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January 2019 Short Story Contest

He Wants to Dance on My Grave (3,021 words) It was a nice bar, in midtown Manhattan. Brass fixtures gleamed. Beer taps swan-necked over a varnished counter, oaken. The bartender, an old-school man with slicked-back hair as white as dove fea...

Tips for Writing About Controversial Topics in Fiction

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling novelist Bryan Gruley offers his best tips for writing about controversial topics—social, political and otherwise—in your fiction. A few months ago, my friend Helene Cooper of The New Yo...

How Poetry and Journalism Intersect for Me

From time to time, I feature guest posts on this blog, and today’s post shares how poetry and journalism intersects for John B Lane. Personally, I love looking at how the various forms of writing intersect. John B Lane is an award-winning...

Begin from the Middle: How to Start Your Story In Media Res

By starting a story in the midst of action, writers can hook readers with a literary technique as old as the Greek epics—in media res. Paul Buchanan explains how. IMAGE © GETTY IMAGES: BEA CRESPO My undergraduate Techniques in Fiction st...

7 Ways Kurt Vonnegut Poisoned Readers’ Minds with Humanity

Kurt Vonnegut once said he wanted his novels to “catch people before they become generals and Senators and Presidents,” to “poison their minds with humanity. Encourage them to make a better world.” Here are seven ways he lived up t...

2018 Year in Review: Inside the Publishing Industry

Explore Jane Friedman’s 2018 Year in Review—her take on the latest trends and shakeups in the book and magazine realm, and what those mean for writers in the coming year. Photo by Steven VanDesande Jr on Unsplash For better or worse,...

How to Pitch a Picture Book: Secrets for Breaking Into a Growing but Competitive Market

ILLUSTRATONS © FOTOLIA.COM Want to know how to pitch a picture book? We’ve got you covered. Break into this competitive and growing market with the help of writing tips and inside observations from a leading literary agent. This article ...

Grand Finale: Two Strategies for Writing Great Story Endings

It’s the last day of NaNoWriMo and nearing the end of the year, which means many stories—both literal and figurative—are drawing to a close. Powerful, unexpected story endings will leave readers hungry for your next novel. Consider t...

5 Considerations for Writing About Historical Figures in Fiction

Historical fiction author John Thorndike shares five considerations he’s learned to keep in mind while writing novels about historical figures. Not everyone from the past carries equal weight, notariety-wise. Some characters are far more ...

Immersive Nonfiction & Idea Generation with The Fifth RiskAuthor Michael Lewis

Author Michael Lewis of The Big Short, Moneyball and his latest, The Fifth Risk, lays out his formula for immersive nonfiction in this extended Writer’s Digest interview. Whether by luck or an innate synchronicity, Michael Lewis often...

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