Kelly's Favorite Picks

From books to magazines to digital downloads to online workshops to webinars, it’s easy to find the perfect holiday gift for the writer in you life! by Kelly Nickell
Publish date:

As the executive editor for Writer’s Digest Books, the workbook editor for Writer’s Digest magazine, and the point person for acquiring and developing new courses for, it’s my privilege to actively participate in selecting and shaping content for a variety of Writer’s Digest products.

With this in mind, I thought I’d tell you about a few of my absolute favorite WD products in case you’ve still got a little holiday shopping to do (either for yourself or someone else!).

The Art of War for Writers, just out from best-selling novelist James Scott Bell, is filled with timeless wisdom all fiction writers would do well to remember. (Read an excerpt.)
Chapter After Chapter by Heather Sellers has already been a Kelly’s Pick so I won’t go into great detail here except to say that as far as inspirational creativity/writing life books go, this one is a standout for me. The hardcover edition is still available in the, as is the recently released paperback edition. (Read an excerpt.)
The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide by Becky Levine is due out toward the end of the December (it’s available now as a digital download), and it’s definitely worth checking out. It not only shows you how to meaningfully contribute to another writer’s growth, but it also shows you how to better read and evaluate your own work. (Read an excerpt.)
Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript, 3rd edition by Chuck Sambuchino is a practical must-have for any writer who’s ready to start the submission process. (Read an excerpt.)
Writing the Young Adult Novel is an eight-week companion course to Writing & Selling the Young Adult Novel by successful YA author K.L. Going. The course educates on the YA genre and then helps you hone your writing techniques with lessons on dialogue, emotions, and more. (Read an excerpt from the book.)
Writing the Breakout Novel is an eight-week companion course to Writing the Breakout Novel and Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook both by literary agent Donald Maass. This course looks at every aspect of novel writing and does a terrific job of connecting and exploring all the different core elements.
• Essentials of Writing the Personal Essay II: Advanced is a wonderful, thoughtful course that explores such crucial topics as truth in nonfiction, intention and manipulation, plot and structure, and much more.

Writer’s Digest Magazine
• If you want a steady stream of great instruction and industry news, then now is the perfect time to subscribe to Writer’s Digest magazine. In 2010, the magazine is going to release its 90th Anniversary issue, a creativity issue, an issue on the ever-popular topic of agents, and so much more. You’ll find interviews and insider advice from top industry professionals and best-selling authors, great writing instruction in the Workbook (I promise!), and other fun surprises.

Other Products

• The 2010 Webinar schedule is shaping up to an outstanding one! Writer’s Digest Publisher and Editorial Director Jane Friedman will continue to present her popular First Page Novel Critiques webinar, and you’ll find Chuck Sambuchino popping up from time to time to present on agents. We’ve also got a number of free webinars planned for early 2010, including a live query letter critique, so don’t forget to check in from time to time!

writer's digest wd presents

WDU Presents: 7 New WDU Courses, a Chance at Publication, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce seven new WDU courses, a chance at publication, and more!

What Is a Professional Editor and Why Should Writers Use One?

What Is a Professional Editor and Why Should Writers Use One?

Editor is a very broad term in the publishing industry that can mean a variety of things. Tiffany Yates Martin reveals what a professional editor is and why writers should consider using one.

From Script

How to Find the Right Reader for Feedback, Writing Female Characters and Tapping into Emotionally Authentic Characters (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script Magazine, read film reviews from Tom Stemple, part three of writing female characters, interviews with Free Guy scribes Zak Penn and Matt Lieberman, The Eyes of Tammy Faye screenwriter Abe Sylvia, and more!

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Chasing Trends

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Chasing Trends

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so this series helps identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is chasing trends in writing and publishing.

Lessons Learned From Self-Publishing My Picture Book

Lessons Learned From Self-Publishing My Picture Book

Author Dawn Secord shares her journey toward self-publishing a picture book featuring her Irish Setter named Bling.

Poetic Forms

Crown of Sonnets: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the crown of sonnets, a form that brings together seven sonnets in a special way.

25 Ways Reflective Writing Can Help You Grow as a Writer (and as a Person)

25 Ways Reflective Writing Can Help You Grow as a Writer (And as a Person)

Reflective writing—or journaling—is a helpful practice in helping understand ourselves, and by extensions, the stories we intend to write. Author Jeanne Baker Guy offers 25 ways reflective writing can help you grow as a writer (and as a person).

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Being Followed

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Being Followed

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, let your character know they're being followed.

Amanda Jayatissa: On Spiraling Out in Suspense

Amanda Jayatissa: On Spiraling Out in Suspense

Author Amanda Jayatissa discusses the fun of writing "deliciously mean" characters in her psychological thriller, My Sweet Girl.