WD Presents: Competition Announcements and Eight New Courses

This week, we’re excited to announce an upcoming Short Short Story Competition deadline, eight new courses on the craft and business of writing, 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 an upcoming Short Short Story Competition deadline, eight new courses on the craft and business of writing, and more.

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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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Nine Online Writing Courses Start This Week

Nine new online writing courses start this week, including How to Get Published: Land a Book Deal in 2021, Writing the Science Fiction & Fantasy Novel, and more. Click here to check out the Writer's Digest University calendar.

How to Get Published: Land a Book Deal in 2021

Each registration comes with access to the archived version of the program and the materials for one year. You do not have to attend the live event to get a recording of the presentation. In all WD webinars, no question goes unanswered. Attendees have the ability to chat with the instructor during the live event and ask questions. You will receive a copy of the webinar presentation in an e-mail that goes out one week after the live event. The answers to questions not covered in the live presentation will be included in this e-mail as well.

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Short Story Fundamentals

Whether you are a writing novice looking to cut your teeth or a published professional, the short story is a unique and challenging medium that offers you amazing opportunities. Also, short stories are a great way to gain publishing credentials with less time investment than it takes to develop a novel-length work. The workshop covers structure and the common pitfalls writers experience when crafting a short story.

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advanced poetry writing

Advanced Poetry Writing

Build your poetry writing skills by working with a highly accomplished poet! The workshop will consist of six one-week sessions, focused on individualized feedback and critique. Through detailed discussions of your own work, you will learn the kinds of questions editors ask of poems submitted to literary magazines. As a result, you will learn to revise and polish with an editor’s eye, gaining insight into how to craft poems suited for publication. You will leave this workshop with a folio of six polished poems, ideal for magazine and literary journal submissions, as well as personalized recommendations for publication and professional development.

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Freelance Writing

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 drafts of both your articles.

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Writing the Science Fiction & Fantasy Novel

Do you daydream about distant worlds and mythical creatures? If so, take this six-week workshop and transform your ideas into creative science fiction and fantasy novels. You'll discover the essential elements of fictional worlds, how to write a science fiction novel with intriguing characters and plot, and write up to 2,500 words for your science fiction or fantasy story.

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Writing the Mystery Novel

Do you love reading a good mystery? Have you always wanted to write one?

During the Essentials of Mystery Writing workshop, you'll have the choice of creating a brand new mystery story from scratch or working with a story you already have in progress.

Spend six weeks on your craft while receiving feedback from a published mystery author!

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Getting Started in Writing

Getting Started in Writing

Have you always wanted to be a writer? Don't let doubt or fear get the best of you—take a chance and learn how to start writing a book, novel, short story, memoir, or essay.

When you take this online writing workshop, you'll discover your voice, learn the basics of grammar, and examine the different types of writing. No matter what type of writing you're planning on crafting—nonfiction or fiction—you'll need guidance along the way.

During this workshop, you can expect to take an in-depth look at Keys to Great Writing by Stephen Wilbers, who teaches beginner writers how to start writing a novel or book and what it takes to get published. Draw upon advice from published authors and start your writing career today.

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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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Copyediting Certificate Program

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.

Students who complete all the assignments and pass the comprehensive test will receive documentation from Writer's Digest of their completion of the Copyediting Certificate Program. The lessons run for ten weeks and then there are an additional two weeks in which students have the chance to pass the final test.

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Polish your writing to find success!

2nd Draft provides a high-level review of your writing, pointing out reasons your work may be getting rejected, or may not meet the standards of traditional publication.

2nd draft critique and editing services

After an evaluation of your submission, one of the professional 2nd Draft critiquers will provide feedback and advice. You'll not only learn what's working in your writing, but what’s not, and—most important—how to fix it.

Send your work to Writer's Digest 2nd Draft Critique Service!

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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.

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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.

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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.