I hadn’t read a children’s novel in an embarrassingly long time when I landed my first deal to write exactly that. Naturally, I went into it with all kinds of notions as to what writing for children entailed. Things like: don’t be too scary, use simpler language, write about whatever it is kids like...
Writing conferences offer valuable chances to meet face-to-face with agents—but in the heat of the moment, nerves can get the best of even the most confident writers. Here are 5 steps to coming out on top.
Video book trailers are fast becoming an effective tool for book promotion. Try these approaches for creating and distributing one of your own.
Think there’s nothing you can do to help your submission’s chances? Think again.
This is for the dreamers, the believers, for those who thrive on the hope of fulfilling the potential we’ve all been blessed with.
Here's how to explore the functions of dialogue and narration in a scene, so that you can find the mix that’s right for your novel.
Research has proven that writing about traumatic events, if done properly, can be beneficial. I spent nearly a decade working on a memoir about my brother’s suicide, our lives, and my grief. Here’s what I learned along the way.
When you're struggling to write, it's important to know you're not alone. Here are 10 common challenges all of us writers have to deal with from time to time.
Many writers, particularly younger ones, struggle to find their voice: the word choice, the cadence, the tone, the very punctuation—the stuff that slyly suggests or that screams that you wrote it. Here's how to find yours and use it to your advantage.
You can write that novel. It is possible to get published. I'm going to help. Here are 12 lessons I learned as I navigated the path to publication.
The following five strategies transform your blogging time from a promotional activity into a book-writing activity as well.
Here are a list of 10 ingredients necessary to pull off a spectacular book launch party.
Choosing writing as a career provides one of the most important keys to achieving work-life balance: flexibility. For the most part, writers decide when to write, what to write, where to write, and how much to write. Though we may work the same amount of hours as those in traditional office/commute/matchy suit/lunch break jobs,...
Becoming a masochist early on – embracing the pain to the point of enjoyment - may be the single best investment an aspiring writer can make. The pain takes many shapes, all of them useful along the writer’s path.
Here are 10 smart, yet simple ways for every writer—from novelists to journalists to poets—to enrich his or her mind and become better at cultivating ideas and putting them to the page.
I've always been a big nerd. But for one shining moment, one GLORIOUS MOMENT, when I finished writing my book, OH BOY, YOU'RE HAVING A GIRL: A Dad's Survival Guide to Raising Daughters, I felt like a complete and utter badass. Here's why.
All the editors on Writer’s Digest staff aren’t just 9-5 editors, we are also writers and storytellers—which is why we are so passionate about writing and publishing. “WD Editors Are Writers Too” is a column on this blog to give you a sneak peek at the folks who lead the WD community—including their quirks,...
Meeting characters in a novel is very much like meeting people in real life. When we start reading a book, it’s as if we moved to a new town and were meeting a whole bunch of new people at the same time. Your job as a writer is to create that town and populate...
After you publish any short piece, consider taking steps in two main categories (other than just Facebook or Twitter) to help your work reach an audience.
Dimensional characters are born from drama—not description. Here’s why (and how) to delve into your characterizations one defining scene at a time.
The process of finding a literary agent or publisher is grueling and filled with rejection land mines. And, once published, there is no guarantee a book will be successful or that an author will sell a second book. A writer must be prepared for rejection every step of the way.
I was forty-three when I wrote my first novel and realized I’d found my passion. Several years and four novels later, I finally decided to land an agent and get published. Here's how I found success.
The story of meeting my agent, Barbara Poelle, takes place over an afternoon webinar -- and it changed my life forever. Here's how a webinar helped me land my agents (and, eventually, a book deal).
On a chilly winter’s eve back in 2013, my forlorn, un-agented self was perusing Janet Reid’s blog. I kept noticing the Query Shark speak in a teasingly scathing tone of another agent. An agent who had been driving her mad of late, yanking riches out from under her well-primed nose. That agent’s name was...
Well, hello there! I'm an agent. Aloof and hard to snare, like this season's Prada bag or a yeti. I know what you're wondering: How do you stand out in a query in box along with the 497 other queries? I have the secrets here.