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.


Who's Listening to You? (AWP Thoughts)

While delivering a session at the Writer’s Digest Conference (read this very kind & generous recap from George Davis!), I mentioned a few ways that writers can waste their time: By not submitting your best work to commercial publishers or agents By publishing your work digitally when your audience wants print (or vice versa)...

What I'm Looking Forward to at AWP

Today I’m headed to the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference. I’ve been going to AWP since 2004, and it is one of the largest events I attend—more than 8,000 writers, professors, and professionals. When I worked full-time at Writer’s Digest, I had to stick around the Bookfair hall at the Writer’s Digest...

5 Key Takeaways for Authors From Digital Book World

Last week, on the heels of the Writer’s Digest Conference, more than 1,000 publishing professionals gathered for Digital Book World to discuss the challenges of transitioning a very traditional business into the digital age. While I didn’t attend the show this year (had to teach!), I’ve read a considerable number of live blogs and...

Writing Above Your Head

In the latest Glimmer Train Bulletin, Clayton Luz has a wonderful piece about “writing above your head,” advice that he first heard from Richard Ford. Here’s a snippet of what Clayton says: Sometimes we have to let things we experience age a while in our souls before they ripen into a knowing. I’m with...

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 1/28/11)

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: check out these live, online classes...

How Writing About Loss Helps You Heal

Just a few days before my 27th birthday, she had a severe heart attack. I returned to Ohio, never imagining I’d remain there for over a year—Mom spending that entire time in one hospital or another, battling congestive heart failure, stomach paralysis, ventilator dependency, and lung cancer (the thing that would ultimately claim her...

How to Spot Questionable Writing Advice

Today, I’m a guest over at Writer Unboxed, where I detail how to identify what might be “bad” writing advice: How to Avoid Being Fooled By Bad Writing Advice Usually what constitutes “bad” advice is merely extreme advice. Go check out the full story! You might also like:No Related Posts

Thinking Beyond the Book: What's Your Demand Curve?

At the Writer’s Digest Conference, Richard Nash delivered an inspiring keynote. Writers loved it. Deep in his talk, a slide flashed up on the screen that, to the untrained eye, might not have seemed like much. It was a piece of innovative and critical business advice that spoke to the transformation of how authors...

Are You a Renaissance Soul? Use It to Your Advantage

Today’s guest post is from Michelle Ward, aka The When I Grow Up Coach, who has worked with over 100 creative types to help them with their career goals. — Are you a Renaissance soul? To find out, answer the following questions: Do you find a lot of different things interesting/worthwhile? Do you have...

MASTER Recap of 2011 Writer's Digest Conference

This post is a collection of: Best tweets from the 2011 Writer’s Digest Conference Links to official live blog posts of selected sessions Best recaps of the event by attendees & presenters BEST TWITTER TIPS BY CATEGORYSearch #wdc11 to view all tweets from the event. (Pictured above: Me hunched over at WDC11, tweeting, alongside...

A Writer's Platform: How to Make It Natural and Happy

The following guest post is by writer Erika Robuck, who attended the Writer’s Digest Conference on Saturday and generously offered to recap the sessions she attended. “The business of writing is the business of reading.”—Richard Nash These words from Richard Nash’s keynote address have been sitting in a quiet space in my writer’s heart since...

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 1/21/11)

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. This week’s installment is more abbreviated than usual...

A Luddite Enters the Digital Marketplace

Today’s guest post is from author Nath Jones. In 2011, Nath Jones will finish an MFA in creative writing at Northwestern University, where she was a nominee for The Best New American Voices 2010. Nath’s work is influenced by small towns, small business, the army, the ocean, and cornfields. She is in the process...

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...