There's always so much happening in the Writer's Digest universe that even staff members have trouble keeping up. As a result, we decided to start collecting what's on the horizon to make it easier for everyone to know what's happening and when.
This week, we’re excited to announce upcoming competitions, webinars, boot camps, and more!
Six Online Writing Courses Start This Week
Six new online writing courses start this week, including Advanced Novel Writing, Writing the Personal Essay 101, and more. Click here to check out the Writer's Digest University calendar.
12 Weeks to a First Draft
Dive into the world of writing and learn all 12 steps needed to complete a first draft. In this writing workshop you will tackle the steps to writing a book, learn effective writing techniques along the way, and of course, begin writing your first draft.
Advanced Novel Writing
Push yourself beyond your comfort zone and take your writing to new heights with this novel writing workshop, designed specifically for novelists who are looking for detailed feedback on their work. When you take this online workshop, you won't have weekly reading assignments or lectures. Instead, you'll get to focus solely on completing your novel.
Form and Composition
Proper grammar, punctuation, and mechanics make your writing correct. In order to truly write well, you must also master the art of form and composition. From sentence structure to polishing your prose, this workshop will enhance your writing, no matter what type of writing you do.
Writing the Personal Essay 101: Fundamentals
This course guides beginning and intermediate writers through elements of how to write a personal essay, helping them identify values expressed in their stories and bring readers into the experiences described. Writers learn how to avoid the dreaded responses of “so what?" and “I guess you had to be there" by utilizing sensory details, learning to trust their writing intuitions, and developing a skilled internal editor to help with revision.
Writing the Picture Book
Picture books are one of the most delightful—and important—genres in all of literature.
In this course, you'll learn how to write a winning picture book narrative, envision it with illustrations, and put together a picture package that a publisher will really notice.
Plus, you'll receive feedback on each assignment from your instructor and have the chance to participate in the peer critique section of the workshop with other classmates.
Writing the Romance Novel
Do you yearn to write a romantic story? If so, you need to know what sets romance writing apart from other types of fiction.
This course explores why romance is the same, yet different. Some essential components of romance are unique to the genre, while some romance requirements are identical to those of any good fiction story. Neither Stephen King nor Tom Clancy could sit down and write a romance unless he first familiarized himself with the specific factors that create a successful romance.
This workshop will help you to understand those specific factors that make up the specialized world of romantic fiction.
July/August Issue of Writer’s Digest!
Inspired by our January 1976 issue themed “Writing for Social Change,” the July/August 2021 issue themed Writing for Change, with a subtheme of finding the courage to write. We aim to cover the variety of ways in which author and/or their characters make courageous choices, including in writing about topics that inspire change in themselves, their readers, or the world.
Upcoming Competition Deadlines
Self-Published E-book Awards: Enter Now!
Writer’s Digest’s 9th Annual Self-Published E-book Awards honors the best self-published e-book(s) in eight of the most popular categories with $5,000 in cash, a featured interview in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a paid trip to the ever-popular Writer’s Digest Annual Conference in New York City.
In addition to $13,000 in total cash prizes, all entrants will receive a brief review of their book from one of Writer’s Digest’s competition readers.
Early-Bird Deadline: August 16, 2021
Your Story #113: Enter Today!
DEADLINE: August 31, 2021
Write the opening line to a story based on the photo prompt in this article for a chance to be featured in an upcoming issue of Writer’s Digest. (One sentence only.) You can be poignant, funny, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your story.
Annual Conference Will Be Virtual
July 23-24, 2021
Writer's Digest Annual Conference will be going virtual! Please read our latest conference update here.
Writer's Digest Annual Conference offers everything you need to advance your writing career creatively and professionally. Gain invaluable tips to improve your craft, explore publishing options and learn how to establish a sustainable career—all while being inspired by successful authors and your fellow attendees. It’s all brought to you by Writer’s Digest, the experts at nurturing and developing writers at every stage of their career for over 100 years.
