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 deadlines for several competitions—including our Poetry Awards—as well as classes on writing the middle-grade book, and more!
Upcoming Competition Deadlines
Self-Published E-book Awards: Enter Now!
Early-Bird Deadline: August 16, 2021
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.
Personal Essay Awards
Deadline: September 1, 2021
We’re looking for personal essays! Think you can write a winning essay in 2,000 words or less? Enter the Writer’s Digest Personal Essay Awards for your chance to win $2,500 in cash, get published in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a paid trip to our ever-popular Writer’s Digest Conference!
Early-Bird Deadline: October 1, 2021
Calling all poets! We’re on the lookout for poems of all styles–rhyming, free verse, haiku, and more–for the 16th Annual Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards! This is the only Writer’s Digest competition exclusively for poets. Enter any poem 32 lines or less for your chance to win $1,000 in cash.
Five Online Writing Courses Start This Week
Five new online writing courses start this week, including Advanced Blogging, Writing the Mystery Novel, and more. Click here to check out the Writer's Digest University calendar.
21 Days to Your Novel Outline and Synopsis
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.
It's easy to start and maintain a blog, but most bloggers barely scratch the surface of what's possible. This course will take you out of your blogging comfort zone and encourage you to experiment and think bigger. It goes beyond the basics to explore such topics as how to fine-tune your blog's theme, how to improve your blog's visibility in searches and across the social web, how to turn your blog followers into a community, and how to start monetizing your blog.
Writing the Middle-Grade Book
Any middle-grade book author will tell you that writing an effective book is more challenging than reading one! Take this online workshop and learn the essential elements of writing for kids and how to break into children’s publishing. Throughout this 8-week course, you can expect to read lectures and complete weekly writing assignments.
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.
Writing Online Content
This course pays special attention to the most notable form of online article writing: the blog posting. Publications of all types have enlisted the aid of bloggers to help disseminate information. Blogs incorporate characteristics from other article types—news, feature articles, and opinion pieces. Learning to write blog postings is a marketable skill, and the writer of online content should have a strong understanding of blogs. Finally, every writer should have her own blog whether associated with a publication or not; blogs are an integral facet of any viable platform.
July/August Issue 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.
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.
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.
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 for 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.
Literary Agent Boot Camp: Perfecting Submission Materials
Think of your submission package as a job application for your book. You not only want to apply to the right people, the ones who have a passion for the books you write, but you want to present your book in such a way that they will easily see what your book has to offer. This live Writers Digest boot camp will teach you how to put together a dynamic yet professional submission package that will show agents you take your potential author career seriously and make them want to read your work.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
Upcoming 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!