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.

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Confessions of a Chronic Genre Shopper

**GIVEAWAY! Evangeline is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks** Debut author Evangeline Denmark, CURIO (Jan 2016, Blink), shares her forays into several genres before finally arriving at YA Steampunk Fantasy.

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10 Tips on Landing an Agent at a Writers’ Conference

When I was ready to seek representation, I chose not to approach agents in the usual way—by email query—even though most agents prefer that method. I wanted to get a face-to-face impression of my future agent’s personality and communication style, so I decided to attend writers’ conferences. Over six months, I pitched to nine...

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Draft Dodging-About That First Draft

Hemingway said it best: “The first draft of anything is shit.” As writers, we know first drafts are unfit for human consumption. But if we’re honest, that’s how we feel about other writers’ first drafts. We may have doubts about our first draft, but under the doubt is the conviction that our first draft is worth sharing, either because we’ve achieved what...

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3 Reasons Every Writer Should Go To a Writers Conference

Recently I’ve thought about New Year’s resolutions writers can implement to make 2016 their best writing year yet. One of those resolutions was to get connected, and one way to do that is by going to a writers conference.   Column by Tomi Adeyemi, a Los Angeles writer and blogger currently querying her debut...

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7 Tips for Writing About Other Cultures

I don’t make any claim to be an expert in diversity. I am a white American woman, and despite the fact that I’ve lived in Japan for the past six years, I’m still often blinded by my own privilege. But it doesn’t take an expert to notice that protagonists on the pale end of...

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Racing the Clock: The Pros and Cons of Deadlines

I’ve been a journalist for the past twenty-three years. For the first six of those years, I worked for two monthly magazines, where I had fourteen days to write one twelve-page report. Two whole weeks! I almost had more free time than work. Column by Nina George, bestselling author of THE LITTLE PARIS BOOKSHOP (June 2015,...

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Reimagining ANNE OF GREEN GABLES

There were many moments throughout the writing of my first novel, Ana of California, when I stared at a blank screen and said to myself, out loud, “Are you sure you want to do this?” I was typing in the shadow of a literary great, Lucy Maud Montgomery, whose Anne of Green Gables is one of the...

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How and Why to Write Like a Pachyderm

To be a writer, we must have a thick skin, thick as a pachyderm, gray and wrinkly and drooping off of our limbs like armor. Unless you plan to be a secret writer who never tells a single soul about how you stay up late when everyone is asleep to scribble out metaphors before...

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6 Reasons Why Every Writer Should Enter Pitch Wars Next Year

I resisted online writing contests for years, opting instead for ones that were linked to conferences. Finally, after my second time as a finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association Literary Contest, four years of querying four different books, a growing blog and magazine platform, but still no agent, I decided to enter author...

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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....

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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...

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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...

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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...