Sunday, 10 June 2018

Writer's Digest

With details of upcoming courses and competitions, here are the latest Writer's Digest offers:

Navigate sci-fi narration with ease - critique included

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When writing commercial and upmarket fiction, a positive reader experience is paramount to the book's success. A book must not only capture the reader's attention, i.e. “hook” the reader, but it must also maintain it. The writer's ability to immerse the reader throughout the story is a key factor when a literary agent is considering a submission. In science fiction and fantasy (SFF), because so much world-building is required, new writers often end up failing to maintain reader immersion and rather focus on heavy exposition instead.

Literary agent Mary C. Moore represents multiple SFF novels from middle-grade (MG), young-adult (YA), to adult. During this brand new live webinar, she'll help you learn how to navigate and balance the elements of active prose and world-building in order to write a strong SFF novel that will catch and hold a reader's attention. She will also walk you through some of the standards found within SFF publishing, e.g. subgenres, comparative titles, overdone tropes etc. as well as answer questions related to the genre in general.
About the critique
All registrants are invited to submit up to 750 words of your manuscript for critique. Please wait until after the live webinar date to submit your critique material. This allows you to make changes to your first 750 words based on the presentation and will ensure you receive the most helpful critique possible. All submitted pages will be critiqued for common SFF narration pitfalls by Literary Agent Mary C. Moore and given suggestions on how to polish the prose to better immerse the reader.
What you'll learn
How to work toward reader immersion
How to balance world-building with active prose 
How to classify your subgenre within SFF
How to avoid some common tropes
The difference between MG, YA, and adult SFF 
Where to find comparative titles for your project 
Who should attend
Writers who struggle to “show not tell” in SFF
Writers who are unsure which SFF genre they are writing in
Writers who have lots of world-building ideas, but are unsure how to put them in their story
Writers have read a lot of SFF but are hesitant to write their own
Thursday, June 14, 2018 at 1:00 PM EDT
Instructor: Mary C. Moore
Mary C. Moore has been with Kimberley Cameron & Associates since 2012 but her love of SFF goes back to when she was a kid devouring books by the likes of Tamara Pierce, Robin McKinley, Anne McCaffrey, Terry Brooks and so on. She brings that passion for the genre to both her own writing and who she represents. She specializes in fantasy and science fiction from middle grade and up, and is proud of her SFF client list, the most recent publication being MARKSWOMAN by her client Rati Mehrotra, released by Harper Voyager.
 F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300, Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA

4th Annual Sci-Fi and Fantasy Virtual Conference

Writer's Digest University
Benefits:What You'll Learn
  • SEVEN all-new, one-hour webinar presentations provided by award-winning and bestselling mystery & thriller authors.
  • A critique (with written feedback) of your query letter from an agent with experience in the science fiction and fantasy genres.
  • The ability to network with mystery and thriller writers.
  • Unlimited OnDemand viewing!
 F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300 Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA

Serious writers are VIP members

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How serious are you about your writing career? Get ready to improve your writing, learn how to get published, fuel your passion, and gain exclusive access all while saving money! Only exclusive Writer's Digest VIP members have access to year around savings. Become a member today!
Your One-Year VIP Membership Includes:
One-year subscription to Writer's Digest magazine (retail value: $47.92 [US])
One-year of online access to (retail value: $39.99)
Access to THREE online instructional writing presentations (retail value: $157.99) 
10% off Writer's Digest University workshops
20% off Writer's Digest Competition entries
10% off eligible products from Writer's Digest Shop
15% off Writer's Digest Tutorial subscriptions
Free standard shipping on U.S. orders from the Writer's Digest Shop
*Price advertized is for the U.S. VIP subscription. Other subscriptions are available here.
 F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300 Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA

Learn YA, Middle Grade, and Picture Book Secrets!

Writer's Digest University
Children's books—young adult, middle grade, and picture books—have taken over the publishing industry (in a good way). Readers of all ages are devouring the books that used to mainly take up space in libraries, children's bedroom bookshelves, or school classrooms. Now, children's books are celebrated for their enchanting prose, their relatable characters, their beautiful illustrations, and their fantastic stories that transcend age categories and genres. The growth of the children's book sector has been unprecedented this past decade—so how can you make your manuscript stand out in these crowded categories and genres?

In this Writer's Digest Boot Camp starting June 18, the agents of P.S. Literary Agency will show you how to make your submission stand out. How do you write a children's book with commercial appeal? How do you decide what category and genre your book belongs in? How do you find agents and publishers to submit your manuscript to? How can you attract both child and adult readers (and buyers)? The agent instructors will answer these questions—and more! They will also critique your work and answer any questions you have about writing and selling books for children.

