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WD Presents: More Ways to Connect with the Writer's Digest Community!

This week, we’re excited to announce the deadlines for several competitions, give you information on our upcoming 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 deadlines for several competitions, give you information on our upcoming conference, and more!

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Upcoming Competition Deadlines

Self-Published Book Awards

self published book awards

DEADLINE: May 3, 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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Annual Writing Competition

Annual Writing Competition

DEADLINE: May 7, 2021

Writer’s Digest has been shining a spotlight on up-and-coming writers in all genres through its Annual Writing Competition for 90 years. Enter our 90th Annual Writing Competition for your chance to win and have your work be seen by editors and agents! Almost 500 winners will be chosen.

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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 to our in-person event. Be sure to check our website for the latest information.

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Five Online Writing Courses Start This Week

Five new online writing courses start this week, including Short Story Fundamentals, Read like a Writer, and more. Click here to check out the Writer's Digest University calendar.

Getting Started in Writing

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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Short Story Fundamentals

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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Writing Online Content

In addition to online article writing, this course will also teach you how to pitch online assignments and establish and promote an online platform. Special attention will be paid to blog and website establishment, leveraging social media (Facebook and Twitter), SEO (keywords, meta tags, and so forth), Google Tools (Google Analytics and AdWords), and using premium subscription services.

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Pitch an Article: Write for Today's Marketplace

Pitch an Article

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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Read Like a Writer: Learn from the Masters

This course will demonstrate that the best way to become a good writer is to study the writing of others, especially the work of the masters.

Because there are no hard-and-fast rules to writing, it’s important to study what other writers have done and how they consciously make narrative decisions and meticulously select details based on audience and purpose.

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Upcoming Webinars!

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

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

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

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!

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Collecting Advice but Never Writing

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Collecting Advice (but Never Writing)

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so this series helps identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's mistake is to collect writing advice at the expense of actually writing.

The Benefits of a Book Coach for Writers

The Benefits of Having a Book Coach for Writers

What is a book coach? How could they help authors? Award-winning author and writing instructor Mark Spencer answers these questions and more in this post about the benefits of having a book coach for writers.

Clare Chambers: On Starting Fresh and Switching Gears

Clare Chambers: On Starting Fresh and Switching Gears

Award-winning author Clare Chambers discusses the fear and excitement of switching genre gears in her new historical fiction novel, Small Pleasures.

Poetic Forms

Exquisite Corpse: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the exquisite corpse (or exquisite cadaver), a collaborative poem that would make a fun poetic game.

How Opening Ourselves to Other People Can Make Us Better Writers

How Opening Ourselves to Other People Can Make Us Better Writers

The writing process is both individual and communal, as receiving constructive feedback and outside encouragement helps our drafts become finished manuscripts. Author Peri Chickering discusses how opening ourselves up to others can make us better writers.

What Forensic Science’s Godmother Taught Me About Writing Mysteries

What Forensic Science’s Godmother Taught Me About Writing Mysteries

Stephanie Kane discusses the impact of Frances Glessner Lee, the godmother of forensic science, and her crime scene dioramas on writing mysteries.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Still Alive

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Still Alive

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, reveal that a character who was thought deceased is actually still among the living.

Mark Anthony: On Destigmatizing Paranormal Communication

Mark Anthony: On Destigmatizing Paranormal Communication

Author Mark Anthony hopes to educate and normalize paranormal communication with his new spirituality book, The Afterlife Frequency.

Ways Animals Have Interacted With Writers Through the Centuries

Ways Animals Have Interacted With Writers Through the Centuries

Across the globe and spanning lifetimes, animals have always operated as more than simply animals within the stories they reside. Author Richard Girling discusses how animals have interacted with writers throughout the centuries.