News, Events, and Free Info at Writer's Digest

Publish date:
Image placeholder title

Today I'm taking a little break to let you know about some other stuff happening at Writer's Digest. Tomorrow I leave for the Pennwriters conference in Pittsburgh and will be Tweeting (@JaneFriedman) and blogging throughout the weekend.

Cool stuff on other WD blogs

  • Interview with Poet Justin Marks. Good tidbit where he says, "I've been given such large heaps of bad advice over the years I'm hesitant to offer any of my own. So maybe my advice should be, 'don't take any advice.' Then again, I've also gotten some good advice that has often helped sustain me: Trust yourself. Don't let anyone or anything stop you. Be willing to change. Perservere. Stuff like that."

Free excerpts from new writing books

Upcoming events

  • WDB/BEA Writers Conference (May 27). This is the big kahuna where you can pitch to 66 agents and 4 editors during a 2-hour window. Even if you aren't successful in your pitch attempts here, you will learn so many amazing things about what makes an agent or editor jump on a project. The interaction is invaluable and can shave years off your path to publication. The full day costs $199 and includes the pitch session (plus lunch and terrific networking). I'll be there, as will most of my colleagues from Writer's Digest.
  • WD Editors' Intensive (June 20-21). Once again, we're opening up Writer's Digest HQ to 50 people for a personalized weekend of writing and publishing instruction. We spend a day coaching you about how to succeed in the changing landscape of publishing, then wrap it up with a one-on-one 30-minute appointment to discuss the first 50 pages of your manuscript or proposal. We've received excellent feedback from writers who've attended who love the up-close-and-personal interaction as well as the practical, hard-working information.

Online education

  • Writer's Market editor Robert Brewer (also known for his Poem-a-Day Challenge at Poetic Asides) is hosting a live session on May 29 on how to get your poetry published. You'll never meet a better expert, and you'll get an opportunity to ask him any question you like on the topic during the live event. Again, visit this site for registration links.
  • We're launching a new WOW course, Hooked, which is focused on how to craft an amazing beginning to your novel—one that will catch the attention of agents and editors. It's nearly full, but we're still accepting students. Class starts on May 28. Go here for more info.

Competition deadlines

  • The deadline for the Writer's Digest International Self-Published Book Awards has been extended to May 20. Enter in 10 different categories, from poetry to humor. You could win $3,000, plus some winners are noticed by agents. (Yep, we have success stories of authors who have been picked up by a traditional house after winning this contest.) Click here for more information or to register your entry online.
  • This Friday marks the deadline for our biggest contest of the year: The Writer's Digest Annual Writing Competition, now in its 78th year. Grand prize includes a trip to NYC with a Writer's Digest editor to meet with agents.

As always: You can sign up for the WD newsletter on the homepage and receive a free-book on 70 common writing mistakes. You can also sign up for musings strictly from me, on writing and publishing (launching July 1). Go here to register.

Photo credit: Sister 72

What Is a Palindrome in Writing?

What Is a Palindrome in Writing?

In this post, we look at what a palindrome is when it comes to writing, including several examples of palindromes.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Set a Trap

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Set a Trap

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, it's time to set a trap.

5 Ways to Add a Refrain to Your Picture Books (and Why You Should)

5 Ways to Add a Refrain to Your Picture Books (and Why You Should)

Children's author Christine Evans shares how repetition is good for growing readers and gives you the tools to write your story's perfect refrain.

From Our Readers

Describe the First Time a Book Transported You to Another/Magical World: From Our Readers (Comment for a Chance at Publication)

This post announces our latest From Our Readers ask: Describe the First Time a Book Transported You to Another/Magical World. Comment for a chance at publication in a future issue of Writer's Digest.

About Us: How to Handle Your Story That Involves Other People

About Us: How to Handle Your Story That Involves Other People

Your story belongs to you but will involve other people. Where do your rights end and theirs begin?

Identifying Your Book's Target Audience

Identifying Your Book's Target Audience

Editor-in-chief Amy Jones navigates how to know your target audience, and how knowing will make your writing stronger.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 575

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 safe poem.


I Spy

Every writer needs a little inspiration once and a while. For today's prompt, someone is watching your narrator ... but there's a twist.

Brian Freeman: On "Rebooting" Another Writer's Legacy

Brian Freeman: On "Rebooting" Another Writer's Legacy

In this article, Brian Freeman, author of Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Treachery, discusses how he took up the mantle of a great series and made it his own.