Writer's Digest celebrates 100 years with the November/December 2020 issue and we couldn't be more excited to share not one, but two, amazing covers with you.
Below you'll find my editor's letter which appears in the issue, explaining our thoughts as we put the issue together and previewing some of the exciting features inside.
A Love Letter
It’s hard to overstate just how much Writer’s Digest has survived to make it to its centennial. The Great Depression. World War II. The many wars and societal revolutions of the fifties, sixties, and seventies. The recession of the eighties. The technological revolution and the creation of the internet. The shift from being a family-owned business to corporation with investors. The Great Recession. Bankruptcy and changes in corporate ownership. And most recently, a global pandemic.
It is because WD survived all that, that I view this anniversary issue as a love letter to every single person who has contributed to keeping WD alive over these amazing, and tough, and change-filled 100 years. Thank you to the Rosenthal family for the vision of starting a magazine—a community—like this. To the publishers, editors, designers, illustrators, production coordinators, ad sales reps, and all the other behind-the-scenes folks who made sure each issue over the many decades didn’t just come to be, but was the best it could be, thank you for your hard work and long hours. To the absolutely incomparable list of writers who shared their wisdom, insights, and encouragement, either in articles written or interviews given, this magazine was made better by your contributions.
But most of all, this is a love letter to our readers who want to be, who are learning to be, who ARE writers (own that label no matter which stage you’re at). You give the magazine purpose and the motivation to keep going. Without you, WD wouldn’t exist, so on behalf of all the current and former WD staffers, we offer our sincerest thanks.
It’s with you in mind that we’ve curated a collection of articles and interviews that is part retrospective and part glimpse of the future. You’ll find extra archive material such as covers as they progressed through the decades, WD trivia with amusing factoids, and the story of how WD got its start. You’ll also find features of writing history, advice, and craft from Jane Friedman, Elizabeth Sims, and Jane K. Cleland. The WD Interview has become a staple of each issue and we couldn’t pick just one, so you’ll find exclusives with Celeste Ng, Erik Larson, and a double interview with literary power couple Nick Laird and Zadie Smith.
This issue also debuts the first in a collection of new columns you’ll see coming in 2021. “Writers on Writing” will allow a working writer to reflect on a writing topic of particular interest or curiosity to them. We are thrilled to have rising star Bryan Washington, award-winning author of the short story collection Lot and the new novel Memorial, as our first guest columnist.
The WD team started planning this issue more than a year ago and putting it together has been a joy. We hope you find as much pleasure and as many sparks of inspiration in reading it as we found in creating it.
- Amy Jones, Editor-in-Chief
It's not too late to sign up for a Writer's Digest subscription and receive one of these commemorative issues!