WD Presents: Two Upcoming Competition Deadlines, Three Webinars, Your Story #112, and more!

This week, we’re excited to announce the deadlines for the Self-Published Book Awards and the Annual Writing Competition, webinars for short stories and hooking an agent, 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 deadlines for the Self-Published Book Awards and the Annual Writing Competition, webinars for short stories and hooking an agent, and more!

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Upcoming Competition Deadlines

Self-Published Book Awards

Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards

Writer's Digest 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

Writer's Digest's 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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Six Online Writing Courses Start This Week

Six new online writing courses start this week, including Sell Books on a Shoestring Budget, Writing the Picture Book, and more. Click here to check out the Writer's Digest University calendar.

Writing the Memoir 101

Share memorable stories and experiences through writing. While writing a book-length personal story can be one of the most rewarding writing endeavors you will ever undertake, it's important to know not only how to write about your personal experiences, but also how to translate and structure them into an unforgettable memoir. The goal of this course is to teach you how to structure your stories, develop your storytelling skills, and give you the tips, techniques, and knowledge to adapt your own life stories into a chronological memoir. Learn more about the genre through Writing and Selling Your Memoir by Paula Balzer and The Truth of Memoir by Kerry Cohen.

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Blogging 101

Blogging 101

Blogging 101

A key to success for any writer is having an online presence. Blogging is one way to share your expertise and—at the same time—build an author platform. Don’t know how to start a blog? Not sure what to focus on? Don’t fret! This online writing workshop will guide you through the entire blogging process—how to create and set up a blog, where to start, and much more. You’ll learn how to attract readers and how to market your writing. Start a successful blog today and get noticed by editors and publishers.

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Advanced Poetry Writing

Build your poetry writing skills by working with a highly accomplished poet! The workshop will consist of six one-week sessions, focused on individualized feedback and critique. Through detailed discussions of your own work, you will learn the kinds of questions editors ask of poems submitted to literary magazines. As a result, you will learn to revise and polish with an editor’s eye, gaining insight into how to craft poems suited for publication. You will leave this workshop with a folio of six polished poems, ideal for magazine and literary journal submissions, as well as personalized recommendations for publication and professional development.

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Build Your Novel Scene by Scene

Build Your Novel Scene by Scene

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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Writing the Romance Novel

Do you yearn to write a romantic story? If so, you need to know what sets romance writing apart from other types of fiction.

This course explores why romance is the same, yet different. Some essential components of romance are unique to the genre, while some romance requirements are identical to those of any good fiction story. Neither Stephen King nor Tom Clancy could sit down and write a romance unless he first familiarized himself with the specific factors that create a successful romance.

This workshop will help you to understand those specific factors that make up the specialized world of romantic fiction.

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Fearless Writing

If you love to write and have a story you want to tell, the only thing that can 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 while being in the flow and be afraid simultaneously. The question is whether you will write fearlessly.

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Upcoming Webinars!

Writing & Selling the Historical Novel: From Idea to Publication

April 29, 2021

Writing a successful historical novel is challenging, especially in today's market! In order to appeal to the modern reader, you must be aware of changing expectations, keep an eye on social awareness, and develop a keen ear for dialogue. Mastering these aspects, while staying true to your time period, requires extensive study and skill.

Writing and Selling the Historical Novel is a crash course jam-packed with advice from the start of your novel to the finish, from picking a concept with immediate appeal to pitching your finished product to the agents and editors who will take it to publication.

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

May 20-23, 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

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

Writer's Digest May/June 2021 Cover Reveal

Writer's Digest May/June 2021 Cover 

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!

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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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Mistakes Writers Make: Not Using Your Spare 15 Minutes

Mistakes Writers Make: Not Using Your Spare 15 Minutes

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 writers make is not using your spare 15 minutes.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unexpected Visitor

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unexpected Visitor

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, invite an unexpected visitor into your story.

7 Tips for Writing a Near Future Dystopian Novel

7 Tips for Writing a Near-Future Dystopian Novel

In this article, debut author Christina Sweeney-Baird explains how writers can expertly craft a near-future dystopian novel.

Pam Jenoff: On Writing About Isolation While Isolated

Pam Jenoff: On Writing About Isolation While Isolated

Bestselling author Pam Jenoff shares how she explored themes of isolation in her latest novel, The Woman with the Blue Star, while writing during the 2020 pandemic lockdown.

8 Ways to Add Suspense to your Novel

8 Ways to Add Suspense to your Novel

Authors Mark and Connor Sullivan are no strangers to utilizing suspense in their novels. Here, they share their top 8 tips for writers to do the same.

Lynn Painter: On Rom-Coms and Escapism

Lynn Painter: On Rom-Coms and Escapism

Author Lynn Painter discusses the strengths of the romantic comedy genre and how she utilized them in her novel Better than the Movies.

On Mining Humor From Family Dynamics in Your Writing

On Mining Humor From Family Dynamics in Your Writing

Humor often stems from things that are not humorous. Can you mine your family's dynamics for inspiration? Author Jesse Q. Sutanto believes you can, and gives you her top 3 tips for doing so.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 563

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write an after poem.

How to Inhabit the Character You Write About

How to Inhabit the Character You Write About

One key to engaging your reader is to give them a character they love to read about. Author Diana Souhami gives her top tips for making this happen.