the writing life

So long … farewell…

Hi Writers,I wanted to let you all know that I’m leaving my position as editor of Writer’s Digest effective October 10. I’ll be checking in and trying to chat more before I leave. The reason I’m leaving is that they’ve appointed a new editorial director (Jane Friedman, editorial director of Writer’s...

Announcing: The Great WD Writing Prompt Contest

Hi Writers,One of the most fun, creative and productive writing exercises I know of is coming up with writing prompts, so I thought I’d hold a little contest here on “The Writer’s Perspective” and on our forum, to come up with the best writing prompt. So if you’ve come up with...

Stephenie Meyer and the first draft

Hi Writers,I’ve been editing a feature for an upcoming issue of Writer’s Digest. It’s entitled “Roughing up your First Draft.” There’s a quote from Ernest Hemingway in the lead: “The First Draft of Anything is Shit” In light of this quote, I’ve been thinking about Stephenie Meyer, author of the mega-selling...

5 Nifty Google Writing Tools

Hi, writers, Maria is likely sipping exotic neon cocktails and hanging out with top writers as the Maui Writers Conference wraps up in Hawaii, so this week I’m taking over The Writer’s Perspective and the WD fort in Cincinnati, wearing an old lei from a luau-themed office party. I originally planned...

Alegra Clarke's latest entry

Hi Writers,Writer’s Digest 2007 Annual Competition winner Alegra Clarke has been updating us on her progress to get her novel published. Here are photos of our trip to New York. And here is her last post about her trip to New York to meet with agents. Alegra’s latest entry: Before I...

Writers are Readers

Hi Writers,Publishers Weekly published an essay last week “Two-Way-Street” by Charlotte Cook. Cook, an independent publisher of her own book line, Komenar Publishing, was the subject of a short profile in Writer’s Digest last year. She writes that she was deluged with queries, phone calls and submissions after that article came...

Writer's Digest TV: Lee Child

Hi Writers,Another video today–I know, I spoil you. Today’s video is an interview with Lee Child, author of the spectacular Jack Reacher series. Here Lee talks about why he switches between first and third person point-of-view in his novels. Keep Writing,Maria You might also like:No Related Posts

Writer's Digest TV: M.J. Rose

Hi Writers,It’s another visual aid bonus day here on the Writer’s Perspective! Here’s a short video interview with bestselling author and Writer’s Digest marketing columnist M.J. Rose, who knows more about marketing books than anyone I’ve ever met. She’s a true industry dynamo and visionary. Check her out here. Keep Writing,Maria...

Free Books for Funny People

Hi Writers,I wanted to let you all know that TOW Books, a humor book imprint here at F+W Media is offering free digital downloads of their books, including that of my favorite humorist, Jason Roeder who writes the Roeder Report for Writer’s Digest. If you’re not familiar with Jason, here’s one...

Writer's Digest TV: Interview with David Baldacci

Hi Writers,If there’s one thing I’ve learned from spending time with all the thriller writers at ThrillerFest 08, it’s that the adage, “write what you know” holds little merit. Here’s another short Q&A I did with David Baldacci, in which he discusses the merits of writing what you don’t know. Keep...

Writer's Digest TV: Sandra Brown

Hi Writers,Remember back last month when I was at ThrillerFest, the great writing conference/party thrown by the International Thriller Writers? Well, I got the chance to do some video interviews with a few thriller luminaries, including the amazing Sandra Brown. So here’s a a short (around 4 minutes) Q&A I did...

More on simultaneous submissions to agents

Hi Writers,Since there were so many comments and questions about the Brad Thor post on simultaneous submissions to agents, I asked my favorite agent expert, Chuck Sambuchino, of the Guide to Literary Agents to give us his take on the issue. Here’s Chuck: First of all, I have to disagree with...

Announcing: WD Live author interviews

Hi Writers,Writer’s Digest is pleased to announce the debut of WD Live, a series of free live video interviews with top-name authors from ThrillerFest 2008. Just to give you a taste of what’s to come, here’s an entertaining segment with authors Steve Berry, Brad Thor and James Rollins, discussing how they...

Brad Thor on simultaneous submissions

Hi Writers,I’m in the middle of transcribing a lengthy Q&A with Brad Thor (The Last Patriot) for the December issue of Writer’s Digest and I thought what he had to say about literary agents was quite interesting for going against the grain of traditional publishing wisdom (this is unedited, direct from...

From fired to inspired?

Hi Writers,I’ve been attending a lot of writing conferences recently and in listening to keynote speeches I’ve noticed an odd correlation in the first-published stories of many writers. Just off the top of my head, I can name three bestselling authors who cite being fired as the impetus to write and...

Mary Feuer's New York trip to meet agents

Hi Writers,Remember last month when I was blogging about my trip to New York to accompany our annual contest winners to meet literary agents? I asked our winners to sum up the experience for me, and here’s Mary Feuer’s experience in her own words: It’s hard to believe it’s been an...

The L-Word

Hi Writers,To follow up on my previous post, I wanted to comment further on the term “literary” as in a “literary novel.” First, I want to say that I love smart, character-driven literary novels. They are what I gravitate to for my own leisure reading. So please don’t get too angry...

Random stuff overheard from New York literary agents

Hi Writers,Sorry for the lame headline. I’m putting the October issue of Writer’s Digest to bed and my clever headline writing capacity is shot. But I wanted to share some of the notes I kept during my recent trip to New York to accompany our annual competitions winners to meet agents...

Alegra Clarke on her New York trip to meet agents

Hi Writers,I asked our annual competition winner, Alegra Clarke (see posts below) for some decompression notes from her New York trip to meet agents and she sent me this lovely little essay. She’s promised to send me updates on her progress in selling her novel and I’ll post future updates here....

I'm in New York!

Hi Writers,I’m reporting live from New York City, where I’m accompanying our annual competitions winners Alegra Clarke and Mary Feuer. So Alegra and Mary and me are making the rounds to meet literary agents. This is part of their prize for winning our annual competition for the past two years. I...

Miranda Rights for Writers

Hi Writers, I guess you all know by now how much entertainment I get from our writing forum. Anyway, we were having a discussion yesterday about how being a writer affects our close personal relationships. This was contributed by Cindy Adams (aka “Gookblink”) and I’m posting here with her permission. Enjoy....

Ira Glass on Storytelling

Hi Writers,I want to share this wonderful, instructional video I came across: Ira Glass on the art of storytelling. I’m a huge NPR “This American Life” fan and I also recommend “This American Life” on Showtime, which I suppose you might call short video stories of real people. The following video...

Writing through Recession

Hi Writers,Well, I have to admit to feeling more than the usual post-Catholic-childhood guilt lately. Not only is there a global economic recession and I’m actually employed in a volatile industry; The Ultimate Cheapskate (below) yelled at me for my fondness for expensive, frothy espresso drinks. You could argue that there’s...

Maria Gets Cheap

Hi Writers,I met up with one of my favorite WD forumistas this morning at the Joseph-Beth bookstore here in Cincy—the one and only “Ultimate Cheapskate” (aka Jeff Yeager). Jeff has been pedaling his bike around the country on a book tour to spread his gospel of cheapness. You can read all...