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Weekly Round-Up: Get Organized, Get Your Idea, and Get Writing

Every week our editors publish somewhere between 10 and 15 blog posts—but it can be hard to keep up amidst the busyness of everyday life. To make sure you never miss another post, we've created a new weekly round-up series. Each Saturday, find the previous week's posts all in one place.

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Make It Work

To be a writer, you have to write. It doesn't matter how busy you are—just write. Make it work by putting into practice these 5 Ways to Maximize Your Time (even if you're managing a full-time job).

For more ideas on how to organize your writing life, check out Smart Ways to Get Organized and Be Productive. Then go pick up a copy of the February 2017 Writer's Digest, designed to help you be productive.

Agents and Opportunities

Looking for an agent? If you write middle grade contemporary fiction, here are 14 Literary Agents Seeking Middle Grade Contemporary Fiction NOW.

This week's new literary agent alert is for Aimee Ashcraft of Brower Literary. Aimee is specifically interested in literary and upmarket fiction, historical and women’s fiction, and young adult fiction (all genres).

Once you've e-mailed a query letter, how long should you wait before following up? We have the answer here.

For the opportunity to work one-on-one with an agent, sign up for the Writer's Digest Boot Camp: How to Craft Query Letters & Other Submission Materials That Get Noticed. The Boot Camp starts on January 17, so sign up while you still can!

Poetic Asides

Congratulations to the winner of the Writer’s Digest Poetic Form Challenge for the landay! Find out if you won or made the Top 10.

For this week's Wednesday Poetry Prompt, write a dream poem. Then check out this week's Poetry Spotlight: the Paul Laurence Dunbar House.

Ever wonder why some authors cross out their printed names in a book before adding their signatures? Learn about the practice and the differing opinions on it here.

The Origins of Stories

Coming up with story ideas can be a challenge. If you're stuck for an idea, check out Paula Munier's tips and tricks for Brainstorming for Story Ideas and try a new tactic.

For some inspiration on finding ideas, read about the reality behind five famous children's stories in When Truth Is Stranger Than (Children’s) Fiction.

3 Big Tips for Writing a Children’s Picture Book Like a Pro

3 Big Tips for Writing a Children’s Picture Book Like a Pro

Small but mighty, picture books help raise children into lifelong readers. Children's book author Diana Murray offers 3 big tips for writing a picture book like a pro.

5 Things I Learned About Writing From Watching Soap Operas

5 Things I Learned About Writing From Watching Soap Operas

Lessons in writing can come from various forms of art or entertainment. Author Alverne Ball shares 5 things he learned about writing from watching soap operas.

From Script

Writing from an Intimate Point of View and Adding Essential Elements to Solidify Your Screenplay (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script magazine, TV writer Kate Sargeant shares a first-hand look on her new digital series that was a life-changing experience. Plus an interview with filmmaker Mia Hansen-Løve, a new installment from ‘Ask the Coach’ and more!

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.