Editors’ Newest Concern: Penmanship

Screen-Shot-2012-12-13-at-3.49.31-PMRecently at the Writing 3.0 Conference, a panel of editors surprised attendees when they said that while plot and character development are important, the key to getting their attention—and a book contract—is excellent penmanship. “Perfect handwriting is what sets the best writers apart from the rookies,” says popular novel editor Ozzie Gib at the April Fool’s Publishing House.


If penmanship were the barometer for measuring writing talent, I’d be in a whole lot of trouble—my cursive looks like the work of a 2-year-old (and if they saw my cursive I’m pretty confident most 2-year-olds would be offended by that statement). I thank the heavens every day for computers and QUERTY keyboards. They make my writing legible. Penmanship aside, I have something much more awesome to announce:



Now that we’ve had a little fun, it’s time for you to show off your creative writing skills and come up with the best fake news headline and enter it in our Facebook WRITE YOUR BEST FAKE HEADLINE contest (If you’re familiar with The Onion, you should have no problem coming up with great ideas). Here are the rules:

  1. Write a fake headline of no more than 12 words.
  2. Enter it on Facebook right here (you have to click LIKE first).
  3. Contest runs from April 1-7. Winners will be announced on this blog on April 8, which will also be posted to Facebook.
  4. Prizes: The Grand-Prize Winner (selected by the WD Editorial Staff) will win a 1-year VIP Package. The top 5 runners-up will receive a 1-year subscription to Writer’s Digest magazine, the best magazine for writers around (admittedly, I’m biased).


I hope everyone is able to have some fun with this. Can’t wait to read all the entries. And don’t worry—you won’t be judged on your penmanship, I promise. (FUN FACT: Ozzie Gib was the name of my Cabbage Patch kid—who knew he’d grow up to be a fake editor at a fake publishing house.)


For more on Brian, his blogs and his book, click here.

Follow on Twitter: @BrianKlems


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