Fun

How to Find the Perfect Names for Your Characters

No matter what genre of fiction you write, be it horror like King or Lovecraft, crime like Patterson or Spillane, or more literary fare like Sontag, Roth, or Updike, there’s one very basic thing all fiction writers have in common—we love coming up with perfect place and character names, and we...

13 Quirky Workplaces of Famous Writers

The following piece by Celia Blue Johnson is currently in the October 2013 issue of Writer’s Digest. Check out the full issue here.   Many great writers have found creative comfort while sitting at a desk. (Charles Dickens was so attached to his that he had its contents shipped to his...

The Cocktail Genre: Writing With a Twist

Blending two differing genres into a new storytelling twist, or what I like to call a “cocktail genre,” has been a popular style for a while now. You have Max Brooks’ documentary/horror epic World War Z (as usual, the book is better than the film); multiple works by Seth Grahame-Smith such...

4 Things Star Trek Can Teach Us About Writing

The following is a guest post by Thomas Smith. Happy Friday. Over the years I’ve looked at what my dogs have taught me about writing, what Batman can teach us about writing, and today I’m going to extend the tradition. Today we’re going to look to the stars for our guidance....

What Are You Reading This Summer?

Ah, summer. Whether you’re planning to spend the sticky days of June poolside or within the refuge of your air-conditioned living room, the lazy days of summer are perfect for indulging in a new book or revisiting an old favorite. From laugh-out-loud memoirs to guilty-pleasure genre fiction, the editors at Writer’s...

30 June Writing Assignments

Recently, I’ve been sharing writing assignments on the Writer’s Digest twitter account (@WritersDigest) using the hashtag #writerassignments. Since it’s been fairly popular so far, I thought it might be good form to collect this month’s 30 writer assignments at the beginning of the month. Now you can do one assignment each...

Actors-Turned-Authors: How Many Copies Did They Sell?

We always hear about those gargantuan celebrity book deals … but we rarely find out how those books actually fared on the shelf. The results may surprise (or sadden, or maybe even satisfy) you. According to industry analyst Nielsen BookScan, which tracks sales from most major retailers, here are some of...

Rejection Letter Bingo

From the March/April 2013 issue of Writer’s Digest, here’s Rejection Letter Bingo. Print it out and play along. But hurry—I’m getting close!     —Zachary Petit is an award-winning journalist, and the senior managing editor of Writer’s Digest magazine. He’ll be at the Writer’s Digest Conference East April 5-7 in New York, doing some fun panels on...

Bug-Out Bags for Writers

As we all know from watching shows like Doomsday Preppers, you’ve got to be ready to get out of dodge fast if things hit the fan. So what should a writer have in their bug-out bag? Whether you’re escaping the zombie apocalypse or just fleeing to a cabin for a weekend...

Jodi Picoult: Top 10 Writers I Admire, and Why

It’s time for another writerly list. If you liked Erik Larson’s Top 10 Essentials to a Writer’s Life and Sherman Alexie’s Top 10 Pieces of Writing Advice I’ve Been Given (Or That I’ll Pretend Were Given to Me), here’s an excellent one from bestselling novelist Jodi Picoult: Top 10 Writers I Admire, and...

Happy Holidays From WD

Happy holidays from all of us here at WD. Here’s to hoping your own holidays, no matter what they are or where they may take you, are safe, filled with writing and the occasional mulled wine, and as elusively stress-free as they come. Today we randomly stumbled across a cache of...

Writing challenge! Can you write an opening sentence to a story incorporating these 3 words? (Winners will be published in WD)

Looking for a little Friday procrastination in the form of a writing challenge? Close that Excel spreadsheet you’re working on, minimize your boss’ emails or postpone your daily chores (come on, nobody would rather change a litter box than write, right?). Take five: It’s time for our Your Story contest. Basically,...

Flowchart: How Do I Publish a Book?

One of the questions we get asked the most at Writer’s Digest: How do I publish a book? Well, we decided to finally answer it in this flowchart from our November/December 2012 issue, which is on newsstands now. Hope you get a kick out of it. Happy Friday.   Want more?...

Sherman Alexie’s Top 10 Pieces of Advice for Writers

National Book Award winner Sherman Alexie’s birthday is Sunday, and his new title Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories was released this week. To celebrate the short-story writer (War Dances), poet (The Business of Fancydancing) and novelist (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian), here’s some advice Alexie shared with us in...