In honor of the great Harper Lee's passing, we'd like to share her writing advice from the September 1961 Writer's Digest.
You were involved in a terrible car accident and have been in a coma for the past three months. What your family and the doctors don’t know is that you can hear everything that they say. Write the scene.
In this live 90-minute webinar literary agent Carly Watters will teach you how to deconstruct rejections and more. Plus, as a bonus, Carly will critique your one-page query letter! Details here.
Write a story that begins with the title of the book you’ve most recently read and ends with the name of your favorite character that you’ve written.
Have the main character in your novel (or short story) write a letter to you. What would they say? Have them write whatever you want.
In this live 90-minute webinar literary agent Jennifer De Chiara will guide you, step by step, in writing the perfect pitch for your book. Plus, she'll critique your query letter. Sign up now.
Write 10 sentences using a different cliché in each. Now, rewrite the sentence to eliminate the cliché and find a more clever and creative way to convey its meaning.
“I’d love to _____ but my _____ just _____!” (And then write a story that follows it.)
Hi All! Barbara Poelle again….remember yesterday how I was salivating for a new thriller author? I asked my author Nick Petrie (THE DRIFTER, Putnam, out this week!) how he hooked me in…here’s what he had to say. About Nicholas Petrie: He received his MFA in fiction from the University of Washington, won a Hopwood...
After a grueling day at work you go home. The sweet allure of your couch and captain crunch is over powering! You arrive at the door, stick in the key, yank it open and … see a writhing horde of Minotaur chanting in the night and then one notices you and charges. You slam...
To get the story straight, Dave, we think, has become a chicken. Just the worst of luck with that guy. Tom is claiming he married the futon that’s now covered in yogurt, Carl is on the chandelier with the dog and you just walked in after getting groceries. What the heck happened here?
Learn how to craft an effective query letter, write strong first pages, avoid common mistakes and more. PLUS: Interact one-on-one with an agent!
Learn how to write a dynamite query letter, tackle a one-page synopsis (for fiction) and a book proposal (for nonfiction). PLUS: Interact one-on-one with an agent!
Spend the weekend of Sept. 9-11 learning techniques for honing your craft from seven published authors, and pitch your novel via query letter to an agent specifically looking for material in these genres.
One day as you were cleaning you noticed air being sucked towards the base of wall near the cupboard. Perplexed you went closer to investigate. The air was going in, slightly yet in. You hold your breath and gingerly peel away at the wallpaper until a huge wrought iron door stands before you. Where...
Magazines are always looking for holiday-themed articles. But if you pitch your idea too late, you won't get it published. Here's what you need to know when querying magazine editors your holiday-themed articles.
Ah it’s the Holidays! You can tell from the festive charm and snow in the air. You vaguely remember it being July yesterday but, oh well. Upon leaving your house to spread charm to your neighbors you walk three feet and hit a huge transparent barrier. Is, is this glass? You feel up the...
The office building seemed normal enough. You shrug off the feeling of dread as you enter the doors. There’s no receptionist. Simply two doors. One is green, the other orange. Which do you take? Why are you there? What happens next?
In our January issue, our Meet the Agent column encouraged readers to submit to Kate McKean at Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. Due to a recent flood of submissions, Kate had to close to further queries; however, she happily agreed to continue to accept queries from our readers. If you do submit to Kate, please...
Oh boy you do love packages! Yet this one’s different. It’s oddly colored, like a deep maroon. The material is unlike anything you’ve ever felt and something is violently shaking the box. The worst part is you never ordered anything. So how big is the box? What’s inside? Where did it come from?
You are renting a room in someone’s house as you transition to living in a new city. The owner tells you that basement is absolutely, 100% off limits. You don’t bat an eye at this request, until you start hearing noises from the basement at night. After several week of this, you sneak downstairs...
Between plotting, drafting time and editing time, you'll be surprised what the answer is.
In this live 90-minute webinar literary agent Adriann Ranta will present resources and tips for authors on narrowing down their field of agents to query, prioritizing what they want from their representation and how to ask for it. Plus, Adriann will critique your one-page query letter! It all happens at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday,...
Write about the only time you hosted Thanksgiving. Start with the line, "For my first Thanksgiving as host, I bought the biggest turkey they had in the store," and end your story with "And that's why we all ate hamburgers."
Write a love story about the dish and the spoon from the classic nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle.” How did they meet and why did they decide to run away together? Will their relationship last?