Party With Writer's Digest: A 90-Year Bash, Giveaways … and Even Birthday Cake

Going to be in the Great Midwest Jan. 20? If so, join us for a bit of a grassroots bash (with sheet cake). I’ll post the official release–and, of course, a prompt–below. Hope to see you there!


Legendary writing magazine rings in milestone with special issue, free birthday bash

CINCINNATI–It has featured everyone from Jack Kerouac, Kurt Vonnegut and Ernest Hemingway to Hugh Hefner and Sylvester Stallone. In the last year alone, it’s spotlighted interviews with Stephen King, James Patterson, Mitch Albom and Audrey Niffenegger. It’s covered everything from “The Truth About Writing For the Talkies” to e-books, and has survived two World Wars, a Great Depression and a recession.

Now, Writer’s Digest is celebrating a critical milestone-the magazine’s 90th anniversary-and the publication, though now in its nonagenarian years, is (cane-free, and) still going strong.

“Even though publishing is undergoing massive transformation, one thing has not changed: the passion and persistence of writers to improve their craft and get their work published,” Publisher Jane Friedman says. “Writer’s Digest survives because the number of aspiring writers increases year on year, and they’re all seeking information on how to break into the business.”

Founded by Ed Rosenthal in 1920, the Writer’s Digest community today is comprised of the industry-leading magazine, books, special newsstand-only publications, the annual Writer’s Market guide (also celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2010), an online school, conferences, competitions and one of the biggest online communities for writers. To celebrate the anniversary, Writer’s Digest is hosting a free bash at 7 p.m., Jan. 20, at the Northside Tavern (4163 Hamilton Ave.). In addition to refreshments and cake, the WD team will be on hand to ring in the literary legacy with giveaways and other events.

As for the magazine itself, the 90th anniversary issue, on newsstands now, features an entire redesign, in addition to a package about novel writing. Editor Jessica Strawser also spent time digging in the archives, and assembled a 90 Secrets of Bestselling Authors feature, recapping classic advice from the past nine decades. Finally, the issue is capped off by an interview with 90-year-old writing legend Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

“All of us on staff are honored and humbled to be a part of the Writer’s Digest legacy, and this anniversary gives us a moment to celebrate and give thanks to the writing community that supports us,” Friedman says. “Anyone who’s ever worked with or for Writer’s Digest is encouraged to join us, as well as anyone who has read and appreciated the magazine over the years.”

Moreover, our anniversary issue is still on newsstands. (And I’m still madly in love with it.) Click here to check it out.

WRITING PROMPT: Raising the Alarm
Feel free to take the following prompt home or post your 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.

Yet again, you draw a breath, mumble an apology, and pull the fire alarm at the shopping mall.

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3 thoughts on “Party With Writer's Digest: A 90-Year Bash, Giveaways … and Even Birthday Cake

  1. Dorraine

    And what a beauty the 90th anniversary issue is! I finally got my hands on one.:-) Tomorrow, yes, tomorrow I’m going to sit with a cup of coffee and do some reading.

    A big hip hip hoorah, Zac! You guys are doing an incredible job with the magazine. I always look forward to having the latest and seeing the magic inside. Thanks so much. Btw…wish I could attend the party. Save me a speck of cake, will ya?

  2. Martha W

    Sorry so late… Ghost Hunters International’s season premiere is on… 🙂


    Standing in Victoria’s Secret, the hair on the back of Mary’s neck stood up. She was being watched. She carefully placed the nightgown back on the rack and lifted her gaze to the mall outside, scanning for the familiar blue eyes.

    Her skin itched. He had to be here, there was no other answer for it.

    Mary moved very carefully deeper into the shop. There was a second exit on the back side of the store; if she could just get to it. Her nerves tingled with fear. She hated this.

    After four months she figured he would’ve given up. But no. Devin refused to leave her alone. She had tried every way imaginable short of a singing telegram to tell him to get lost. She sighed. Her fingers trembled as she pretended to look at a group of shirts halfway through the store.

    A flash of blond hair drew a whimper before she caught herself. God. How much longer could she live like this? She’d already moved twice. Now she couldn’t shop, either. Damn.

