Traditional Prompts

What do you want to see in Writer's Digest magazine?

Dear Promptly prompters, Apologies for the brief disappearing act in April—we’ve been working to finish our July/August issue, start our big September Big 10 issue, develop some exciting new stuff that we’ll hopefully be able to announce here soon, and stay dry in the everlasting Cincinnati monsoon that currently has me awaiting Kevin Costner...

Contest: You won't believe what came in the mail today…

Bring on the romance, horror, romantic horror, lit fiction, thrillers, sci-fi, uppers, downers, fantastical creatures (leprechauns?), cheating husbands, cowboys, cowgirls, astronauts, teachers, students and everything and anything in between—it’s time to once again open WD’s doors for the eclectically awesome submissions to our Your Story competition. For a shot at getting your work published...

April Fools' Day Writing Challenge (With Prizes)

Rather than conducting a fresh print run of our bestselling Plagiarist’s Market title (pictured at right) this year, WD is ringing in April Fools’ Day with an online mini contest. Editor Brian A. Klems’ challenge: Write a humorous, fake April Fools’ headline for writers and post it on Twitter (#AprilFools4Writers) or on our Facebook...

What embarrassing moments made you a better writer?

Around the Writer’s Digest office, like everyone, we have our share of embarrassing moments-we’ll-never-speak-of-again-(after-this-blog)-that-taught-us-valuable-lessons-about-this-or-that. For instance, there are the general ones that educated us about the prevention of head-slapping by immediate research when brainstorming: the editor who had “Pittacus Lore” jotted down on a list of potential authors to interview, or the otherwise typically...

Monday Matchup Writing Challenge: Liar, Cow, Cardboard Box

WRITING PROMPT: Matchup #19Feel free to take the following prompt home or post a response (500 words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring) in the Comments section below. By posting, you’ll be automatically entered in our occasional around-the-office swag drawings. If you’re having trouble with the captcha code sticking, e-mail your piece and the...

Monday Matchup Writing Challenge: Author, Ocean, Weapon

WRITING PROMPT: Matchup #18Feel free to take the following prompt home or post a response (500 words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring) in the Comments section below. By posting, you’ll be automatically entered in our occasional around-the-office swag drawings. If you’re having trouble with the captcha code sticking, e-mail your piece and the...

5 Ways to Break Into Writer's Digest Magazine

One thing I get asked a lot at conferences and via e-mail is how to write for WD—What’s the best way to break in? Aside from pitching a traditional feature article—and if you’re interested in doing so, check out our submission guidelines here, which I’m in the process of updating this week—there are five...

Monday Matchup Writing Challenge: Uncashed check, bad movie, Shakespeare

WRITING PROMPT: Matchup, Ides of March EditionFeel free to take the following prompt home or post a response (500 words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring) in the Comments section below. By posting, you’ll be automatically entered in our occasional around-the-office swag drawings. If you’re having trouble with the captcha code sticking, e-mail your...

Weekend Writing Prompt: The worst birthday present ever …

We’ve been a bit lax on posting in recent days because of our salvo to finish the May/June issue of Writer’s Digest magazine (more on that soon), but your literary tweets of yesteryear have been coming in through our social networks and blogs, and we’re loving them. (To get the scoop on how you...

Weekend WD Challenge: Write a text message, win free books

WRITING PROMPT: Taxing TextsFeel free to take the following prompt home or post a response (500 words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring) in the Comments section below. By posting, you’ll be automatically entered in a random swag book drawing that will take place Tuesday, with the winners announced Wednesday. If you’re having trouble...

7 Places to Find Free Money for Your Writing

The new issue of Writer’s Digest has shipped to subscribers, and it’ll be on newsstands soon. It’s an interesting issue for us because in addition to our regular content (including the brilliantly concepted new Top Shelf and 5-Minute Memoir sections…), we tackle a subject in the feature package that’s often a source of confusion...

The Weird Week in Writing: Authors love Eminem, Humpty Dumpty seeks vengeance, Sylvia Plath draws hot dogs

Freaky Friday—the latest from the often weird and wonderful world of writing this week (followed, as always, by a prompt). Happy weekend! STILL BETTER THAN KID ROCK: Charles Bukowski loved Wagner. Oscar Wilde loved Haydn. Turns out 71-year-old Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, Janet Evanovich and others have a different audio hero: Eminem. EGGLAND’S BEST:...

Parody Jane Austen for a new anthology contest

Want to write some tragically bad Austen? Phil Sexton, the publisher of WD, gave us a heads up about something fun going on over at his old Adams Media stomping grounds: The Bad Austen Contest. The goal? To round up the very best Jane Austen parodies, and to publish them in a book compilation...

What happened when the circus rolled into town? Tell us, and you might get published in WD

Horror stories. Literary fiction. Any and all permutations of “__-Lit.” Pastiches. Romances. Heroes. Villains. Leprechauns (it’s a phenomenon—there are always a few, no matter the prompt). It’s time once again to open WD’s doors for the eclectically great submissions to our Your Story competition. Want a shot at getting published in the magazine? Pen...

5-Minute Memoir: Want to have your essay on the writing life appear in WD magazine?

The Writer’s Digest Conference is officially over, and we’re back! (Check out Chuck Sambuchino’s Guide to Literary Agents blog for a recap and some of my photos.) Today we’ve got news on something I’m nerdily thrilled about—the new recurring section in the InkWell department of Writer’s Digest magazine: 5-Minute Memoir. Subtitled “Tales From the...

Ferlinghetti: Great writing is anything that gives you a view of reality that you never had before. That's what great writers do

And now—digital drumroll—it’s time for the No. 1 entry in the Top 20 Tips From WD in 2010 series, the quips that branded themselves in my mind when we were creating these magazines throughout the year. Our parting words come from Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the legendary poet and City Lights founder I interviewed last year...