memoir

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7 Things I’ve learned So Far, by Kelsey Miller

7. You can’t force ideas to come, but you can invite them. The muse makes her own hours and if it’s her day off, then oh well. I released my first book six months ago, and I’ve been thinking about Book #2 since the moment I finished the proof pages. But you can’t force your...

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New Literary Agent Alert: Jennifer Wills of The Seymour Agency

Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Jennifer Wills of The Seymour Agency) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list. About Jennifer: Jennifer has five years of experience in some of the publishing industry’s leading literary agencies. She worked with publishers around...

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New Literary Agent Alert: Vanessa Robins of Corvisiero Literary

She is Seeking: NA—all, especially humor; YA—gritty plots with diverse characters; Fiction—thought out thrillers, romance with strong female leads, heavily based science sci-fi, and sports-centric plots; Nonfiction—memoirs including coming of age, cultural/ethnic/sexuality, survivor, and humor themed. Bonus points for Medical Narratives (characters with medical illnesses and chronic diseases, or MS told through a medical...

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New Literary Agent Alert: Suzy Evans of Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency

Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Suzy Evans of Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list. About Suzy: Suzy is an attorney, author, and agent who holds a Ph.D. in history from UC Berkeley. Her most recent books include MACHIAVELLI...

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How to Write About Your Pets

You want to write about your pets. You know you do. And your pets are all for it. The cat’s been walking across the keyboard for days now. Even the dog, curled up in bed next to you while you work, looks longingly at you. You know he’s thinking: “Make me a star!” People...

What We Can Learn From Multi-Genre Authors

One of my favorite parts of my job as editor of Writer’s Digest is overseeing our WD Interview cover stories in every issue—deciding who to feature, making sure we’re hosting a conversation that covers ground our readers won’t find elsewhere, and quite often even conducting the interviews and crafting the profiles myself. I’ve always firmly...

Are You a Born Storyteller?

I had a dear friend who had a gift for telling stories about her day. She’d launch into one, and suddenly everyone around her would hush up and lean in, knowing that whatever followed would be pure entertainment. A story of encountering a deer on the highway would involve interludes from the deer’s point...

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Go There: Lessons In Writing From Dear Old Dad

BY ANDREW MARANISS People assume that when your father is a Pulitzer Prize–winning, bestselling author, he must have helped you a lot with your first book. For a while, I thought he might, too. I’d email first drafts of my chapters for “Strong Inside” to my mom and dad, and I soon discovered why...

A Writer Never Averts Her Eyes: On Killing My Father

BY LAURA PRITCHETT The greatest truth about the greatest writing, if you ask me, is this: The author never, ever averts her eyes. Easier said than done, of course, and I’ve not always lived up to my own dictum – for the sake of avoiding collateral damage, I’ve let my gaze waver; or, worse,...

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What You Really Need to Know About Memoir Writing

I've always thought that if I were to ever write a memoir, it'd be the most boring 80,000 words in the history of publishing (or at least a close second to this). My life has, thus far, been fun, entertaining and interesting to me, but how would that translate into an interesting...

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Focus On: The Memoir Essay

If you’re interested in sharing your personal experiences through writing, consider learning more about the memoir essay. The following excerpt is taken from Crafting The Personal Essay by Dinty W. Moore. You’ll learn what exactly a memoir essay is and three essential tips to writing one of your own. What is a memoir essay?...

Writing Life Stories

Realistic Expectations For Writing a Memoir

Learn what a memoir is and how to create memories with today’s tip of the day taken from Writing Life Stories by Bill Roorbach, with Kristen Keckler. What is a memoir? Memoir is rendering of a lived life, as filtered through memory and the wider net of the needs of narrative. Memoir just tells...

5-Minute Memoir: The Beauty of Bones

5-Minute Memoir is exactly what it sounds like—a personal essay on some facet of the writing life, be it a narrative or a reflection, pensive, touching or hilarious. Enjoy this installment from N.M. Kleby.

Memoir Spotlight: Jeannette Walls

Jeannette Walls is the author of The Glass Castle, a memoir with more than 3 million copies in print, and Half Broke Horses, a bestselling true-life novel based on her grandmother. She lives in the Virginia piedmont with her husband, John Taylor. Does the type of writing you’re doing (nonfiction, memoir, fiction) alter your...

Historical Fiction Spotlight: Paula McLain

Paula McLain’s latest book is the bestselling The Paris Wife, a fictional account of Ernest Hemingway’s first marriage and upstart years in 1920s Paris, told from the point of view of his wife, Hadley. The author of two poetry collections, a memoir and an earlier novel, McLain holds a Master of Fine Arts in...

Writer’s Digest Annual Competition

For 80 years, the Annual Writer’s Digest Competition has rewarded writers just like you for their finest work. We continue the tradition by giving away more than $30,000 in cash and prizes! Win a trip to the Writer's Digest Conference in New York City !

3 Ways to Know When to End Your Chapters

At some point in writing your novel, you have to start thinking about “chaptering,” the process of deciding exactly when and where your chapter breaks will go. Here are three simple, essential techniques that can help you make effective chapter pauses.

by Aaron Elkins