Freaky Friday: Your Recap of the Week in Weird Writing-World News

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George Washington: every library’s worst nightmare. Being 221 years late on returning two tomes, the president has racked up some $4,577 in fines.

Everyone’s favorite authorial supergroup has a new talent:Jennifer Weiner has joined The Rock Bottom Remainders. The group, “one of the world’s highest ratios of noise to talent,” has featured Mitch Albom, Dave Barry, Roy Blount Jr., Stephen King, Matt Groening, Amy Tan and others.

Apparently $200,000 for a part-time gig wasn’t enough for Danielle Steel’s former assistant: Kristy Watts, who was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison this week, embezzled nearly $800,000 from the author.

Damn those promiscuous vampires: Stephenie Meyer and others earned a place on an ALA list of “most frequently challenged books” (essentially meaning complaints were filed with libraries to have the books pulled from shelves). The author’s racy company includes the ttyl books by Lauren Myracle and Alice Walker’s The Color Purple (Alice Walker—seriously?).

A great, non-absurd list on absurdity: Absurd guru Michael Foley ranks his top 10 absurd classics.

Finally, a random fact pulled from an intriguing story about a New York Public Library Voltaire exhibit: The author originally released his classic Candide—featuring such character names as Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh—using the simple pseudonym “Dr. Ralph.”

Happy weekend!

(Image: Salvatore Vuono)

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:End of the Line

free to take the following prompt home or post your
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At the funeral, you fidget nervously as you wait in line to pay your respects. When you reach the casket, the face of the woman standing next to it changes.


Also, the new Writer's Digest University—an excellent hub of writing
courses and workshops—has gone live. Check it out at,
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From Script

A Fond Farewell to Netflix’s Lucifer, Writing Video Games, and Do Experts Stand in the Way of Your Writing Goals?: From Script

In this week’s round up brought to us by, exclusive interviews with Lucifer TV writer Chris Rafferty and video game writer Ian Ryan. Plus, learn about screenwriting trailblazer France Goodrich Hacket, who co-wrote It’s a Wonderful Life, and advice on when and when not to approach a writing expert to reach your writing goals.

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Misusing Dialogue Tags

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Misusing Dialogue Tags

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 misusing dialogue tags.

Poetic Forms

Boketto: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, Walter J. Wojtanik shares his relatively new form, the boketto.

Paul Neilan: On Implementing Dark Humor

Paul Neilan: On Implementing Dark Humor

In this article, author Paul Neilan explains how he came up with the idea for his mystery and dark comedy novel The Hollywood Spiral.


Deborah Hall, 2020 Writer's Digest Poetry Awards Winner

The winner of the 2020 Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards discusses the inspiration behind her first-place poem, “The Loneliest Whale."

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Split Up

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Split Up

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have your characters split up.

Kerry Winfrey: On Writing a Romance that's Cozy and Comforting

Kerry Winfrey: On Writing a Romance that's Cozy and Comforting

Author Kerry Winfrey wrote her latest romance, Very Sincerely Yours, during the 2020 pandemic to comfort herself. Here, she's explaining why that tone is important for readers.


The 2020 Writer's Digest Poetry Awards Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 WD Poetry Awards!


Your Story #113

Write a short story of 650 words or fewer based on the photo prompt. You can be poignant, funny, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your story.