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10 Fun Things at Writer's Digest

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November was a quiet month for me last year on this blog (because I
was stuck in Thailand
), and it was a quiet month again this year—but
for different reasons (budgeting!).

While I've been crunching
numbers, lots of cool things have been happening at Writer's Digest
that I didn't get to tell you about, so here's a list of opportunities,
notes, and other stuff you'll want to check out.

1. Writer's Digest Community
a Facebook for writers. That's kind of what our new community site is
like. It uses the Ning open-source platform. (Ning is a free platform YOU can use, too, if you want to create a social network based on your
own interests or expertise—and it's totally code-free, no tech
experience required.)

I have my own page at the WD community
, and regularly pop into the forum to answer questions. I also
formed a Future of Publishing group to have more in-depth discussions
about some of the issues mentioned on this blog. And Robert Brewer, the
editor of, maintains yet another blog there (in
addition to Poetic Asides and My Name Is Not Bob).

Bonus: Someone posted this funny-but-true advice I gave at an Intensive: 4 Tips Jane Friedman Taught Us for Deciding Whether to Join an Organization

Hope to see you there—go check it out.

2. Writer's Digest Turns 90 in 2010
celebrating 90 years here in Cincinnati—and hey, we look pretty good,
don't we? Both the magazine and Writer's Market have been published
since 1920. The January 2010 issue of the magazine (pictured above) hits newsstands in
just another week or so, and we'll soon be announcing a little
celebratory party in the Cincinnati area in 2010. Stay tuned.

3. Critique Group Registry
month, we're releasing our first book ever on writing and critique
, by Becky Levine. It's an excellent primer on how to start a
group and also be a good critiquer—of yourself AND others.

often ask us how to find a good writing or critique group, so we've
started a registry where you can let us know about the groups you
belong to. Any group that registers will be sent a free, electronic
version of the book (in PDF form) after the book officially releases.
So go register!

4. BEA / WD Conference — We're On for May 24
of you have been asking if we'll do our annual BEA event (with pitch
slam) once again. The answer is: Yes! I can give you the date at
this point — May 24 — with more updates as we determine the
program. You can regularly check this site too for information.

5. Win Your Wish List
at Writer's Digest Shop, we've implemented a Wish List feature so you
can keep & share a personalized list of books, downloads, webinars, magazine
issues, and other items you'd like to have for your writing life. No
one will have to guess any longer whether you'd prefer to have Donald Maass's Writing
the Breakout Novel
or The Fire in Fiction.

Also, if you create a Wish
List now, you'll be automatically entered to win your Wish List (up to
$150) this holiday season.

Inside Scoop: We already feature
other publishers' products in our Shop, but soon we'll be expanding
into lots of other different tools and cool things for writers.

6. 2010 Schedule for Our Intensives
Editors' Intensives, where you get an appointment and critique of the
first 50 pages of your work, will continue in 2010. The dates are March
13-14 and September 11-12. You can read some great stories from
past attendees here and here.

Also, our last intensive event for 2009
is December 12-13, and we still have seats available. E-mail me if you want to get in.

7. Call for Guest Columns
Sambuchino over at Guide to Literary Agents has a call out for guest
posts on his blog, which is the most popular blog here at Writer's
Digest, with visitors approaching the 6-figures every month. Want to
boost your platform a little? (Agents love platform, remember.) Here's
what Chuck is looking for.

How I Got My Agent
These guest columns are stories of how writers came to sign with their agent.

Seven Things I've Learned So Far
guest columns are from writers of any skill level who can share 7
things they know now that they wish someone would have told them at the
beginning of their writing odyssey.

Write About What You Learned at a Conference
you at a writers' conference recently where you sat in on a good
presentation and took notes. Write up a little summary for a guest
column. Three people wrote guest columns following the South Carolina
Writers Workshop and those were excellent posts.

E-mail him if you're interested.

8. 15% Off Webinars Through December 5
is the first time we've ever offered a discount on every webinar
without any kind of coupon code. Just go visit this page, and see if
anything appeals. We have sessions this month on using social media,
novel hook critiques, and landing an agent.

9. Art of War for Writers
is seriously one of the most cool books we've done, and
it's from the immensely popular and beloved James Scott Bell. Here's a
wonderful review from a literary agent

10. VIP program
OK, this one is cheating a
little. I already mentioned it in October. But it's too cool not to
mention again. Be sure to check it out.

Poetic Forms

Trinet: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the trinet, a seven-line form based on word count.

Tammye Huf: On Real Love That Sparked Inspiration

Tammye Huf: On Real Love That Sparked Inspiration

Debut novelist Tammye Huf discusses how her own familial love story inspired her historical fiction novel, A More Perfect Union.

Announcing the Second Annual Personal Essay Awards Winners

Announcing the Second Annual Personal Essay Awards Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the second annual Writer's Digest Personal Essay Awards!

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Going Rogue

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Going Rogue

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character go rogue.

How to Love Writing a Book

How to Love Writing a Book

When you’re in the weeds of the writing process, it’s easy to lose sight of why you started in the first place. Here, author Radhika Sanghani shares her tips on how to love the process of writing your book.

How Daily Meditation Can Lead to New Stories

How Daily Meditation Can Lead to New Stories

In seeking meaning did author Randal Maurice Jelks also find purpose and understanding. Here, he shares how daily meditation can lead to new stories.

5 Tips for Writing a Domestic Thriller

5 Tips for Writing a Domestic Thriller

Author Leah Konen offers 5 tips to help keep the goosebumps coming in your domestic thriller—from focusing on a small cast of characters to allowing yourself to be surprised in the process, and more!

Jonathan Evison: On Silencing Self-Doubt

Jonathan Evison: On Silencing Self-Doubt

New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Evison discusses the process of writing his new Dickensian epic novel, Small World.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 595

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 game poem.