Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Writer's Digest newsletters

Here are the latest Writer's Digest newsletters with details of upcoming offers, writing competitions and events:

Plus, discover how a field trip can help you perfect your story.

Writer's Digest

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by Steven James and Pam Johnson

The relationship between writer and editor can be incredibly positive and mutually beneficial as you both learn from each other. But if your expectations aren't aligned, it can also be toxic and infuriating -- for both parties. Wherein lies the balance? We asked professional freelance editor Pam Johnson and award-winning novelist Steven James, frequent collaborators, to map out the 7 deadly sins most commonly committed by their counterpart. Writers, listen up: These insights are going to help you understand the wheels turning in your editor's mind when she made the changes or suggestions that she did. And editors, take note: The language you use and the assumptions you make might be inadvertently offending an author in ways you never even imagined. May you all find hope, ye who enter here.

1. Lack of Communication: Failing to specify expectations.

EDITOR'S TAKE: Writers -- please set editing goals, communicate expectations and ask for any clarifications before the editor jumps in. We look at your manuscript with a different set of eyes depending on what you want, so it's important to let your editor know exactly what you want.

Also, tell your editor directly if you don't want her to follow grammar rules. We know there are times when an author likes to break conventions. Remember, editors have been trained to point out grammatical errors. So let her know if you've made a stylistic choice to ignore the rules.

WRITER'S TAKE: Absolutely. Communication up-front prevents a lot of problems down the line.

2. Sloppiness: Not submitting your best work.

EDITOR'S TAKE: You may think, "Well, she's an editor, so she can fix all my typos and errors. I don't need to correct them before I submit." Not true! Poor punctuation, grammar, spelling and so on is so distracting to an editor that she will struggle to concentrate on the story she's been hired to edit. Unless you only want proofreading, please submit as clean a copy as possible.

WRITER'S TAKE: Authors -- never settle for sending in less than your best!

3. Stubbornness: Refusing to change your course of action.

EDITOR'S TAKE: You have probably hired an editor to point out what she considers to be errors in your manuscript. No, she shouldn't change your "voice," but if something doesn't make sense or the punctuation is confusing, you need to at least consider her suggestions. Don't be married to what may be a fatal mistake in your story.

WRITER'S TAKE: I usually think of it this way: Don't fall in love with the first draft.

Read More...

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Story 2
Mackenzie Belcastro addresses writers who are despairing over their early drafts, highlighting five ways you can persevere and discover your story within them.    Read More...


Story 2
Dana Chamblee Carpenter recalls a panel on which Anne Perry tossed aside the idea that the historical fiction writer had a responsibility to get everything "right." We're storytellers, after all, not historians.    Read More...

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Story 3
Ahead of NaNoWriMo and the WD Novel Writing Conference, Grant Faulkner shares a great technique for gathering excellent details for your story: a "story field trip" -- an imaginative scavenger hunt to gather details, sensory information, and character insights.   Read More...


Story 5
The latest edition of Robert Lee Brewer's column, "Why I Write Poetry," comes from Ravishu Punia who writes, "Through poems, words say nothing and yet, they utter everything."   Read More...

Story 4


In this episode of the Writer's Digest Podcast, Heather Graham shares: Why writers need editors and editors need writers, tips to carve out time for your writing in your already busy life, the benefits of writing groups, and more.   Read More...


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The Reaper Knocks: There's a thunderous knock at the door. You open it to find an improbably tall, black-robed figure towering over you with a scythe in one bony hand. The figure peers at you for a long moment, then looks down at a clipboard in its other hand. Then back at you. Then back at the paper. It has no apparent face, but you sense that it is puzzled.
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 8 years of experience writing and editing, and the content director of Writer's Digest.



We are happy to help you with any questions or concerns you may have.
Please click here to contact us.
: F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300, Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA


Plus, get a handy checklist for NaNoWriMo prep!


Writer's Digest

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Story 1
by Jane K. Cleland

In 1962, Alfred Hitchcock and Francois Truffaut discussed their work during a marathon session that lasted for days. The two great directors and their French/English interpreter barely paused for meals. It was during this conversation that Hitchcock outlined his famous surprise versus suspense scenario -- the bomb planted in the cafe. He used this example to demonstrate that, contrary to popular belief, suspense is far more engaging than surprise.

