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.


When It Comes to Getting Published, There’s No Shortage of New Ideas

Today I’m talking with Jesse Potash, the founder of PUBSLUSH (www.pubslush.com), which presents a unique new model for getting published. Because it’s so unusual – and because they’re a non-profit – I thought you might find it of interest. Jesse was a panelist at last month’s Writer’s Digest Conference. Here’s the scoop: PUBSLUSH Press...

How to Become a Better Writer

We’re always excited when a new issue of Writer’s Digest hits newsstands—especially when it’s delivering something our readers have specifically been asking for. So we’re especially jazzed about this week’s release of our March/April issue and its theme, “Make Your Writing Stand Out.” Whenever we poll the writing community, time and again we find...

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Your Moment of Friday Writing Zen: Simple Writing Advice to Keep You Going This Weekend

Every week, I spelunk into the Writer’s Digest archives to find the wisest, funniest, or downright strangest moments from our 92 years of publication. Today, from August 1967, are highlights of a love letter to language by Arnold Gingrich, the co-founder of Esquire magazine. In 1967, he presented the keynote at the first annual Writer’s Digest Conference—and...

How to Find Your Narrative Voice

A strong narrative voice gives your fiction a distinctive flavor and makes it stand out in a slush pile. But many beginning novelists struggle with finding their narrative voice, and some opt out altogether by emulating another writer’s voice. That’s unfortunate, since an original voice always makes other storytelling elements —including characterization, dialogue and...

How to Research Your Novel

Just because you’re writing fiction, it doesn’t give you license to make everything up. Well, okay, so maybe it does. It’s your story, you can do whatever you want. But, let’s say you want someone to actually read it. Now, things are a little different. You want to write a story that will draw...

21 Ray Bradbury Quotes: Your Moment of Friday Writing Zen

Every week, I spelunk into the Writer’s Digest archives to find the wisest, funniest, or downright strangest moments from our 92 years of publication. Today: An array of quotes from the brilliant mind of Ray Bradbury, author of Farenheit 451, Zen in the Art of Writing, and many other books. (Also, once again, we’ve...

Don’t Write a Book Without a Buyer

(The following is a guest post by Rob Eagar) During the recent housing crash that devastated our economy, a lot of builders built homes based on speculation called “spec homes.”  In these situations, a house was planned, designed, and built before a prospective buyer was confirmed.  Building spec homes offers the benefit of speedy...

Expert Tips for Writing Action Scenes

Think “action scene,” and you probably think of the Hollywood version: A character is thrust into high-stakes, physical drama (a gunfight, a daring rescue, a desperate escape) that changes her in some important way, and moves the action forward. Action scenes serve the same function in your fiction, but they need not be over-the-top...

Do You Really Need to Write Every Day?

So many writers are adamant about the importance of writing every day that just the act of putting the adage into practice has become a way to define yourself as A Serious Writer. But what if, for one reason or another, you struggle to write daily? Can you make just as much progress toward...

Cartoons for Writers

Vintage Writer Cartoons and Jokes (Plus, Win a Free Book)

(Your Moment of Friday Writing Zen) Every week, I spelunk into the Writer’s Digest archives to find the wisest, funniest, or downright strangest moments from our 92 years of publication. This week, here’s an array of vintage writer cartoons/writer comics from 1952 (which was a delightfully writer-joke–heavy year for the magazine). Also! we dipped...

5 Tips for Fearless Writing

Putting ideas out in the world takes courage, so playing it safe with your writing can be an appealing strategy. Faced with limited writing time and abundant competition, you figure out what works, then follow that tried-and-true trajectory—for years, maybe. But if your go-to methods are starting to feel stagnant, and your writing lacks...

Finding Creative Writing Ideas

Where Do You Get Your Creative Writing Ideas? As a writer one of the most common questions you’ll hear is “where do you get your ideas?” Non-writers think that writers have some magical power or that ideas for writing a story just come to them from out of nowhere. And maybe that does happen...

3 Lessons in Writing (and Great Stories) From the Super Bowl

Like most writers, there’s not much I love more than a great story. And when you look beyond the creative new commercials, over-the-top halftime entertainment and an excuse to (over)indulge in beer and bar food, story is the real reason even non-fans tune in to the Super Bowl every year. There are incredibly human...

Challenge Assumptions to Sell More Books

Guest post by Rob Eagar Every author wants a lot of people to buy their books. But, people won’t buy a book unless they feel a reason to read – regardless if it’s fiction or non-fiction. People want to know up-front if your book will help solve a problem, inspire them to think bigger,...

The Secret to Writing a Standout Picture Book

As any children’s picture book author will attest, writing for children is not easier than writing for adults. In fact, it’s probably more difficult, and here’s why: The story must appeal to a child and the adult reading it to her (not to mention editors, agents, and publishers). Picture books are short, and a...

How to Get a Short Story Published Like a Pro

As a writer you probably hear a lot of advice about how to get your novel published, how to write a perfect query letter, how to get an agent or editor’s attention and so forth. But what if you want to know how to get a short story published? How is the process different...

What You Should Know About the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

The very narrow annual submission window is now open for the much-buzzed-about Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (learn about it here). If you’re an unpublished or self-published first-time novelist, you’re eligible to enter now through February 5 (or until the limit of 5,000 entries have been received) to win the chance to get your first...

Tips to Make Selling Your Fiction a Reality

Guest Post by Rob Eagar Earlier this year, I heard a publishing executive say, “The best way to market your fiction is to write more fiction.” I disagree with this idea, because it insinuates that you can ignore marketing your original book. Writing more stories does not a marketing plan make. In a crowded...

Top Tips From the Writer’s Digest Conference

The staying power of events like this weekend’s Writer’s Digest Conference comes down to one thing: Momentum. It’s energizing being in the company of so many like-minded people—the solidarity is encouraging, and the enthusiasm is contagious. Perhaps best of all, you don’t have to attend in person to pick up on the positive energy....