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The WriterThe Writer

The Writer January 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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the next generation

I look forward to our annual Writing for Young Readers issue all year, and our 2019 edition is a real doozy. This month, we take inspiration from the great Maurice Sendak, practice putting our inner child on the page, learn how to incorporate technology into stories written for the most tech-savvy generation in history, and glean wisdom from two of my very favorite YA authors, Nic Stone and Jandy Nelson. (If you haven’t yet read anything by these two ladies, please consider doing so. I can’t push their books into the hands of friends and relatives fast enough.)But something Nelson said in her interview stuck with me for months after I first read it: I think it’d be nice for YA writers to be taken more seriously. I can’t tell…

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coming soon on writermag.com

Fall 2018 short story contestCalling all short fiction fans: Our fall short story contest ends on November 30. Our grand-prize winner will receive $1,000 and publication in a 2019 issue of The Writer. (And if you miss the deadline, don’t worry: Our annual essay contest is just around the corner in early 2019.)Giving thanks (and books)In October, we celebrated the best of horror; in November, we turn to something much more comforting: Food writing. Check in with writermag.com each week to see our favorite literary cookbooks, food memoirs, and more.Some very merry writing promptsEvery Friday in December, we’ll be sharing some festive writing exercises to put you in the holiday spirit. Share your responses on social media, and we may publish them on our website!STAY IN TOUCHPut our free e-mail…

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the hard edits

“Writing is probably one-fifth coming up with the stuff, and four-fifths self-editing again and again and again.”—David MitchellI emailed my friend Allison a story I wanted to publish. The story was about my experience volunteering in a foreign country and how I discovered something I don’t like about myself – I’m entitled. It was embarrassing to admit, but I know that to write a story worth anyone’s time, you have to tell the truth, even and especially if the truth is ugly, which means you have to be willing to get vulnerable. I thought I had done that. I thought the story was pretty good.Allison emailed the story back. The subject line said, “Call me to discuss before you read edits.”Oh no, she doesn’t want to hurt my feelings.I’VE BEEN…

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new trends in publishing

“Literature can allow us to experience the best side of humankind, where instead of giving up, we struggle desperately in the ruins for love, connection, and hope.”—Caroline LeavittKey takeaway for authors from Digital Book WorldRecently we had the pleasure of attending Digital Book World (DBW), where we spent four days learning about the hottest tech trends and best practices for modern-day publishing. Here’s a breakdown of what we felt authors should know after the show.MARKETING YOUR WORK ON SOCIAL MEDIAAuthors – both indie and traditionally published – are constantly asking: How can I get my book in front of more readers? But by sheer necessity, self-published authors tend to be savvier than their traditionally published brethren: They don’t have a publisher’s (increasingly limited) marketing staff and budgets, and “today’s indie…

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“You cannot write for children. They’re much too complicated. You can only write books that are of interest to them.”—Maurice SendakNew year, new toolsRefine your grammar and tighten your vocabulary with these two new guidebooks.The Joy of SyntaxBy June CasagrandeYou’ve heard of The Joy of Cooking. Now meet The Joy of Syntax, a handy little grammar guide that will give you all the ingredients you need to cook up a proper sentence.But fear not, writers, this isn’t a boring high school primer. Rather, it’s a straightforward, concise guide to everything a wannabe grammarian needs to know. Conjunctions, prepositions, the Oxford comma, flat adverbs, and “the confusing roles of the letter S” all get their due in grammar columnist June Casagrande’s new book. She also rails against the “grammar snob Ponzi…

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child’s play

MAURICE SENDAK-INSPIRED WALL ARTSend your imagination sailing to where the wild things are with this rainbow-colored print.$9.97, amazon.comERIC CARLE SOCKSNot one but two very hungry caterpillars will warm your toes in style this winter.$12.95, thelibrarystore.comMO WILLEMS SILK SCARFDon’t let the pigeon leave the house unaccessorized.Starts at $60, carlemuseum.orgE.B. WHITE LOCKETCelebrate one of the most beloved fauna friendships of all time with this Charlotte’s Web-inspired locket.$33, etsy.comMARGARET WISE BROWN SHIRTSay goodnight to the great green room with the telephone and a red balloon with this wearable homage to Goodnight Moon.$28, outofprintclothing.comROALD DAHL TEACUPPut a kettle on and figure out what to read with a fellow bookworm like Matilda.$13, roalddahl.com ■…