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The WriterThe Writer

The Writer February 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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surviving & thriving

Packing for a writing conference always feels akin to packing for a tropical vacation. I put on my happiest jetset playlist, stuff my suitcase with pretty notebooks and pens, and agonize over what to read on the plane. I check in on Twitter and Instagram to find fellow attendees using the official conference hashtag. I pore over conference schedules, circling dozens upon dozens of events I just know I need to attend. And then I show up to very, very few of them. Writing conferences feed my soul. But they’re also exhausting. Like so many writers, my natural state is solitude: I feel most myself when I’m alone in my office, putting words on the page. Walking into a long conference hall packed with hundreds or even thousands of other people remains…

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essay contest

Announcing our 2019 essay contest We’re kicking off our third annual essay contest in early January. The grand-prize winner will receive $1,000, but every essay we receive will be considered for publication in our magazine. The deadline for this contest is March 1ST, so don’t wait until the last minute to start writing. In the meantime, you can also browse past contest winners at writermag.com. The best of the best Want to know our picks for the best writing books of the year? How about our editors’ all-time favorite articles of 2018? Find all of these lists along with more best-of-2018 coverage at writermag.com/blog. Get inspired by top prompts Did you know we post a brand-new writing prompt every Friday? This month on writermag.com, we’ll be counting down the best writing prompts of 2018. See…

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strive to fail

“You can make something out of every unfinished story and every rejection if you work at it.”—Tomi Adeyemi You wouldn’t be a writer if you didn’t dare to dream, and dream big. Whether the ambitions that drive you are creative, critical, commercial, or all three, those dreams (and delusions) are part of why you started writing in the first place. Wild hopes and lofty goals can help motivate you through the hardest and most dispiriting parts of the writing and publishing processes. But they also can throw you off track, position you for failure, and even get in the way of the writing itself. If visions of starred reviews, prestigious bylines, best-seller lists, and fat royalty checks keep dancing in your head, they can easily distract from the work at hand. A…

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“Through the characters, we get to fall in love every time we pick up a romance novel. What could be better than that?”—Lori Wilde Sometimes it’s pretty tough to be a writer on social media. Our feeds swell with happy news from other writers: Just got accepted into this Legendary Fellowship! Happy to announce I’m the new writer-in-residence at this Very Good University! My third book is accepted for publication with this Very Successful Publishing House! I’m nominated for this Prestigious Prize You’ve Never Heard Of! Recently, the Twitter hashtag #ShareYourRejections let writers open the dark closets of past denials and share them with the rest of the class. But its novelty pointed to a larger problem: If rejections are a certainty of any writing career, why don’t we talk more about our failures? What are…

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love is in the air

1. AS YOU WISH Woo your own Buttercup with this delicate rose made from the pages of William Goldman’s The Princess Bride. $24, etsy.com 2. SPOILER ALERT Not all love stories have happy endings, as this Romeo & Juliet tee woefully reminds us. $28, outofprint.com 3. CONFECTION AFFECTION When Ms. Bennet isn’t trading witty barbs at social gatherings, we bet she’s curled up with Mr. Darcy, a good book, and a hunk of this Pride and Prejudice-inspired chocolate. $4, theliterarygiftcompany.com 4. LOVE LETTERS FROM THE BARD Seal this sweet Shakespearean stationery set with a kiss. $25, barnesandnoble.com 5. WUTHERING WRITES If this print of Heathcliff on the moors doesn’t add some fire to your future love scenes, we don’t know what will. $16.99, amazon.com 6. HEART ON YOUR SCARF Turn every day into a love story with this wearable ode to ee cummings’ love poem “i…

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creativity cross training

Writing retreats and residencies offer wonderful opportunities to immerse yourself in a project and your craft. They can also vary greatly, from location to supplies to programming. To maximize the experience, check with the organizer to know what you can expect and consider the following items when packing. Business basics For any writing getaway, you obviously need the right tools. For some, that’s a laptop. For others, it’s a pencil or special pen with a notebook. Author of Pen on Fire and radio host Barbara DeMarco-Barrett takes three typewriters. “I’m all about getting off the computer,” she says. “The delete key is too easy to use.” But those aren’t the only important writing tools you may need. Writer and visual artist Megan Culhane Galbraith recreates her home workspace. “I use a laptop with…