Here's how it goes:

Say you have a scene where two characters are talking in a cafe, and a bomb suddenly goes off under the table.

The unexpected action will make the audience experience surprise. Your readers' emotional and physiological reactions are likely to be similar to the heart-stopping adrenaline rush a child feels the first time he opens a jack-in-the-box. Can you remember your first time? If you're like most people, you were startled, and for a few seconds the experience was all consuming. You didn't think of anything else; you didn't notice anything else. Your entire focus was on processing what just happened. That's the power of surprise.

Contrast that experience with this one:

You witness a man approach a café where two people are drinking coffee, enjoying a pleasant morning chat. You see the man step behind a column and turn an old-fashioned alarm clock to 1:00. It's taped to a bomb. A clock mounted on a nearby wall informs you it's 12:45. You watch as the clock ticks down the time. Now it's 12:49. The people keep chatting. Now 12:52. The woman laughs. It's 12:57. They finish their coffee. And now it's 12:59.

How do you feel now? If you're like most people, you're holding your breath, waiting for the explosion -- or for a hero to rush in and save the day. This approach, revealing to the viewer or the reader what's going on while the unsuspecting characters chatter on, translates into 15 minutes of suspense. All the immediate explosion bought us was 15 seconds of surprise.

[Don't miss Jane's sessions at the 2018 Writer's Digest Novel Writing Conference in Pasadena, CA, October 26–28!]

The difference between the immediate explosion and the one we anticipate is that in the latter example, we were fully informed. While the surprise flared up, catching you unaware, the suspense slowly burned, drawing you in.

Thus the question arises: If suspense is so much more gripping than surprise, and if the effect is more lasting, why employ surprise at all? The answer provides a twofold peek into the writer's toolbox. First, surprise can spark delight in a reader all on its own, and second, it is one of the most reliable ways to launch your readers into situations fraught with heightened tension -- a cornerstone of suspense.

To keep your readers on the edge of their seats, you need to integrate surprises that lead slowly, inexorably and with deadly calm, to suspense. In order to do so, you need to understand what makes a surprise effective.

The Anatomy of Surprise

There are good surprises, such as an unanticipated visit from a much-loved distant friend or relative, and bad surprises, such as an unexpected cancer diagnosis. Good or bad, all surprises share one key characteristic -- they're unforeseen. Integrating surprise into your stories can delight, intrigue, captivate, titillate, move, worry and/or inspire your readers. The trick is to set up such surprises so they feel fitting, not merely plunked down for effect.
   Read More...

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Story 4


"The exercises conveyed the importance of creating a visual in your writing -- an image that evokes an emotion or idea." Erika Hoffman details her experience in a writing workshop that challenged participants to use tarot cards to generate story ideas through a series of writing exercises.   Read More...


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When approaching NaNoWriMo prep (or NaNonFiWriMo for nonfiction writers), you must create a strategy before the event to help you maintain a positive and enthusiastic mindset and productive habits no matter what life throws your way during that 30-day period.    Read More...

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Story 3
Few authors have better embedded believable and/or accurate scientific information within an engrossing story like Michael Crichton. This article explores the tactics Crichton used to craft realistic science fiction within one of his most popular novels, Sphere.   Read More...


Story 5
Readers make snap judgements on what to read or not read. And they often rely on titles of books, articles, blog posts, and conference sessions to make those decisions. As such, writers must learn how to write better titles to find more success with their writing. Robert Lee Brewer explains how.   Read More...

Story 4


While few authors have the creative skills to design their own book covers, understanding the design process and how covers impact sales is critical to working directly with a freelance designer or your publisher's marketing team, and offering productive feedback. Learn:
  • What design terms and concepts should all authors be familiar with?
  • How does the book cover design process work for trade and indie authors?
  • What are the differences between cover design for print and ebooks?
  • How can a book cover impact reviews and sales?
Join us live on Wednesday, October 17 at 1 PM EDT for this free Writer's Digest webinar featuring Suanne Laqueur, Patrick Knowles, Ricardo Fayet and WD's Jess Zafarris to learn everything you need to know about book cover design, and get insightful tips on how to get the best covers possible for your books. This webinar is sponsored by Reedsy.   Read More...


