WD Presents: 2020 Writer's Digest Poetry Awards Winner and More!

This week, we’re excited to reveal the winner of the 2020 Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards, Your Story column entrance deadline, and more!
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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 reveal the winner of the 2020 Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards, Your Story column entrance deadline, and more!

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Deborah Hall, 2020 Writer's Digest Poetry Awards Winner

The winner of the 2020 Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards discusses the inspiration behind her first-place poem, “The Loneliest Whale."

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Your Story

Your Story #112: Closing Soon!

DEADLINE: June 28, 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.

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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.

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July/August Writer’s Digest Cover Reveal!

Writer's Digest July/August 2021 Cover

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.

Download a PDF of this issue from the Writer's Digest Shop today.

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Conference Announcements

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.

Register now!

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.

Register now!

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Upcoming Webinars!

Today's Key Book Publishing Paths: What's New, What's Old, and What's Right for You

Today's Key Book Publishing Paths: What's New, What's Old, and What's Right for You

Jane Friedman discusses everything you need to know about how book publishing operates today, in plain English, to help you understand the pros and cons of every major publishing path available. She'll cover New York traditional publishing and what projects are well-suited to being represented by literary agents; the capabilities of mid-size publishers and independent publishers; how to evaluate small presses, micro-presses, and digital-only presses; what "hybrid" publishing is (or thinks it is) and how to evaluate such companies, and all forms of self-publishing and e-publishing practiced today.

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Literary Agent Boot Camp: Perfecting Submission Materials

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.

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Upcoming Science Fiction & Fantasy Virtual Conference!

WDU Annual 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!

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Five Online Writing Courses Start This Week

Five new online writing courses start this week, including Blogging 101, Read like a Writer, and more. Click here to check out the Writer's Digest University calendar.

Copyediting Certificate Program

Writer's Digest is proud to offer our Copyediting Certificate Program. This workshop will provide training for aspiring copy editors in order to give them practical and marketable workplace skills. As a student in this certification course, you will progress from the fundamentals of grammar, form, and composition to advanced copyediting skills.

This certification course incorporates critiqued writing assignments and tools to communicate directly with your instructor and fellow students to make sure that you are grasping the content. You will also have quizzes to check yourself along the way and a comprehensive test at the end of the course.

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Short Story Fundamentals

Short Story Fundamentals

Throughout this four-week workshop, you will have feedback and support while you write and hone an entire short story from beginning to end, and you'll leave with a polished draft of your story. You will get insider information about what editors are looking for in short stories they choose to publish. Literary journals are always looking for quality stories, and with the advances in online submissions, getting your work in front of an editor has never been easier.

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Blogging 101

A key to success for any writer is having an online presence. Blogging is one way to share your expertise and—at the same time—build an author platform. Don’t know how to start a blog? Not sure what to focus on? Don’t fret! This online writing workshop will guide you through the entire blogging process—how to create and setup a blog, where to start, and much more. You’ll learn how to attract readers and how to market your writing. Start a successful blog today and get noticed by editors and publishers.

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Freelance Writing

Freelance Writing

No other market is as open to the freelance writer as the magazine market. From trade and association publications, to special interest magazines, to regional and national consumer publications, editors are looking for writers who can deliver well-researched, reader-targeted articles on deadline. To make it in this market, you want to learn how to identify a magazine's editorial needs and—most important—how to fill them.

In this workshop, you will work with a published article writer to develop, research and write two articles suitable for publication in magazines you've identified as appropriate markets. You will get feedback from your instructor on your first and second draft of both your articles.

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Read Like a Writer: Learn from the Masters

Clearly, before you can become a good writer, you must read like a writer. In other words, you must become a superb reader who discerns the nuances of narrative techniques and language.

Regardless of your genre (mystery, romance, horror, science fiction, fantasy, mainstream, or literary), you will hone your writing skills as a result of this class’ examination of the ways masters of the art and craft created intellectually and emotionally rich and compelling stories that became classics.

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Upcoming Competition Deadlines

Self-Published E-book Awards

Self-Published Ebook Awards

EARLY BIRD DEADLINE: August 16, 2021

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.

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Poetic Forms

Englyn Unold Crwca: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the englyn unold crwca, a Welsh quatrain form.

5 Things for Writers to Keep in Mind When Writing About Spies

5 Things for Writers to Keep in Mind When Writing About Spies

A spy thriller requires more than a compelling story and clever plot twists—the characters need to feel real. Author Stephanie Marie Thornton offers 5 tips for constructing believable spy characters.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unexpected Team Up

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unexpected Team Up

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, it's time for a little unexpected team work.

Taylor Anderson: On Creating Realism in the Weird

Taylor Anderson: On Creating Realism in the Weird

New York Times bestselling author Taylor Anderson discusses the process of writing his new science fiction novel, Purgatory's Shore.

6 Books Perfect for Fall Reading

6 Books Perfect for Fall Reading

Whether you're looking for something cozy or a little spooky, these books are perfect for the fall season.

NaNoWriMo: To Prep or Not to Prep?

NaNoWriMo: To Prep or Not to Prep?

When it comes to a 30 day writing challenge like NaNoWriMo, do you need to prep beforehand to achieve success? Well, that might depend on what kind of writer you are.

Sarah Echavarre Smith: On Going for the Out-There Ideas

Sarah Echavarre Smith: On Going for the Out-There Ideas

Copywriter and author Sarah Echavarre Smith discusses the process of writing her new romance novel, On Location.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 583

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 fall poem.

5 Thrilling Adventure Terms Every Writer Should Know (And Why)

5 Thrilling Adventure Terms Every Writer Should Know (And Why)

For over a decade, author Joshua Glenn has been researching adventure-related terms. Now, he's sharing what he's learned for other writers to add to their lexicon.