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Culture & Literature
The Writer

The Writer

March 2020

Since 1887 The Writer has provided the motivation, writing techniques, expert tips and compelling author insights that turn good writing into great writing. We’ll help you become a better writer, find markets for your work, understand the business of writing, follow industry news and trends, reach your goals, and more!

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Madavor Media, LLC
Read More
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12 Issues

In this issue

3 min.
what’s being said

During a judging period for a recent short story contest, I started thinking a lot about dialogue tags. Because in many submissions, characters didn’t “say” a thing. They shouted, they stammered, they inquired, they posited. Some characters boasted and screamed while others murmured or mumbled. But no one “said” anything. And I started wondering why. Why do we tell beginner writers to avoid creative dialogue tags in the first place? Why do we insist, over and over again, that characters should stick to “said,” “asked,” and the occasional “sighed?” And, if the advice is so oft-repeated, why are writers still unable to resist the siren call of a lament, bellow, screech, snap, or guffaw? The more I thought about it, the more I understood the temptation. We’re encouraged time and time again…

1 min.
the writer

Senior Editor Nicki Porter Contributing Editor Melissa Hart Copy Editor Toni Fitzgerald EDITORIAL BOARD James Applewhite, Andre Becker, Eve Bunting, Mary Higgins Clark, Roy Peter Clark, Lewis Burke Frumkes, Gail Godwin, Eileen Goudge, Rachel Hadas, John Jakes, John Koethe, Lois Lowry, Peter Meinke, Katherine Paterson, Arthur Plotnik ART & PRODUCTION Art Director Carolyn V. Marsden Graphic Designer Jaron Cote OPERATIONS VP, Circulation Strategy Jason Pomerantz Operations Director Cheyenne Corliss Client Services & Circulation Supervisor Andrea Palli Operations & Front Desk Coordinator Toni Eunice Human Resources Manager Alicia Roach Senior Client Services Associate Tou Zong Her Client Services Darren Cormier Accounting Director Amanda Joyce Accounts Payable Associate Tina McDermott Accounts Receivable Associate Wayne Tuggle DIGITAL OPERATIONS Director of Digital Leza Olmer Audience Development Analyst Ryan Gillis Senior Digital Designer Mike Decker WordPress Developer David Glassman SALES & MARKETING Senior Media Solutions Manager Alexandra Piccirilli Phone: 617-279-0213 Email: apiccirilli@madavor.com Marketing & Media Solutions Associate Shawn Daniel Phone: 617-279-9099 Email: sdaniel@madavor.com Client Services clientservices@madavor.com Social Media & Marketing Manager Tim Doolan Senior Marketing Associate Tommy Goodale Content Marketing Supervisor Anthony Buzzeo Content Marketing Associate Sarah MacDougall EXECUTIVE Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey C. Wolk Chief Operating Officer Courtney…

1 min.
this month on writermag.com

Last chance to submit to our 2020 Essay Contest Truthtellers, have you entered our annual essay contest yet? Submit your best work of nonfiction in 2,000 words or less for your chance to win $1,000 and publication in our magazine. But don’t sit on your submission for another second: This contest ends on March 3, so there isn’t a moment left to lose. See what’s new in the writerly world this spring Curious about the hottest new books of the season? How about all the page-to-screen adaptations hitting theaters or spring’s latest literary award announcements? Find all of our 2020 spring preview content at writermag.com/blog. Find even more inspiration on our Instagram Want a little additional inspiration as you swipe through your feed each morning? Join us at @TheWriterMag, where we’re sharing quotes from famous…

12 min.
ways to level up

I see you, fellow writer: You’re creative, talented, and ambitious. You take your writing seriously, and you strive to level up. You’ve written many things you’re proud of, but you have not spun your magnum opus. It’s in you, but sometimes you worry that you don’t yet have the chops to let it out. So let’s build them. It’s time to push your craft and career to new heights – to reach for your artistic dreams and rise to meet or surpass them. You are ready to art harder than you’ve ever arted before. But…how? Good question. Start here. Give in to the fire You’re a writer. Ideas ignite in you like sparks. They fly from the flame of your ambition. You’ve been feeding and protecting your creative fire, but you haven’t allowed it to burn…

5 min.
finding your stride

I’ve been signing up for races of all sorts for a really, really long time. And, at the start line of each of these races, no matter whether they’re adventure races, triathlons, 10Ks, or marathons, I’m never quick out of the gate. I always mutter to myself, “pace yourself, pace yourself, pace yourself.” This is at least in part because I’m a recklessly irresponsible human and don’t train properly. And then, when I get to race day, I’m forced to underperform, so that I can be assured of actually getting to the finish line. This is not anything to aspire to or train for. My friends who are truly elite athletes will say that you should finish every race having left it all out on the course. What’s the point, otherwise? But…

5 min.
writing with kids, part iii

Our daughter is 3 years old. Finally, I feel like I can write something potent about parenthood and its place in the freelance writer’s life… Hold on. She just vomited everywhere in the bathroom – except the toilet. OK, back to it. Yeah. No. I’ve had three straight nights staying up until 2 a.m. because I have to fact-check my manuscript. I want to have a clear mind. Three hours of hearing my voice on tape has gutted me. Look, here’s the thing. It’s so important in this tumultuous era of…Sorry, it’s pizza night, and the kid wants to eat at the restaurant. Great, she vomited again as we were about to pull out of the driveway. She’s inconsolable because she can’t have pizza. Explanations are doing little good. I’m exhausted. Tomorrow is…