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The Writer

The Writer June 2021

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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!

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United States
Madavor Media, LLC
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
waiting for moosille

A local moose visits me every morning at 9:45 a.m. Before moving to Alaska, I had no idea that moose could tell time, but Moosille seems to keep a pretty tight schedule. I also never really thought much about telling moose apart before I moved here, but it’s pretty simple once you get the hang of it. Moosille Ball is childless (thus far), jaw-droppingly large, and woefully territorial. Her boyfriend is Moose Willis, a bull equally jaw-dropping in size who is fond of stopping traffic at key intersections and glaring at any car that dares to honk its disapproval. Moosille’s hobbies include ignoring loud noises aimed in her direction, bullying young females who cross her path, and sneaking up on unsuspecting delivery drivers in our driveway. The moment anyone reenters their vehicle…

1 min.
this month on writermag.com

Our spring short story contest is here! Ready to spring-clean your short story drafts? Spruce up your favorite work of short fiction in 2,000 words or less for your chance to win $1,000 and publication in our magazine. You can also receive feedback on your work no matter where you place in our contest by participating in our add-on Critique Service. Learn more and submit your work at writermag.com. Coming soon: Our summer eWorkshop for writers Did you miss Yi Shun Lai’s master class on titles this spring? Never fear: We’ll be hosting more webinars for our readers all year long. Next on the list is a summer class with senior editor Nicki Porter on building a successful support system for both your craft and your career. Sign up for our newsletter to…

5 min.
10 tips for working with an independent editor

Once you’ve put “The End” on your manuscript and you’ve decided to hire an editor before self-publishing or seeking agent representation, you might feel like you’re entering into the Twilight Zone. Many authors have no idea what to expect. Will the editor want to change everything? Will they try to steal my story? As an independent editor, I encounter recurring concerns from prospective clients, so I am going to help allay your fears about entering into a relationship with the person who holds the scary red pen. The ideal relationship between a writer and editor should be productive, trusting, and satisfactory on both sides. Here are the things you should know in order to make that happen. 1 Your editor wants your book to be the best it can be. The reason we…

5 min.
2021 summer writing event spotlight

Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference (AK) May 15-18, writersconf.kpc.alaska.edu Faculty at a glance: Francisco Cantú, Victoria Chang, Brandon Hobson, Anis Mojgani Sample curriculum: “How to Write About a Disaster” with Marie Mutsuki Mockett, “Writing with the Voice of Your Ancestors” with Vera Starbard, “The Construction and Subversion of Frontier Myths” with Francisco Cantú Notable after-hours events: Open Mic Night, Open Cohort Happy Hour Good to know: No conference events will be concurrent, allowing participants to attend all programming without having to choose between offerings. Bear River Writers’ Conference (MI) May 20-23, lsa.umich.edu/bearriver Faculty at a glance: Susan Choi, Thomas Lynch, Catherine Wing Sample curriculum: “Short and Sweet – A Flash Fiction Intensive” with Desiree Cooper, “Crafting Fiction: Strategies for Creating and Revising Your Stories” with Antonya Nelson, “Memoir: A Good Place for Bad Decisions” by Mardi Link Notable after-hours events: Faculty…

7 min.
navigating the virtual conference

As I write, we’re a year into pandemic measures in California, where I live, and we’re pretty close to a year around most of the United States as well. Some of you may remember that it was right around this time that leadership of one of the bigger writers’ conferences on my calendar, AWP, was debating whether or not it should go forward. Spoiler alert – it did go forward, although I personally didn’t attend, and I posted on Twitter that I’d always remember the sensation of missing out on seeing people I cared about and only got to see those few days out of the year. I’m not sure what I thought that meant for me. Was I making a pledge to go to every conference I could once “all…

6 min.
food sensuality in fiction

The scent of bread baking in the oven. The crunch of a fresh carrot. The tartness of a wild strawberry. The silkiness of a perfect custard. The breath-taking beauty of an elaborate, detailed wedding cake. The sensory elements of food and our reactions to them affect our day. Sour milk sours the morning. A fresh-baked cookie gives us an afternoon perk. Hunger interferes with physical and cognitive functions. The right meal at the right moment can comfort, seduce, or conjure memories long forgotten. When I mince garlic or chop an onion, I remember a passage in a book I read years ago. The protagonist hated that her boyfriend, who worked in a restaurant kitchen, always smelled like onion and garlic, something she associated with poverty and working too hard for too little.…