Writer's Digest July/August 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

2 min.
from our readers

“In November of 2019, my son Aiden died of brain cancer. He was just 20 months old. After Aiden died, I felt compelled to share his story. In writing class, I expected to write about Aiden. My grief was all-consuming, and every story I wrote came back to him. What I didn’t expect was how writing about the worst day of my life would heal me. I have a lot of sad stories, so many that I’m starting to sound like a Dolly Parton song. It takes courage to share them, but they hurt too much to keep inside.” —Emily Henderson “Here’s how I know I am being brave on the page: The pads of my fingers sweat. Writing is a smear of emotions, a cacophony of lived and perceived experience. Getting…

2 min.
editor’s letter

A Deeper Mark I have been excited about this issue since July of 2020 when the editorial staff sat down to discuss themes for the coming year. We settled on a dual theme: The Bravery Issue with a secondary theme of Writing for Change. The two seemed so connected to us—it shouldn’t take courage to write about the things that are important to you, but often those are the topics that take the most courage. After all, they’re the ones closest to your heart, the issues that most affect your life, and what you’re most invested in. And sometimes, it just takes courage to sit down and write in the face of naysayers and potential rejection. But as we sorted through the pitches, it became clear that the “Writing for Change” portion…

2 min.

CATHERINE COLEMAN FLOWERS is an internationally recognized environmental activist, MacArthur “genius” grant recipient, and author. She was appointed Vice Chair to the Biden Administration’s White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council. Founder of the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice, Flowers has spent her career advocating for equal access to clean water, air, sanitation, and soil in marginalized rural communities to reduce health and economic disparities. She serves as rural development manager for the Equal Justice Initiative, is a senior fellow for the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, and sits on the board of directors for the Climate Reality Project and the Natural Resources Defense Council. As the author of Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret, Flowers shares her inspiring story of advocacy, from childhood…

7 min.
appease the spirit

Kat Chow has always been attracted to stories of loss, especially from communities of color that investigate the impact of this loss across generations. She explored such stories (and many others) as a founding member of the Code Switch team, a project of NPR that investigates identity and culture. Chow has also written about grief for The Cut and Lenny. Her debut book, Seeing Ghosts: A Memoir, which Alexander Chee calls “a daring, loving, searing debut,” is just the next manifestation of her journey to understand the intersections of grief, family, and identity. In Seeing Ghosts, Chow and her family process the untimely death of her mother. The narrator Kat continues to see an apparition of her mother into adulthood and uses these appearances to explore the haunting nature of grief. The…

6 min.
writing after trauma

Seismic shifts occur in the life of every writer. Whether external or internal, these changes influence a writer’s craft and can lead to a driftlessness, a wandering on the page. So how does one refocus on writing, especially when trauma hits? I faced this question at age 39 when a brain aneurysm rupture sent me by air ambulance to a neurological ICU where I underwent emergency brain surgery. My writing life—along with my professional and personal life—came to a screeching halt. For me, traumatic brain injury was the seismic shift, including a shift of perspective in how I approached the written word. Initially, I felt like I couldn’t trust my brain. After all, it had given me no warning signs in the days prior to my medical emergency. And if I was a…

2 min.
poetic asides

POETIC FORM: TRENTA-SEI The trenta-sei is a 36-line form created by poet and translator John Ciardi. In fact, trenta-sei is Italian for 36. Here are the basic guidelines: • Six sestets (or six-line stanzas)• Each sestet has the following rhyme scheme: ababcc• Each line in the first stanza makes the first line in its corresponding stanza (so line one is the first line in the first stanza; line two is the first line in the second stanza; and so on) Robert Lee Brewer is senior editor of WD and the author of Smash Poetry Journal. Here is an example by a Poetic Asides reader: “Attention” by Jane Shlensky “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.”—Simone Weil I’m easy now to entertain my isolation rich with light from brightest dawn to sunset’s stain, each phase of moon…