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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.


If Your Goal is to Get an Agent…

…the September issue of WD–which hit newsstands just last week–is tailor-made for you. We began working on this annual issue devoted to all things agent back in the spring with a lot … Read more

"Thought Virus" Protection for Writers

Jane kindly invited me to guest blog here on There Are No Rules while she’s enjoying some R&R this week, and I happily agreed. You may recall that the last time I posted … Read more

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 8/21/09)

I watch Twitter, so you don’t have to. Visit each Friday or Saturday (or Sunday!) for the week’s best Tweets. If I missed a great Tweet, leave it in the Comments. Always … Read more

Pain & Struggle: A Fundamental Part of Writing

Nearly one year ago, I came across the following passage on Galleycat: Reflect on this philosophical dispute submitted by one poetry-devoted reader: “The book was a collection of love poems by William … Read more

5 Questions for Those Who Don't Have Time to Market/Promote

(Pictured above: Writer’s Digest and HOW editors/designers, promoting “Art of Manliness” project) “The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his … Read more

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 8/14/09)

I watch Twitter, so you don’t have to. Visit each Friday or Saturday (or Sunday!) for the week’s best Tweets. If I missed a great Tweet, leave it in the Comments. Always … Read more

Figuring Out Your Facebook Strategy: 3 Essential Tips

In May 2006, after reading this article in the New Yorker, I joined Facebook, which at that time was primarily used by students. Not being a student, I found very few people … Read more

Hiring a Professional Editor vs. Getting Amateur Critiques

Today I gave a live online class on The First Five Pages—how editors evaluate your manuscript in an instant. It is one of my favorite classes to teach because in one page, … Read more

5 Reasons Pitches Can Be Detrimental Rather Than Helpful

I’ve read and listened to hundreds if not thousands of pitches during my decade in book publishing. And while I think it’s important for writers to get out there and interact with … Read more

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 8/7/09)

I watch Twitter, so you don’t have to. Visit each Friday or Saturday (or Sunday!) for the week’s best Tweets. (If I missed a great Tweet, leave it in the Comments, or … Read more

The Voice of Truth and Lies

Today’s guest post is from regular contributor Darrelyn Saloom. Follow this most lovely writer on Twitter. The photo above is of Darrelyn’s grandmother Ara Coleman Wilkerson (1900-1929). I’ve written about feeding The … Read more

The Art of Live Pitching (3 Rules)

Today I arrived in Portland, Oregon, to participate in the Willamette Writers Conference. I first came here in 2004 to hear pitches and take appointments, and I often return to Cincinnati with … Read more

Want a Crystal Ball to See the Future of Publishing? You Have One.

I’m often asked by writers what the future of publishing looks like. Will print survive? (Yes.) Will newspapers survive? (A few.) Will book publishing become a do-it-yourself free for all? (For some.) … Read more

Keep Your Career Alive by Following the Reader

Today I had a wonderful conversation with Mr. Media (Bob Andelman) about Writer’s Digest, the writing/publishing community, and the future ahead for writers. You can listen to the recording of the live … Read more

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 7/31/09)

I watch Twitter, so you don’t have to. Visit each Friday or Saturday (or Sunday!) for the week’s best Tweets. (If I missed a great Tweet, leave it in the Comments, or … Read more

Are You Too Ambitious for Your Own Good?

Ira Glass has some of the best advice I’ve ever read for writers, at least in relation to great storytelling. He’s said that you have to be willing to be bad at … Read more

The Four Stages of Marketing & Promotion (and MWW Recap)

This past weekend, I spoke at the Midwest Writers Workshop in Muncie, Ind. It was my seventh year speaking there, and remains one of my favorite conferences. (Read my three recaps from … Read more

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 7/24/09)

I watch Twitter, so you don’t have to. Visit each Friday or Saturday (or Sunday!) for the week’s best Tweets. (If I missed a great Tweet, leave it in the Comments, or … Read more

Your Protagonist Must Have a Goal (Plot-Protagonist Secret #3)

Today’s guest post is the final installment of a three parter, and comes from the experienced Jim Adam, who I met at a recent Writer’s Digest Editors’ Intensive. Visit his homepage, or … Read more

Does Your Novel Fall Victim to the Protagonist/Goal Switcheroo? (Plot-Protagonist Secret #2)

Today’s guest post is the second installment of a three parter (ending Friday), and comes from the wise Jim Adam, who I met at a recent Writer’s Digest Editors’ Intensive. Visit his … Read more

How to Prevent Reader Boredom in Your Novel (Plot-Protagonist Secret #1)

Today’s guest post is a three parter (ending Friday), and comes from the inimitable Jim Adam, who I met at a recent Writer’s Digest Editors’ Intensive. Visit his homepage, or follow him … Read more

5 Elements of Query Letters

Earlier this year, I taught an online class where I offered “extreme makeovers” on query letters. To help ensure everyone took away some concrete advice, every attendee was invited to submit a … Read more

Turn Your Dragons Into Princesses

Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet is one of the greatest writing advice books of all time. You can highlight nearly every passage as an inspirational gem. But there isn’t any quantifiable … Read more

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 7/17/09)

I watch Twitter, so you don’t have to. Visit each Friday or Saturday for the week’s best Tweets. (If I missed a great Tweet, leave it in the Comments, or if you … Read more

10 Steps to Put Social Networking Under Your Spell

Today’s guest post is from content maven Meryl Evans. She helps businesses build and maintain relationships with clients and prospects through content. She’s also a long-time blogger who started blogging on June … Read more

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