As a registrant, you’ll have access to four children’s book-focused presentations: Publishing Picture Books; Publishing Middle Grade; Publishing Young Adult; and Writing Query Letters. Then, you’ll have the chance to submit your query letter plus your picture book manuscript or a sample from your middle grade/young adult manuscript’s first chapter for critique. Every critique submission will receive personal feedback from Maria Vicente, Kurestin Armada, or Eric Smith. This program children’s book boot camp will cover the following topics:
  • What the difference is between the picture book, middle grade, and young adult categories
  • What the biggest genres are in picture books, middle grade, and young adult—and how to decide where your manuscript fits in
  • How to come up with a commercial idea that’s character- and plot-driven
  • How to create engaging characters that agents, editors, and readers will love
Here's How it Works:
On June 18, you will gain access to four special 30-minute online tutorials presented by literary agents from the P.S. Literary Agency: Publishing Picture Books; Publishing Middle Grade; Publishing Young Adult; and Writing Query Letters. 

After listening to your choice of presentations, attendees will spend the next three days revising materials as necessary. Also following the tutorial, writers will have two days in which to log onto the course website and ask the agents questions related to the presentations or revising your materials. The agents will be available on the course website from 1-3 p.m. (ET) on both Tuesday, June 19 and Wednesday, June 20.

No later than Friday, June 22, attendees will submit a query letter plus their completed picture book text or a sample from the first chapter of their middle grade or young adult manuscript. Manuscript submissions may not exceed 1000 words. Only one submission per attendee is permitted. The submissions will receive feedback directly from one of the P.S. Literary Agency agents.

Maria Vicente, Kurestin Armada, and Eric Smith will spend up to two and a half weeks reviewing the critique materials and providing feedback to attendees. (The agents reserve the right to request more materials if they feel a strong connection to the work and want to read more; note that multiple agents have signed writers before from WD boot camps.) No later than July 9, agents will send their feedback to writer attendees.

Please note that any one of the agents may ask for additional pages if the initial submission shows serious promise.
Monday, June 18 - June 22, 2018
About the Agents:
Maria Vicente
Maria Vicente is a literary agent at P.S. Literary, specializing in children’s fiction—young adult, middle grade, and picture books—and cool nonfiction projects for readers of all ages. As an editorial agent, she provides support to her clients through all stages of the writing and publication process. She is actively looking for young adult, middle grade, illustrated picture books, and nonfiction in the following categories: pop culture, science, design, and lifestyle. She has affinities for literary prose, diverse characters, original storytelling formats, and anything geeky.
Kurestin Armada
Kurestin Armada began her publishing career as an intern with Workman Publishing, and spent time as an assistant at The Lotts Agency before joining P.S. Literary. She holds a B.A. in English from Kenyon College, as well as a publishing certificate from Columbia University. Kurestin is based in New York City, and spends most of her time in the city’s thriving indie bookstores. She reads widely across genres, and has a particular affection for science fiction and fantasy, especially books that recognize and subvert typical tropes of genre fiction.
Eric Smith
Eric Smith is a literary agent at P.S. Literary, with a love for young adult books, sci-fi, fantasy, and non-fiction. He began his publishing career at Quirk Books in Philadelphia, working social media and marketing on numerous books he absolutely adored. Eric completed his BA in English at Kean University, and his MA in English at Arcadia University. A frequent blogger, his ramblings about books appear on Book Riot, Paste Magazine, Barnes & Noble’s blog, and more. As an author, he’s been published by Bloomsbury, Quirk, and Flux.
 F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300 Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA

Discover how to get your book noticed in this age of publishing

Writer's Digest Tutorials
In this 50-minute tutorials, literary agent Carly Watters shares with you the process of polishing your manuscript and getting it publication ready, querying literary agents effectively, keeping an agent's attention with your manuscript, how to make the most of an agent/author relationship, how to find the best place to publish your writing, and where to find your readers. Read More...
Writer's Digest Tutorials Members enjoy full access to all tutorials featured in this newsletter, as well as every tutorial on the site. For only $199 you gain access to all Writer's Digest's writing tutorials for an entire year. That means you have access to all 350+ current tutorials and all the new tutorials created throughout the year. 
New Releases
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Writer's Digest Membership Options
350+ WD Tutorials are immediately available for viewing, and at least one new tutorial is added weekly.
Sue Johnson
Sue is an Instructional Designer for Writer's Digest. She lives with her Corgi/Dachshund (Dorgi), Dori, and three kitties. Follow her on Twitter @sueajohnsonco.
 F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300, Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA

$5,000, a feature in WD, and a trip to New York City are on the line! Final Deadline: June 15.

Writer's Digest Competitions

Enter your best writing into the 87th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition for a chance at $5,000 in cash and a trip to New York City! Plus, you’ll be featured in an upcoming issue of Writer’s Digest!

