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WD Presents: Annual Writing Competition, Submission Guidelines, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce the extended Annual Writing Competition deadline for 2021, details on how to submit your writing to Writer’s Digest, 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 the extended Annual Writing Competition deadline for 2021, details on how to submit your writing to Writer’s Digest, and more!

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Upcoming Competition Deadlines

Self-Published Book Awards

self published book awards

NEW DEADLINE: June 1, 2021

Whether you’re a professional writer, a part-time freelancer, or a self-starting student, here’s your chance to enter the premier self-published competition exclusively for self-published books. Writer’s Digest hosts the 29th annual self-published competition—the Annual Self-Published Book Awards. This self-published competition spotlights today’s self-published works and honors self-published authors.

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Annual Writing Competition

Annual Writing Competition

NEW DEADLINE: June 7, 2021

Writer’s Digest has been shining a spotlight on up-and-coming writers in all genres through its Annual Writing Competition for 90 years. Enter our 90th Annual Writing Competition for your chance to win and have your work be seen by editors and agents! Almost 500 winners will be chosen.

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Your Story #111: Vote Now!

Out of nearly 200 entries, WD editors chose the following 5 finalists. Vote for your favorite story using the poll at the bottom of the page. The winning story will be published in the November/December 2021 issue of WD.

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Your Story #112

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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Write for Us!

Are you a writer who has some expert wisdom to share? Would you like to see your work featured in an upcoming issue of Writer’s Digest? Check out our submission guidelines page to learn what we’re looking for and how you can pitch an article!

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Writer’s Digest Annual Conference Information!

Writer's Digest Annual Conference

JULY 22-25, 2021

Writer's Digest Annual Conference is hopeful we will be able to meet in person this July. 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 for our in-person event. Be sure to check our website for the latest information.

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Six Online Writing Courses Start This Week

Six new online writing courses start this week, including Writing Historical Fiction, Revision & Self-Editing, and more. Click here to check out the Writer's Digest University calendar.

21 Days to Your Novel Outline and Synopsis

This course is designed to help you understand how to craft a winning premise, how to outline your novel, and then how to take both of those things and assemble a synopsis that will act as a guide for you to write your novel and sell it.

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Writing Historical Fiction

Historical Fiction

Whether history is a backdrop to your story or the focus of the story itself, this workshop will provide you with the tools to find the facts you need, organize the data in a functional manner, and merge that data seamlessly into your novel. You'll discover the appropriate level of historical data to include as a function of a particular writing goal, learn the definition of historical markers and how and where to unearth them, and uncover the tools to integrate history, research, and the fiction plot arc. Most of all, find out how to honor verisimilitude—the goal of any historical writing—and avoid the dreaded anachronism. You'll learn to write scenes utilizing historical markers that further the plot and put your reader firmly in the place, time, and setting.

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The Art of Storytelling 102: Showing vs. Telling

In this online course, you’ll learn the difference between showing and telling and when it’s good to tell instead of show, how to balance showing and telling to create memorable characters and realistic, seamless dialogue, how the right mix of showing and telling can help you establish a powerful narrative voice, and much more!

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Creativity & Expression

Creativity & Expression

Are you a beginner writer? Do you want to put pen to paper but have a case of writer’s block? Learn creative writing techniques to launch your writing and transform your ideas into your next story.

When you take this online workshop, 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 workshop.

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Build Your Novel Scene by Scene

If you want to learn how to write a story, but aren’t quite ready yet to hunker down and write 10,000 words or so a week, this is the course for you. Build Your Novel Scene by Scene will offer you the impetus, the guidance, the support, and the deadline you need to finally stop talking, start writing, and, ultimately, complete that novel you always said you wanted to write.

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Revision & Self Editing

Every writer knows that the journey to publication is a long and hard road. Once you finish your first draft, it’s time to start the arduous process of self-editing and revision.

When you take this online writing workshop, you will learn methods of self-editing for fiction writers to ensure your writing is free of grammatical errors.

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Upcoming Webinars!

21 Days to Your Novel Outline and Synopsis

21 Days to Your Novel Outline and Synopsis

May 27-June 18, 2021

Outlines for novels can seem daunting. The synopsis, even more so. A synopsis is something you’re going to need because it’s vital to selling your novel if you’re going to query agents or publishers. And the outline is going to save you time while you’re writing your novel. Starting with your premise, expanding your outline, and then writing your synopsis is the perfect way to understand exactly what your story is about and how to get it done.

In addition to your outline, your premise and synopsis are two of the most important tools in writing your novel.

This course is designed to help you understand how to craft a winning premise, how to outline your novel, and then how to take both of those things and assemble a synopsis that will act as a guide for you to write your novel and sell it.

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Publishing Your Children's Book: How to Write and Pitch Young Adult, Middle Grade, and Picture Book Manuscripts

Publishing Your Children's Book: How to Write and Pitch Young Adult, Middle Grade, and Picture Book Manuscripts

June 22-25 2021

In this Writer's Digest Boot Camp starting June 22, the agents of P.S. Literary Agency will show you how to make your submission stand out. How do you write a children's book with commercial appeal? How do you decide what category and genre your book belongs in? How do you find agents and publishers to submit your manuscript to? How can you attract both child and adult readers (and buyers)? The agent instructors will answer these questions—and more! They will also critique your work and answer any questions you have about writing and selling books for children.

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May/June Issue of Writer’s Digest Out Now!

Writer's Digest May/June 2021 Cover Reveal

When you get down to it, most writing begins with curiosity, whether the source is a spark of interest in the mind of the person writing or whether a writer is answering the calls of curious readers. In the May/June 2021 issue of Writer’s Digest, we aim to do both as well: answer questions about topics that pique writers’ curiosity and provide resources that will enable curiosity to be a force of inspiration for your work.

Get your copy now!

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: The Characterless Character

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: The Characterless Character

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so this series helps identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is writing a characterless character.

When Is My Novel Ready to Read: 7 Self-Editing Processes for Writers

When Is My Novel Ready to Read: 7 Self-Editing Processes for Writers

Fiction editor and author Kris Spisak ties together her seven processes for self-editing novels, including editorial road-mapping, character differentiation analysis, reverse editing, and more.

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.