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The WriterThe Writer

The Writer May 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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common senses

This month I’ve been thinking a lot about the way we consume stories.Spinning yarns is what brings us all to the table, right? Whether our bylines appear in scripts, newspapers, magazines, or books, we’re all driven by the desire to share a compelling story – and to reach people who will find it meaningful.So how disheartening it is to see some methods of content consumption branded as “better” than others. Once at a social gathering, I saw two acquaintances try to bond over a book they’d both enjoyed immensely.“I read it at the beach,” one said.“I listened to it on the drive up to Maine,” the other said.“Oh, then you didn’t really read it,” corrected the first, as the second ducked her head in embarrassment. “You listened to it. It’s…

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the writer

Senior EditorNicki PorterContributing EditorMelissa HartCopy EditorToni 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 DirectorCarolyn V. MarsdenGraphic DesignerJaron CoteOPERATIONSVP, StrategyJason PomerantzOperations CoordinatorsToni Eunice, Kianna PerryHuman Resources GeneralistAlicia RoachClient Services SupervisorCheyenne CorlissSenior Client Services AssociateTou Zong HerClient ServicesAubrie Britto, Darren Cormier, Andrea PalliAccounting DirectorAmanda JoyceAccounts Payable AssociateTina McDermottAccounts Receivable AssociateWayne TuggleDIGITAL OPERATIONSDirector, Digital OperationsJessica KrogmanWordPress DeveloperDavid GlassmanSenior Digital DesignerMike DeckerSALES & MARKETINGMedia Solutions DirectorScott LukshSenior Media Solutions ManagerAlexandra PiccirilliPhone: 617-279-0213Email: apiccirilli@madavor.comClient Servicesclientservices@madavor.comMarketing DirectorAndrew YeumMarketing AssociateTommy GoodaleSocial Media ManagerTim DoolanContent Marketing AssociateAnthony BuzzeoEXECUTIVEChairman & Chief Executive OfficerJeffrey C. WolkChief Operating OfficerPeter MaddenSVP, Sales & MarketingRobin MorseVP, Business OperationsCourtney WhitakerIn memory of Susan…

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this month on writermag.com

(Mascha Tace/Shutterstock)Announcing our next fiction contestPsst: Our next short story contest launches on April 1. Get the skinny at writermag.com/contests, where you can see submission guidelines, previous winning entries, and hundreds of other contest listings for writers of every genre. You can also read our latest contest winner, “Gazelle,” on page 26.A party for poetryApril is National Poetry Month, and we’re celebrating all month long on writermag.com. Join us for conversations on craft, interviews with poets, and more.See what you missed from AWP19Each year we look forward to attending the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference (AWP), the largest writing conference in North America, where we meet new writers, catch up on industry trends, and learn valuable insights from some of literature’s brightest. If you couldn’t make it this…

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what really matters

When we think of minimalism, we often think of stuff. There’s Marie Kondo’s best-selling book-turned-Netflix series, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, urging us to rid ourselves of possessions and leave only the few that bring us the most joy. There’s even an entire movement of home ownership, where tiny houses promise to save us from the burdens of too many household bills, freeing us to live the lives we were meant to live.But what does minimalism have to do with our writing careers? Shouldn’t we try to be everywhere (Facebook and Instagram and LinkedIn and Twitter) and do everything (speak at conferences and the local library, network with editors at that big conference across the country, and always hit our daily word count)? Isn’t career-building all about saying yes…

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writing prompt

Minimalism isn’t just effective for your career and your sanity; it can help your writing, too.» Open your latest draft and copy a portion – a paragraph, a page, or a chapter – into a new document.» Now eliminate one word in each sentence of the pasted draft. (You may have to revise a few to preserve clarity, and that’s OK.)» Next, trim two syllables from each sentence. (Did you really need to say “raven tresses” when “dark hair” would convey the same meaning?)» Interrogate your modifiers: Does she “tend to sing in the mornings,” or can she just “sing in the morning?” Is saying that “he likes to call her late at night” worth the extra words compared to “he calls her late at night?”» Scout for places where…

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podcasts for writers

It’s hard enough to find time to write. Finding time to educate ourselves about our craft and industry seems even more daunting. But thanks to writing-themed podcasts, it’s easy to take your education on the go. Fire up one of these writerly shows the next time you’re cooking dinner, waiting in the school pick-up line, or doing reps at the gym.Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better WritingYou’re probably already familiar with Mignon Fogarty’s well-known Grammar Girl website. But did you know she hosts a grammar podcast with more than 600 episodes? Each one (some are only a few minutes long) answers reader questions about the English language, such as “irregardless vs. regardless,” whether “data” is singular or plural, and the plural of “Batman.”Soundcloud.com/grammar-girlThe Creative Penn PodcastAnother blogger-turned-podcaster is…