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The WriterThe Writer

The Writer

July 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


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building a business

The best advice I have for anyone looking to publish a book can be summed up in nine words: Know what you want – and why you want it.Think not “I want an agent” but rather “I want a hands-on literary agent with proven sales for authors in my genre because receiving edits from an experienced professional can increase the odds that my book will sell.”Think not “I want a book deal” but rather “I want a book deal with a smaller press because my book will face less competition for my publisher’s resources.”A manuscript can be rewritten, revised, reshaped, or scrapped entirely; a signed publishing contract cannot.Every year we receive letters from authors who have been poorly treated – or worse, taken advantage of – by so-called professionals in…

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the writer

Senior Editor Nicki PorterContributing Editor Melissa HartCopy Editor Toni FitzgeraldEDITORIAL BOARDJames 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, Elizabeth Peters, Arthur PlotnikART & PRODUCTIONArt Director Carolyn V. MarsdenGraphic Designer Jaron CoteOPERATIONSVP, Strategy Jason PomerantzOperations Coordinator Toni EuniceHuman Resources Generalist Alicia RoachClient Services Supervisor Cheyenne CorlissSenior Client Services Associate Tou Zong HerClient Services Aubrie Britto, Darren Cormier, Andrea PalliAccounting Director Amanda JoyceAccounts Payable Associate Tina McDermottAccounts Receivable Associate Wayne TuggleDIGITAL OPERATIONSSenior Director, Digital Products Renee DextradeurWordPress Developer David GlassmanSenior Digital Designer Mike DeckerSALES & MARKETINGMedia Solutions Director Scott LukshSenior Media Solutions Manager Alexandra PiccirilliPHONE: 617-279-0213EMAIL: apiccirilli@madavor.comClient Services clientservices@madavor.comMarketing Director Andrew YeumMarketing Associate Tommy GoodaleSocial Media Manager Tim DoolanContent…

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this month on writermag.com

(Andrush/Shutterstock)The best-selling books of the year (so far)We’re halfway through 2019. Which books are topping the sales charts? Visit writermag.com to see which memoirs and novels are outperforming their competition.A halfway point for #RutBusterBookOur copy editor, Toni Fitzgerald, is taking readers on her journey to write a children’s book in 2019 – and she’s already halfway through the year! Catch up on what you’ve missed at writermag.com/blog, and be sure to tell us how your own #RutBusterBook is going.Summer will be over in a FLASHOur annual Summer Flash Contest will be here before you know it! Remember, both fiction and nonfiction entries are eligible so long as your submission is under 1,000 words. In need of inspiration for your entry? Browse our massive archive of writing prompts at writermag.com/writing-inspiration.STAY IN…

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the writer’s heartbeat

(VectorMine/Shutterstock)“This is an engine problem, not a heart problem.” The cardiologist stares steadily into my eyes, calm and reassuring. He isn’t rushed – yet I know there are dozens of ailing tickers, waiting for his magic touch. He has to be unruffled, as his patients are full of fear. No other body organ seems as essential as these four chambers; the threat of impairment makes blood pressure soar.“Your engine’s getting revved up by something,” the kindhearted doctor continues. “It’s sort of like you’re sweating a lot.”I am sweating. A lot. Months of palpitations have prevented me from sleeping, causing insomnia. Whenever my creative writing students use trite body ailment phrases like “my heart was pounding” or “my heart sank,” I wave my red pen in the margins of their essays,…

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ask the writer

Writers are often instructed to use only one point of view in a novel. However, I note that some authors use multiple points of view – often in the same chapter. Are multiple points of view OK if transitions are not jarring and the reader isn’t overloaded?Point of view is a sprawling topic with lots of little intricacies, and, as a result, I find it useful to tease out some understandings before starting. The term “point of view” is often used exactly how it seems you’re using it – to refer to the character through which the reader experiences the story at any given time. Point of view, though, is a much broader term, taking into account many other authorial choices that define the author’s overall strategy employed to tell…

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readying your reading

Each year, Tahoma Literary Review puts on two writers’ weekends. At each of these events, we host two nights where each attendee is encouraged to read. I’ve attended a number of readings myself and have also been “the talent” at several readings. And the MFA program I attended, which doesn’t exist anymore, made a big deal out of making every single student read from their work at least once or twice a year.Why is reading such a thing? Why did my MFA program insist on it, and why do we insist on it? Why do we have a SoundCloud feature as part of our content at Tahoma Literary Review, where you can go online and listen to writers read from their works?The answer is singular: There’s nothing quite like it.…