WD Presents: Science Fiction & Fantasy Virtual Conference, Getting Started in Writing, and more!

This week, we’re excited to announce information on the annual Science Fiction & Fantasy Virtual Conference, Fearless Writing live class, 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 information on the annual Science Fiction & Fantasy Virtual Conference, Fearless Writing live class, and more!

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Upcoming Webinars!

How to Attract an Agent: From Query to Career

How to Attract an Agent

June 3, 2021

The world of literary agents can be confusing. It can also seem extremely unfair. During this live webinar, literary agent Andrea Somberg will demystify the process, revealing what it is that a literary agent is looking for, and how it is that they arrive at their decision of “yes”—yes, I want to take this author on as a client, yes, I want to sell their book, and yes I want to help build their career.

In this live webinar, Andrea will discuss the four major factors that determine every agent’s decision. She will reveal the strategic questions that every agent asks, helping you position your project for optimal success. She will reveal the steps to crafting a query letter that will yield results and multiple manuscript requests. And she will discuss the steps to finding an agent that will help you realize your dreams.

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Fearless Writing LIVE! How to Create Boldly and Write with Confidence

Fearless Writing William Kenower

June 9, 2021

If you love to write and have a story you want to tell, the only thing that can truly stand between you and the success you’re seeking isn’t craft, or a good agent, or enough Facebook friends and Twitter followers, but fear. Fear that you aren’t good enough, or fear the market is too crowded, or fear no one wants to hear from you.

Fortunately, you can’t write and be afraid simultaneously. The question is whether you will write fearlessly on purpose. In this workshop we’ll look at several techniques you can use to keep yourself in the creative flow and out of the trouble and misery fear always causes.

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Create an Author Website in 24 Hours or Less

Create an Author Website in 24 Hours or Less

June 10, 2021

Every professional author needs their own website, and the best time to start is when you’re not under pressure to get one up in time for an important event or book launch. Even if you haven’t published anything yet, establishing a website before you really need it forces you to think through important questions for your early career: What should your bio say? What do you want readers to know about you? What belongs in your website tagline? And what kind of site aesthetic best represents your work?

An author website also connects the dots among the many things you do online. Social media platforms come and go, but your website stays with you for as long as you write and publish. It’s a cornerstone for building a strong author platform; fielding requests from the media, fellow authors, and industry professionals; and engaging new readers who want to know more about you.

In this live two-hour intensive webinar, digital media and publishing expert Jane Friedman will teach you how to use WordPress to get a basic website up and running in a day or less—often in one evening! If you have a neglected or abandoned website (or dusty blog), you’ll get inspired to revisit it and ensure you’re getting the most out of it.

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Publishing Your Children's Book: How to Write and Pitch Young Adult, Middle Grade, and Picture Book Manuscripts

Publishing Your Children's Book: How to Write and Pitch Young Adult, Middle Grade, and Picture Book Manuscripts

June 22-25, 2021

In this Writer's Digest Boot Camp starting June 22, the agents of P.S. Literary Agency will show you how to make your submission stand out. How do you write a children's book with commercial appeal? How do you decide what category and genre your book belongs in? How do you find agents and publishers to submit your manuscript to? How can you attract both child and adult readers (and buyers)? The agent instructors will answer these questions—and more! They will also critique your work and answer any questions you have about writing and selling books for children.

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Upcoming 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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Upcoming Competition Deadlines

Self-Published Book Awards

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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Annual Writing Competition

Annual Writing Competition

NEW DEADLINE: June 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!

Your Story #111: Vote Now!

Out of nearly 200 entries, WD editors chose the following 5 finalists. Vote for your favorite story using the poll at the bottom of the page. The winning story will be published in the November/December 2021 issue of WD.

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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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Seven Online Writing Courses Start This Week

Seven new online writing courses start this week, including Focus on the Short Story, Writing the Young Adult Novel, and more. Click here to check out the Writer's Digest University calendar.