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Lost Dog: The family dog has been missing for weeks, and everyone is devastated (except that one family member, of course). Suddenly, the dog returns, showing up out of nowhere. Almost everyone rejoices. But as time goes by, it becomes clear that something isn't quite right with the beloved canine companion...
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 8 years of experience writing and editing, and the content director of Writer's Digest.



We are happy to help you with any questions or concerns you may have.
Please click here to contact us.
F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300, Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA



Make sure you are prepared for November!


Shop Writer's Digest

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Yes, you can write a draft of your book in a month! Don’t let limited time, busy lives, or other obstacles get in your way of writing the book that is in you. A manuscript in 30 days requires thoughtful preparation, strategic planning, a strong sense of discipline and loads of enthusiasm—and this live webinar will give you the concrete tools to achieve your goal. If the only thing that’s holding you back from getting words on the page is no plan, this webinar has all the answers.

Literary agent Carly Watters has been coaching authors through first drafts for a decade and she’ll present a comprehensive strategy to “winning” National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo): a 50,000+ word draft in 30 days. This webinar is all about volume and getting 1,667+ words written per day. Whether you’ll be joining a “5am Writers’ Club,” writing during your lunch breaks at work, or after your kids have gone to sleep—it’s possible for everyone. The webinar will focus on character sketches, detailed storyboarding, realistic schedules, and tips to keep up your momentum through the full month of daily writing.

There will be roadblocks, but you’ll be better positioned to succeed with the more preparation you can do in advance.

What you'll learn
All registrants are invited to submit your first page for critique. Please wait until after the live webinar date to submit your critique material. This allows you to make changes to your opening chapter based on the presentation and will ensure you receive the most helpful critique possible. All submitted first pages are guaranteed a written critique by Literary Agent and presenter Carly Watters.

What you'll learn
• 
How to create an overview for your month of writing
• 
How to stick to a daily word count
• 
Which chapters to flag for future revision and when to forge on to the next chapter
• 
Tips for setting, and maintaining, a realistic schedule
• 
Ways to overcome complicated life stuff, writers’ block and sluggish writing days

Who should attend
• 
Writers thinking about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)
• 
Writers scheduled to participate in NaNoWriMo this November
• 
Writers who are writing their first manuscript ever
• 
Writers who have written a book, but are looking for a faster-paced schedule this time around

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. EDT

$89.99


Instructor: Carly Watters
Carly Watters began her publishing career in London at the Darley Anderson Literary, TV and Film Agency. She has a BA in English Literature from Queen’s University and a MA in Publishing Studies from City University London. Since joining PSLA in 2010 Carly has had great success launching new authors domestically and abroad.



We are happy to help you with any questions or concerns you may have.
Please click here to contact us.
 F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300, Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA


Award-winning author Jane K. Cleland will be teaching a hands-on session on suspense, structure and plot at WDNWC.


NWC18


Interested in keeping your audience on the edge of their seats? Every novel, no matter the genre, can use strong structure and elements of suspense to keep readers turning pages.

And what better way to learn than with a master of suspense at the Writer’s Digest Novel Writing Conference in Pasadena!

Agatha Award–winning author Jane K. Cleland will teach the key elements—and more—from her instructional book, Mastering Suspense, Structure & Plot, on Thursday, Oct. 25, the day before the conference begins.

When you attend the session, you’ll use Jane’s Plotting Roadmap to leave with a fully developed plotting plan for your novel. Jane will also demonstrate how to integrate plot twists, plot reversals and moments of heightened danger at tactically sound moments. These strategic moves can help quicken the pace and focus the action in your scenes.

This session is available as a standalone ticket for $199, or as an add-on to your conference registration for just $149.

If you register for the whole conference, be sure to catch Jane’s conference sessions on Friday: Overcome Writer’s Block and Release Your Inner Muse and The Art of Distraction: Using Red Herrings.

If you’re interested in Jane’s hands-on session on suspense, structure and plot, be sure to register soon! It will sell out!


