Editors Blog

There Are No Rules Blog by the Editors of Writer’s Digest

Get on the cutting edge of today’s publishing trends and how authors can succeed in a world of fast-paced technological change, guided by the editors of Writer’s Digest. You’ll get an inside look at the work, play, and passion of the publishing business and find practical tools for success.


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 magazine  writing alongside...

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Get Your First 500 Words Critiqued by Agent Roseanne Wells: March 14 Webinar on “The Essentials of Characters, Plot & Setting”

A lot of WD's webinars are focused on a particular element or genre. Sometimes they're on writing something specific like a picture book, while other times they're intensives on query letters or synopses. But this week it's time to get back to basics. It's time to talk about the crucial and essential story elements...

Submission Letters: How Much Is Too Much?

As a writer, I always thought I had the submission cover letter down pat. But managing a literary magazine truly opened my eyes to the staggering breadth of what many writers consider to be an acceptable first impression. Since 2009, I have managed Hobo Camp Review—a literary press dedicated to the traveling word—in my...

3 Surprising Lessons About Publishing Today

With the newsstand release of every new edition of Writer’s Digest magazine, I typically share a few of the best tips relating to the issue’s cover theme here. But in compiling our February 2013 issue—focused on innovative ways to Make Money Writing and featuring an unexpected WD Interview subject—I found that it held so...

The Real Oscar Winner: Great Storytelling

Even before Quentin Tarantino proclaimed in his Academy Award acceptance speech for Best Original Screenplay (Django Unchained) that this would “be the writers’ year,” it was impossible not to notice all the exemplary written work—books and screenplays alike (and stage plays, for that matter)—at the root of this year’s big Oscar-buzzed films. Strong storytelling...

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 to finish your...

Writer’s Digest Announces New Self-Publishing Conference

New One-Day Event Focuses on the Art and Business of Savvy Self-Publishing NEW YORK – February 12, 2013 – As options for self-publishing increase, barriers to becoming a published author have become greatly reduced. In a new one-day conference, Writer’s Digest will host a lineup of experts who will examine new publishing options and...

On Writing Romance

Writing Gender-Specific Dialogue

Writing dialogue to suit the gender of your characters is important in any genre, but it becomes even more essential in romance writing. In a romance novel, characters of opposite sexes are often paired up or pitted against each other in relationships with varying degrees of complication. Achieving differentiation in the tones and spoken...

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 Why. Happy Friday....

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Agent Jennifer Laughran Teaches the Webinar “Catching and Keeping an Agent” (and Critiques Registrants’ Queries!) on November 21, 2013

This week, literary agent Jennifer Laughran (Andrea Brown Literary) is going to provide a ton of instruction in her brand new webinar for WD. The webinar's instruction is about both the process of finding & pitching agents as well as what to do after you have an agent. But to round out the presentation,...

Famous First Lines Reveal How to Start a Novel

On this day in 1873, writer and politician Edward Bulwer-Lytton died. One thing he left behind: The first line from his novel Paul Clifford: “It was a dark and stormy night …” The sentence went on to serve as the literary posterchild for bad story starters, and it also became the inspiration behind the...

Don’t Let Worry Drag You Down

Writers are often worriers. We’re plagued with indecision about the choices we make for our stories. We doubt the quality of our writing. We wonder if we’ll ever break through into the realm of publication, recognition, and even celebration. We sometimes fret that we’re wasting our efforts entirely in a profession with few to...

How to Start a Novel Right: 5 Great Tips

It’s said that in life, there are two types of people: those who look at the glass as half empty, and those who see it as half full. But for those of us who’ve set the goal of starting a novel, I think it really comes down to how we view the blank page:...