Skip to main content

Sherman Alexie on the Literary Thank-You Note

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.

Image placeholder title

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)

***

WRITING PROMPT: The Fog
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.
If
you’re having trouble with the
captcha code sticking, e-mail your piece and the prompt to me at
writersdigest@fwmedia.com, 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
career (at one of our recent events, agents Janet Reid and Andrea Hurst
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!

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Strength Lost

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Strength Lost

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, let a character lose their powers.

Sharon Short | Point of View Quote 1

Managing Point of View: Mythbusting

In the first of this three-part series, novelist and WD columnist Sharon Short breaks down 7 of the most common myths about choosing which POV is right for your story.

Channel Your Inner Authorpreneur for Your Writing Labor of Love

Channel Your Inner Authorpreneur for Your Writing Labor of Love

As self-publishing continues to become an attractive and popular options for writers, it’s important to know what you’re getting into and to have the right expectations. Here, author and entrepreneur Tom Vaughan shares how to channel your inner “authorpreneur” to help your book find its readers.

Mark Kurlansky: On Coincidences Driving Memoir

Mark Kurlansky: On Coincidences Driving Memoir

Award-winning author, playwright, and journalist Mark Kurlansky discusses the experience of channeling Ernest Hemingway in his new memoir, The Importance of Not Being Ernest.

In-Between: Writer's Digest 2nd Annual Personal Essay Awards Winner

In-Between: Writer's Digest 2nd Annual Personal Essay Awards Winner

Congratulations to Alyssa Rickert, Grand Prize winner of the 2nd Annual Writer's Digest Personal Essay Awards. Here's her winning essay, "In Between."

Things To Consider When Writing About Ghosts and the Supernatural in Fiction

Things To Consider When Writing About Ghosts and the Supernatural in Fiction

From maintaining subtlety to visiting haunted places, author J. Fremont shares everything to consider when writing about ghosts and the supernatural in fiction.

6 Effective Steps To Promote Your Forthcoming Book on Social Media and Feel Good About It

6 Effective Steps To Promote Your Forthcoming Book on Social Media and Feel Good About It

Social media is a daunting albeit important aspect of promoting our work. Here, author Aileen Weintraub offers six steps to promote your book on social media authentically.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 609

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a world-building poem.

Writer's Digest Presents podcast image

Writer's Digest Presents: World-Building (Podcast, Episode 5)

In the fifth episode of the Writer's Digest Presents podcast, we talk about world-building in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, including interviews with authors Whitney Hill (fiction) and Jeannine Hall Gailey (poetry).