Author Archives: Tyler Moss

Hugh Hefner On Writing, Voice and Magazine Success

In the August 1964 Writer’s Digest, former WD Editor Kirk Polking profiled Playboy and its 38-year-old founder, Hugh Hefner, who had celebrated the first decade of his ground-breaking publication the year before. On Sept. 27, 2017, the pioneering publisher passed away at 91 years old. In his memory, here are some...

Pick Your Favorite Cover!

Help us choose a cover for our May/June 2017 issue! Which one do you like best? Once you pick your favorite, vote for A or B in our poll on Twitter! You might also like:No Related Posts

Happy 150th Birthday to Laura Ingalls Wilder!

In the WD backpage humor column Platforms of Yore, we dream up the social media accounts of classic authors desperate to build their online platforms. Today, January 7, 2017, is the 150th birthday of Little House on the Prairie author Laura Ingalls Wilder—so it only seems fitting that we remember her...

Track Your Pitches and Queries With 6 Free Downloads

Everyone knows the real magic of writing comes from time spent in the chair, those sessions in which your fingertips flitting across the keyboard can barely keep pace with the electric current sparking through your brain. Those in-between periods, full of administrative tasks—the querying, the tracking of payments, the day-to-day doldrums...

6 Free Writing Trackers

Record-Keeping Made Easy: Download These 6 Free Writing Trackers

Download our ready-made pitch, query and payment trackers (as seen in the February 2017 Writer’s Digest) to streamline the business of your writing—and make this your most efficient year yet. To download the following Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, right-click the links below and select “Save As,” “Save Target As” or “Save Link...

Put Your Workday to Work

Put Your Workday to Work : Online Exclusive Extras

COMPILED BY TYLER MOSS & JESSICA STRAWSER How does your day job help your writing? We asked WD readers, and they answered in droves. From story ideas and innovative routines to insider perspectives and useful new skills, the responses in the February 2017 Writer’s Digest are sure to inspire you to...

Holiday Gift Guide 2016

Holiday Gift Guide 2016: What to Get a Writer

Use our 2016 Holiday Gift Guide to pin down a present for the wordsmith in your life. The following is a smattering of our favorite literary miscellanea these days. 1. Literary-Themed Scarves Let words bring you warmth—literally. These infinity scarves from Storiarts wrap you in passages from classics such as Jane...

Build a Writing Community

Energize Your Life With a Supportive Writing Community

By Caroline Leavitt When you are writing well, you have a multitude of characters around you, but then you come up for air—too often with a pesky plot problem at hand—and sometimes you realize it’s you and your empty apartment. You might be lucky to have a spouse or friend who...

The Power of Setting

3 Ways to Portray Place on the Page

  By Noah Lederman The most skilled authors know drawing upon their settings can add a breath of reality to their imagined story worlds. Here are three unexpected lessons about depicting place on the page. Sometimes a setting is so central to a story that it’s almost a character unto itself—a...

Narratively

Narratively is the Online Publication Freelancers Will Love

  Starting in the January 2017 Writer’s Digest, the Standout Markets column now includes online-exclusive opportunities alongside our trio of book publishers, literary journals and magazine markets. Freelance writers will be happy to learn about our inaugural web-friendly market: Narratively. ABOUT: “Narratively is a digital publication that prides itself on looking...

What if Publishers Rejected Dracula? (Happy Halloween)

About a year ago, we retired “Reject A Hit,” the fan-favorite humor column that donned the back page of Writer’s Digest for five long years, in which writers assumed the position of a fake agent or publisher respectfully (or at times, not-so-respectfully) declining such classic novels as Moby-Dick, Great Expectations and...

Why the Best Writing Is “Steeped in Knowledge”

Hall of Fame editor Terry McDonell reveals the inspiration behind his new memoir about writing and the writers he’s worked with—from Hunter S. Thompson to George Plimpton—and why to find your voice, “you just have to let it rip sometimes Whether you are a writer or a journalist or an editor...

author-patricia-beal

True Life Success Stories: Author Patricia Beal

At Writer’s Digest, we love to highlight the success stories of debut authors: How they did it, what they learned and why you can do it, too. In this interview, WD managing editor Tyler Moss spoke with Patricia Beal, author of the upcoming novel A Season to Dance (inspirational contemporary fiction,...

What have you always wanted to ask an agent?

Agent Advice Column “Funny You Should Ask” Seeking Submissions!

Are you in search of answers? No, this isn’t some solicitation for a 1970s new-age Human Potential Movement seminar. I’m talking straight answers to your most perplexing writing quandaries—by a well-respected expert, no less: the Irene Goodman Literary Agency’s own Barbara Poelle. Barbara has penned the exceedingly popular Writer’s Digest column...

How Does Your Day Job Help Your Writing?

Kurt Vonnegut managed a Saab dealership in Cape Cod. Harper Lee worked as a reservation clerk for Eastern Air Lines. T.S. Eliot was a banker, and Wallace Stevens an insurance executive. Many of the most famous writers in history had to fit in their artistic endeavors around their day jobs, squeezing...

Author Jonathan Maberry

Writers Helping Writers: Interview With Jonathan Maberry

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2016 issue of Writer’s Digest. Jonathan Maberry has no reason to fear being typecast by genre. The New York Times bestselling author and five-time Bram Stoker Award–winner has published books, short stories and articles in nearly every category imaginable, including science fiction, horror, fantasy,...

Freelance Writing Workshop: 8 Story Pitch Pet Peeves

Think of your story pitch like a cover letter. When approaching a new publication, your first freelance pitch is your introduction. It’s your chance to make a positive impression, to demonstrate intimate knowledge of the magazine, to prove you’re well suited to a 400- or 800- or 1,200-word article. Of course,...

Map of Alagaësia

How to Map Your Fantasy World

“I wisely started with a map, and made the story fit,” J.R.R. Tolkien wrote in a letter in 1954. The iconic map of Middle-Earth to which he’s referring, included in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, has become a hallowed piece of Tolkien ephemera, prints of which adorn the...

Use a Spreadsheet to Outline Your Novel

If you prefer to write from a detailed outline, an ideal organizational tool may be hiding in plain sight on your computer. View a full-sized version of the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet author Michael J. Martinez used to plot out his novel MJ-12: Inception (as explained in the article “Chart It Out”...

Elements of a Successful Query Letter

The “Agent Finder” article in our October 2016 issue of Writer’s Digest featured a deconstructed query letter in which agent Lane Heymont of The Seymour Agency highlighted the strength’s of one of his own client’s novel queries. Here’s another real-life example of a query that worked, featuring commentary and tips from...