For nearly 90 years, Writer’s Digest has recognized talented writers across all genres with this prestigious annual award.

And no matter what you write, you have a chance to win—the most recent grand prize winners entered into the following categories: Stage Play and Television/Movie Script, Children’s/Young Adult Fiction, Mainstream/Literary Short Story, and Genre Short Story. Other categories include Memoirs/Personal Essay, Inspirational Writing, Magazine Feature Article, Rhyming Poetry, and Non-Rhyming Poetry.

So take some time to pick out your favorite piece of writing, hone it, and send it to us! One of our industry-expert judges may just discover yours stands above the rest.

What are you waiting for? Jumpstart your writing career now by taking a shot at the 87th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition!
 F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300 Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA 

Get inspired with a brand-new writing track.

The latest addition to our other offerings at the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference, our new Writer’s Reserve track is meant to inspire you—whether you’re looking to jumpstart your writing, rethink your approach, or reinvigorate your work. There are even sessions for freelancing and researching! This programming offers a little bit of everything you’ll need and want, encouraging you to be the best writer you can.

Take a look at a few of the sessions offered in Writer’s Reserve:
Copywriting: Build Your Freelance Business
Emily Wenstrom

As a writer, you have a core skill set that every company needs: the ability to grab an audience’s attention and communicate an idea. Whether you seek full-time freedom or just a little extra side-hustle cash, freelancing as a copywriter can help you reach your goal. In this session, a professional writer—one who’s worked every side of the business—will give you the foundation you need to get started in this lucrative field. You’ll leave with newfound knowledge of copywriting basics, as well as advice on how to find jobs, set rates, and earn more money.
10 Top Lessons From 10 Years of Bestselling Author Interviews
Jessica Strawser

This session distills a decade of wisdom into a collection of all-time best insights about the creative process, the writing life, the craft of writing and the business of publishing. Get new perspectives from award-winners and bestsellers on revolutionizing your writing routine, following the path of your story, revising with the right mindset, persevering through rejection, and more.
The Inner Game
Jacob Krueger & Dr. Audrey Sussman

Taught by WGA Award–winner Jacob Krueger and renowned hypnotherapist Dr. Audrey Sussman, this life-changing workshop draws on techniques from hypnosis and meditation to help you break through the inner walls that get in the way of your success. Appropriate for writers of all genres and all experience levels.
The Craft of Writing for Knitters and Crafters
Alanna Okun 

As a lifelong crafter, author Alanna Okun (The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater) has found a somewhat surprisingly high number of parallels between knitting and writing, and how lessons from one discipline have helped inform her work in the other. We’ll talk about the allure (and frustration) of creating something that looks just the way you want it; the slow, steady rhythm of putting one word—or stitch—after another; and the ineffable power of just sitting down and getting started.

Feeling like you’re at an impasse with your latest story? Stuck in a rut? Get those creative juices flowing with Writer’s Reserve at the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference—and get the best deal on registration today!
 F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300, Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA

Plus, learn whether you should copyright your manuscript before submitting to agents.

Writer's Digest
For the last two decades, we've scoured the web for sites to include in our annual roundup of the 101 Best Websites for Writers, a comprehensive collection of online resources for writers which you can find in full in the May/June 2018 issue of Writer's Digest.

Year after year, we review dozens of reader nominations, revisit sites from past lists, consider staff favorites and search the far-flung corners of the web for new additions -- aiming for a varied compilation that will prove an asset to any writer, of any genre, at any experience level.

This selection represents this year's creativity-centric websites for writers. These websites fuel out-of-the-box thinking and help writers awaken their imaginations.
Discover our top picks for websites to fuel creative thinking.

[Subscribe to Writer's Digest magazine to discover more of the top websites for writers every year.]
Steal These 31 Writing Prompts!

Writer's block? Get your creative juices flowing with 31 Writing Prompts to Inspire You Through the Month!

These prompts are easy, fast, and fun. They'll help fire up your imagination and encourage you to dig deeper as you write. Plus, they'll prime your brain to become an idea-generating machine. Whenever you sit down to write, you'll jump right into the flow.

Get your FREE 31 writing prompts here!
Story 2
What is anaphora? This literary device, which appears in biblical verses as well as the works of Walt Whitman, can be used to build up tension or energy in rhetoric, poetry and prose. Here, Aaron Bauer uses Walt Whitman's "I Hear America Singing" to explore anaphora. Read More...
It’s important to promote your book even before you’re finished writing. Give your book its best shot at being discovered.  Throughout the month of May, BookBaby will give you 31 chances to win professional book marketing consultation from the experts at Smith Publicity. 

