Sherman Alexie on the Literary Thank-You Note

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It’s simple advice, and shorter advice than any of the other tips in our series. But they're some of my favorite words of the year. Here's the latest from the Top 20 Tips From WD in 2010 series, followed by a regular weekend prompt. We'll close the series out with No. 1 on Wednesday.

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Happy Weekend, and Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

No. 2: Saying Thanks

“When you read a piece of writing that you admire, send a note of thanks to the author. Be effusive with your praise. Writing is a lonely business. Do your best to make it a little less lonely."

—Sherman Alexie, "The WD Interview Takes 10,"September 2010 (click here
to check the full issue out)


Feel free to take the following prompt home or post a
response (500 words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring) in the Comments section below.
By posting, you’ll be automatically entered in our
occasional around-the-office swag drawings.
you’re having trouble with the
captcha code sticking, e-mail your piece and the prompt to me at, with “Promptly” in the subject line, and I’ll
make sure it gets up.

He'd never been in her bathroom before. As he turned on the hot water to wash his hands, the mirror, which was prone to fogging, fogged. And he saw what was written there.

If you’re looking to get started in writing, or to launch a fresh salvo
for your words in 2011—be it to chip away at that novel you have in the
works, or to grow a short story into something more—Writer’s Digest’s
latest kit might be able to help. Available only in January (fewer than
40 remain, and they’re available at more than 70 percent off the sticker
prices), WD has bundled together the online workshop Getting Started in
Writing, the book First Draft in 30 Days, the book From First Draft to Finished Novel, the Writer’s Digest Weekly Planner, a webinar on first pages, the magazine Writing Basics, and the book Keys to Great Writing. Check it all out here.

Jan. 21-23
Join us in New York for the Writer's Digest Conference.
We always have a blast, and it can be a great move for your craft and
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signed clients, and went on to negotiate six-figure deals for them). On
tap this year:

  • Our signature agent pitch slam, featuring at least 57 agents representing a variety of genres and styles
  • Sessions on the future of publishing, craft, platform, social media, freelancing and much, much more
  • Panels and Q&As with agents and other pros

Click here to learn more. Hope to see you there!