Guest Columns

How to get published — read hundreds of helpful Writer’s Digest guest columns from published writers teaching the craft and business of writing.


I Didn’t Plan to Write a Book

I didn’t mean to write a book. It happened accidently. I am a visual artist who, as a regular part of my practice, creates sketchbooks. They are mad scrambles of images: drawings, paintings, photographs. Collages of my life interspersed with bits and pieces—menus, notes, subway tickets. Nothing is too small, too unimportant, too trivial....


When Not to Write

**GIVEAWAY! Vivian is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks.** Vivian Probst, author of DEATH BY ROSES, shares that there are times when not writing can make you a better writer.


Sweet vs. Sexy: What You Need to Know About Writing Both

In the world of romance, “sweet” has a very specific connation. A “sweet romance” is one where the bedroom door remains firmly closed so that the reader cannot see inside. Readers who prefer characters who don’t have sex before marriage choose these books, but so do those who are fine with the sex so...


5 Things I Learned on Deadline

My debut novel, ALIVE, recently hit shelves and I remember the pressure as my first deadline loomed. A couple years ago I was graduating law school, starting my first “big girl” job and taking work-for-hire gigs. A slew of rejections under my belt had made me slow to dedicate myself to new projects for...


7 Things To Do After Finishing Your Book

Congratulations! You finished your first book. Work-wise, you’ve accomplished 10 percent. Now for the hard part: doing what’s required to get your book into a reader’s hands. Do you know that an unknown self-published or small-press author only sells an average of up to 250 books? Once your friends and family members have purchased...


Blow-By-Blow: Writing Action and Fight Scenes

Conflict, as we all know, is the lifeblood of a story. And nothing quite epitomizes raw conflict like a thrilling fight scene. If you’re like me, you crave those climactic moments in prose or on the screen, when, the hero and villain finally find themselves facing each other, circling, ready to duke it out...


4 Things to Avoid When Finishing Your Novel

**GIVEAWAY! Emily is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks.** Emily Adrian, author of 2015 debut novel LIKE IT NEVER HAPPENED, shares 4 things to avoid at all costs so you can finally sit down and finish that novel.

Rachelle 2014

13 Things You May Not Know About Agents

You’ve read lots of articles about literary agents, but here are 13 things you might not have heard yet. 1. We really hate how often we have to say “no” to writers. It’s one of the most excruciating parts of our job! So don’t imagine us gleefully rubbing our hands together and cackling happily...


What I Learned from Attending Writers’ Conferences

Before teaming up with a new publisher to release both my poetry compilation ATL Fire and California travel memoir Golden State Misadventures over one quarter of a year in 2015, I frequented writers’ conferences and grew from those experiences. Column by Han Vance, author of memoir GOLDEN STATE MISADVENTURES (August 2015, Silver Stone Press). His...