ZINIO logo
The Writer

The Writer March 2021

Add to favorites

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!

Read More
United States
Madavor Media, LLC
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
light on the horizon

When I agreed to move to Alaska, I didn’t fear the cold; I’d weathered enough frigid, snowy winters elsewhere to have some idea of what I was getting into. But I was scared of the dark. In the shortest days of winter, my town gets about five and a half hours of daylight. The sun rises after 10 in the morning and sets before the clock strikes four. Much better than the total darkness some parts of the state endure in these bitterly cold months, but still a stark difference from the brighter winters of the lower 48. I was afraid of how my brain would cope with the darkness. More specifically, I was terrified it wouldn’t. Worse, I had no idea how to prepare: You can train for a marathon,…

1 min.
2021 essay contest

Our annual essay contest is here! Write nonfiction? You don’t want to miss this contest, which offers a $1,000 grand prize and publication in our magazine to the winner. Submit your best essay in less than 2,000 words by March 10, 2021, for your chance to win. Learn more at writermag.com/contests. Want more writing webinars? Become a member! Members of The Writer get exclusive free access to quarterly webinars taught by our editorial staff, including a live Q&A session in every presentation, so you can get your burning questions answered in real time. Join us today at writermag.com/memberships. Find more writerly inspiration on Instagram Add some writing advice to your Instagram feed by following us at instagram.com/thewritermag. You’ll find quotes from authors we’ve interviewed, breaking news, writing prompts, and much more. STAY IN TOUCH Put our free…

5 min.
michael martone: more blot than plot

“Writing is part intuition and part trial and error, but mostly it’s very hard work.”—Cheryl Strayed The kind of writer I am just does not think of projects being started and stopped. I heard someplace that Steve Jobs designed the “off/on” button on his devices to be difficult to use. Once the computer was “on,” he wanted it to stay “on.” “Sleep,” maybe, but never turned off. I think, I think, that is the way I think of my various projects. Once they are switched “on,” they stay up and running in some fashion. Or to remain with the computer model, I open a new window, and it stays open. Right now on this computer down in the docking bar are several “opened” windows and documents just waiting for me to click…

3 min.
virtual events for writers

AWP Conference & Bookfair March 3-7 After proceeding with a controversial in-person conference last March, AWP vowed to go entirely online for the 2021 gathering, offering discounted registration rates for all attendees. If you’ve always wanted to experience the largest writing conference in North America but have been unable to travel to the event, this may be the year to attend. awpwriter.org/awp_conference Deep Poetry: Reading Gwendolyn Brooks and Edna St. Vincent Millay Meets Mondays from March 8 to March 29 Over the course of four two-hour sessions virtually hosted by the D.C. indie bookstore Politics & Prose, poet Annie Finch leads readers through a deep dive into the work of two powerful and acclaimed voices in early 20th-century poetry: Gwendolyn Brooks and Edna St. Vincent Millay. politics-prose.com/classes Boston University’s The Power of Narrative March 19 This one-day event covering “in-depth…

1 min.
expand your mask library

“There are no new ideas. There are only new ways of making them felt.”—Audre Lorde 1. COVERED MOUTHS, OPEN MINDS “Open a book, open your mind” reads this colorful face mask from Out of Print – and as an added incentive, a portion of every sale goes to support the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (BINC). $14, outofprint.com 2. BLACK LITERATURE BOOKSHELF All proceeds from this mask, which feature both classic and modern titles by Black authors including Roxane Gay, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, and more, are donated “to causes dedicated to improving diversity in publishing and bookselling,” reports Litographs. $14.99, litographs.com 3. MASKS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY Needle Gnome Studio on Etsy sells a variety of masks from fabric designed with the bookish in mind, from assorted Nancy Drew covers to vintage typewriter keys. $16.50, etsy.com/shop/needlegnomestudio 4. CARTOON LIBRARY Express your…

6 min.
your home page is where your heart is

In one of the classes I teach at Southern New Hampshire University’s MFA program, we spend a good amount of time on platform. (Loosely defined, this is essentially a writer’s capability to sell books based on their own network. But that’s a topic for another column.) It’s a big, hairy beast that has many new writers both scratching their heads and feeling like they must get one without really understanding why. It’s just like that time you discovered that you could buy shoes made of eucalyptus fiber on the internet and suddenly decided you needed a pair. (This may or may not be a true story; I admit nothing.) This is a huge topic, so this month we’ll be covering something that is a part of your platform, but a critical…