Writer's Digest September/October 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

“The first story that made an impact on me was Charlotte’s Web. My mother read this to my brother and me many times over when we were very young. No matter how often I heard the story, I never failed to hold my breath as I waited to see how Charlotte’s plan would save Wilber. It was such a well-told and uplifting tale. I still smile whenever I see this tattered brown book, a treasured souvenir of my childhood. It holds an honored place on my bookshelf.”—Adrienne Drake, MD “I had to create my own virtual reality with the meager resources available to a lonely child, growing up in the 1950s. Before I could read, my portal through the looking glass were Disney movies and records. These were the audio-visuals that…

2 min.
afternoon storytime

My grandpa was a great storyteller. Each summer, the four granddaughters would spend one day a week at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. We’d play in the creek, practice our golf swings, learn how to garden, and make up fantastical games. At some point in the afternoon, we’d all get worn out and snuggle up together on Grandpa’s waterbed. He’d come in and regale us with stories about growing up in Soldier, Ky. We heard about him playing marbles with his brothers, how he met Grandma, and about the night a UFO landed in the yard so the aliens could give him a tour of the brightly lit spaceship. He told that last story with as much sincerity and detail as the others, so I had no reason to question it—for…

2 min.

RAN WALKER (he/him) (RanWalker.com) is the author of 23 books. He is the winner of the Indie Author Project’s inaugural National Indie Author of the Year Award, the Black Caucus of the American Library Association Best Fiction E-Book Award, the 2018 Virginia Indie Author Project Award for Adult Fiction, and the Blind Corner Afrofuturism Microfiction Contest. A former practicing attorney, he now teaches on the creative writing faculty of Hampton University and lives in Virginia with his wife and better half, Lauren, and his creative little rockstar daughter, Zoë. ANNA-MARIE MCLEMORE (they/them) grew up hearing La Llorona in the Santa Ana winds and now writes books as queer, Latinx, and nonbinary as they are. They are the author of The Weight of Feathers, a 2016 William C. Morris YA Debut Award…

9 min.
the queen of kidlit

For decades, Jane Yolen has been an iconic force in children’s literature—from board books like Merbaby’s Lullaby to middle-grade novels like Trash Mountain, and from picture books like Owl Moon to YA novels like Mapping the Bones, she’s done it all. And she’s done it well. In March 2021, Jane’s 400th published book—the picture book Bear Outside—reached the hands of readers. Along the way, Jane has embraced the role of mentor, role model, and friend to writers, teachers, librarians, parents, and children everywhere. Writer’s Digest talked to her about her writing process, staying prolific, and the social responsibility of writers. How often does someone ask an astonishingly specific question about a book from long, long ago? Not as much as you’d think! But when that happens, I’m truthful. I say, “I don’t remember the…

7 min.
how to tackle tricky source situations

Most freelance writers wouldn’t have a career without sources—the experts and real-life individuals that make a story come alive. “I’m always surprised at how many people are willing to share their time, experience, and expertise with me,” says Elizabeth Gardner, a freelance writer based near Chicago. “It’s just amazing.” For the most part, your interactions with sources will go smoothly, but once in a while, you’re likely to run into some problems. Here’s a lowdown on practical steps that can help you tackle these issues—and best practices that will prevent them. GET PAST COMMON HICCUPS Some sources want to review their quotes or the entire draft before it reaches readers—a practice frowned upon in journalism. But rules about this vary across outlets and some editors do allow it. “That’s always up to…

1 min.
poetic asides

POETIC FORM: AWDL GYWYDD The awdl gywydd (pronounced “ow-dull gee-youth”) is a Welsh quatrain form with the following guidelines: • Quatrain (or four-line stanza) form• Seven syllables per line• The final syllable of the first and third lines rhymes with the third to fifth syllable of the following lines• The second and fourth lines end rhyme Here is an example by a Poetic Asides reader: “5 AM at the Metropark” by J. Furda I’m awake before the sun. An abundance of birds sing, calling their future lovers—a chorus covering spring. I’ve highlighted the internal rhymes in the first stanza to show how lines one and three rhyme in lines two and four. Branches’ shadows intertwine, phantom vines on paths leaf-strewn. Silhouettes of critters stir, dancing ghosts under the moon. Heron, in his own ballet, stalks its prey in…