Take your shot, enter now!
Story 3
Funny You Should Ask is a humorous and handy column by literary agent Barbara Poelle. In this edition, she answers reader questions about copyright for manuscripts and using real people and products in your work of fiction. Read More...
Turn your story into a screenplay that sells.
Join Producer TOM NUNAN (Academy Award, CRASH) and Writer/Director LISA EBERSOLE (37 Problems, Amazon) for THE WRITING INTENSIVE - the only daily, virtual, hands-on screenwriting program in Hollywood.

Learn More...

Story 4
In this episode of the Writer's Digest Podcast, author and comedian Laurie Kilmartin discusses writing comedy and jokes that keep your audience laughing, balancing the specific tug-of-war between writing for your job and writing for yourself, and combining humor and death in a way that’s both funny and poignant. Read more.
Story 5
Story 5
An emergency medicine doctor-turned-novelist, Kimmery Martin, author of The Queen of Hearts, discusses her writing journey, what she's learned about writing and publishing, and what's up next. Read More...
Unlock the potential of your manuscript! Helga Schier, PhD, published author and professional editor offers effective, personalized, constructive and comprehensive editorial services.

Contact:, 310.828.8421
Story 5
Art will never be a science, and of the many stateable rules about good writing, not all will apply to every writer. Here, author Poe Ballantine offers the 10 rules of good writing that have worked for him. Read More...
All the Feels: It’s typical in stories and manuscripts to use variations on the verb "to feel" to express emotion: He felt mad. I feel scared. While these practical expressions of feelings are not necessarily bad, you can invite your readers more deeply into the experiences of your characters by demonstrating those feelings.

Try it with one of these "feeling" prompts. Write a scene based on one of the phrases, allowing the character to express the emotion without using the word feel or felt. Or if you'd like, comb through one of your own pieces looking for the words feel or felt and expand on that feeling with more depth. (Hint: Avoid thoughts; stick to action, dialogue and images.)

- He felt sad to hear the news.
- She felt angry when he yelled at her.
- I had never felt so embarrassed before.
- His expression made her feel afraid.
- Her words inspired a feeling of dread.
- I'd never feel joy again.
- You always feel sick.
- We never felt loved.
Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments here ...
Jess Zafarris
Jess Zafarris
Follow @jesszafarris
Jess Zafarris is an energetic multimedia journalist with more than 7 years of experience writing and editing, and the content director of Writer's Digest.
 F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300, Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA

Receive the feedback you need to progress

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Before you submit your manuscript to an agent, editor, or competition, get professional feedback from 2nd Draft Critique Services. These critique services give a high-level review of your writing, pointing out reasons your work may be getting rejected, or may not meet the standards of traditional publication.
After an evaluation of your submission, one of the professional 2nd Draft critiquers will provide feedback and advice. You’ll not only learn what’s working in your writing, but what’s not, and—most important—how to fix it.
Product 2
If you have at least 50 consecutive pages of your manuscript written and are looking for not only professional feedback but also a two-page synopsis for your manuscript, this critique service is perfect for you.
Product 2
You'll love this manuscript critique service if you want to get an overall evaluation on your manuscript's stregths and weaknesses along with a clear idea of how to revise your
Product 5
If you have completed your manuscript you can submit a 2-page synopsis for critique. 2ndDraft Critique Service provides a high-level review of your work, pointing out reasons that an agent or publisher may not be interested after reading your synopsis.
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Gain professional feedback on what works and what doesn't in your personal essay. Submit your essay to 2nd Draft Critique Services and they will point out specific ways you can improve your peice, as well as reasons your work may be getting rejected.
Product 3
After reading your submission, a professional critique editor will provide you with specific, detailed feedback and       recommendations. They will comment on your story's plot, characterization, dialogue, setting, and story arc.
Product 4
You'll love this Plot Critique Service if you're looking for a professional critique of your plot. Learn your plots strengths and weaknesses while gaining a clear idea of how to revise your plot to ensure the most compelling story business.
Product 7
Submit your completed picture book and you will get the specific, tailored advice you need to make your picture book publishing dreams reality.
Product 8
Our 2nd Draft Critique editors will evaluate your one-page query letter and provide the advice and feedback you need to improve your query letter.
 F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300 Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA

Advice from SIX award-winning and best-selling experts

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In April 2018 Writer’s Digest hosted an online conference designed exclusively for mystery and thriller writers. When you buy this package you’ll receive all of the sessions presented in the conference. You’ll get insights and advice from SIX award-winning and best-selling experts in the industry. Hone your craft and take your mystery and thriller novel to the next level!

Seminars Included:

  • Opening Salvo: Writing a First Chapter That Guarantees Readers (and Editors) Keep Reading
  • How to Differentiate Characters
  • How to Write Realistic Action Thrillers
  • Writing the Mystery Series
  • 6 Steps to Writing Unputdownable Suspense
  • Plotting a Thriller
$479.94       $89.99
 F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300, Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA

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