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WD Presents: 5 WDU Courses, Announcing Our Annual Conference Keynote Speaker, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce five courses starting this week, our annual conference keynote speaker, and more!

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 five courses starting this week, our annual conference keynote speaker, and more!

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Five WDU Courses Begin This Week!

Writing the Personal Essay 101

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.

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Book Coaching for Advanced Writers

Join Mark Spencer in an intensive 16-week coaching session focused entirely on your novel in progress. You'll work with Mark on your choice of up to 60,000 words of your novel or two drafts of up to 30,000 words each. You'll also have the opportunity to speak to Mark directly about your work during two one-on-one phone calls or Zoom sessions.

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Creativity & Expression

Creativity & Expression

When you take this online course, you’ll explore creative writing topics and learn how descriptive writing can breathe life into your characters, setting, and plot with Rebecca McClanahan’s Word Painting. Stretch your imagination, develop your creative writing skills, and express your creativity with this writing course.

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How to Write an Article

In online lectures, supplemental readings, and written assignments and exercises, we’ll talk about ­how to source, prioritize and develop topic ideas; compose and refine pitches to multiple outlets; stay tightly organized about submissions, follow-ups and correspondence; and execute assignments brilliantly – as well as why writers who query well, deliver on time and prove easy to work are gold to editors everywhere.

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Advanced Novel Writing

Advanced Novel Writing

Push yourself beyond your comfort zone and take your writing to new heights with this novel writing course, designed specifically for novelists who are looking for detailed feedback on their work. When you take this online course, you won't have weekly reading assignments or lectures. Instead, you'll get to focus solely on completing your novel.

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Announcing the Writer's Digest Annual Conference Keynote Speaker!

Marlon James

Marlon James

Marlon James is a New York Times bestselling and award-winning novelist and educator. His novel A Brief History of Seven Killings won the 2015 Man Booker Prize and was also a New York Times Notable Book. James is also the author of The Book of Night Women, which won the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Minnesota Book Award. His first novel, John Crow’s Devil, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for first fiction and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and was a New York Times Editors’ Choice. Black Leopard, Red Wolf, the first in the Dark Star Trilogy, a fantasy series set in African legend, won the Ray Bradbury Prize for Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Speculative Fiction from the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, the 2020 Locus Award for Horror, and was a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award in the Fiction category. The second book in the trilogy, Moon Witch, Spider King, published on February 15, 2022.

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Writer's Digest Presents is Now on YouTube!

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Do you like listening to "Writer's Digest Presents?" Now you can watch it, too! Check out the first video version of the podcast now!

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Writing Goals and Intentions: 25 Prompts

Writing Goals and Intentions: 25 Prompts

Make this year your most successful writing year ever by considering the following questions to set your goals and intentions.

Is a Personal Essay Considered Journalism?

Is a Personal Essay Considered Journalism?

Journalist Alison Hill answers the question of whether or not the personal essay is considered journalism by defining the genre and offering examples. Plus, outlets for you to publish your own personal essay.

Forth vs. Fourth (Grammar Rules)

Forth vs. Fourth (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use forth vs. fourth in your writing with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Bad Place

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Bad Place

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, make the setting the antagonist.

Gaslighting in Romance: From Jane Eyre to the Present Day (and Why Writers Should Care)

Gaslighting in Romance: From Jane Eyre to the Present Day (and Why Writers Should Care)

Gaslighting can work its way into the backstory of a character, but it can also be misused. Here, author Emma Barry discusses gaslighting in romance.

Brad Taylor: On Real-Life Threats Inspiring Thriller Novels

Brad Taylor: On Real-Life Threats Inspiring Thriller Novels

Author and veteran Brad Taylor discusses the research that led to his new thriller novel, The Devil’s Ransom.

How Roleplaying Helps Our Writing—and Our Marriage

How Role-Playing Helps Our Writing—and Our Marriage

As co-writing partners who fully embody the stories they tell in their writing process, authors Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka share how role-playing helps their writing, and their marriage.

How To Get Started in Copywriting

How To Get Started in Copywriting

From writing and reading to majoring outside of journalism, copywriter and author Robert W. Bly shares how to get started in copywriting.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 640

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 pursuit poem.