    Hot breath brushed the back of her neck at the moment fingers closed around her wrist. "Don’t freak out." The harsh whisper caused goose flesh to break out over her body.

    "Okay." She couldn’t get her voice above a murmur.

    "Where have you been?" Anger laced the question.

    Anxious laughter bubbled up her throat. "Are you kidding me?" Even holding onto the rack of clothes her hands shook enough the clothing shivered on their hangers.

    "Angel, I’ve missed you."

    Devin’s words grated like sandpaper over her shredded nerves. "Why can’t you leave me alone?"

    His fingers tightened on her neck and she knew there would be bruises tomorrow. "I love you. How can I let you walk away?"

    "Easy. Just let go." She looked across the expanse of the store, catching the eye of the sales clerk. Relieved when the woman started moving in her direction, she eased a step away from Devin.

    "No." He hissed the word in her ear as he jerked her back against him.

    Mary saw the clerk’s demeanor change at the rough treatment. Her stride lengthened and her face set as she drew closer.

    "Get rid of her."

    "Dream on." Now that she had help, her natural spunk took over. She pulled completely away from him, moving closer to the sales woman.

    June, according to her name tag, grazed her arm and squeezed with gentle pressure as she positioned herself between the two of them. Her near-hostile gaze pinned Devin in place. "Can I help you, sir?"

    "Just looking for some things for my girlfriend." He attempted to slide past her but she blocked his way.

    "Really? What kinds of things?"

    Mary, grateful for the intervention, used the opportunity to slip away through the back. Just as she was nearing the outside exit and freedom, she heard him call her name. She ducked into a service hallway, drew a breath, mumbled an apology, and pulled the fire alarm.

  3. Mark James

    I knew it was way too crowded for what I needed to do, but it wasn’t like I could wait for another day to save the world. I edged over to the dark corridor where they hid the bathrooms and old fashioned pay phones.

    I checked my watch. The carrier was thirty minutes away. If I did it too soon, he’d never walk in. Too late, and he’d infect half the country, including me. Time, Inc. doesn’t fool around. They like their agents motivated. What’s more motivating than saving yourself?

    Twenty five minutes. Oh no. She wasn’t in the loop.

    “Jason.” Charlotte’s smile was too wide, like a wolf who’s cornered dinner. “It’s been so long since you’ve blighted my vision with the sorry sight of your face.”

    I didn’t sigh. I didn’t kill my ex-wife either. Doesn’t mean I didn’t want to do both. “Charlie. That’s weird. For a second, I thought you were human.” I smiled, showing her my own less than perfect dental work. “Then you talked. And I knew it was you.”

    Until I met her, I didn’t know people could snarl. Her red lips curled away from her million dollar teeth. “You’re much easier to distinguish.” She sniffed the air, wrinkled her nose. “The stench of your lies surrounds you in an unmistakable miasma.”

    I glanced at my watch. Twenty minutes.

    “Am I keeping you from something?” She raked her blood red nails through her jet black hair, all but showing off the scars I’d left on her neck. “Is there an innocent somewhere who needs to be abducted?”

    I got mad at her, but I could see why she hated me. “It was an accident, Charlie.”

    “The only accident,” she said through clenched teeth, “is that you remain upright and taking nourishment instead of being a worm addled corpse buried in unhallowed ground.”

    Coming up on fifteen minutes. “I’d help you out with that, but I’m running late.”

    I put my hand on the red box, wrapped my fingers around the white handle.

    “You wouldn’t dare,” she said.

    Again, I drew a breath, mumbled an apology, and pulled the fire alarm at the shopping mall.


    And landed in my own future. The status screen was still at red. I’d missed him again.

    A hundred years after the plague hit, we found out it wasn’t an accident. The ultimate serial killer didn’t need death camps, or dirty bombs or even a gun. All he needed was immunity to a virus. And all he had to do was walk around.

    Scientists call it ‘Plague Flu Virus 1’. I call it the ‘You’re Screwed’ bug.

    They went back in time, recruited dead people like me to stop the carrier. I stop the bug from starting, and I stay alive.

    My Time Bubble is collapsing. I think I only have days left before my death in the past catches up with me.

    I’ll be going back to that mall. This time, I’m pulling the alarm the second I see Charlotte. A little loud ringing in her ears will do her good.