You've been going to the same bar every night for the past five years. In fact, you're such a regular that when you enter the, the other patrons yell your name and the bartender already has your drink waiting for you. But then one Friday you arrive and no one seems to recognize you,...
I had written three books by the time I entered a TV writers’ room. I thought of myself as a seasoned writer who was, essentially, starting over. It was a new medium with new rules and I was ready to start at the basics. Turns out the basics aren’t that hard. I easily got a hang...
Start your story with: "My dad gave me three life rules to live by: 1. (fill in the blank), 2. (fill in the blank) and 3. (fill in the blank). The first two were easy, but the third one proved difficult all because of a cheeseburger. Let me explain."
You're a secret service agent and you've been kidnapped and are trapped in a basement. You have only three items and must use those three items to escape and save the President of the United States. Go!
Literary agent Brittany Booker Carter of The Booker Albert Literary Agency is open to queries! She is seeking contemporary and paranormal romance in the young adult and new adult categories, and romance in adult fiction.
This month, many of the best contemporary books are going to receive prizes and plaudits in some of Britain and Europe’s top literary awards and ceremonies. The first of these took place on 8 May, with the announcement of winning entrants in the 2017 British Book of the Year Awards, where the Fiction Book...
What if Harry Potter came to your house for dinner? Write this scene as if you were a teenager, he's new to your school and you're introducing him to your parents. Also, after dinner, he makes a request of you. What is it?
You receive a mysterious call from a friend who asks you to meet him or her at a secret location. When you arrive, that friend reveals that he or she is, by night, a superhero. What's more, the friend needs your help in solving the latest case. Only problem is you can't help. When...
In honor of Father's Day, we've collected several quotes from writers (and a couple from our favorite literary dads) that embody the spirit of fathers.
You're on the verge of bowling a perfect game (getting a strike in every frame). It all comes down to your final throw, which needs to be a strike to pull off the feat. There is a bit of an issue though--you are very superstitious and believe that you need to replicate everything you...
Write a story about a character who finds out that he or she is dying and has been knocking things off his/her bucket list and has finally reached the last item.
Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Connor Eck of Lucinda Literary) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list. About Connor: Prior to finding a home at Lucinda Literary in 2016, Connor began his career at The Weinstein...
How pitching at a writing conference can lead to finding an agent.
I had never seen it used as a weapon before, but when he tried to attack me with a ________, I couldn't help but laugh. I wasn't going to let him take the treasure from me—I needed it to save a life. (Write a story that follows these lines.)
One of the items in your house has decided to commit suicide, but you will not let it happen on your watch. Write the scene where you catch the item on the verge of taking its life and your attempt to talk the item out of it.
Take a character from one of your stories and place them into your current job. How does the office respond? Do they do a good job filling your place, or are they all play and no work?
Writer's Digest Associate Editor Baihley Grandison took part in Reedsy’s #IWriteBecause campaign. Here's her video (and why you should consider posting your own).
Hitchcock was dubbed the ‘Master of Suspense’ for very good reason. He knew how to manipulate an audience and keep them watching. Here are seven tips to remember when writing suspense to keep your reader turning pages.
“The Removal,” by Lauren Schenkman, is the winning story for the 17th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. For complete coverage of this year’s awards, including an interview with Schenkman, check out the July/August 2017 issue of Writer’s Digest. You can also view a complete list of winners and an extended interview with Schenkman. To read all 25...
To celebrate Mother's Day, you've invited the entire family over to celebrate. But instead of bringing your mom to the celebration, your father brings someone else—and tells you that this woman is actually your mother. How do you react? Is it someone you know? Write this scene.
"Hello," said the voice on the phone. "My name is __________. I know you never expected a call from me, as famous as I am, but I've been given your name as someone who can help me _______." (Write a story that follows this line.)
Every writer should be focused on this one thing to motivate him or her when writing a suspense novel.
Here are seven excellent pieces of advice for fiction writers from bestselling author Margaret Atwood.
For a freelance writer who doesn’t have a query tracking system—or has the organizational skills of a bowling ball, like me—here is a simple spreadsheet to help you keep track.
Your old villain quit over creative differences, so you've put yourself in charge of hiring a new villain for your novel. What questions do you ask? What does the new villain's resume say? Write this scene as if it were a job interview.