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!

Abate vs. Bait vs. Bate (Grammar Rules)

Abate vs. Bait vs. Bate (Grammar Rules)

Learn the differences of abate, bait, and bate on with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Sarah Pinsker: On Reviving the Set-Aside Story

Sarah Pinsker: On Reviving the Set-Aside Story

Award-winning novelist Sarah Pinsker discusses how she picked up and put down a story over many years which would eventually become her latest release, We Are Satellites.

Mary Alice Monroe: On Writing the Family Saga

Mary Alice Monroe: On Writing the Family Saga

Award-winning author Mary Alice Monroe discusses what it's like to draft a series that spans generations and storylines.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Final Competition Deadline, Short Story Virtual Conference, and more!

This week, we’re excited to announce the Self-Published Book Awards deadline for 2021, details on the upcoming Short Story Virtual Conference, and more!

John B. Thompson | Book Wars

John B. Thompson: On Researching Changes in the Book Publishing Industry

John B. Thompson, author of the new book Book Wars, shares the research that went into his account of how the digital revolution changed publishing for readers and writers.

From Script

Supporting AAPI Storytellers and Tapping into Mythical World Building (From Script)

In this week’s round-up from, meet South-East-Asian-American filmmakers and screenwriters, plus interviews with screenwriter Emma Needell and comic book writer/artist Matt Kindt, TV medical advisor Dr. Oren Gottfried, and more!

What Is a Personal Essay in Writing?

What Is a Personal Essay in Writing?

In this post, we look at what a personal essay (also known as the narrative essay) is, including what makes it different from other types of fiction and nonfiction writing, examples of effective personal essays, and more.

FightWrite™: How Do People Who Don’t Know How to Fight, Fight?

FightWrite™: How Do People Who Don’t Know How to Fight, Fight?

If your character isn't a trained fighter but the scene calls for a fight, how can you make the scene realistic? Author and trained fighter Carla Hoch has the answers for writers here.

April PAD Challenge

30 Poetry Prompts for the 2021 April PAD Challenge

Find all 30 poetry prompts for the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge in this post.