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WD Presents: Final Competition Deadline, Short Story Virtual Conference, and more!

This week, we’re excited to announce the Self-Published Book Awards deadline for 2021, details on the upcoming Short Story Virtual Conference, 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 the Self-Published Book Awards deadline for 2021, details on the upcoming Short Story Virtual Conference, and more!

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Upcoming Competition Deadlines

Self-Published Book Awards

Writer's Digest Competitions Self-Published Book Awards

Writer's Digest Competitions Self-Published Book Awards

NEW DEADLINE: June 1, 2021

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.

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Your Story #112

DEADLINE: June 28, 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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Writer’s Digest Annual Conference Information!

JULY 22-25, 2021

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

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Six Online Writing Courses Start This Week

Six new online writing courses start this week, including Writing the Picture Book, Grammar and Mechanics, and more. Click here to check out the Writer's Digest University calendar.

12 Weeks to a First Draft

Our goal is to help you finish either a decently developed half draft (of half of your novel) or a rough “in-progress" full draft. However, you'll learn all the tools needed to complete the full first draft. At the end of this workshop, you will have accomplished every writer's goal—an “in-progress" working first draft.

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Writing the Picture Book

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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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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Increase Your Online Reach with The Magic of SEO

Increase Your Online Reach with The Magic of SEO

Whether you’re an authorpreneur, a freelancer, or a blogger, this very practical, hands-on course will guide you through the magical optimization process of how to show up on Google so that people can start finding you online. Start optimizing your content with the right keywords and keyphrases today and attract more of the right online readers, customers, and prospects.

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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 Nonfiction 101: Fundamentals

Throughout this 12-week workshop, you will get step-by-step instruction on how to write nonfiction, read Philip Gerard's Creative Nonfiction: Researching and Crafting Stories of Real Life, and write articles, essays, or a few chapters of your book. Register for this workshop and discover how fun writing nonfiction can be.

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Upcoming Webinars!

Agent One-on-One: First 10 Pages Boot Camp

Agent One-on-One First Ten Pages Boot Camp February 2021

May 20-24, 2021

As many writers know, agents and editors won't give your work more than ten pages or so to make an impact. If you haven't got them hooked by then, it's a safe bet you won't be asked for more material. Make sure you've got the kind of opening they're looking for! In this invaluable event, you'll get to work with an agent online to review and refine the first ten pages of your novel or non-fiction book. You'll learn what keeps an agent reading, what are the most common mistakes that make them stop, and the steps you need to take to correct them. The best part is that you'll be working directly with an agent, who will provide feedback specific to your work.

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Short Story Virtual Conference

Short Story Virtual Conference

May 21-23, 2021

Writer's Digest is pleased to present an exclusive virtual conference for short story writers! On May 21-23, our Short Story Writing Virtual Conference will provide expert insights from SEVEN award-winning and best-selling authors on the finer points of how to write a short story. Spend the weekend learning techniques for honing your craft skills, marketing your short fiction, editing, and getting the tools you need to advance your career as a writer from seven different published authors*, then (if you choose) submit up to 500 words of a short story to an editor for critique. The editor will provide you with a personalized critique of your short story.

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

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21 Days to Your Novel Outline and Synopsis

21 Days to Your Novel Outline and Synopsis

May 27-June 18, 2021

Outlines for novels can seem daunting. The synopsis, even more so. A synopsis is something you’re going to need because it’s vital to selling your novel if you’re going to query agents or publishers. And the outline is going to save you time while you’re writing your novel. Starting with your premise, expanding your outline, and then writing your synopsis is the perfect way to understand exactly what your story is about and how to get it done.

In addition to your outline, your premise and synopsis are two of the most important tools in writing your novel.

This course is designed to help you understand how to craft a winning premise, how to outline your novel, and then how to take both of those things and assemble a synopsis that will act as a guide for you to write your novel and sell it.

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May/June Issue of Writer’s Digest Out Now!

Writer's Digest May/June 2021 Cover Reveal

When you get down to it, most writing begins with curiosity, whether the source is a spark of interest in the mind of the person writing or whether a writer is answering the calls of curious readers. In the May/June 2021 issue of Writer’s Digest, we aim to do both as well: answer questions about topics that pique writers’ curiosity and provide resources that will enable curiosity to be a force of inspiration for your work.

Get your copy now!

Abbreviation vs. Acronym vs. Initialism (Grammar Rules)

Abbreviation vs. Acronym vs. Initialism (Grammar Rules)

Learn when you're using an abbreviation vs. acronym vs. initialism with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

What Is Investigative Journalism?

What Is Investigative Journalism?

Alison Hill breaks down the definition of investigative journalism, how good investigative journalism makes for sweeping societal change, and how the landscape of the work is evolving.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: 6 WDU Courses, an Upcoming Virtual Conference, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce six new WDU courses, a romance writing virtual conference, and more!

Going From Me to We: Collaborating on the Writing of a Novel

Going From Me to We: Collaborating on the Writing of a Novel

Past experiences taught bestselling author Alan Russell to tread lightly when it came to collaborating on projects. Here, he discusses how the right person and the right story helped him go from a “me” to a “we.”

From Script

Short Film Goals, Writing the Cinematic Experience on the Page and Sundance Film Festival 2022 (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script magazine, set your creative goals with a monthly guide to write and produce your short film, provided by Script contributor Rebecca Norris Resnick. Plus, an exclusive interview with Academy Award-winning screenwriter William Monahan, a Sundance Film Festival 2022 day one recap, and more!

Your Story Writing Prompts

94 Your Story Writing Prompts

Due to popular demand, we've assembled all the Your Story writing prompts on WritersDigest.com in one post. Click the link to find each prompt, the winners, and more.

How Inspiration and Research Shape a Novel

How Inspiration and Research Shape a Novel

Historical fiction relies on research to help a story’s authenticity—but it can also lead to developments in the story itself. Here, author Lora Davies discusses how inspiration and research helped shape her new novel, The Widow’s Last Secret.

Poetic Forms

Saraband: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the saraband, a septet (or seven-line) form based on a forbidden dance.

Karen Hamilton: On Cause and Effect

Karen Hamilton: On Cause and Effect

International bestselling author Karen Hamilton discusses the “then and now” format of her new domestic thriller, The Ex-Husband.