Skip to main content
Publish date:

Two Weeks of WD's Brave New World


It's been just a little over two weeks since Writer's Digest was re-organized within F+W Media as a community-category (rather than as separate media/business units). Hands down, it's the most exciting time I've ever experienced at WD (and not because of the frenetic energy and craziness of Q4 environment in a poor economy).

Here are the major projects I've been working on these first 2 weeks:

  • Releasing our books with new-media tools, delivering the same information or concept across all Writer's Digest-related properties in a way that makes sense for each one
    (see Donald Maass example below).
  • Launching new educational sessions (live webinars) through by end of year.
  • Planning an all-new writers conference in Fall 2009 that focuses on the business of being a successful author in a time of great change.
  • Developing a business plan for digitizing all of our backlist books so that writers can choose, chapter by chapter, what content they want and personalize it for their needs.
  • Creating a unified brand identity that helps everyone immediately recognize any kind of Writer's Digest experience.
  • Designating an Online Brand Editor who oversees and creates a strategy for our online content, no matter what its source (magazine, book, event, community/forum), and makes sure it all works in concert with each other. (And also evaluates what YOU visit and enjoy!)
  • Evaluating WD magazine's editorial plans for 2009: what should our feature packages be and how should the columns/depts change?
  • Launching of a new community site at (kind of like Facebook for writers), for subscribers of

The immediate benefits I've noticed:

  • We're starting to use our content in smarter ways and distributing it in different ways
  • We're making better use of our internal talent (editors), who can contribute and be involved across all writing-related properties, not just their formally designated piece of the pie
  • We're beginning to develop a more integrated and valuable online strategy that better serves writers

I think one of the best examples of our brave new world is how we plan to launch Donald Maass's new fiction-writing book next spring, Fire in Fiction. If this book had released a year ago, we would've run a couple ads, maybe scored an excerpt in the magazine, and that would be it.

Today, with WD run as a community-category, here's what's slated:

WD Magazine
Original article on fiction writing from Don to run in spring/summer 2009

Original online courses (regular courses plus brief webinars) built around the book, offered in the months prior to and following the book's release

Digital Products

Simultaneous Kindle and other e-book editions

Online at
Sneak preview chapter posted before publication
E-launch party on blogs/forums, featuring exclusive live chat with Don

WD Newsletters
Free chapter download and advance purchase incentive (buy book early, get access to exclusive online chat)

Feature Don as a speaker for at least one event in 2009

Of course, all this change doesn't come without its challenges, and you'll no doubt get to experience a little of that rough road with us, as we figure everything out. As we boldly move forward, I hope you will come to our aid with ideas and suggestions (and perhaps a sprinkling of patience).

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Ending Your Story Too Soon

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Ending Your Story Too Soon

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is ending your story too soon.

FightWrite™: Fight Scenes with Magic

FightWrite™: Fight Scenes With Magic

In this post, trained fighter and author Carla Hoch explores the process of writing fight scenes with magic—how to make the unbelievable believable, how limitations bring us closer to our characters, and more.

Invoice Template for Freelance Writers

Invoice Template for Freelance Writers

If you're a freelance writer who is able to secure assignments, an essential tool you'll need is an invoice. In this post, Writer's Digest Senior Editor Robert Lee Brewer shares a very basic and easy invoice template for freelance writers to get the job done (and get paid).

3 Things Being a Broadway Wig Master Taught Me About Storytelling

3 Things Being a Broadway Wig Master Taught Me About Storytelling

A career behind the curtain helped Amy Neswald in creating her own stories. Here, the author shares 3 things being a broadway wig master taught her about storytelling.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Out of Control

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Out of Control

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, let things get a little out of control.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Next Steps

Here are the final steps for the 14th annual November PAD Chapbook Challenge! Use December and the beginning of January to revise and collect your poems into a chapbook manuscript. Here are some tips and guidelines.

NaNoWriMo’s Over … Now What?

NaNoWriMo’s Over … Now What?

After an intense writing challenge, you might feel a little lost. Here are some tips from Managing Editor and fellow Wrimo Moriah Richard for capitalizing on your momentum.

Ian Douglas: On Telling the Truth in Science Fiction

Ian Douglas: On Telling the Truth in Science Fiction

New York Times bestselling author Ian Douglas discusses how he incorporated implausible conspiracy theories to uncover the truth in his new science fiction novel, Alien Hostiles.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 589

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 yesterday poem.