My Best Posts From 2010

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Here's the very best advice I offered here at NO RULES in 2010. This can serve as a handy guide, or share this link with writers who might be new to NO RULES. (What a good Christmas gift, right?)

Above: my cat Zelda. She approves of this list. Plus I don't think I posted one cat photo all year. I think there's a law that every blog needs to use at least one cat photo each year (if not each month).

Craft & Technique

The Biggest Bad Advice About Story Openings

Story Openings: What Constitutes Significant/Meaningful Action?

Your No. 1 Challenge If You're Writing a Memoir

Getting Published

How to Ensure 75% of Agents Will Request Your Material

The Ultimate Guide to Novel Queries

Your Self-Help Book Should Not Be a Thinly Disguised Memoir

7 Free-to-Enter National Writing Competitions That Impact Your Career

Marketing & Promotion

The Most Important Marketing Acronym: WIIFM

Why Don't Publishers Market & Promote the Books They Publish?

Authors: Build Your E-mail List—NOW

Blogs/Websites

Why Start a Website or Blog If You Have Nothing to Promote?

What Should Fiction Writers Blog About?

Should You Hire Someone to Design Your Website?

Social Media

When or Why Social Media Fails to Sell Books

Should You Create a Facebook Fan Page? (And If So, When?)

Self-Publishing

The No. 1 Most Important Factor for Writers Considering the Self-Pub Option

The Best 101 on Self-Publishing + Resources

Self-Publishing and Online Publishing Will Not Ruin Your Chances at a Traditional Deal


The Writing Life

Your Excuses About Writing Are Vitally Important

The Secret to Writing & Publishing That Should Be Taped to Your Wall

Industry Trends

The 3 Best Takeaways for Writers From BookExpo America

Best Resources for Successful Writers of the Future

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I also started a Back to Basics series in 2010. Click here to see all entries in the category. I cover 101 questions like how to get published, how to start blogging, what your rights are as a writer, and why you might be getting rejected.

Want more? Check out The Secrets to Publishing Success (Jane's 2009 Tough Love Guide)

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Steal vs. Steel vs. Still (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use steal vs. steel vs. still on with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2020 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 23

For the 2020 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets write a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. Today's prompt is to write an explanation poem.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Upcoming Short Short Story Competition Deadline and Writer's Digest Turns 100!

This week, we’re excited to announce the upcoming deadline for the Short Short Story Competition, seven new writing courses, and more.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2020 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 22

For the 2020 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets write a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. Today's prompt is to write a bird poem.

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Telling Our Family Stories: 4 Reasons Why It’s More Important Than Ever to Write Our Family Narratives

Nonfiction author Mary Beth Sammons explores the questions that cause us to learn more about our ancestries and what we learn about ourselves and each other when we do so.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2020 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 21

For the 2020 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets write a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. Today's prompt is to write a tell blank poem.

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Kristin Bair: Resilience and Inventiveness in the Face of Uncertainty

Author Kristin Bair shares how her latest novel changed structure during the writing process and what launching a book during a pandemic taught her about the publishing industry.

Making an Independent Short Film or Book Trailer

Take Two: Making an Independent Short Film or Book Trailer

With the film industry constantly changing, it's never been more important for a writer to take control of their own career. Use independent film tips to create a short film or book trailer to help get your writing noticed.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2020 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 20

For the 2020 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets write a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. Today's prompt is to write a target poem.