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The WriterThe Writer

The Writer March 2019

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!

United States
Madavor Media, LLC
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12 Issues


3 min.
why platform matters

In an age when publishing budgets are stretched thinner than ever before – and when news outlets are cutting more and more book coverage – having an online presence is about so much more than guaranteeing publishers a set number of book-buying fish in a barrel. It shows industry professionals that you are willing to do the work. Because you will have to do the work. Gone are the days of cushy book tours, lavish promotional materials, or a multi-month marketing window. Unless you publish with a small press, your average imprint has more products than time and more titles than dollars. If you want sales, expect to roll up your sleeves and hit the ground running. That’s why your online presence is so important. That’s why we say you needed to…

1 min.
this month on writermag.com

Romance is in the air We’re celebrating love stories all month on writermag.com in February. Join us to see tips for romance writers, the books and writers behind your favorite rom-com movies, and lovey-dovey writing prompts that would warm the hearts of the staunchest Singles Awareness Day celebrants. (Don’t worry, we’ll share plenty of content for the Anti-V-Day crowd, too.) Stock your 2019 TBR pile Are you following our winter book coverage on our blog? Each week we highlight the hottest new books hitting shelves this season. From debut novelists to buzzed-about memoirs, all the top books to preorder before they officially hit the best-seller lists are waiting for you on our website. Brush up on your nonfiction skills There’s still time to enter our 2019 Essay Contest, but only if you hurry: The contest…

6 min.
peeling back the layers

“I very much own the fact that I’m a misfit. The Internet makes everyone realize they’re screwed up.”—Jenny Lawson There I was, sitting in front of my old desktop computer, my hand poised tentatively over the mouse. It was late 2008, and I was about to hit publish on a new piece of writing. I didn’t fully know what I was doing or where this new journey would take me, but I did know one thing: There was no going back. With a few final clicks of the keyboard, I felt my heart flutter as I finally hit “publish” on my first post. It was brilliantly titled “First Post.” I had a lot to learn. With that blog post also came the launch of my blog, which had been a long time coming.…

2 min.
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“The imagination is a muscle. If it is not exercised, it atrophies.”—Neil Gaiman SHERLOCK HOLMES CONSULTING DETECTIVE Strap on your deerstalker, grab a magnifying glass, and get ready to tap into your inner Arthur Conan Doyle in this mystery game set in Victorian London. The game is unique in that there’s no board; rather, sleuths read clues, interview witnesses, and track suspects via a written casebook of vignettes. $50, amazon.com GREAT SHAKESPEARE DEATHS CARD GAME Which Shakespearian suicide was more dramatic: Juliet’s dagger or Cleopatra’s asp? Is “Et tu, Brute! Then fall, Caesar!” more effective than Brutus’ own “Caesar, now be still: I kill’d not thee with half so good a will?” The Bard’s most epic deaths square off in this beautifully illustrated card game. $15, theliterarygiftcompany.com WORDSMITHERY Do you know what “transmogrify” means? How about “cadre,” “salubrious,”…

6 min.
on specificity

On the last day of 2018, my husband and I drove to Morro Bay, California, to introduce our new dog, Huckleberry, to the ocean. I don’t usually pick rocks up off the beach, no matter how pretty they are – they never look as nice once the sheen of seawater has dried off and then they’re just gathering dust in a bowl on your coffee table, anyway. But this one was utterly irresistible: It had a perfect hole drilled through it, probably due to some piddock, worm, or sponge wanting a home. On one side, all you see is the hole. On the other side, a progressively narrowing, sloping vortex to the hole makes it seem like you’re sliding into a singular vision when you look through it. I immediately held it…

5 min.
information overload

As a full-time freelance writer who works from home, I consider Twitter my second office. I can connect with writers and editors for fun and networking, plus devour great writing for free. The social media platform has been a boon to my career. That love comes with a fair amount of hate. Twitter tends to suck my soul dry. I’m not just talking about the misogyny, racism, and mansplaining that dot the landscape like leaky garbage piles in front of epic Manhattan brownstones. It’s the small stuff. Daily, I must blind myself to reading stories that derail my momentum or inspire me to enter a more established field, like cobbling or blacksmithing. Ferreting out the fearful from the useful required a lot of energy, until I discovered an amazing trick: I never…