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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5 Ways to Add a Refrain to Your Picture Books (and Why You Should)

5 Ways to Add a Refrain to Your Picture Books (and Why You Should)

Children's author Christine Evans shares how repetition is good for growing readers and gives you the tools to write your story's perfect refrain.

From Our Readers

Describe the First Time a Book Transported You to Another/Magical World: From Our Readers (Comment for a Chance at Publication)

This post announces our latest From Our Readers ask: Describe the First Time a Book Transported You to Another/Magical World. Comment for a chance at publication in a future issue of Writer's Digest.

About Us: How to Handle Your Story That Involves Other People

About Us: How to Handle Your Story That Involves Other People

Your story belongs to you but will involve other people. Where do your rights end and theirs begin?

Identifying Your Book's Target Audience

Identifying Your Book's Target Audience

Editor-in-chief Amy Jones navigates how to know your target audience, and how knowing will make your writing stronger.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 575

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 safe poem.

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I Spy

Every writer needs a little inspiration once and a while. For today's prompt, someone is watching your narrator ... but there's a twist.

Brian Freeman: On "Rebooting" Another Writer's Legacy

Brian Freeman: On "Rebooting" Another Writer's Legacy

In this article, Brian Freeman, author of Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Treachery, discusses how he took up the mantle of a great series and made it his own.

Sole vs. Soul (Grammar Rules)

Sole vs. Soul (Grammar Rules)

Learn how to distinguish the sole from the soul with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

How to Make the Most of a Virtual Writing Workshop or Conference

How to Make the Most of a Virtual Writing Workshop or Conference

In this brave new world of virtual learning and social distance, Kristy Stevenson helps us make the most of the virtual conference.