to writing, thinking outside the box—and in the case of Vladimir Nabokov’s “shoebox method,” quite literally so—can provide the richest inspiration. This infographic is courtesy of Natasha Smyth of Global English Editing. Visit them online at geediting.com or on Twitter @geediting....

Your Story #76: Winners!

Prompt: Write the opening sentence (just one sentence), of 25 words or fewer, to a story based on the photo to the left.You can be funny, poignant, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your story. Thanks to everyone who entered and/or voted in WD’s Your Story #76! Here are the results....

Your Story #75: Winner!

Prompt: Write a short story, of 700 words or fewer, that begins with the following line of dialogue: “You don’t have enough points, sir.” You can be funny, poignant, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your story. Once again, you’ve made the Your Story competition a success! Thanks to everyone who...

5-Minute Memoir: Snoopy & Me & the King of Burundi

This guest post is by Judy Millar. It originally appeared in the May/June issue of Writer’s Digest, which you can purchase here. Millar is a Canadian humor writer and author of the short-story collection Beaver Bluff: The Librarian Stories. You can find her online at (judymillar.ca). Non-writers might assume we slaves to our keyboards spend...

Your Story #74: Winners!

Prompt: Write the opening sentence (just one sentence), of 25 words or fewer, to a story based on the photo to the left. You can be funny, poignant, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your story. Thanks to everyone who entered and/or voted in WD’s Your Story 74! Here are the results....

Word: Twitter Hashtag #90sABook Is All That and a Bag of Chips

Last week, bookseller Barnes & Noble tapped into our collective nostalgia with its #90sABook hashtag on Twitter, asking readers to reinvent popular book titles by pairing them with relics of the 90s. The Twittersphere happily obliged—and the resulting delightful, clever melds will amuse any literary buff.          ...