Author Archives: Jessica Strawser

David Sedaris: Bonus WD Interview Outakes

Ever start to get the feeling that the job description of your average bestselling author can seem kind of one-size-fits-all? Something like this, perhaps: Ideal candidates will have the precisely right combination of talent, timing and all-around good fortune to write a breakout book that garners the support of high volumes...

Bonus WD Interview Outtakes: Kimberla Lawson Roby

When Kimberla Lawson Roby didn’t have any luck convincing the publishing gatekeepers to take a chance on her, she took a chance on herself. She self-published in the ’90s, before it was fashionable—or affordable—to do so, and cracked the Essence magazine bestseller list on her own. That got their attention.

What’s Your Excuse for Not Writing?

One of the things I love most about working with writers is that so many of them are unflinchingly generous with their time, words and wisdom. So when I was recently approached by freelancer Monica Bhide and asked if I’d be interested in something purely motivational for our community of writers...

Bonus WD Interview Outtakes: Khaled Hosseini

In peaceful Kabul, Afghanistan, many years ago, there was a young boy who, like most young boys, loved his family, loved his country, and loved great stories. He was taken by his culture’s tradition of oral storytelling, and soon discovered a deep love for reading fiction, and writing it, too. When...

3 Surprising Lessons About Publishing Today

With the newsstand release of every new edition of Writer’s Digest magazine, I typically share a few of the best tips relating to the issue’s cover theme here. But in compiling our February 2013 issue—focused on innovative ways to Make Money Writing and featuring an unexpected WD Interview subject—I found that...

The Real Oscar Winner: Great Storytelling

Even before Quentin Tarantino proclaimed in his Academy Award acceptance speech for Best Original Screenplay (Django Unchained) that this would “be the writers’ year,” it was impossible not to notice all the exemplary written work—books and screenplays alike (and stage plays, for that matter)—at the root of this year’s big Oscar-buzzed...

How to Start a Novel Right: 5 Great Tips

It’s said that in life, there are two types of people: those who look at the glass as half empty, and those who see it as half full. But for those of us who’ve set the goal of starting a novel, I think it really comes down to how we view...

Inspiration for Writers: How to Be More Creative

Ideas are everywhere. It’s what we do with them that matters. The latest issue of Writer’s Digest is dubbed The Big Idea Issue—and we’ve filled it with clever tips and simple strategies to help you find more inspiration for your writing, develop your most creative ideas into great stories, beat writer’s...

Can Your Day Job Lead to Better Writing?

For some writers, a day job is a means to an end—and something they dream of one day quitting to pursue a dream of writing full time. (So much so that here at WD, we get the “When do you think I should quit?” question from our readers all the time....

Making the Most of Your Writing Time: Giveaway Winner

Thanks to everyone who commented on my post about ways to Make Your Writing Time Matter. Sure, finding time to write (and to write well) can be a frustrating struggle, but it’s encouraging to know that we all face these challenges—and that as part of a generous community of writers willing...

Make Your Writing Time Matter

Who hasn’t daydreamed about what we could produce if only we had more time? More time to write; more time to feel inspired; more time to read; more time to devote to all those things-besides-writing that writers these days are expected to do (platform building, anyone?). There’s no question that time...

How to Break the Rules of Writing

Here at Writer’s Digest (and despite the There Are No Rules moniker of this blog), we talk a lot about doing things by the book—from understanding grammatical and structural writing rules, to following submission guidelines, to otherwise conducting yourself like a pro. And that’s why we had so much fun putting...

Start Your Summer Right: 5 Creative Writing Tips

The first long weekend of cookouts, swimming and 90-degree days is behind us here in the Midwest, which can mean only one thing: The unofficial start of summer. New seasons have a way of bringing about change just when things are getting stale—an apt metaphor for both writing and life. In...

Ask a Literary Agent Anything: Here’s Your Chance!

Is there a question you’ve always secretly wished you could ask a literary agent? Maybe you want privileged information … or maybe you want real, tell-it-to-me-straight advice. Maybe something’s been bugging you for a while, but you’re too afraid of sounding like an amateur if you speak up … or you’re...