Inspired by our January 1976 issue themed “Writing for Social Change,” the July/August 2021 issue themed Writing for Change, with a subtheme of finding the courage to write. We aim to cover the variety of ways in which author and/or their characters make courageous choices, including in writing about topics that inspire change in themselves, their readers, or the world.
+ Tightrope Writer: Syed Masood, author of the moving and at time hilarious novel The Bad Muslim Discount, writes about the courage it takes for novelists to write about potentially controversial topics and how the characters’ journeys in those book may echo those of the novelist. By Syed Masood
+ Writing to Change the World: Crime fiction and thriller author of Winter Counts, David Heska Wanbli Weiden shares ways in which fiction writers can expose important but little talked about social justice issues while still thrilling readers. By David Heska Wanbli Weiden
+ Writing Through the Lens of Social Justice: Journalists may not set out on a project intending to write about a social issue, but may happen upon one during the course of their research. Journalist and former WD editor-in-chief Tyler Moss explains what responsibility journalists have to give voice to the issues they find. By Tyler Moss
+ Authoring Change, One Book at a Time: Many writers have the ability and knowledge necessary to write a prescriptive nonfiction book, a research-based book, or even a memoir or novel meant to move readers toward change. This article will explain how change happens, offer tips on how to motivate and inspire readers, and provide advice on how to incorporate this information into the writing of a manuscript. By Nina Amir
+ The Quest for the Edge: Writing is full choices that require bravery on the part of the writer, from hitting “send” on a submission to an agent, to insisting/prioritizing your writing time in the face of naysayers or other obligations, to admitting you need to change direction in a project you’ve invested time and energy on. Elizabeth Sims gives tips for how to confront and move forward in the face of these and other scary choices. By Elizabeth Sims
+ Get Emotional With Your Characters: Sometimes, having and sharing emotions is the bravest choice a person or character can make. Author of the bestselling writing craft books Writing the Intimate Character, Make a Scene, and How to Write a Page-Turner, Jordan Rosenfeld offers examples for how to make readers become emotionally invested in your characters. By Jordan Rosenfeld
+ The WD Interview: Jasmine Guillory: New York Times bestselling romance novelist Jasmine Guillory sits down with WD editor-in-chief Amy Jones to talk about her new release, While We Were Dating (July 2021). By Amy Jones
+ Writers on Writing: Catherine Coleman Flowers: A MacArthur Fellow and founder of the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice, Catherine Coleman Flowers shares why she wrote the book Waste about failing water and waste sanitation infrastructure in rural communities. By Catherine Coleman Flowers
Plus, we offer a mini feature on Kat Chow, NPR reporter and co-founder of the Code Switch podcast on her new memoir, Seeing Ghosts (August 2021); how to write after traumatic events; and the importance of book covers for indie authors. This issue also includes the latest regular columns Publishing Insights from Robert Lee Brewer on hot writing markets, Take Two on screenwriting with the editor of Script, Sadie Dean, MFA Workbook, Conference Scene, Level Up Your Writing (Life), All About the Pitch, Meet the Agent, Funny You Should Ask, Breaking In, and more.