Copyediting Certificate Program

Copyediting

This certification course incorporates critiqued writing assignments and tools to communicate directly with your instructor and fellow students to make sure that you are grasping the content. You will also have quizzes to check yourself along the way and a comprehensive test at the end of the course.

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Fitting Writing Into Your Life

Finding the time, energy, and motivation to get the writing done—day after day—stumps even the most seasoned writer on occasion. Life as a writer can be difficult to sustain, especially if you don’t have the direction, organization, and support you need. Get a glimpse into the life of a professional writer and set realistic writing goals for yourself with this online workshop. When you take this workshop, you’ll learn to manage your time effectively, create a writing platform, practice strategies for writing, and read The Productive Writer by Sage Cohen. Once you know how to fit writing into your daily life, it won’t feel like a chore. Instead, it will be enjoyable and invigorating.

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Focus on the Short Story

Short stories are a well-loved and popular form of fiction. When you take this online workshop, you will learn how to write short stories that will delight and entertain your readers.

By the end of this workshop, you’ll improve your creative writing skills and write two complete short stories. Don’t delay—start writing your short story today!

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Getting Started in Writing

Getting Started in Writing

Have you always wanted to be a writer? Don't let doubt or fear get the best of you—take a chance and learn how to start writing a book, novel, short story, memoir, or essay.

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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Query Letter in 14 Days

You've devoted hours, days, months—even years— to writing and editing your novel or nonfiction book. With all that time invested, it's natural to want recognition for your hard work and dedication. Take your writing one step further and tackle the publishing process. When you enroll in this online course, you'll learn the details of the query letter format and how to write a query letter that catches the attention of agents and publishers.

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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 the Young Adult Novel

Are you new to writing fiction for young adults? Do you want to learn how to write a young adult book and break into the market? Let Writing the Young Adult Novel be your guide. When you take this workshop, you'll get step-by-step instruction on writing for young adults and learn how to sell your novel.

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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!

Crystal Wilkinson: On The Vulnerability of Memoir Writing

Crystal Wilkinson: On The Vulnerability of Memoir Writing

Kentucky’s Poet Laureate Crystal Wilkinson discusses how each project has its own process and the difference between writing fiction and her new memoir, Perfect Black.

From Script

Approaching Comedy from a Personal Perspective and Tapping into Your Unique Writer’s Voice (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by ScriptMag.com, interviews with masters of comedy, screenwriter Tim Long ('The Simpsons') and writer-director Dan Mazer (Borat Subsequent Movie) about their collaboration on their film 'The Exchange', and filmmaker Trent O’Donnell on his new film 'Ride the Eagle' co-written with actor Jake Johnson ('New Girl'). Plus, tips on how to tap into your unique voice and more!

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Accepting Feedback on Your Writing

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Accepting Feedback on Your Writing

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 not accepting feedback on your writing.

Writer's Digest Best Creativity Websites 2021

Writer's Digest Best Creativity Websites 2021

Here are the top creativity websites as identified in the 23rd Annual 101 Best Websites from the May/June 2021 issue of Writer's Digest.

Poetic Forms

Englyn Proest Dalgron: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the englyn proest dalgron, a Welsh quatrain form.

What Is a Palindrome in Writing?

What Is a Palindrome in Writing?

In this post, we look at what a palindrome is when it comes to writing, including several examples of palindromes.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Set a Trap

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Set a Trap

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, it's time to set a trap.

5 Ways to Add a Refrain to Your Picture Books (and Why You Should)

5 Ways to Add a Refrain to Your Picture Books (and Why You Should)

Children's author Christine Evans shares how repetition is good for growing readers and gives you the tools to write your story's perfect refrain.

From Our Readers

Describe the First Time a Book Transported You to Another/Magical World: From Our Readers (Comment for a Chance at Publication)

This post announces our latest From Our Readers ask: Describe the First Time a Book Transported You to Another/Magical World. Comment for a chance at publication in a future issue of Writer's Digest.