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WD Presents: Enter the Self-Published E-book Awards, Learn How to Craft a Compelling Synopsis, and More!

This week, we’re excited to reveal the early-bird deadline for the Self-Published E-book Awards, several new webinars (including The Successful Synopsis: How to Write a Compelling Summary), 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 reveal the early-bird deadline for the Self-Published E-book Awards, several new webinars (including The Successful Synopsis: How to Write a Compelling Summary), and more!

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Upcoming Competition Deadlines

Self-Published E-book Awards: Enter Now!

Self-Published Ebook Awards

Writer’s Digest’s 9th Annual Self-Published E-book Awards honors the best self-published e-book(s) in eight of the most popular categories with $5,000 in cash, a featured interview in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a paid trip to the ever-popular Writer’s Digest Annual Conference in New York City.

In addition to $13,000 in total cash prizes, all entrants will receive a brief review of their book from one of Writer’s Digest’s competition readers.

Early-Bird Deadline: August 16, 2021

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Your Story #113: Enter Today!

DEADLINE: August 31, 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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July/August Writer’s Digest Cover Reveal!

Writer's Digest July/August 2021 Cover

July/August 2021 cover of Writer's Digest

Inspired by our January 1976 issue themed “Writing for Social Change,” the July/August 2021 issue themed Writing for Change, with a subtheme of finding the courage to write. We aim to cover the variety of ways in which author and/or their characters make courageous choices, including in writing about topics that inspire change in themselves, their readers, or the world.

Download a PDF of this issue from the Writer's Digest Shop today.

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Conference Announcements

Annual Conference Will Be Virtual

July 23-24, 2021

Writer's Digest Annual Conference will be going virtual! Please read our latest conference update here.

Writer's Digest Annual Conference offers everything you need to advance your writing career creatively and professionally. Gain invaluable tips to improve your craft, explore publishing options and learn how to establish a sustainable career—all while being inspired by successful authors and your fellow attendees. It’s all brought to you by Writer’s Digest, the experts at nurturing and developing writers at every stage of their career for over 100 years.

Register now!

Novel Conference Registration Now Open!

October 21-24, 2021

Imagine dedicating an entire extended weekend to your novel?

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

Hone your craft, refine your characters, explore the future of publishing, and get the tools you need to advance your career as a successful novelist.

Register now!

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Upcoming Webinars!

Today's Key Book Publishing Paths: What's New, What's Old, and What's Right for You

Today's Key Book Publishing Paths: What's New, What's Old, and What's Right for You

Jane Friedman discusses everything you need to know about how book publishing operates today, in plain English, to help you understand the pros and cons of every major publishing path available. She'll cover New York traditional publishing and what projects are well-suited to being represented by literary agents; the capabilities of mid-size publishers and independent publishers; how to evaluate small presses, micro-presses, and digital-only presses; what "hybrid" publishing is (or thinks it is) and how to evaluate such companies; and all forms of self-publishing and e-publishing practiced today.

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Literary Agent Boot Camp: Perfecting Submission Materials

Literary Agent Boot Camp: Perfecting Submission Materials

In this boot camp from Fuse Literary Agency, attendees will learn how to put together a short yet effective query letter and a one- to two-page book synopsis (fiction). They’ll also learn some best practices for submitting their query, pages, and synopsis to agents.

Each attendee will have the opportunity to have ten pages critiqued by an agent along with their work in any combination: query letter, manuscript pages, and synopsis.

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The Successful Synopsis: How to Write a Compelling Summary

The Successful Synopsis: How to Write a Compelling Summary

As a literary agent, Kaitlyn Johnson has read countless synopses in her query box and has edited submission materials in multiple genres through her business Strictly Textual. She has also written articles and presented webinars exploring the best ways to structure the difficult document.

Through this live webinar, you’ll learn how to incorporate voice into your synopsis, how to organize your plot points, and how to decide which details to include that will compel an agent or editor to eagerly move on to your first pages.

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How to Write a Young Adult Novel that Can Sell

How to Write a Young Adult Novel that Can Sell

Carlisle Webber represents young adult books in a variety of genres and worked as a librarian and professional book reviewer specializing in YA. She’ll show you the traits that separate a successful YA novel from one that fails. You’ll have the chance to learn what catches an agent’s attention and what editors are currently dying to read.

Because YA is an age range and not a genre, the lessons from this live webinar will apply to all types of fiction, from mystery to romance to fantasy. Learn how to write for an audience with ever-changing trends and tastes. Elements like voice and plot are essential to any novel, and you’ll learn how to create them for teen readers.

