Author Archives: Brian A. Klems


The Q: What’s The Best Song to Listen to When Writing?

When I'm writing, I usually have music on in the background. Sometimes it's classical. Sometimes it's pop. Sometimes it's a sad song like REM's "Everybody Hurts" and sometimes it's an upbeat song like OK GO's "Here We Go Again." Sometimes it's an energetic song like "Nitro" by The Offspring and, on occasion, it's something...

Office Move Gone Wrong

Your move to a new office building hits a major hurdle when you arrive for your first day only to find out your name wasn't on the move list. Write this scene.

Reject A Hit: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Let’s step once again into the role of the unconvinced, perhaps even curmudgeonly or fool-hearted editor: What harsh rejection letters might the authors of some of our favorite hit books have had to endure? This issue's contribution comes from Kristina Wojtaszek, who tackled Eric Carle's children's classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Concerning Item in Coworker’s Desk

Your company is moving office buildings and you've been asked to stay after hours and help pack up the desks. While clearing through one particular coworker's desk, you find something extremely concerning in his bottom drawer. Call one of your friends and ask for advice on what to do about it.


Happy Halloween!

The Writer's Digest staff knows a thing or two about horror, so we decided to embrace the Halloween spirit and dress up (it helped that there was a company-wide prize at stake). Here are a few photos of the "WD Skeleton Crew" and the spooky burial ground of cubicles. Enjoy!

Halloween Revenge

For the last 10 years, kids have been toilet papering your house on Halloween night. Unfortunately for them, this is the year you finally decided to get even. Write about your night of retaliation.

Pumpkin Carving Gone Wrong

You're attending an annual pumpkin-carving party with your friends when one of them stands up and makes a shocking announcement. Start your story with the announcement and end with "And that's how I got my head stuck in the pumpkin."

Note Behind the Picture

A picture on your mantle unexpectedly falls and crashes to the floor. As you go to pick it up, you notice a note hidden behind the picture. The message is from the future—and written by you. It instructs you to do something important. What does it say?

Crossing Over

When genre-bending bestseller James Lee Burke switched from writing literary fiction to crime novels, he worried: Am I selling out? Burke shares his thoughts here.


What Writers Need to Know About Copyrights (FAQs)

We're writers, not legal experts—and yet, every time we put words down on paper a number of legal questions arise. How do I copyright my work? Do I need to? Am I allowed to quotes song lyrics? Can I use someone else's character in my book? And that's just the tip of the pencil....


Thank You, Steve Jobs

It's unclear to me how to properly thank someone I never personally knew, but considering Steve Jobs changed the way I live, work and even dream, I feel I need to find a way. Apple's head honcho wasn't just a spark that pushed the envelope of technology; he completely changed the way I (we)...