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.


An E-Publisher That Specializes in Original Short Works

The digitization of publishing has spawned many new presses and publishing models, and one of them is 40K Books. 40K takes advantage of the e-book format by specializing in novelettes and focused original essays. Based in Milan, Italy, they handle world rights, translating and selling their e-books in different languages (English, Italian, Portuguese, French...

How to Find a Direct Line to Your Readers

On tap today we have a Q&A with author and independent publisher Patricia V. Davis, who will be a featured speaker at the Writer’s Digest Conference in NYC. I first met Patricia at a Writer’s Digest event, before her first book was released. Since then, her publishing career has steadily grown, culminating in the...

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 1/14/11)

I watch Twitter, so you don’t have to. Visit each Sunday for the week’s best Tweets. If I missed a great Tweet, leave it in the Comments. Want to know about the best stuff I read each week? Click here to subscribe to my shared items. Quick plug for online classes this month: On...

My Session Picks for the Writer's Digest Conference

If you’re attending the WD conference next week in New York, there will be an embarrassment of programming riches to choose from. Here are my session picks based on what you’re hoping to get out of the conference. (There’s still time to register, and you can register on-site. Use my speaker code, WDspeaker, to...

Get Your Nonfiction Query Critiqued By Me

Next week, I’m teaching an online class on landing a nonfiction book deal. The registration fee ($89) includes a critique of your query letter or hook, up to 300 words. If you’re ready to pitch your project or send out a proposal package, this is an excellent opportunity to find out how an industry...

Have High Expectations for Yourself

I’m honored & privileged to be included in a round-up of advice on how to beat back low expectations and live an audacious life. You can click here to read all 19 tips. Here’s mine: If you want to make a change in your life, you need to own the change and declare to...

Pitch Your Work at the Writer's Digest Conference

Next week, the annual Writer’s Digest Conference will convene again in the heart of New York City. It includes an extensive pitch slam offering an opportunity to pitch your work to agents (more than 50 are attending)—speed dating style. I’ll also be there to present the following: Your Publishing Options: Should you pursue self-publishing,...

The Evolution of How I Use Twitter

I’ve written several lengthy posts on how writers can use Facebook to platform build. I’ve said very little about Twitter use. That’s because it’s so difficult to give advice on how to use Twitter that would apply to everybody. So much depends on: What type of audience you’d like to reach and how (or...

Make It Memorable: What Does That Mean?

One my favorite pasttimes these days is pondering the kind of writing advice that can actually hurt writers—usually by becoming a cliche, without offering a deep understanding of a complex issue. Here’s an excellent cliche explained and presented by Lee Martin, in the most recent Glimmer Train bulletin: “Make it memorable,” the editor of...

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 1/7/11)

I watch Twitter, so you don’t have to. Visit each Sunday for the week’s best Tweets. If I missed a great Tweet, leave it in the Comments. Want to know about the best stuff I read each week? Click here to subscribe to my shared items. Best of the Best The Top 10 Fiction...

Writing Memoir: Art vs. Confessional

Continuing with the theme of memoir this week, Susan Cushman (pictured above) is today’s guest on NO RULES. Like Darrelyn Saloom, Susan was deeply impacted by the reading of Robert Goolrick at the Oxford Creative Nonfiction Conference. Susan will be a new monthly guest blogger, so please offer her a warm welcome. You can...

Limited Offer: Get Started Writing in 2011

I’m often asked by absolutely new writers: How do I get started? In honor of the new year, Writer’s Digest is offering a comprehensive package of tools, for a limited time, that helps answer that question. This package includes: An independent study writing workshop, based on a best-selling online course offered from Writer’s Digest...

3 Important Privacy Issues in Memoir

Today’s guest post is from author and professor Tracy Seeley. Her memoir, My Ruby Slippers, will soon be available from University of Nebraska Press. Visit her blog, or pre-order the book from Amazon. When we write memoir, we pull back the curtain on our private lives and invite readers in. We willingly give up...

Can You Write Like Jane Austen?

If you’re a Jane Austen fan, you don’t want to miss this. My friends & colleagues over at Adams Media are running a Bad Austen writing competition. In the tradition of the Bulwer-Lytton Contest and the Bad Hemingway and Bad Faulkner contests, here’s your chance pen a scene of a “classic” novel Jane Austen...

A Feast of Days (Part 4): The Last Chapter

Today’s guest post is by emerging writer Darrelyn Saloom, who recently attended the Oxford Creative Nonfiction Writers Conference, and is offering up a 4-part narrative on the experience. Darrelyn is a regular guest here at No Rules. Follow her on Twitter or read her previous posts. (Pictured above: William Faulkner statue on the square,...

To Inspire You in the New Year

One year ago, I spent the holidays in Ireland, more than half of it alone on the island of Inis Meain. (Go see photos.) It wasn’t a digital sabbatical—I had an Internet connection at my cottage—but it was a giant swath of solitude. I’ve been reading a book titled Solitude, and have found a...

If I Write a Book: Your Feedback

About five years ago, I revised a new edition of the Beginning Writer’s Answer Book for Writer’s Digest, which is in Q&A format. A lot has changed since then. Obviously the industry is transforming, but also my beliefs about writers and writing have changed. (See here for my post about the dirty secret about...

Is It Tougher to Get Published These Days?

Over at Writer Unboxed today, I have a guest post that tries to pin down how much “trouble” the book publishing industry is in, and how that affects writers. It’s a highly complex issue, so my answer could be summarized as, “It depends on who you are.” There’s no doubt, though, that the industry...

A Feast of Days (Part 3): Pitch Fest

Photo by Michael L. Stanton Today’s guest post is by emerging writer Darrelyn Saloom, who recently attended the Oxford Creative Nonfiction Writers Conference, and is offering up a 4-part narrative on the experience. Darrelyn is a regular guest here at No Rules. Follow her on Twitter or read her previous posts. On the thirteenth...

Best Tweets on Holiday (Back in 2011)

Best Tweets rests this week and next. We’ll be back on Sunday, January 9! Make sure you didn’t miss these 2 roundups: 10 Best Tweets of 2010 (outside links) My 10 Best Posts From 2010 (NO RULES posts) Looking for more? Want to know about the best stuff I read each week? Click here...

My Best Posts From 2010

Here’s the very best advice I offered here at NO RULES in 2010. This can serve as a handy guide, or share this link with writers who might be new to NO RULES. (What a good Christmas gift, right?) Above: my cat Zelda. She approves of this list. Plus I don’t think I posted...

A lot happening at Poetic Asides

There’s a lot going on at the Poetic Asides blog as far as challenges at the moment (which I’ll dig into below), but I wanted to let everyone here know about my recent decision to self-publish a chapbook of poetry that will include 21 poems, many of which have been previously published in publications...

10 Best Tweets of 2010

In my estimation, here are the best and most helpful tweets (or posts) for writers that I collected in 2010. Craft & Technique Overwriters Anonymous: for fiction writers, how to avoid dreadful prose that gets you rejected[from Editorial Ass, a traditional book publishing editor] Urgency vs action in your writing [from published author Teresa...

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 12/17/10)

I watch Twitter, so you don’t have to. Visit each Sunday for the week’s best Tweets. If I missed a great Tweet, leave it in the Comments. Want to know about the best stuff I read each week? Click here to subscribe to my shared items. Best of the Best Self-Promotion With Integrity@jafurtado 10...

8 Easy Things To Do BEFORE You Start Your Novel

1. Buy a timer and place it next to you as you write. This will help you keep track of how long you’ve been working—and how much time you have to go. 2. Place a “Do Not Disturb” note on your office door when you’re writing, if you don’t live alone.      ...