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The Writer

The Writer January 2020

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


3 min.
new year, old fear

The start of a new year can bring as many anxieties as it does possibilities. Will this really be your year, the year you eat all the kale, write all the words, and run all the miles? Will you really call your grandmother every week and never, ever lose your temper? Is this the year of the big promotion, the dream relocation, or the finished novel? In short: Is this the year your dreams come true? Or – gulp – is it the year you start strong but fall short? The start of a new decade can multiply all these anxieties by 10. I think about fear a lot, both as a writer and as a human. I have to, because if I’m not careful, it will run my life. I may…

1 min.
the writer

Senior Editor Nicki Porter Contributing Editor Melissa Hart Copy Editor Toni Fitzgerald EDITORIAL BOARD James 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, Arthur Plotnik ART & PRODUCTION Art Director Carolyn V. Marsden Graphic Designer Jaron Cote OPERATIONS VP, Circulation Strategy Jason Pomerantz Operations Supervisor Andrea Palli Operations Coordinator Toni Eunice Human Resources Manager Alicia Roach Client Services Supervisor Cheyenne Corliss Senior Client Services Associate Tou Zong Her Client Services Aubrie Britto, Darren Cormier Accounting Director Amanda Joyce Accounts Payable Associate Tina McDermott Accounts Receivable Associate Wayne Tuggle DIGITAL OPERATIONS Digital Ad Operations Director Leza Olmer WordPress Developer David Glassman Senior Digital Designer Mike Decker SALES & MARKETING Media Solutions Director Scott Luksh Senior Media Solutions Manager Alexandra Piccirilli Phone: 617-279-0213 Email: apiccirilli@madavor.com Client Services clientservices@madavor.com Audience Development Analyst Ryan Gillis Social Media & Marketing Manager Tim Doolan Marketing Associates Shawn Daniel, Tommy Goodale Content Marketing Supervisor Anthony Buzzeo Content Marketing Associate Sarah MacDougall EXECUTIVE Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey C. Wolk VP, Business Operations Courtney Whitaker…

1 min.
this month on writermag.com

Choosing the best books of the year Which novels and memoirs were the bestselling books of 2019? Which brought home the most awards? Which craft writing books wowed our staff this year? Find all of these superlatives and more on our website all month long. Counting down our favorite articles of 2019 Want to know which essays, articles, and interviews won our editors’ hearts this year? Join us on our blog as our staff highlights some of the best and brightest pieces we published in our pages in 2019. Our essay contest is just around the corner Calling all nonfiction writers: Soon, we’ll be launching our annual essay contest. Watch writermag.com/contests for more details after we ring in the new year. STAY IN TOUCH Put our free e-mail newsletter to work: Check out our weekly newsletter, which…

5 min.
finding hope through story

“Each book I write is a shout into the silence and a prayer and a plea for change.”—Jacqueline Woodson AT a bookstore event for my first young adult novel, which tells a story about toxic love, I was asked by a reader, “How does it feel to be publishing this book in the era of Me Too?” My answer began: “Hopeful.” But I did not always feel hopeful while writing it. When I started the first draft of what became Always Forever Maybe, I didn’t plan to write a novel about an emotionally abusive relationship. I thought I was writing about forbidden love: about a teenage girl whose parents unfairly disapprove of her new boyfriend, and the complications and heartache that follow. But my first draft – like so many first drafts…

2 min.

New year, old words Fresh into a new year – and a new decade to boot – it’s always good to look back at years past and how times have changed. These two bite-size books offer a blast from the linguistic past for word lovers. The Little Book of Lost Words: Collywobbles, Snollygosters, and 86 Other Surprisingly Useful Terms Worth Resurrecting How is it that long-dead fashion trends manage to come back in style but old-fashioned words rarely do? Why wouldn’t a population want to revive words like humgruffin, flapdoodle, or ramfeezled? Why merely be content with saying a co-worker “sucks up” to upper management when we could say he honeyfuggles them? Why call Janet from accounting a gossip when you could call her a quidnunc? Why hashtag the #SundayScaries when you could…

1 min.
writing prompt

Gearing up to pen your 2020 writing resolutions? Here’s a quick tip: Focus on concrete goals (I will write for X minutes on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday) versus abstract ones (I will write every day). Choose at least five goals that you will actively work toward over the next 12 months: • I will write for ___ minutes every week.• I will write at least ___ words in each writing session.• I will receive ___ rejections each month.• I will query ___ agents each month.• I will read ___ writing books this year.• I will read ___ books in my genre this year.• I will attend ___ events for writers this year.• I will plan ___ writing retreats this year.• I will apply to ___ residencies, fellowships, contests, or awards this…