Skip to main content

The Top 10 Unlikely Writer Collaborations We'd Love to See

So, we’ve gone and done something kind of crazy. But, in our personal nerdy estimations, rather awesome.

Image placeholder title

At our editorial calendar brainstorm last year, a WD editor pitched the idea of doing a top 10 issue, in which everything in the magazine, literally, in one way or another, would be organized by a factor of 10.

On the hunt for a fresh and unconventional way to approach different topics—and an entire issue—we decided to give it a go.

The result was training ourselves to think in terms of 10s, from breaking things down into lists of 10 to choosing quotes with “10” in them to soliciting writers’ best advice in 10 words or fewer to receiving an e-mail confirmation from one of our favorite interview subjects saying, simply, “10 ten yes?” And, ultimately, the result was the Big 10 September issue of WD.

In it, we have 10 experts, from Natalie Goldberg to Donald Maass, arguing for and against 10 “rules” of writing (a la Show, Don’t Tell); 10 bestsellers, from Jodi Picoult to Chuck Palahniuk, offering top 10 lists of their own (see the links below); 10 Ways to Be a Productivity Pro; 10 ways to use frustration, hurt and anger to fuel your writing; 10 Tips for Delivering a Killer Reading; 10-Minute Fixes to 10 Common Plot Problems, and so on.

In further nerd-like confessions, it’s my favorite issue since the 90th anniversary magazine (which I tend to secretly geek out about when anyone says anything resembling the first syllables of “Ferlinghetti”). And the WD team wasn't exempt from the 10 antics, either—in the InkWell section of the magazine, we threw in an array of our own tongue-in-cheek staff lists. One of them, the Top 10 Unlikely Writer Collaborations We’d Love to See, is below. Want to get into the top 10 mindset and post your own list about the writing life? Drop by our online community to check out other writers’ lists, and to share your own.

And to read online exclusive lists from YA bestseller Ellen Hopkins (Top 10 Things I’ve Learned Since Becoming a Bestselling Author) and hilarious memoirist Wade Rouse (Top 10 Ways to Stay True to Yourself in Publishing), click the respective links above.

A writing prompt follows. Here's to hoping your Wednesday is an excellent one. (I might also note that today is the 28th … 2 +8 = 10. Of 2010. OK, time to get out of the Big 10 mindset now …)

* * *

WD Staff Picks: Top 10 Unlikely Writer? Collaborations ?We’d Love to See

[1] Danielle Steel + Stephen King: ?This would just be scary sexy.

[2] Maeve Binchy + ?Bret Easton Ellis

[3] Dr. Seuss + ?William Golding

[4] Charles Bukowski + Hunter S. Thompson: OK, so they probably wouldn’t get too much actual writing done, ?but still.

[5] Truman Capote + ?Ernest Hemingway

[6] J.R.R. Tolkien + ?J.K. Rowling: All the initials a fantasy ?fan can handle!

[7] Nicholas Sparks + Elmore Leonard

[8] Helen Fielding + ?Dan Brown: ?“Smoked three fags whilst deciphering symbols. Noticed sideways glances from v. sexy librarian. Spanx boxer-briefs must indeed make tweed jacket look slimming. Am irresistible professor of impeccable taste.”

[9] Stephenie Meyer + William Shakespeare

[10] Aldous Huxley + ?Neil Gaiman

* * *

WRITING PROMPT: Opposites Attract/Detract

free to take the following prompt home or post a
response (500
words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring) in the Comments section below.
By posting, you’ll be automatically entered in our
occasional around-the-office swag drawings (next one: Friday—last chance to get a story in!).
you’re having trouble with the
captcha code sticking, e-mail your piece and the prompt to me at, with “Promptly” in the subject line, and I’ll
make sure it gets up.

Imagine, in scene, two unlikely writers meeting up for a drink to discuss a collaboration. Naturally, things don’t go exactly as planned.


• Online webinars for writers

• Online
workshops for writers

• Get

Published with Writer’s Market

• Instantly download writing magazines, books, videos

• Sign

up for your
Writer’s Digest email newsletter & receive a FREE e-book

Writer’s Digest Official Book Club Selection: Portrait of a Thief

Writer’s Digest Official Book Club Selection: Portrait of a Thief

The editors of Writer’s Digest are proud to bring you the first book club pick, Portrait of a Thief, to read along with us.

6 Ways To Fight Your Inner Critics

6 Ways To Fight Your Inner Critics

For many writers, self-critique gets in the way of making much progress. Here, author Julia Crouch shares 6 ways to fight your inner critics.

Writing Allegory: A Convenient Place to Hide

Writing Allegory: A Convenient Place to Hide

Where realistic fiction felt both too restrictive and too revealing for author Susan Speranza’s transition from poetry to fiction, she turned to allegory. Here, she shares examples of famous allegories throughout history and how allegorical writing helped shape her novel, Ice Out.

Instagram: An Underutilized Tool for the Freelance Writer

Instagram: An Underutilized Tool for the Freelance Writer

In this post, author C. Hope Clark shares tips on how freelance writers can use Instagram as a tool to find more freelance writing connections, assignments, and overall success.

Jane Porter: On the Joy of Writing Mature Characters

Jane Porter: On the Joy of Writing Mature Characters

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jane Porter discusses celebrating the nature of getting older in her new romance novel, Flirting With Fifty.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 610

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 "different way of seeing the world" poem.

How To Research Topics Like a Journalist

How To Research Topics Like a Journalist

From in-person interviews to scouring the web for credible sources, journalist Alison Hill shares tips on how to research topics like a journalist.

Can I Have Your Attention?

Can I Have Your Attention?

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, an announcement is about to change the course of history.

Glenn Boozan: On the Funny Side of Parenting

Glenn Boozan: On the Funny Side of Parenting

Emmy nominated comedy writer Glenn Boozan discusses how a funny piece of perspective turned into her new humor book, There Are Moms Way Worse Than You.