Sponsored By

Ingram Spark
Author Accelerator
Book Pipeline
Dabble



We are happy to help you with any questions or concerns you may have.
Please click here to contact us.
 F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300, Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA


Expert Advice for Writing with Authenticity in Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Other Genres


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Free U.S. Shipping Through Oct. 15

Science and technology have starring roles in a wide range of genres—science fiction, fantasy, thriller, mystery, and more. Unfortunately, many depictions of technical subjects in literature, film, and television are pure fiction. Collecting articles from editor Dan Koboldt’s popular blog series for writers and fans of speculative fiction—plus a collection of never-before-published articles—Putting the Science in Fiction connects you to experts in the field. Scientists, engineers, medical professionals, and others share their insights in order to debunk the myths, correct the misconceptions, offer advice on getting the details right, and help writers create more realistic yet engaging stories to satisfy discerning readers.
This book helps writers:
  • Understand the basic principles of science, technology, and medicine frequently featured in fiction.
  • Avoid common pitfalls and inaccuracies to ensure technical veracity.
  • Write realistic and compelling scientific elements to captivate readers.
  • Brainstorm and develop new science- and technology-based story ideas.
Whether writing about mutant monsters, rogue viruses, giant spaceships, or even murders and espionage, Putting the Science in Fiction will have something to help every writer craft better fiction.
And now through Oct. 15 you can receive free U.S shipping when you order your copy! Orders are expected to ship mid-October

$14.99 + Free Shipping


*Prices are as marked. Offer applies to free U.S. standard shipping only. Offer edns 10/15/18 at 11:59 PM. Orders are expected to ship mid-October

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We are happy to help you with any questions or concerns you may have.
Please click here to contact us.
 F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300, Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA

Make sure you are prepared for November!


Shop Writer's Digest

Name


Yes, you can write a draft of your book in a month! Don’t let limited time, busy lives, or other obstacles get in your way of writing the book that is in you. A manuscript in 30 days requires thoughtful preparation, strategic planning, a strong sense of discipline and loads of enthusiasm—and this live webinar will give you the concrete tools to achieve your goal. If the only thing that’s holding you back from getting words on the page is no plan, this webinar has all the answers.

Literary agent Carly Watters has been coaching authors through first drafts for a decade and she’ll present a comprehensive strategy to “winning” National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo): a 50,000+ word draft in 30 days. This webinar is all about volume and getting 1,667+ words written per day. Whether you’ll be joining a “5am Writers’ Club,” writing during your lunch breaks at work, or after your kids have gone to sleep—it’s possible for everyone. The webinar will focus on character sketches, detailed storyboarding, realistic schedules, and tips to keep up your momentum through the full month of daily writing.

There will be roadblocks, but you’ll be better positioned to succeed with the more preparation you can do in advance.

What you'll learn
All registrants are invited to submit your first page for critique. Please wait until after the live webinar date to submit your critique material. This allows you to make changes to your opening chapter based on the presentation and will ensure you receive the most helpful critique possible. All submitted first pages are guaranteed a written critique by Literary Agent and presenter Carly Watters.

What you'll learn
• 
How to create an overview for your month of writing
• 
How to stick to a daily word count
• 
Which chapters to flag for future revision and when to forge on to the next chapter
• 
Tips for setting, and maintaining, a realistic schedule
• 
Ways to overcome complicated life stuff, writers’ block and sluggish writing days

Who should attend
• 
Writers thinking about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)
• 
Writers scheduled to participate in NaNoWriMo this November
• 
Writers who are writing their first manuscript ever
• 
Writers who have written a book, but are looking for a faster-paced schedule this time around

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. EDT

$89.99


Instructor: Carly Watters
Carly Watters began her publishing career in London at the Darley Anderson Literary, TV and Film Agency. She has a BA in English Literature from Queen’s University and a MA in Publishing Studies from City University London. Since joining PSLA in 2010 Carly has had great success launching new authors domestically and abroad.



We are happy to help you with any questions or concerns you may have.
Please click here to contact us.
 F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300, Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA

Learn tips and tricks from Jane Friedman


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Over the last decade, the publishing industry has undergone tremendous evolution due to the growth of online retail and digital books, as well as the power of any author to publish and distribute their work at the click of a button. But which path is right for you and your book—and how do you sift through the increasing number of hybrid publishers and services that make a lot of promises, but cost you a lot upfront?

