The essential resource for writers
Join thousands of successful writers when you subscribe to The Writer magazine. Each month The Writer is full of features you can use to improve your writing, including before-and-after examples of improved writing, more literary markets than ever before, practical solutions for writing problems, selected literary magazine profiles, tips from famous authors and hands-on advice.
Get Started: 5 roadblocks to good writing
If your piece just crashed and burned, maybe it’s because one or more traffic cones stood in the way of a good read.
Breakthrough: A magical day offers continuing inspiration
It was an incredible moment for the author of a young-adult novel: A
whole school had read her book and wanted to engage with reading and
Off the Cuff: Dear reader—and I mean that
The author writes a playful thank-you letter to you, a collaborator on his work.
Poet to Poet: The poetry of memory
Your readers have no particular emotional attachment to the person,
place or thing you’re feeling compelled to write about. So why not
first ask yourself three key questions to determine if your
autobiographical subject is reader-ready?
Learn literary lingo
Having trouble distinguishing a high-concept novel from an upmarket
one, or voicey from airless? Our writer offers some useful definitions.
Interview: Historical novels that are hard to put down
An editor took a chance on Margaret George, and good thing she did:
George is now one of the leading authors in this demanding genre.
Archive: Use imagery to bring your story to life
Give readers the right descriptive details so they can create a picture
in their heads. And who should know better than our illustrious author?
Step by Step: The art of the travel essay
Here are some tips on keeping your readers engaged in your voyage of personal discovery.
'The best writing advice I ever received'
This roundup of gems from an array of accomplished authors, including
Elizabeth George, Debby Applegate, Thomas H. Cook and Patricia Smith,
will boost your motivation and strengthen your work.
Writing shorts for local markets can pay
Yes, there are some potential disadvantages to shorts, but their
benefits may be worth the effort, as our writer outlines. Plus, see a
sidebar by John K. Borchardt offering this veteran’s four strategies
for succeeding with shorts.
Interview: An 'egoless approach' to collaborating
Screenwriters Derek Haas and Michael Brandt have found Hollywood
success with similar sensibilities—and a process that values strong
characters, rapid drafts and endless revisions.
Writer at Work: 'What's at stake?'
How an agent’s key question about characters, and what they have to
lose, helped boost the quality of a published memoir. Any writer can
put it to work.
Freelance Success: A second career can boost your writing
Four freelance writers offer solid tips for branching out into a complementary field.
Market Focus: 13 tips for launching your memoir
Here’s what you need to get your book on the shelves of this popular genre, from an author of three published memoirs.
Literary Spotlight: Grist
This month’s spotlight is on the literary journal Grist, out of the
University of Tennessee, describing its tone, preferences and
Keeping the heat on
Letters from our readers
Publishers win back control over e-book prices
Other Take Note items
not dating your writing with overused words and phrases, plus other
literary notes, Lisa Shearin’s regular bimonthly column, and an excerpt
from a new writing book.
Freelancers share tips for boosting pay
A review of The Wealthy Freelancer: 12 Secrets to a Great Income and an Enviable Lifestyle by Steve Slaunwhite, Pete Savage and Ed Gandia.
Exercises to invigorate sluggish writers
A review of Write Starts: Prompts, Quotes, and Exercises to Jumpstart Your Creativity by Hal Zina Bennett.
50 novelists weigh in on the craft
A review of The Secret Miracle: The Novelist’s Handbook, edited by Daniel Alarcón.
Agents, magazines and publisher listings
This month offers listings of agents, literary magazines and
publishers, as well as publications on contemporary culture and current
events/politics, and ethnic/multicultural magazines. Plus, find
information on conferences and contests and tips from editors at Vista and Italian American.
How I write
For veteran short-story writer Mark Wisniewski, revision is “where a
story comes alive.” Delete one phrase, he says, and you can “change an