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Are You Receiving Lots of Form Rejections?

Beginning Writer's Answer Book

I get lots of form rejections that have little or no feedback on my individual work. What might be wrong?

Reasons for rejection can be incredibly subjective (indefinable issues of taste), or your work may not be polished enough. Aside from the quality and style of your work, consider if the following might apply.

  • Something similar is on file or was recently published. You're not the only person with your idea. Often your work will be rejected simply because someone else beat you to it.
  • The timing is wrong. Editors change. Publishers cut back on their lists. The market changes. Sometimes it's hard to hit things just right.
  • You don't have adequate credentials (particularly if you're writing a nonfiction article or book), or you don't have an attractive marketing platform—a way to reach readers and promote your work.

If you're attempting to get your book published, keep in mind that most New York agents and editors take on a new project or a new author only when they feel there's solid potential for a significant or guaranteed return. Your book may be too "small" for some publishers to consider; if you believe that's the case, start querying small or regional presses.

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Dismissing Stories That Aren’t From Books

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Dismissing Stories That Aren’t From Books

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 dismissing stories that aren’t from books.

Why You Should Beware Homophones

Why You Should Beware Homophones

Mistaking a word for a similar one is not an uncommon mistake, but an important one to catch when editing your work. Here, Audrey Wick shares why you should beware homophones and shares a homophone-catching test to practice with.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Blackmail

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Blackmail

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, one character blackmails another.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

30 Poetry Prompts From 2022 November PAD Chapbook Challenge

Get all 30 poetry prompts from the 15th annual November Poem-A-Day Chapbook Challenge here. Actually, 35 prompts if you're counting Two-for-Tuesday prompts!

How to Stalk Publishing Professionals on Social Media in an Appropriate Way

How to Stalk Publishing Professionals on Social Media in an Appropriate Way

Many people are self-professed "stalkers" on social media, whether they're following life events of friends or celebrities. But writers can learn quite a bit on social media by stalking publishing professionals too, and this post covers the appropriate way to do so.

Vérant

Samantha Vérant: On Romance and Recipes

Author Samantha Vérant discusses how her writing process changed while writing her new contemporary romance novel, The Spice Master at Bistro Exotique.

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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 warm up poem.

Do I Pitch Different to Agents vs. Editors?

Do I Pitch Different to Agents vs. Editors?

Every so often writers ask if they should pitch different to agents vs. editors. This post answers that question and provides some extra help on how to successfully pitch both.

Urban Legend

Urban Legend

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, feature an urban legend in your story.