Jane Friedman discusses everything you need to know about how book publishing operates today, in plain English, to help you understand the pros and cons of every major publishing path available. She'll cover New York traditional publishing and what projects are well-suited to being represented by literary agents; the capabilities of mid-size publishers and independent publishers; how to evaluate small presses, micro-presses, and digital-only presses; what "hybrid" publishing is (or thinks it is) and how to evaluate such companies; and all forms of self-publishing and e-publishing practiced today.

What you'll learn
• 
About the traditional publishing process, how it's different from self-publishing, and how long you can expect any process to take
• 
What type of contract, advance and royalty you can expect with all types of publishers and services
• 
What is expected when it comes to the marketing and promotion of your work for every type of publishing path
• 
What a query letter is and why you want a literary agent

Who should attend
• 
Writers new to the book publishing industry
• 
Writers who aren't sure how to publish their next project
• 
Anyone confused by the many publishing options available
• 
Anyone seeking to better understand the publishing industry

Thursday October 18, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. EDT

$79.99


Instructor: Jane Friedman
Jane Friedman spent 15 years working inside the traditional publishing industry and is the former publisher of Writer’s Digest. In addition to being a columnist with Publishers Weekly and an instructor with the Authors Guild, she is a professor with The Great Courses on the topic of how to get published.



We are happy to help you with any questions or concerns you may have.
Please click here to contact us.
 F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300, Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA


Register now - citique included!


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Middle Grade is one of the most popular, and fastest growing categories, in the publishing industry. For many, middle grade novels are childhood favorites that stick with us for decades-whether these stories are realistic portrayals of life or fantastical escapes from the mundane. Middle Grade is a competitive market, and it's a difficult category to master. There are many expectations surrounding voice, character, content, and structure that go along with writing middle grade novels. How can you make your manuscript stand out in the crowded middle grade market? And how can you catch the attention of a literary agent with your manuscript?

Mastering Middle Grade: Writing, Revising, and Pitching Your Middle Grade Manuscript covers the most important topics to keep in mind while writing and revising middle grade novels, as well as the process of writing a query letter that will effectively pitch your manuscript and entice literary agents. This live webinar includes a live presentation, a Q&A session, a critique of your query letter and the first 1000 words of your manuscript, and downloadable worksheets that will help you write, revise, and pitch your manuscript long after the webinar is over.

What you'll learn
All registrants are invited to submit your query letter and the first 1000 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 opening chapter based on the presentation and will ensure you receive the most helpful critique possible All submitted query letters and first 1000 words are guaranteed a written critique by Literary Agent Maria Vicente. Maria reserves the right to request more writing from attendees by e-mail following the event, if she deems the query excellent.

What you'll learn
• 
The common elements of a middle grade novel
• 
The appropriate word count for middle grade manuscripts of all genres
• 
How to create engaging and diverse middle grade characters
• 
What a query letter is and why you want a literary agent
• 
The best resources to bookmark as you continue writing, revising, and pitching

Who should attend
• 
Writers who want to better understand the middle grade category
• 
Writers looking for publishing resources
• 
Writers interested in writing unique, adventurous worlds for children
• 
Writers interested in writing compelling, diverse characters for children

Thursday, October 11, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. EDT

$89.99


Instructor: Maria Vicente
Maria Vicente is a literary agent at the P.S. Literary Agency. She is a creative and editorial agent, providing support to her clients through all stages of the writing and publication process. Maria is dedicated to managing authors' literary brands for the duration of their careers. Her reading preferences vary across categories and genres, which is reflected in her client list.



We are happy to help you with any questions or concerns you may have.
Please click here to contact us.
 F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300, Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA


Enter one of 6 categories for a chance at $2,500.


Writer's Digest Competitions

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What’s your genre as a writer? Do you enjoy writing a twisty thriller? Or the tender moments of a romance? Maybe you love the world building of science fiction.
Whatever your forte, it’s as much of a challenge to craft a short story as it is a sprawling novel. And that’s exactly your challenge—should you choose to accept it!
Craft your best story in 4,000 words or less, in one of six popular genres—thriller/suspense, science fiction/fantasy, young adult, romance, horror or mystery/crime—and have a shot at winning $2,500! Plus, you’ll also get to travel to New York City for the Writer’s Digest Conference!
Each first-place category winner receives $500, and each winner will be published on WritersDigest.com.
That’s a lot of cash—and a lot of recognition. But it’s the type of recognition that you crave as a writer; recognition that can help make you popular.
Start preparing your entry now! Submit by October 15!

