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Brian Klems’ The Writer’s Dig

Brian A. Klems is a published author and the online editor of WritersDigest.com. His blog, which covers everything writing—from grammar rules to publishing—is one of the most popular in the writing community. Follow him on Twitter @BrianKlems.

4 Things You Should Know About Writing a Cozy Mystery Novel

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BY ZAC BISSONNETTE Tales spun with lots of suspense—but no sex or violence—are finding a wide audience of armchair detectives. If you’re considering venturing into cozy-mystery writing, here are four things you should know Read more

WD Has Awesome Writers’ Conferences in both NYC and LA in August 2014. The NYC Event Has a 50-Agent Pitch Slam!

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As we do each year, Writer’s Digest is putting on some awesome (and HUGE) writers conferences on both coasts of the country. These conferences bring together writers from all over the country, and lead to all kinds of good things, like signing with agents, meeting your writer friends for life, keeping your finger on the pulse of the industry, and/or simply recharging your writing bat. Read on for more info. We hope to see you there. (The NYC event is from Aug. 1-3, 2014, while the LA event is from Aug 15-17, 2014.) Read more

7 Steps to Creating a Flexible Outline for Any Story

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Mention the word outline in a room full of writers, and you’re sure to ignite a firestorm of passionate debate. Writers either love outlines, or they hate them. We either find them liberating, or we can’t stand how confining they are. Let’s take a look at how to get the most out of the outlining process, beginning with the shaping of your premise and working all the way through to a complete list of scenes. Read more

The Top 10 Publishing Insiders (& Outsiders) to Follow Online

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We’ve compiled a list of 10 people who are “must-follows” when it comes to getting the inside track on publishing news. We also have a bonus list at the bottom of all the Writer’s Digest editors who are online and constantly sharing great tips, advice and news on writing. If you’re looking for the best people to follow online, these lists are an excellent starting point. Read more

Do Your E-Book Right (and Start Making Money) — July 31 Webinar With Jane Friedman

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The industry has exploded with new and free opportunities to help you publish your work electronically, at little or no cost to you. Learn how to get visibility for your work by … Read more

What Writers Need to Know about the E-book Market

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When it comes to a changing marketplace, knowledge is power. Here’s a look at how digital books are changing publishing as we know it—and what that means for you, your writing career, and the future of your work. Read more

How to Finish That Novel

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At one time or another, all writers would probably describe themselves as “frustrated” by the writing process. With writer’s block, computer malfunctions, Twitter, kids, and Tetris all clamoring for our attention, it’s hard to pen a short story, let alone a novel. But if you’re serious about writing you’ll make it work. Here are some tips on finishing that novel. Read more

The Secret To Writing Stronger Feature Articles

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BY SCOTT ATKINSON Find the narrative tension hidden in your story, and you can turn a run-of-the-mill assignment into the kind of feature piece that leaves editors—and readers—clamoring for more. Here’s how to do it. Read more

The Keys to Good Science Fiction & Fantasy Storytelling

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Writing strong exposition in speculative fiction (or SF, the umbrella term for fantastical fiction genres such as science fiction, fantasy, paranormal and horror) is a balancing act. It’s like watering a plant. Too little water and it dries up and dies; too much water and it rots and drowns. Here’s how to get it just right. Read more

5 Things Writers Should Ask Potential Agents

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Here’s a list of the five most crucial questions you should ask any agent before agreeing to join her client list. Read more

Want to Appear in Writer’s Digest? Here’s how.

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Have you ever tried to write a book in a month—as part of NaNoWriMo, with a writing group, or just on your own? What was your experience? What were the challenges, and … Read more

9 Ways to Crack Into Major Markets With Personal Essays

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Follow these 9 simple steps for writing what you already know, and you could get your big break—and a paycheck to match—faster than you might think. Read more

How to Be a Writer Literary Agents Want

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All agents, admittedly or not, have a wish list—markers that help us determine which writers are primed for our representation. With hundreds of projects flooding our inboxes daily, writers who follow these simple guidelines can catch the eye of an agent and rise like a lotus blossom out of the slush pile. Here’s how to do it. Read more

Will Publishers Buy a 200,000-Word Novel?

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You put all your effort in to writing a book and, when finished, it comes out a little longer than most writing guidebooks suggest. Can you still sell that lengthy novel? Here’s the answer. Read more

Live Chat with Thriller Writer Steve Berry, June 11, 2014

Booktrib is hosting a live chat with bestselling thriller writer Steve Berry, author of The Lincoln Myth on June 11, 2014, at 1 p.m. Eastern time. The event is sponsored by Writer’s Digest. You’re welcome to submit questions ahead of time here or just join the chat on Wednesday and ask then. Read more

6 Things to Keep in Mind When Gathering Testimonials/Book Blurbs

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Testimonies are a long-established method of spreading the word about our good words. Today more than ever, testimonies are a necessity for your “platform”—incorporation on the front and back covers of your book, in the first pages, and, of course, on your website. Gathering effective testimonies depends on several things. Here are six aspects to keep in mind. Read more

The Passing of Author Jay Lake

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Award-winning author and friend of Writer’s Digest Jay Lake passed away after a long battle with cancer. Our very own WD Books Editor James Duncan pays tribute to Lake and his legacy here. Read more

The 12 Steps of Queryers Anonymous

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BY AYA DE LEON Querying have you down? Know that you’re not alone. Follow these steps to help you get through the emotionally exciting (yet tough) process of querying agents. Read more

5 Tips for Hitting Bestsellers Lists

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BY GRETCHEN CRARY As a book publicist, one of the very first questions I’m usually asked is, “Can you help make my book into a bestseller?” While there is no tried and true way, what I can tell you about are some of the secret tips that the big publishers use to give their books the best chance to hit those sought after lists. Read more

Live Chat with Thriller Writer David Morrell, June 5, 2014

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Booktrib is hosting a live chat with high action thriller writer David Morrell, author of First Blood (the award-winning thriller where Rambo was created) on June 4, 2014, at 4 p.m. Eastern time. The event is sponsored by Writer’s Digest. You’re welcome to submit questions ahead of time here or just join the chat on Wednesday and ask then. Read more

How Long Until You Can Follow Up on Query Letters?

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Q: I e-mailed a query to a magazine editor three weeks ago and haven’t heard from him. The writer’s guidelines state, “Don’t call us; we’ll call you if we want to use … Read more

Should You Write for Yourself or for the Reader?

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BY KIP LANGELLO Here’s why you should be crafting your book with one specific reader in mind—and that reader isn’t who you think it is. Read more

Help WD Choose Our Next Annotated Classic: Will it be Huck Finn? Sherlock Holmes? You Tell Us.

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Right now, we need help picking the next classic to annotate. Here’s how you can help. Read more

Funny You Should Ask – Agents, Rough Drafts and More

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Agent Barbara Poelle tackles reader questions giving thoughtful (and funny) answers. Read more

The 7 Tools of Dialogue

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My neighbor John loves to work on his hot rod. He’s an automotive whiz and tells me he can hear when something is not quite right with the engine. He doesn’t hesitate … Read more

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