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!
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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 announce seven new courses to hone your craft, a new article series from our editors about common writing mistakes, and more.


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!


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.

April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 17

Write a poem every day of April with the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge. For today's prompt, write a waiting poem.


Your Story #112

Write the opening line to a story based on the photo prompt below. (One sentence only.) You can be poignant, funny, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your story.

Self-Published Ebook Awards

Announcing the 8th Annual Self-Published E-book Awards Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 8th Annual Self-Published E-book Awards! Discover the titles that placed in the categories of contemporary fiction, fantasy, memoir, mystery, and more.

Greg Russo: On Writing a Film Based on a Video Game

Greg Russo: On Writing a Screenplay Based on a Video Game

Professional screenwriter Greg Russo discusses the joy and challenge of converting a popular video games series into a screenplay and the balance of enticing a new audience while honoring a franchise's fans.

April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 16

Write a poem every day of April with the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge. For today's prompt, write a city poem.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Under the Influence

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Under the Influence

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, let a character fall under the influence of something or someone.


Suspended: Writer's Digest Personal Essay Awards Winner

Congratulations to J.E. Stamper, grand prize winner of the Writer's Digest Personal Essay Awards. Here's his winning essay, "Suspended."

Planting Clues: Red Herrings That Fool but Don't Frustrate Your Readers

Planting Clues: Red Herrings That Fool but Don't Frustrate Your Readers

Want to know how to keep your readers engaged and entertained with your mystery novel? Let these six tips from thriller author Kris Calvin guide you!

April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 15

Write a poem every day of April with the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge. For today's prompt, write a blank story poem.