Advice From the Archives - Writer's Digest

Advice From the Archives

In September 1961, the editors of Writer's Digest asked a handful of the world's greatest writers the following question: "What advice would you offer a person who aspires to a writing career?" Their answers follow:
Author:
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AN INTERVIEW WITH HEMINGWAY
In December 1964, Edward Stafford provided Writer's Digest with an interview conducted with Ernest Hemingway shortly before the author's death in 1961. It's excerpted here for the first time in more than 40 years. Please note that the excerpt has been abridged due to space considerations:
AN AFTERNOON WITH HEMINGWAY. LITERARY LEGENDS
What's old in writing advice seems new again, as one writer discovered on his trip back in time through the Writer's Digest archives: Literary Legends by Phil Sexton

"Study the writers' magazines and pound hell out of the typewriter."
—Erle Stanley Gardner

"Sorry—if I had any advice to give I'd take it myself."
—John Steinbeck

"The new writer should observe, listen, look ? and then write. Nothing begets better writing than the simple process of writing."
—Rod Serling

"The beginning writer needs talent, application and aspirin. If he wants to write just to make money, he is not a writer."
—James Thurber

"Beware of advice—even this."
—Carl Sandburg

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10 Epic Quotes From Watership Down, by Richard Adams

Here are 10 epic quotes from Watership Down, by Richard Adams. The story of a group of rabbits who escape an impending danger to find a new home, Watership Down is filled with moments of survival, faith, friendship, fear, and hope.

WD Poetic Form Challenge

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Quintilla Winner

Learn the winner and Top 10 list for the Writer’s Digest Poetic Form Challenge for the quintilla.

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Plot Twist Story Prompts: Fight or Flight

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, it's fighting time.

Garfield

Vintage WD: 10 Rules for Suspense Fiction

John Grisham once admitted that this article from 1973 helped him write his thrillers. In it, author Brian Garfield shares his go-to advice for creating great suspense fiction.

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The Chaotically Seductive Path to Persuasive Copy

In this article, author, writing coach, and copywriter David Pennington teaches you the simple secrets of excellent copywriting.

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Using Literary Techniques in Narrative Journalism

In this article, author Dustin Grinnell examines Jon Franklin’s award-winning article Mrs. Kelly’s Monster to help writers master the use of literary techniques in narrative journalism.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 545

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 cleaning poem.

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New Agent Alert: Amy Collins of Talcott Notch Literary Services

New literary agent alerts (with this spotlight featuring Amy Collins of Talcott Notch Literary Services) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.

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5 Tips for Writing Scary Stories and Horror Novels

Bestselling and award-winning author Simone St. James shares five tips for writing scary stories and horror novels that readers will love to fear.