Culture & Literature
The Writer

The Writer April 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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R 558,01
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.

Once upon a time, I was a child prodigy of bad fiction. And I mean bad fiction. Awful, wretched, bore-you-to-tears fiction. My characters were all jaw-droppingly beautiful, with waist-length hair, striking features, and the personality of limp cardboard. They had achingly long conversations about the weather and what they would wear to school that day. They existed in settings that were described in excruciating detail, down to the precise color of the floorboards. They occupied sentences that were regularly 30 words longer than the average American attention span. And nothing ever happened to them. Nothing. They sat contentedly in an abundance of adjectives and adverbs, with nary a plot in sight. And then, happily, I discovered nonfiction, which was the equivalent of the world’s worst bowler discovering bumpers at their local bowling alley.…

1 min.
this month on writermag.com

A monthlong celebration of poetry Did you know April is National Poetry Month? We’ll be celebrating our love of verse all month long, with prompts, articles, and interviews all devoted to poetry. Are you following us on Instagram yet? Every day, we share prompts, quotes, and inspiration on Instagram. If you haven’t followed us yet, what are you waiting for? Fill your feed with writing creativity at Instagram.com/thewritermag. And if you haven’t found us on Facebook (facebook.com/TheWriterMagazine) and Twitter (twitter.com/thewritermag) either, now’s the perfect time to join us on those platforms, too.) Coming soon: Spring short fiction contest Our annual spring short story contest is right around the corner! Start dreaming up a new draft now: This contest begins on April 1. Find more details when the contest launches at writermag.submittable.com. STAY IN TOUCH Put our free…

5 min.
last typo standing

Dear Typo, You win. You always win. No matter what we writers do; no matter how many times we scrutinize our final drafts, you always manage to sneak into the published version of our books, essays, articles, emails…You even managed to weasel (or is it wheedle?!) your way into a cover letter I once sent, applying for a position as a copy editor. Oh, the irony! (Or is that the wrong use of the word?!) I have to give you credit. Most publishers employ (yes, employ, not employee! Stop messing with my head!) not one but two lines of defense to prevent you from slipping into our subheads and sentences. You are up against trained copy editors who not only scrutinize our work for misspellings but also mistakes in word choice, style, and…

1 min.
want to read more poetry this year? here’s how.

Poem-a-Day The Academy of American Poets runs the original daily poetry series, which features more than 250 brand-new poems each year. Each poem also is accompanied by commentary about the piece by the author. On weekends, the series highlights classic works from well-known poets. And if you’d rather not clutter your inbox, you can also follow the series on social media. Poets.org/poem-a-day Poem of the Day The Poetry Foundation’s daily poetry newsletter highlights a wealth of classic poets from the organization’s vast archives all year long. The Foundation also runs an Audio Poem of the Day series, where works are read by actors or the poets themselves. poetryfoundation.org/newsletter Poetry Daily newsletter This mailing list delivers recently published work from emerging and established poets once a day in addition to poetry news and features. Each newsletter…

1 min.
poetry play

Could you write a poem using only… • Two-syllable words?• Four-syllable words?• Three-letter words?• Twenty letters of the alphabet?• Thirteen letters of the alphabet?• Verbs and nouns?• One hundred words?• Fifty words?• Fifteen words?• Five words?• The last word of each sentence as the starting word for the next sentence?• Thirty syllables?• Two lines?• Nine lines with nine syllables in each line?• Twenty questions?• Iambic pentameter?• Letters that aren’t “e” or “a?”• The “snowball” constraint, in which a poem starts with a one-letter word and each word after it grows in size by one letter (a two-letter word, followed by a three-letter word, etc.)?…

1 min.
products for poets

NIKKI GIOVANNI TEE Legendary American poet Nikki Giovanni serves as the inspiration for this minimalist portrait T-shirt. $26, amorphia-apparel.com WALT WHITMAN STATIONERY These notecards from the Princeton Architectural Press display a variety of quotes from Walt Whitman’s poetry, including “Each of us inevitable, each of us limitless” and “Some people are so much sunlight to the square inch.” $15, papress.com LANGSTON HUGHES TOTE This cotton tote bag from the Academy of American Poets features Langston Hughes’ name on one side and “I pick up my life and take it with me” on the other. $15, poets.myshopify.com SYLVIA PLATH NECKLACE This piece of literary jewelry is inspired by a line from poet Sylvia Plath’s lone novel, The Bell Jar. (“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”) $30, outofprint.com THE RUMPUS…