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We are happy to help you with any questions or concerns you may have.
Please click here to contact us.
 F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300, Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA


Stop writer's block before it starts!


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Free U.S. Shipping - No Coupon Needed

Whether you’re looking for a boost of inspiration or a writing prompt to get your day started, the Writer’s Digest 2019 Daily Calendar has everything any writer needs to get their creative juices flowing.
And now through Oct. 19 you can receive free U.S shipping when you order your copy!

Sample Pages:


$14.99 + Free Shipping


*Prices are as marked. Offer applies to free U.S. standard shipping only. Offer edns 10/19/18 at 11:59 PM

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We are happy to help you with any questions or concerns you may have.
Please click here to contact us.
F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300, Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA


Three New York Times bestsellers talk shop.


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If you’re a novelist, there’s no event more perfect for you than the Writer’s Digest Novel Writing Conference on October 26-28 in Pasadena.

There’s also no better trio of keynote speakers we could have assembled. While you’ll benefit from the completely customizable schedule, opportunities to network with fellow writers, and kick back at the Halloween-themed costume party on Saturday night, listening to three New York Times bestselling authors will be a highlight of the event!

From crime to young adult to literary, these three are can’t miss speakers:



Crais
Robert Crais
With 20 crime novels under his belt, Crais’s books have landed on the New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller lists. He also spent years writing scripts for such major television series as Hill Street Blues, Cagney & Lacey, and Miami Vice.


Sittenfeld
Curtis Sittenfeld
The author of five novels and a short story collection, Sittenfeld’s books have sold 1.6 million copies. Her short story collection, You Think It, I’ll Say It, is being adapted into a miniseries produced by Reese Witherspoon.


Yoon
Nicola Yoon
Yoon is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything, now a major motion picture, and The Sun Is Also a Star, which has been optioned for film by MGM and Warner Bros. Studio.

Teeming with anticipation to hear their wisdom? We are too!

See you there!


Sponsored By

Ingram Spark
Author Accelerator
Book Pipeline
Dabble



We are happy to help you with any questions or concerns you may have.
Please click here to contact us.
 F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300, Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA


Plus, learn what everyone gets wrong about the writing life.


Writer's Digest

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Story 1
Writing requires three layers of mastery.

First, a writer must learn to master stories.

People may think in stories, talk in stories, read and watch and hear stories all day long, but life itself, the thing about which we are always telling stories, has no beginning, middle, or end. Life doesn't see protagonists or antagonists, doesn't value one experience over the other. In fact, life doesn't even recognize adjectives and adverbs: It's made of nothing but nouns and verbs.
[Don't miss William Kenower's talk at the Writer's Digest Novel Writing Conference in Pasadena, CA, October 26–28, 2018!]


And yet the writer must learn to look at life, at the great teaming, streaming, swarm of things and thoughts and people and creatures and pull from it a fraction of what he or she sees and string the most interesting characters and ideas and events together in the most compelling way he or she can. The writer knows the stories are illusions in a way, and yet these inventions, brief as they are, have the capacity to remind us of the whole of life. There is no formula for how best to do this. Instead, the writer must spend his or her days asking and asking and asking this question: What is so interesting about what interests me? The answer is a story.

Next, a writer must master what we call craft.

Writers translate life, a three-dimensional and five-sensory experience, into nothing but words, which are themselves nothing but thoughts. Every other art form directly engages at least one of our five senses. Writers don't get sound, or motion, or touch, or color, or shape. The writer must be interested in this unique translation, must be willing to leave his or her body behind for a time, leave behind the unshakable limitations of time and space for the limitless, formless silence of the imagination.
   Read More...

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Story 2
Now that you've published a book, you can afford that fancy NYC loft, right? Emily Bleeker clears up a few common and hilarious misconceptions about writers.   Read More...


Story 3
Literature comforts in a way clinical definitions and diagnoses cannot. It can help people recognize the symptoms of mental illness in themselves long before the predator of suicide pounces. Kristen Davis Schwandes explains why it is vitally important for writers to accurately portray the thought processes involved in mental illness.   Read More...

