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Writer's Digest May/June 2021 Cover Reveal

Presenting the May/June 2021 issue of Writer's Digest featuring a collection of articles about how curiosity fuels writers, including the 23rd Annual 101 Best Websites for Writers and a new interview with Chris Bohjalian.

When you get down to it, most writing begins with curiosity, whether the source is a spark of interest in the mind of the person writing or whether a writer is answering the calls of curious readers. In the May/June 2021 issue of Writer’s Digest, we aim to do both as well: answer questions about topics that pique writers’ curiosity and provide resources that will enable curiosity to be a force of inspiration for your work. Here’s what we’re excited about in this issue:

Writer's Digest May/June 2021 Cover Reveal

+ Writers on Writing: Chanel Cleeton got curious about her family’s move from Cuba to the U.S. during the Cuban Revolution. That exploration opened up a treasure trove of ideas, including for her newest novel The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba (Berkley, May 2021). She explains how in this essay. By Chanel Cleeton

+ IndieLab: Metadata may not sound very interesting but it’s a critical part of making sure your book can be found by readers. Bestselling hybrid author L. Penelope shows how self-published authors can make metadata do the heavy lifting of getting your book in front of readers. by L. Penelope

+ 101 Best Websites for Writers: What began as a way to show writers how the internet could be of use to them, our 23rd Annual 101 Best Websites for Writers now offers a solution to the overwhelm that can happen when writers look to the internet for help. By Amy Jones, Cassandra Lipp, and Moriah Richard

+ Open Endings: Writing the best ending for your book is like sticking the landing of challenging gymnastics pass: It’s hard but can make or break the performance. Craft guru Jordan Rosenfeld breaks down the dos and don’ts of what to wrap up with a tidy bow and when to leave a little bit up to readers’ imaginations. by Jordan Rosenfeld

+ Drift: The Curiously Effective Way to Beat Procrastination: Writers are told procrastination is bad. But, what if you could make that procrastination work for you? Host of the Author Level-Up podcast and self-published author of more than 50 books Michael La Ronn shares tips and tricks reframing writer’s block and letting curiosity influence your work. by Michael La Ronn

+ Layer Character Motivation Like a Russian Nesting Doll: Having compelling character motivation is critical to any story. Jeff Somers explains how to create characters that have layers of motivational forces by nesting them within each other, like a Russian nesting doll. by Jeff Somers

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+ WD Interview with Chris Bohjalian: Chris Bohjalian joins the ranks of authors interviewed twice by WD. This time he shares the backstory for his newest novel Hour of the Witch (Doubleday, April 2021) which he began writing in 2001 (yes, you read that right) and how to create the exact right ending for the story you’re telling. By Amy Jones

+ Winners of the WD Personal Essay Award and the WD Self-Published E-Book Award: In this issue we announce the winners of not one but two WD writing competitions: Personal Essays chosen by guest judge Windy Lynn Harris and the WD Self-Published E-Book. Interviews by Cassandra Lipp and Moriah Richard

Plus we explore the value of mentors and how to find one, and in honor of April Fool’s Day, Mark Shatz (bestselling author of Comedy Writing Secrets) shares exercises for writing funny. This issue also includes the latest regular columns Publishing Insights from Robert Lee Brewer on hot writing markets, Take Two on screenwriting with the new editor of Script, Sadie Dean, Conference Scene, Level Up Your Writing (Life), All About the Pitch, Meet the Agent, Funny You Should Ask, Breaking In, and more.

[Order a PDF of just this issue here.]

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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).

Heirloom

Heirloom

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, someone's shown up demanding your narrator's family heirloom.

May Cobb: On Stolen Moments

May Cobb: On Stolen Moments

Author May Cobb discusses offering readers a summer of mayhem with her new novel, My Summer Darlings.

The Time Is Now: Securing First-Hand Accounts of History for Writing Projects

The Time Is Now: Securing First-Hand Accounts of History for Writing Projects

Writer Stephen L. Moore discusses the benefits of having first-hand accounts for historical writing and offers advice on best practices in securing interviews while there’s still time.

From Script

Character Exploration and Development in Television (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script magazine, exclusive interviews with writers, showrunners and more who share a common thread of character exploration and development!