Weekly Round-Up: Poetry, Prizes, and Getting Personal

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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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Grand Opening

It's important to have a strong opening scene so that readers want to keep reading your novel. Here are 5 Types of Opening Scenes to Make Your Story Stand Out.

Getting Personal

You don't have to keep a journal to be a "real" writer, but if you want to give it another shot, consider trying ones of these 5 New Ways for Writers to Keep a Journal.

Romance novels tend to include a very particular type of scene—and it can be uncomfortable to write those scenes. Read Handling the Risqué Parts of Writing Romance for some advice.

Agents and Opportunities

This week's agent spotlight shines on Shaheen Qureshi of Capital Talent Agency. She is seeking literary fiction and nonfiction, with an emphasis on historical fiction and narrative nonfiction, as well as memoirs, cookbooks, and graphic novels.

While working on your book, you may be dreaming about getting it published—but you also may be dreaming of winning prizes. Check out The Trick to Winning Big Literary Prizes to learn about one writer's trick to improve his writing and start enjoying literature.

The trick to writing a query letter? Be fearless and learn to love it. Read Fearless Querying: Learning to Love the Query Letter to learn more.

For a successful example of a debut novelist's querying experience, read the newest installment of How I Got My Agent.

Poetic Asides

For this week's Wednesday Poetry Prompt, write a betrayal poem. Then join the WD Poetic Form Challenge and try out a curtal sonnet.

This week's poetry spotlight brings to the stage the Bowery Poetry Club. Learn more here.

Why do you write poetry? Check out Why I Write Poetry: J.lynn Sheridan and consider submitting an essay that shares why you write poetry.

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Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Relying on Perfect Conditions to Write

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 relying on perfect conditions to write.

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WD Presents: Contest Deadline Announcement and a Flash Fiction Challenge

This week, we’re excited to announce the deadline for our Self-Published Book Awards, the guidelines for the upcoming Flash Fiction Challenge, and more!

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For the Travel and Nature Writer: Keeping Your Mind Sharp and Words Insightful

Dr. Caitlin O'Connell shares some insight for travel and nature writers, including how travel helps keep your mind sharp and words insightful, whether you're writing fiction, nonfiction, sports, politics, or something else entirely.

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Olga Grushin: The No Man's Land Between Genres

Award-winning author Olga Grushin discusses what it meant to wade into a new genre and how she put her spin on the fairy tale retelling.

Poetic Forms

Rannaigecht Mor Gairit: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the rannaigecht mor gairit, a variant form of the rannaigecht.

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The Writer, The Inner Critic, & The Slacker

Author and writing professor Alexander Weinstein explains the three parts of a writer's psyche, how they can work against the writer, and how to utilize them for success.

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Todd Stottlemyre: On Mixing and Bending Genres

Author Todd Stottlemyre explains how he combined fiction and nonfiction in his latest book and what it meant as a writer to share his personal experiences.

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Plot Twist Story Prompts: Take a Trip

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character take a trip somewhere.

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Making the Switch from Romance to Women’s Fiction

In this article, author Jennifer Probst explains the differences between romance and women's fiction, the importance of both, and how you can make the genre switch.