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Writing the Personal Essay: Your Guide to Getting It Right

Writing The Personal Essay: Your Guide to Getting it Right

Windy Lynn Harris has helped hundreds of writers find success writing personal essays. A personal essay isn’t simply an anecdote but an in-depth exploration of a subject. Writing the truth is important, but great storytelling holds equal weight. Well-written essays harness cadence, individuality, a narrative arc, and creativity. In this session, Windy will share the essential components required to deliver a meaningful true story so you can craft your personal essays with confidence.

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Blogging Strategies that Work in 2021

Blogging Strategies That Work in 2021

In this 90-minute webinar, Jane Friedman will teach you the principles of strategic blogging for authors and the best practices she’s learned since she started blogging consistently in 2008. She’ll discuss what blogging is (it’s a funny term and its meaning has changed), how to get readers for your blog, and point to the key strategic models used by author-bloggers today. (Jane’s model: content marketing. Another one is literary citizenship.)

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Upcoming Science Fiction & Fantasy Virtual Conference!

WDU Annual Science Fiction & Fantasy Virtual Conference

Writer’s Digest University is pleased to present a one-of-a-kind online event for science fiction and fantasy writers! On August 28 and 29, our WDU Annual Science Fiction & Fantasy Virtual Conference will provide expert insights from SIX award-winning and bestselling authors on the finer points of how to write within the science fiction and fantasy genres. Spend the weekend learning techniques for honing your craft from six different published authors*, then (if you choose) pitch your novel via query letter to a literary agent specifically looking for material in these genres. The agent will provide you with a personalized critique of your query—and maybe ask to see more.

Experience the education, camaraderie, and opportunities provided by a live writing conference without ever having to leave your home!

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Seven Online Writing Courses Start This Week

Seven new online writing courses start this week, including Writing the Science Fiction and Fantasy Novel, Writing Nonfiction 101, and more. Click here to check out the Writer's Digest University calendar.

Getting Started in Writing

Writer's Digest is proud to offer our Copyediting Certificate Program. This workshop will 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.

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Grammar and Mechanics

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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The Art of Storytelling 101: Story Mapping and Pacing

Discover how the seven core competencies of storytelling—concept, character, voice, plot, theme, scene construction, and style—combine to create a compelling narrative.

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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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Outlining Your Novel

Outlining Your Novel course

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.

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Pitch an Article: Write for Today's Marketplace

In today’s competitive marketplace, it’s important to catch an editor's attention. It all starts with a pitch.

No matter what kind of article you want to write, a good pitch letter will get you noticed by an assigning editor.

This intensive two-week course will teach you how to craft a good pitch letter and do it well. Be ready to mine your life for ideas. Start thinking about a great spin on a topic or an unusual personal experience that you'd like to write about in class.

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Writing Nonfiction 101: Fundamentals

Research, interview, and explore the subjects that interest you. Then write about what you've learned in Writing Nonfiction 101: Fundamentals. Writing nonfiction is a great way for beginner and experienced writers to break into the publishing industry.

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Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Ending Your Story Too Soon

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Ending Your Story Too Soon

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is ending your story too soon.

FightWrite™: Fight Scenes with Magic

FightWrite™: Fight Scenes With Magic

In this post, trained fighter and author Carla Hoch explores the process of writing fight scenes with magic—how to make the unbelievable believable, how limitations bring us closer to our characters, and more.

Invoice Template for Freelance Writers

Invoice Template for Freelance Writers

If you're a freelance writer who is able to secure assignments, an essential tool you'll need is an invoice. In this post, Writer's Digest Senior Editor Robert Lee Brewer shares a very basic and easy invoice template for freelance writers to get the job done (and get paid).

3 Things Being a Broadway Wig Master Taught Me About Storytelling

3 Things Being a Broadway Wig Master Taught Me About Storytelling

A career behind the curtain helped Amy Neswald in creating her own stories. Here, the author shares 3 things being a broadway wig master taught her about storytelling.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Out of Control

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Out of Control

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, let things get a little out of control.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Next Steps

Here are the final steps for the 14th annual November PAD Chapbook Challenge! Use December and the beginning of January to revise and collect your poems into a chapbook manuscript. Here are some tips and guidelines.

NaNoWriMo’s Over … Now What?

NaNoWriMo’s Over … Now What?

After an intense writing challenge, you might feel a little lost. Here are some tips from Managing Editor and fellow Wrimo Moriah Richard for capitalizing on your momentum.

Ian Douglas: On Telling the Truth in Science Fiction

Ian Douglas: On Telling the Truth in Science Fiction

New York Times bestselling author Ian Douglas discusses how he incorporated implausible conspiracy theories to uncover the truth in his new science fiction novel, Alien Hostiles.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 589

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 yesterday poem.