Writing Prompts

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...

Sherman Alexie on the Literary Thank-You Note

It’s simple advice, and shorter advice than any of the other tips in our series. But they’re some of my favorite words of the year. Here’s the latest from the Top 20 Tips From WD in 2010 series, followed by a regular weekend prompt. We’ll close the series out with No....

Staying True to Yourself in Publishing

As part of the fun and literary madness of our September 2010 Big 10 issue, we convinced memoirist extraordinaire Wade Rouse to send us a list of his Top 10 Ways to Stay True to Yourself in Publishing. A few of his (hilarious) points make up today’s installment of the Top...

Monday Matchup Writing Challenge: Truth or Dare

WRITING PROMPT: Monday Matchup #14Welcome to 2011! Feel 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 (we’ll draw for the holiday prompts Wednesday)....

Monday Matchup Writing Challenge: Snow, Painting, Ex-Friend

WRITING PROMPT: Monday Matchup #13Feel 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...

Monday Matchup Writing Challenge: Guitar, Scar, Hometown

WRITING PROMPT: Monday Matchup #12Feel 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...

Memoirs: What do agents think makes the cut?

At one point or another, it seems every writer has (or has had) a memoir in the works. So what do agents think makes the grade? Here’s the latest from Promptly’s Top 20 Tips From WD in 2010 series (the quote-worthy quips that branded themselves in my mind when we were...

The Two Big Mistakes to Avoid at Writing Conferences

OK, OK. It may sound like oversimplified advice for an entire blog post, but having attended a fair share of conferences and having once fallen on the (bitter, regret-laden) sword of the first mistake mentioned below, I really believe these issues are very real beasts to be wary of when going...