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.
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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.]

WD Magazine
Daniel Levin Becker: On the Forgotten Art of Letter Writing

Daniel Levin Becker: On the Forgotten Art of Letter Writing

Author, translator, and editor Daniel Levin Becker discusses his hopes for future letter writing like those featured in the new anthology, Dear McSweeney's: Two Decades of Letters to the Editor from Writers, Readers, and the Occasional Bewildered Consumer.

e.g. vs. i.e. (Grammar Rules)

e.g. vs. i.e. (Grammar Rules)

Let's look at the differences between e.g. and i.e. with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

20 Authors Share Their Biggest Surprise in the Writing Process

20 Authors Share Their Biggest Surprises in the Writing Process

Experienced writers know to expect the unexpected. Here are surprises in the writing process from 20 authors, including Amanda Jayatissa, Paul Neilan, Kristin Hannah, and Robert Jones, Jr.

Ruth Hogan: On Infusing Personal Interests in Fiction

Ruth Hogan: On Infusing Personal Interests in Fiction

Author Ruth Hogan discusses the process of learning a new skill in writing her new novel, The Moon, The Stars and Madame Burova.

Do You Find an Editor or Agent First?

Do You Find an Editor or Agent First?

It's a common question asked by writers looking to get their first book published: Do you find an editor or agent first? The answer depends on each writer's situation.

writer's digest wd presents

WDU Presents: 7 New WDU Courses, a Chance at Publication, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce seven new WDU courses, a chance at publication, and more!

What Is a Professional Editor and Why Should Writers Use One?

What Is a Professional Editor and Why Should Writers Use One?

Editor is a very broad term in the publishing industry that can mean a variety of things. Tiffany Yates Martin reveals what a professional editor is and why writers should consider using one.

From Script

How to Find the Right Reader for Feedback, Writing Female Characters and Tapping into Emotionally Authentic Characters (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script Magazine, read film reviews from Tom Stemple, part three of writing female characters, interviews with Free Guy scribes Zak Penn and Matt Lieberman, The Eyes of Tammy Faye screenwriter Abe Sylvia, and more!

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Chasing Trends

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Chasing Trends

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so this series helps identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is chasing trends in writing and publishing.