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November 2019

Here’s what you’ll find in this month of The Writer: 

  • NaNoWriMo turns 20! Celebrate the organization’s twenty-year journey from a low-key month-long writathon to a worldwide movement.
  • Submissions are up, but subscriptions are down: What do literary journals need to do to survive? 
  • How to repurpose deleted chapters into standalone, published pieces
  • Tips for being a great critique partner


And much, much more! Take a peek at our stories below and be sure to find a copy at your local newsstand this month.

Annie Sheppard

A class on how to fall down

By Annie Sheppard


Celebrating 20 years of NaNoWriMo

By Grant Faulkner

In its two decades of existence, National Novel Writing Month has inspired millions of writers to finally put their stories on paper, resulting in thousands of published novels over the years. Here’s a look back at NaNoWriMo’s history, from humble coffeeshop beginnings to the literal billions of words it inspires today.

How to be a good critique partner

By Anica Mrose Rissi

Employ these best practices when you don an editorial cap.

He said, she said

By Ryan G. Van Cleave

Eight ways to make dialogue matter.

Resurrecting your darlings

By Melissa Hart

Why trash your deleted pages when you can publish them?

The future for literary magazines

By Toni Fitzgerald

Six essential issues facing lit journals – and what’s being done to address them.


From the Front Lines

Crash and burn

By Yi Shun Lai

Why recklessness is good for your creativity.

Freelance Success

What the hell is freelance success, anyway?

By Pete Croatto

You’re doing OK. Really.

Literary Spotlight

By Melissa Hart

Conference Insider

By Melissa Hart

Also in Every Issue

From the editor

Take Note


How I Write