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Meet the Agent: Joanna MacKenzie of Nelson Literary Agency

Originally from Poland, literary agent Joanna MacKenzie loves novels that deal with the themes of identity and the immigrant experience, as well as those that probe relationships—like those with parents, siblings, best friends, and first ...

Inside the Mind of a Villain: 8 Journeys and Motives Behind Evildoers, Antiheroes & Antagonists

By Dustin Grinnell Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him. —Fyodor Dostoyevsky Whenever we learn of an unspeakable crime, an incomprehensible act, there are questions. Chief amon...

21 Ways to Pivot Your Plot

Writers of short stories are often advised to include a twist. But a surprise ending that comes out of nowhere? That’s a surefire way to leave your readers scratching their heads. Twist your stories the right way to up your chances of win...

Critical Thinking: The 5 Factors That Earn 5-Star Book Reviews

ILLUSTRATION © GETTY IMAGES: OIVIND HOVLAND Novelists live and die by reviews, yet uncovering what garners a gushing ovation or blistering takedown is often a mystery. A professional critic lays out what it takes to earn five-star book rev...

What’s Your Ideal Writing Life?

Every writer needs support and encouragement. Lynn Dickinson’s advice will support and assist you in creating a powerful and useful writing tool – an effective Vision of your Ideal Writing Life. You know you should be writing more. Why ...

5 Tips for Writing a Self-Help Book That’s Better Than Tom Brady’s

[Join us at the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference, August 10-12, 2018 in New York City!] image from Getty by Malte Mueller As you might have guessed from the title of this article, I’m not exactly a New England Patriot’s fan. It’s ...

Guiding Students to Be Independent Learners

It’s estimated that students in the U.S. spend nearly 20,000 hours experiencing classroom education by the age of 18, and that much of what is taught is forgotten within a short time. And there’s little evidence that they know how to ap...

The Power of Being Seen

When the bell rang for early dismissal on a recent afternoon at Cold Springs Middle School in Nevada, students sprinted toward the buses while teachers filed into the library, where posters filled with the names of every child in the 980-st...

Making Sure Your Praise Is Effective

On-task comportment, engagement, effort, and participation—praise enhances them all. Even the most challenging behaviors yield to praise, according to many studies. Maybe, like me, you’ve experienced how praise alters the consciousness ...

Teaching Kids to Argue—Respectfully

When hot-button issues spill over from social media or the nightly news and into your classroom, what’s the right move as a teacher? Do you shut down arguments about gun control or athletes taking a knee at football games because you fear...

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