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WD Presents: Avoid Common Writing Mistakes, Challenge Yourself, and Invest in Your Craft

This week, we’re excited to announce seven new courses to hone your craft, a new article series from our editors about common writing mistakes, 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 seven new courses to hone your craft, a new article series from our editors about common writing mistakes, and more.

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New Issue of Writer's Digest Out Now!

cover january:february 2021

As Writer’s Digest moves beyond the 100th anniversary celebrated in 2020, we begin a new year and a new century by looking at writing from a New Perspective. In this issue, we’ll peel back the curtain on important publishing topics that are overlooked all too often, including foreign publication rights, the art of translations, how to look at your own writing with fresh eyes, and much more.

Get your copy now!

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Seven Online Writing Courses Start This Week

Seven new online writing courses start this week, including Write Great Dialogue, Fearless Writing, and more. Click here to check out the Writer's Digest University calendar.

 Start outlining your next novel with online courses from Writer's Digest University.

Outlining Your Novel

Writers often look upon outlines with fear and trembling. But when properly understood and correctly used, the outline is one of the most powerful weapons in a writer's arsenal.

With the help of the book Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success by K.M. Weiland, you will learn how to write an outline as you explore what type of outline is right for you, brainstorm plot ideas, and discover your characters.

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Write Great Dialogue

Dialogue can be one of the most interesting parts of a book to read, but only if it is done right. Sharpen your writing skills and challenge yourself to craft engaging, yet believable dialogue that will keep your readers interested. When you take this online writing workshop, you’ll discover how to write dialogue that advances your story’s plot. Plus, examine examples, formats, and tips for writing dialogue. Build your creative skills through weekly lectures, reading and writing assignments, and group critiques. You can also expect to read Write Great Fiction: Dialogue by Gloria Kempton. By the end of this workshop, you will have all the tools and resources you need to create convincing dialogue.

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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.

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Grammar and Mechanics

Do you remember the difference between the 8 parts of speech and how to use them? Are you comfortable with punctuation and mechanics? No matter what type of writing you do, mastering the fundamentals of grammar and mechanics is an important first step to having a successful writing career.

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writing online content

Writing Online Content

This course pays special attention to the most notable form of online article writing: the blog. Publications of all types have enlisted the aid of bloggers to help disseminate information. Blogs incorporate characteristics from other article types—news, feature articles, and opinion pieces. Learning to write blog postings is a marketable skill, and the writer of online content should have a strong understanding of blogs. Finally, every writer should have her own blog whether associated with a publication or not; blogs are an integral facet of any viable platform.

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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.

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Fearless Writing

If you love to write and have a story you want to tell, the only thing that can stand between you and the success you’re seeking isn’t craft or a good agent or enough Facebook friends and Twitter followers, but fear. Fear that you aren’t good enough or the market is too crowded or no one wants to hear from you. Fortunately, you can’t write while being in the flow and be afraid simultaneously. The question is whether you will write fearlessly.

In this workshop, we’ll look at several techniques you can use to keep yourself in the creative flow and out of the trouble and misery fear always causes.

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Short Short Story Competition

short short story competition

We’re looking for short fiction stories! Think you can write a winning story in 1,500 words or less? Enter the 21st Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition for your chance to win $3,000 in cash, get published in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a paid trip to our ever-popular Writer’s Digest Conference!

Deadline: January 15, 2021

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Self-Published Book Awards Deadline Announcement

self published book awards

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.

Deadline: April 1, 2021

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Free Resources for Writers

Are you feeling stumped or lost when it comes to your latest work-in-progress? Be sure to check out the free offerings here on the Writer’s Digest website! Here, we have free downloads for everything from avoiding legal issues with your memoir to beating writer’s block and beyond.

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Writing Mistakes Writers Make

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we're starting this article series to help identify them for other writers (along with strategies for avoiding the mistake). This week's writing mistake writers make is waiting for inspiration to strike by senior editor Robert Lee Brewer.

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Announcing the Upcoming 2021 Flash Fiction Challenge

Flash Fiction Challenge

Like Robert Lee Brewer’s April PAD Challenge, where poets are tasked with producing one draft of a poem every day, the main goal of this challenge will be to produce one draft of a flash fiction piece every day in February. A prompt will be posted in the morning (Washington, D.C. time), and writers will draft a story in response.

Click to view challenge guidelines.

Connecting the Dots vs. Drawing the Whole Damn Picture: A Veteran Ghostwriter Takes Back His Pen and Finds Something To Say

Connecting the Dots vs. Drawing the Whole Damn Picture: A Veteran Ghostwriter Takes Back His Pen and Finds Something To Say

Writing for oneself after a decades-long career as a ghostwriter is a challenge unto itself. Here, author Daniel Paisner discusses his career as a ghostwriter, how the process differs from writing his own work, and if the two ever intersect.

Who Are Sensitivity Editors? And How Much Does Sensitivity Reading Pay?

Who Are Sensitivity Editors? And How Much Does Sensitivity Reading Pay?

Sensitivity readers offer a very specific and focused edit to manuscripts. Here, C. Hope Clark shares what a sensitivity editor is, how much it pays, and where you can start.

Kate White: On Building In Brainstorming Time

Kate White: On Building In Brainstorming Time

New York Times bestselling author Kate White discusses the process of writing her new psychological thriller, The Second Husband.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 615

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 desire poem.

Writer's Digest Best Writing Advice Websites for Writers 2022

Writer's Digest Best Writing Advice Websites for Writers 2022

Here are the top writing advice websites as identified in the 24th Annual 101 Best Websites from the May/June 2022 issue of Writer's Digest.

Love the Art. Work the Business. | Nikesha Elise Williams

Nikesha Elise Williams: On the Power of Self-Publishing

In this indie author profile, novelist Nikesha Elise Williams shares her path to self publishing and the creative marketing strategy that's led to her success.

Change of Plans

Change of Plans

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, there's been a sudden and unforeseen change of plans.

5 Things to Know When Writing About the Music Industry

5 Things to Know When Writing About the Music Industry

Author Ashley M. Coleman gives you her top five tricks for writing about the music industry—even if you're not an industry expert.

10 Tips on Covering Events as a Freelance Journalist

10 Tips on Covering Events as a Freelance Journalist

From planning ahead to staying late, Alison Hill shares 10 tips for journalists while covering events as a freelancer.