Skip to main content

History and the Future

Hi Writers,

In the October issue of Writer's Digest, we featured an essay called "Literary Legends." Phil Sexton, who recently wrote the book Legendsof Literature, wrote this essay for us based on his experience of combing through the Writer's Digest magazine archives—87 years worth.

Some of the treasures Sexton discovered on his journey: articles by
A.A. Milne, H.G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Isaac Asimov and Stephen
King. An announcement of the arrival of "hot, new writer" F. Scott
Fitzgerald. An interview with Ernest Hemingway that hadn't seen the
light of day in 40 years. And on and on and on.

I loved reading this piece. Yes, I'm a literary geek so I get into this sort of ephemera.

But the weight of editing a magazine with this much of a legacy behind
it can be daunting. A magazine is, necessarily, in continuous
evolution. It has to be contemporary in order to appeal to the next
generation of readers. And balancing the legacy with the need to move
forward is always a challenge.

It's kind of like living in a historic house. If you own an old house,
you soon realize the house doesn't truly belong to you; it belongs to
the families who lived there before, the families you'll pass it along
to, and to the community.

Taking care of a magazine during a tenure as editor is similar. You
have to honor it, care for it, and modernize it enough to move
gracefully into the future.

So community, tell me: How would you like to see Writer's Digest move into the future? Let me know. I'm the caretaker and I'm paying attention.

Keep Writing,

Maria

6 Things Every Writer Should Know About Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare and Company

6 Things Every Writer Should Know About Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare and Company

Sylvia Beach was friend to many writers who wrote what we consider classics today. Here, author Kerri Maher shares six things everyone should know about her and Shakespeare and Company.

How Writers Can Apply Business Tools to Their Writing

How Writers Can Apply Business Tools to Their Writing

Author Katherine Quevedo takes an analytical look at the creative process in hopes to help other writers find writing success.

Nick Petrie: On Following the Most Compelling Story

Nick Petrie: On Following the Most Compelling Story

Award-winning author Nick Petrie discusses how he listened to the story that wanted to be told in his new Peter Ash thriller novel, The Runaway.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 596

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 punishment poem.

Jacquelyn Mitchard: On Forgiveness in Fiction

Jacquelyn Mitchard: On Forgiveness in Fiction

Award-winning novelist Jacquelyn Mitchard discusses the chance meeting that led to her new novel, The Good Son.

Sea Bound

Sea Bound

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, write about someone connected to the sea.

writersMarket_wd-ad_1000x300 (1)

Get Published With the Latest Market Books Editions

Get published and find more success with your writing by using the latest editions of the Market Books, including Writer's Market, Poet's Market, Guide to Literary Agents, and more!

Michigan Quarterly Review: Market Spotlight

Michigan Quarterly Review: Market Spotlight

For this week's market spotlight, we look at Michigan Quarterly Review, the flagship literary journal of the University of Michigan.

Desperate vs. Disparate (Grammar Rules)

Desperate vs. Disparate (Grammar Rules)

This post looks at the differences between desperate and disparate with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.