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Writer's Digest July/August 2021 Cover Reveal

The July/August 2021 issue of Writer's Digest features a collection of articles about writing for change plus an interview with Jasmine Guillory about her newest romance, While We Were Dating.

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.

Writer's Digest July/August 2021 Cover

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+ 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

[Read Syed Masood's article about letting character's surprise you.]

+ 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

Download a PDF of this issue from the Writer's Digest Shop today. 

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. 

From Script

Adapting True Crime and True Stories for Television (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script magazine, exclusive interviews with writers and showrunners Robert Siegel and D.V. DeVincentis (“Pam & Tommy”), Patrick Macmanus and Liz Hannah (“The Girl from Plainville”) who both have taken creative liberties in adapting true stories for a limited series.

Chanel Cleeton: On Reader Enthusiasm Conjuring Novel Ideas

Chanel Cleeton: On Reader Enthusiasm Conjuring Novel Ideas

Author Chanel Cleeton discusses how reader curiosity led her to write her new historical fiction novel, Our Last Days in Barcelona.

Writer's Digest Interview | Marlon James Quote

The Writer's Digest Interview: Marlon James

Booker Prize–winning author Marlon James talks about mythology and world-building in his character-driven epic Moon Witch, Spider King, the second book in his Dark Star Trilogy in this interview from the March/April 2022 issue of Writer's Digest.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: New Podcast Episode, a Chance at Publication, and More!

This week, we're excited to announce our newest podcast episode, your chance to be published, and more!

David Adams Cleveland: On Truth Revealing Itself in Historical Fiction

David Adams Cleveland: On Truth Revealing Itself in Historical Fiction

Award-winning novelist David Adams Cleveland discusses the timeliness of his new novel, Gods of Deception.

Lisa Jewell | Writer's Digest Interview Quote

The WD Interview: Lisa Jewell

The New York Times-bestselling British author discusses creating thrilling plot twists and developing characters in her 19th novel, The Night She Disappeared, in this interview from the Jan/Feb 2022 issue of Writer's Digest.

5 Tips for Successfully Pitching Literary Agents in Person (That Worked for Me at the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference)

5 Tips for Successfully Pitching Literary Agents in Person (That Worked for Me at the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference)

Author Anat Deracine found her agent at Writer’s Digest Annual Conference. Now she’s sharing what she’s learned to help other writers become authors. Here are her 5 tips for successfully pitching literary agents in person.

Tips for Reading Poetry in Front of an Audience

8 Tips for Reading Your Poetry in Front of an Audience

Poet's Market editor and published poet Robert Lee Brewer shares eight tips for reading your poetry in front of an audience.

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.