Writer's Digest January/February 2021

Writer's Digest magazine is a comprehensive source of writing instruction for writers. Each issue provides advice and insider tips on writing and selling fiction, nonfiction, poetry and scripts.

United States
Active Interest Media
USD 5.99
USD 14.99
8 Números

en este número

1 min.
from our readers

Ernest Hemingway’s writing advice gave strength to me to write. “All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” —Sayeed Anwar You have to work your writing muscles just like any other muscle in your body if you want them to get stronger and more agile. —Adir E. Golan I loved [the essay] “Let’s Write It in Red” by Philip Pullman; his metaphor on the story being like a path in the forest and how not to sidetrack and lose your reader is what helped me restructure and edit best … Also, don’t try to write everything in red is so obvious, yet so important! —Amy Be Primarily a nonfiction author, I was happy to receive rare and cherished feedback for a fictional piece I submitted to a literary contest. The editor pointed out…

2 min.
a fresh take

It’s that time again, the beginning of a new year. A time for saying good riddance to the disappointments and frustrations of the previous year, and the ushering in of all the potential goodness the next 365 days can bring. While this particular new year may present unique challenges for a fresh start, we can, in our writing lives at least, make the most of this moment. We can take the difficulties of the past year and use them to strengthen our resolve—forcing this new year to be better than the last. Because now, we know what it’s like to live and work during a pandemic. We know how to live with the uncertainty that life as we know it can change in an instant. But more than that, we know…

2 min.

RACHEL MENARD (RachelMenard.com) earned her degree in marketing from Arizona State University, during which time her work was printed in the university paper and in her own, self-published punk zine, Chelsea. Her short fiction has been featured in the New England Speculative Writers’ Anthology and on Cast of Wonders. Her short story, “Blame it on the Bees,” was chosen as a “Best of 2019” by Diabolical Plots. Most recently, her YA fantasy novel, Steel Hand, Cold Heart, won the Grand Prize in the 7th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published E-Book Awards. PEACE ADZO MEDIE (PeaceMedie.com) is a Ghanaian writer and senior lecturer in gender and international politics at the University of Bristol in England. Prior to that, she was a research fellow at the University of Ghana. She has published several short…

6 min.
yangsze choo: memories of malaya

In her two New York Times bestselling novels, Yangsze Choo’s historical fiction about colonial Malaya is suffused with local legends, superstitions, and customs, a magical realism seamlessly interwoven with unusual plots involving mysterious murders, intrigue, and romance plus power dynamics of gender and class. In the first, The Ghost Bride, a young woman in 1893 Malacca, a major trading port, is asked to posthumously marry a man from a wealthy family who recently died. The man invades her dreams, and she wanders the Chinese afterlife—a world of bureaucrats; ghosts who have servants, houses, and horses; corruption, revenge, and longing—much like real life. A Netflix series based on the book debuted in 2020. In The Night Tiger, due to the belief a dead person’s soul is fated to wander forever if their…

8 min.
the seven pillars of freelance success

Every successful writer must make their own path. My professional journey began more than 40 years ago and continues to this day. Following stints on a local weekly newspaper and two national magazines, I quit my job in 1991 to freelance full time. Over the ensuing years, I realized that certain qualities benefited me professionally, and as I embraced them, my career skyrocketed. These qualities became the supporting pillars of my freelance success. INQUISITIVENESS Successful writers are commonly driven by a need to know more—they have a million questions about everything. This comes in handy in a variety of ways. For example, inquisitiveness can help you generate more and better article ideas because your areas of interest are broader than most. As a result, you see potentially marketable ideas where others may…

2 min.
poetic asides

POETIC FORM: VIATOR The viator is a form invented by poet Robin Skelton, author of The Shapes of Our Singing. Here are the basic rules: • The first line is a refrain.• The refrain appears as the second line of the second stanza, third line of the third stanza, and so on for however many stanzas the poem has.• This means the final line of the poem is the same as the first line of the poem.• It also means the length of the poem is dictated by how many stanzas there are. There are no rules on line length, rhymes, or subject matter. Here is an example by a Poetic Asides reader: “Dusk” by Jane Shlensky A twilight toad sits by the water spoutpatient as Buddha, catching beams of lightetching the wings of flies, savoring sightof…