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Every day counts when it comes to preparing your game plan to earn more holiday book sales, and this free guide has 12 proven tactics to help you prepare for the $3 billion holiday season.

“Start planning for your holiday book sales with this”


Story 4
Until 11:59 p.m. (Central time) on October 15, 2018, Robert Lee Brewer will be accepting pitches for articles in the 2020 editions of Writer’s Market and Guide to Literary Agents. Learn what he's seeking, what he likes and how to submit.   Read More...

Story 5


Story 5
After writing two very different manuscripts, Marie Unanue sent them out to kids and their parents, who acted as beta readers, along with a survey. The process resulted in her final early reader chapter book.   Read More...


Story 6
Enter the latest Your Story writing contest: Write a short story, of 650 words or fewer, based on the image for a chance to appear in Writer's Digest magazine. You can be funny, poignant, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your story.   Read More...

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The Athlete: Think of an athlete, coach or other sporting-type person you've met before. Using this person as a springboard, identify the following qualities about them and then incorporate these qualities into a character in a story: physical body type, style of walking, usual outfit, reaction under stress, non-athletic passion.
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 8 years of experience writing and editing, and the content director of Writer's Digest.



We are happy to help you with any questions or concerns you may have.
Please click here to contact us.
 F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300, Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA


The new version of




 F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300, Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA

"Wonderful course! I accomplished far more than I imagined!" -DH



Writer's Digest University


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Dive into the world of writing and learn all 12 steps needed to complete a first draft. In this writing workshop you will tackle the steps to writing a book, learn effective writing techniques along the way, and of course, begin writing your first draft.

You'll take an in-depth look at Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird as well as more contemporary novels such as Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones and Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge. When you take this workshop, you will learn invaluable tips on writing a book and receive detailed instruction through weekly lessons and writing assignments.

In the workshop, you will be able to finish either a decently developed half draft (of half of your novel) or a rough “in-progress" full draft. However, you'll learn all the tools needed to complete the full first draft. At the end of this workshop, you will have accomplished every writer's goal – an “in-progress" working first draft.


What you'll learn
• 
How to use effective writing techniques to start the first draft of your novel
• 
How to create a 12-week plan for writing a first draft of a novel
• 
How to pace your novel
• 
How to weave literary elements such as plot, character, setting, style, exposition, dialogue, and tension within your novel


Who should attend
• 
Aspiring novelists who want a published author to coach them
• 
Writers who want to learn the 12 elements needed in a rough draft of their novel
• 
Writers who want to get a solid start on the first draft of their novel


Testimonials
• 
"Outstanding teacher! Wonderful course! I accomplished far more than I imagined! "" -DH
• 
"Miki helped me identify my weaknesses as a writer. I’m grateful that she did." -DM



This Thursday, October 18, 2018 - January 10, 2019

$629.99



Instructor: G. Miki Hayden
G. Miki Hayden has published mystery, science fiction, and young adult novels with a rave review in the New York Times for her alternate history novel, Pacific Empire. Miki has published a steady stream of short fiction in several genres.


Additional Courses Starting Oct. 18:






EXPERT INSTRUCTORS | CONVENIENT ACCESS
INVALUABLE FEEDBACK





We are happy to help you with any questions or concerns you may have.
Please click here to contact us.
 F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300, Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA

Experience the education, camaraderie, and opportunities provided by a live writing conference from the comfort of home!


Writer's Digest University

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Writer's Digest University is pleased to present an exclusive virtual conference for freelance writers! On November 3 and 4, our Freelance Virtual Conference will provide expert insights from SIX accomplished freelance writers and authors on the finer points of freelance writing. Spend the weekend learning the business of freelance writing. Learn what you need to succeed as a freelance writer including a proper understanding of the writing landscape, specific tips and techniques for gaining traction and getting ahead, how to get assignments that pay, and much more.

Experience the education, camaraderie, and opportunities provided by a live writing conference without ever having to leave your home!


Course Runs: 11/2 – 11/5


EXPERT INSTRUCTORS | CONVENIENT ACCESS
INVALUABLE FEEDBACK



We are happy to help you with any questions or concerns you may have.
Please click here to contact us.
 F+W, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 300, Blue Ash, OH, 45242 USA


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