WD Presents: Mystery and Thriller Virtual Conference, 2021 April PAD Challenge Countdown, and more!

This week, we’re excited to announce the Mystery and Thriller Virtual Conference, 2021 April PAD Challenge Countdown, 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 the Mystery and Thriller Virtual Conference, 2021 April PAD Challenge Countdown, and more!

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2021 April PAD Challenge Countdown: Announcement

April PAD Challenge

April PAD Challenge

Last year, someone on Facebook suggested that our senior editor, Robert Lee Brewer, start the daily prompting and poeming earlier than usual, since so many people were self-quarantining and social distancing at the moment in the United States and elsewhere around the world. And it was a great call.

This year, Robert wants to get started early, because he’s excited to get poeming. In fact, he;s already been writing poems just thinking about April. So, let's do it again.

Find the countdown guidelines here.

(And if you want to wait until April, no problem. Here are the 2021 April PAD Challenge: Guidelines.)

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From Script Magazine

From Script

From Script a division of Writer's Digest

Curious as to what's going on at our sister site ScriptMag.com? Check out our new weekly round-up of Script's articles here on the WD site! 

This week, we're excited to feature interviews with filmmakers Zoe Lister-Jones and Maritte Lee Go, advice on understanding the value of your intellectual property and how to protect it, and how to maximize suspense in your writing from ScriptMag.com.

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7th Annual Mystery and Thriller Virtual Conference

Mystery & Thriller Virtual Conference | 3/26-28, 2021

7th Annual Mystery & Thriller Virtual Conference

Writer's Digest University is pleased to present an exclusive online event for mystery & thriller writers! On March 27 and March 28, our 7th Annual Mystery & Thriller Virtual Conference will provide expert insights from SEVEN award-winning and best-selling authors on the finer points of how to write within the mystery and thriller genres. Spend the weekend learning techniques for honing your craft from seven different published authors*, then (if you choose) pitch your novel via query letter to a literary agent specifically looking for material in the mystery or thriller genre. The agent will provide you with a personalized critique of your query – and maybe ask to see more.

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Seven Online Writing Courses Start This Week

Seven new online writing courses start this week, including Social Media 101, Revision & Self Editing, and more. Click here to check out the Writer's Digest University calendar.

Build Your Novel Scene by Scene

If you want to learn how to write a story, but aren’t quite ready yet to hunker down and write 10,000 words or so a week, this is the course for you. Build Your Novel Scene by Scene will offer you the impetus, the guidance, the support, and the deadline you need to finally stop talking, start writing, and, ultimately, complete that novel you always said you wanted to write.

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Social Media 101

Social Media 101

Social Media 101 with Dan Blank

Social media is a large part of our world today—and is thriving and growing by the minute. It’s important to know how to use social media for writers, everything from the basics to how it can benefit your career. Discover how to use social media to your advantage in this Social Media 101 workshop. Get an overview of social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Flickr, and GoodReads. You’ll learn how to create a profile on social networks, decide which platforms are right for you, and build a sense of community with others online. Plus, you’ll get the tools necessary to manage social media and the know-how to create effective status updates. Become a social media pro and create online interest in your work. Twitter is highlighted in this course.

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Writing Historical Fiction

Whether history is a backdrop to your story or the focus of the story itself, this workshop will provide you with the tools to find the facts you need, organize the data in a functional manner, and merge that data seamlessly into your novel. You'll discover the appropriate level of historical data to include as a function of a particular writing goal, learn the definition of historical markers and how and where to unearth them, and uncover the tools to integrate history, research, and the fiction plot arc. Most of all, find out how to honor verisimilitude—the goal of any historical writing—and avoid the dreaded anachronism. You'll learn to write scenes utilizing historical markers that further the plot and put your reader firmly in the place, time, and setting.

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Writing the Personal Essay 101: Fundamentals

This course guides beginning and intermediate writers through elements of how to write a personal essay, helping them identify values expressed in their stories and bring readers into the experiences described. Writers learn how to avoid the dreaded responses of “so what?" and “I guess you had to be there" by utilizing sensory details, learning to trust their writing intuitions, and developing a skilled internal editor to help with revision.

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Creativity & Expression

Creativity & Expression

Creativity & Expression

Are you a beginner writer? Do you want to put pen to paper but have a case of writer’s block? Learn creative writing techniques to launch your writing and transform your ideas into your next story.

When you take this online workshop, you’ll explore creative writing topics and learn how descriptive writing can breathe life into your characters, setting, and plot with Rebecca McClanahan’s Word Painting. Stretch your imagination, develop your creative writing skills, and express your creativity with this writing workshop.

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Marketing Your Magazine Articles

Do you have a great idea for an article but don’t know what publication would be the best fit? Develop the skills you need to market your writing through this online writing workshop for experienced writers. Gain insight into marketing magazine articles and learn how to sell your writing. Plus, learn what to expect when an editor accepts your proposal and how to negotiate a contract. Take a chance and pitch your writing to editors—you might just see your work in print and get paid too!

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Revision & Self Editing

Every writer knows that the journey to publication is a long and hard road. Once you finish your first draft, it’s time to start the arduous process of self-editing and revision.

When you take this online writing workshop, you will learn methods of self-editing for fiction writers to ensure your writing is free of grammatical errors.

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Self-Published Book Awards

WD Self-Published Book Awards

WD Self-Published Book Awards

DEADLINE: APRIL 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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March/April Issue of Writer’s Digest Out Now!

Writer's Digest March/April 2021 Cover featuring Carmen Maria Machado

Writer's Digest March/April 2021 Cov

Writer’s Digest gets bigger, better, and more personal in the March/April 2021 issue! We’re unveiling our new expanded look (92 pages!) and a collection of new columns aimed to ensure writers of all levels and genres learn something new. In this issue, our features span intimate topics from how to make the most of your writing habits to writing about your own life with no judgment to advice for writing the most personal of all fictional scenes: the sex scene.

Get your copy now!

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.