Weekly Round-Up: New Approaches for the New Year

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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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What Writers Need in 2017

You may have created an aspirational list of resolutions for the new year. You may have already given up on some (or all) of those resolutions. Don't worry about it. For a great writing year, here's what you really need to do:

Opportunities and Agents

Looking for an agent? If you write women's fiction, here are 7 Literary Agents Seeking Women's Fiction NOW.

If that's not enough, check out this week's new literary agent alert for Shana Kelly of Einstein Literary. Shana is looking for novels with great writing and surprising plots that fall somewhere between commercial and literary.

To capture an agent's attention, it's important to understand what they're looking for. Read an interview with Elise Capron of Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. For even more insight and 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.

Poetic Asides

For this week's Wednesday Poetry Prompt, write a something new poem. Then challenge yourself by trying out a poem in diminishing verse.

This year, we're adding a new Thursday poetry series called Poetry Spotlight. Find out more about the series and the first spotlight (the Rattle Chapbook Prize) here.

Do you struggle with submitting your poetry? Check out Poetry Submission Tips From Other Poets and get submitting.

The Right Approach

Two of the most powerful approaches to writing that writers should try are freewriting and outlining. Find out how to embrace the unstructured nature of freewriting to help you when you're stuck, and learn how imbue the structured outline with flexibility and discovery.

One of easiest ways to weaken your work is by getting details wrong. Separate the facts from the myths about depression so that your portrayals of characters with the disorder feel real.

Finally, one of the easiest ways to hook young readers is by adding the thrill of suspense. Find out how with 7 Ways to Make a Young Reader's Hair Stand Up.

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.

About Us: How to Handle Your Story That Involves Other People

About Us: How to Handle Your Story That Involves Other People

Your story belongs to you but will involve other people. Where do your rights end and theirs begin?

Identifying Your Book's Target Audience

Identifying Your Book's Target Audience

Editor-in-chief Amy Jones navigates how to know your target audience, and how knowing will make your writing stronger.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 575

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

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I Spy

Every writer needs a little inspiration once and a while. For today's prompt, someone is watching your narrator ... but there's a twist.

Brian Freeman: On "Rebooting" Another Writer's Legacy

Brian Freeman: On "Rebooting" Another Writer's Legacy

In this article, Brian Freeman, author of Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Treachery, discusses how he took up the mantle of a great series and made it his own.