Novel Conference Registration Now Open!
October 21-24, 2021
Imagine dedicating an entire extended weekend to your novel?
Writer's Digest Novel Writing Conference is hopeful we will be able to meet in-person this October. There is still a lot of COVID-related uncertainty in 2021 and WD wants to take the proper steps to ensure all of our speakers, attendees, exhibitors, and staff are as safe as possible. That includes creating and thinking about a contingency plan to our in-person event. be sure to check our website for the latest information.
Hone your craft, refine your characters, explore the future of publishing, and get the tools you need to advance your career as a successful novelist.
Literary Agent Boot Camp: Perfecting Submission Materials
Think of your submission package as a job application for your book. You not only want to apply to the right people, the ones who have a passion for the books you write, but you want to present your book in such a way that they will easily see what your book has to offer. This live Writers Digest boot camp will teach you how to put together a dynamic yet professional submission package that will show agents you take your potential author career seriously and make them want to read your work.
In this boot camp from Fuse Literary Agency, attendees will learn how to put together a short yet effective query letter and a one- to two-page book synopsis (fiction). They’ll also learn some best practices for submitting their query, pages, and synopsis to agents.
Each attendee will have the opportunity to have ten pages critiqued by an agent along with their work in any combination: query letter, manuscript pages, and synopsis.
The Successful Synopsis: How to Write a Compelling Summary
As a literary agent, Kaitlyn Johnson has read countless synopses in her query box and has edited submission materials in multiple genres through her business Strictly Textual. She has also written articles and presented webinars exploring the best ways to structure the difficult document.
Through this live webinar, you’ll learn how to incorporate voice into your synopsis, how to organize your plot points, and how to decide which details to include that will compel an agent or editor to eagerly move on to your first pages.
How to Write a Young Adult Novel that Can Sell
Carlisle Webber represents young adult books in a variety of genres and worked as a librarian and professional book reviewer specializing in YA. She’ll show you the traits that separate a successful YA novel from one that fails. You’ll have the chance to learn what catches an agent’s attention and what editors are currently dying to read.
Because YA is an age range and not a genre, the lessons from this live webinar will apply to all types of fiction, from mystery to romance to fantasy. Learn how to write for an audience with ever-changing trends and tastes. Elements like voice and plot are essential to any novel, and you’ll learn how to create them for teen readers.
Writing The Personal Essay: Your Guide to Getting it Right
Windy Lynn Harris has helped hundreds of writers find success writing personal essays. A personal essay isn’t simply an anecdote but an in-depth exploration of a subject. Writing the truth is important, but great storytelling holds equal weight. Well-written essays harness cadence, individuality, a narrative arc, and creativity. In this session, Windy will share the essential components required to deliver a meaningful true story so you can craft your personal essays with confidence.
Blogging Strategies that Work in 2021
In this 90-minute webinar, Jane Friedman will teach you the principles of strategic blogging for authors and the best practices she’s learned since she started blogging consistently in 2008. She’ll discuss what blogging is (it’s a funny term and its meaning has changed), how to get readers for your blog, and point to the key strategic models used by author-bloggers today. (Jane’s model: content marketing. Another one is literary citizenship.)
Upcoming Science Fiction & Fantasy Virtual Conference!
Writer’s Digest University is pleased to present a one-of-a-kind online event for science fiction and fantasy writers! On August 28 and 29, our WDU Annual Science Fiction & Fantasy Virtual Conference will provide expert insights from SIX award-winning and bestselling authors on the finer points of how to write within the science fiction and fantasy genres. Spend the weekend learning techniques for honing your craft from six different published authors*, then (if you choose) pitch your novel via query letter to a literary agent specifically looking for material in these genres. The agent will provide you with a personalized critique of your query—and maybe ask to see more.
Experience the education, camaraderie, and opportunities provided by a live writing conference without ever having to leave your home!