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Author Archives: Brian A. Klems

The Winner of the Shortest Short Story Contest (#SSStory)

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First off, thanks to everyone who participated in our inaugural Shortest Short Story Contest (#SSStory). I was blown away by the participation (more than 1,100 tweets and comments) and am grateful that you enjoyed it as much as I did. With the help of WD Books editor James Duncan, we whittled it down—which was amazingly hard—and picked this winner … Read more

NaNoWriMo Giveaway (Day 2): Motivation Master Plan Template

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In honor of National Novel Writing Month, I’m going to be offering free content every weekday in November to help all NaNoWriMo participants (and, really, anyone who is working on a novel). Here is today’s giveaway: A Motivation Master Plan Template Read more

NaNoWriMo Giveaway (Day 1): Get Started Calendar

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In honor of National Novel Writing Month, I’m going to be offering free content every weekday in November to help all NaNoWriMo participants (and, really, anyone who is working on a novel). Here is today’s giveaway: Our Get Started Calendar. Read more

Happy Halloween From Writer’s Digest (Dancing Kurt Vonnegut?)

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Today was our annual Halloween costume and decoration competition, and the Writer’s Digest team once again put on a good showing. Our theme was “Dead Writer’s Society” and, as you can see, we all “morphed” into some of the greatest literary writers who now haunt the world as ghosts (friendly ghosts, I’m sure). Guess who I am. Read more

YOU Are the Arch Nemesis

A movie hero steps out of your television and proclaims that you are his/her arch-nemesis. Write about what happens. Read more

The Shortest Short Story Contest (Free w/Prizes)

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Over the coming month thousands of writers (including you, perhaps?) will take a stab at knocking out 50,000 words in just 30 days for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). But before the marathon hits, we wanted to do a short race–a super short race–and give you an opportunity to write The Shortest Short Story you can write. In fact, we’ll give away a prize to the best one. Here’s how it works. Read more

5 Things to Stop Doing (If You Really Want to Finish Writing Your Novel)

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Your novel isn’t going to write itself (I mean, if it were, it probably would have finished itself a long time ago!). Here are the five things you need to stop doing immediately if you want turn yourself into someone who stops asking questions about how to write a manuscript and starts bragging to friends about how you completed your manuscript. Read more

Why I Write

Tell us the story of when you first realized that you needed to be a writer. (Did it happen when you were young? Was it after you read a particular book? Etc.) Read more

How to Prepare for NaNoWriMo:
To Outline or Not To Outline

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November is almost here, which means two things: 1) You’re going to be seeing a lot of mustaches and 2) it’s time to start preparing for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Before November 1 hits, study these key tips on outlining. Read more

Come West With Us: Writer’s Digest Conference West in Los Angeles (Oct. 19-21, 2012)

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Big News: For the first time ever Writer’s Digest is packing up its writing and publishing knowledge and heading to Hollywood (no, they aren’t making a movie about us … yet). We’re bringing our Writer’s Digest Conference to the West Coast (why should only East Coast writers have all the fun?) and we want you there. Here’s the scoop … Read more

Jerry B. Jenkins Book Giveaway Winner

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Thanks to everyone who read Jerry Jenkins’ tip on The Key to Successful Writing and participated in the contest. The winner of an autographed copy of The Breakthrough is … Read more

Why You Had to Break In

You are 16 years old and you and your friends have just been caught breaking into the local gas station. After your parents post your bail, you must explain why you did it, since this is not something you would usually do. What your parents—and others—don’t realize is that you did it for heroic reasons. Read more

Lay vs. Lie (vs. Laid)

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Here’s the difference between lay vs. lie, along with “lay lie” examples and a simple chart that breaks it all down and will make it easier for you to know when to use each. Read more

Novel Character Comes to Life – And May Murder Someone

You’ve written a novel with a character that eventually murders one of his or her neighbors. Suddenly, a new person moves into your neighborhood with the same name as your character. Looks similar too. In fact, you can’t help but notice this new neighbor is doing several of the same things as your character—including laying the groundwork to murder someone. You decide to follow this person because, if all holds true to your plot, you know what’s going to happen. Write this scene. Read more

Raise vs. Rise

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Way too often do we see folks misuse these two words. Here’s a simple explanation of the difference between raise and rise—and when to use each. Read more

Announcing the August Winner of our Write It Your Way Competition

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A big congrats to YC Takahashi of Kennesaw, Ga., whose short story “The Shoes” won our August Write It Your Way competition. (The theme for the July competition was “New Beginnings.”) Her story ranked No. 1 out of nearly 160 entries. Enjoy YC’s story here below and don’t miss your chance to enter the upcoming Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition, which offers a grand prize of $3,000! Read more

Writers: Help Us Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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If there were ever a day to buy that book on writing or sign up for a webinar or purchase our October Premium Collection or get the brand-new 2013 Guide to Literary Agents, today is that day. After a wonderful week of support, we’re giving everyone one last day to help us support Breast Cancer Awareness Month, where 30% of all proceeds of your purchase will be donated directly to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Here’s how it works. Read more

The Afterlife

You’ve died and gone to heaven, only it’s nothing like you’ve imagined. You’re greeted by a guide—someone from your past—who gives you a tour and explains what you can expect out of the afterlife. There’s one question you’ve been dying to know and, at the end of the tour, you decide to ask. Read more

What Defines Writing Success? (& A Chance to Get Published)

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In the writing community there are countless ways to measure success—completing a first draft, landing an agent, winning a writing competition, etc. So what does it mean to be a successful writer? Tell us and you may get a chance to get published. (Read on for details.) Read more

Who vs. Whom

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Here is a simple explanation of the difference between who and whom (and examples of when to use each). Read more

Why You Can’t Get a Flu Shot Excuse

You’re at the doctor’s office for a regular check up when the doctor suggests you get a flu shot as well. You hate shots, so you come up with the most outlandish excuse as to why you can’t get one. Start your story with “You’re not going to believe this, but … ” and end it with “And that’s why I can’t get a flu shot today.” Read more

Vote Now: Help Us Pick the Write It Your Way Competition Winner

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In August we asked folks to submit their best tales or fictional stories that have a new beginnings theme. More than 150 writers sent in their short essays. We’ve whittled it down to our five favorites, but now we need your help selecting a winner. Here’s how you can help. Read more

Write It Your Way Finalist – A Fine Pickle

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Here is one of the five finalists for the Write It Your Way August competition. Read it now (and the other finalists) and vote by October 1 to help us pick a winner. Read more

Write It Your Way August Finalist – The Shoes

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Here is one of the five finalists for the Write It Your Way August competition. Read it now (and the other finalists) and vote by October 1 to help us pick a winner. Read more

Write It Your Way August Finalist – New Year’s Morning

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Here is one of the five finalists for the Write It Your Way August competition. Read it now (and the other finalists) and vote by October 1 to help us pick a winner. Read more

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