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Author Archives: Brian A. Klems

Sky Diving

The last thing you remember hearing before your friend thrust you out of the plane was: “Don’t forget your parachute!” That would be nice, though, instead of falling, you immediately begin hurtling upwards. With the stratosphere slowly approaching and your air running out, what do you do? Read more

When Do You Officially Consider Yourself a Writer?

At the opening session of the recent Writer’s Digest Conference in New York, bestselling author Dani Shapiro, led off her keynote address with what seemed to be a very simple question: “How … Read more

Enter WD’s PopFiciton Competition – 4,000 Words Could Get You $2,500 & a Trip

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Short story writers, listen up: We’re giving away $2,500, a trip to NYC to attend next year’s Writer’s Digest Conference, a chance to get your name on the cover of WD and … Read more

Site Surfing

Surfing through the Internet you find a strange pop-up: “Click now to receive three million dollars! Just press the link! … You have 30 seconds.” The lights immediately turn off and a timer begins on your screen. What happens next? What do you do? Read more

Caught Pants Down

You wake up feeling refreshed, a new day a new— wait your favorite pair of pants is missing. Darting up from bed you hear a noise outside. A woman is wearing them and looking straight at you. What do you do? Read more

How to Write and Publish Nonfiction Premium Collection – 11 Great Resources Bundled in One Low Price

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There are many resources out there for writing nonfiction, which can be confusing for writers trying to decide which one fits their needs. Here, with our new Writer’s Digest How to Write and Publish Nonfiction Premium Collection, you get 11 great writing resources covering everything—from writing better nonfiction to crafting your query letter to getting your nonfiction published—bundled together for one low price. There are details to all the books, webinars and downloads including in this collection below, but this is a limited time offer so click here to order before they are gone. Read more

College Introduction

It’s your first day of college and, in your first class, your professor does something unusual—she has you all sit on the floor in a big circle and introduce yourself, as if you were in kindergarten. When it gets to be your turn, you say, “My name is _____. Every day I like to _____ in purple and yellow______.” Amused, the professor asks you to explain. So you do. Read more

Querying 101: Putting Your Best Book Forward – Sept. 25 Webinar With Jennifer De Chiara

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In this live 90-minute webinar — titled “Querying 101: Putting Your Best Book Forward” — Literary agent Jennifer De Chiara will guide you, step-by-step, in writing the perfect pitch for your book. She’ll offer do’s and don’ts from her 16+ years of agenting and share queries that got her attention and those that didn’t. De Chiara will also give tips on how to find the right agents to query.If you’ve written a dynamite query, it’s still worthless if you’re not sending it to the right agents. It all happens at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, September 25, 2014, and lasts 90 minutes. Read more

How to Write and Sell New Adult – Sept. 18 Webinar With Literary Agent Gordon Warnock

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In this live 90-minute webinar — titled “How to Write and Sell New Adult” — Literary agent Gordon Warnock will help you understand New Adult fully from all aspects of the business, whether you need to know the rules of the category, how to pitch it to agents, or how authors are hitting the bestselling lists with modern marketing techniques. Plus, as a bonus, Warnock will critique 1,000 words of your manuscript! It all happens at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, September 18, 2014, and lasts 90 minutes. Read more

One Shot

The click of the pistol’s hammer wakes you. A velvety voice lilts out of your vision, “Give me a good one liner and I just may let you live.” You can see two of your friends hiding outside the door, signaling to you that they are working on saving you. What do you tell the nice lady? Write this scene. Read more

EXTENDED DEADLINE: WriteGirl Get Inspired Fundraiser – How You Can Help Support This Great Cause

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If you’re a writer and looking to support a good cause that’s focused on giving others (namely teens) the opportunity to learn and become better writers, you’ll want to check out WriteGirl’s Get Inspired Fundraiser. Here are more details. Read more

Create an Author Website in 24 Hours or Less – Sept. 11 Webinar with Jane Friedman

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In this live two-hour intensive webinar — titled “Create an Author Website in 24 Hours or Less” — you’ll learn the simplest, most robust, and FREE tools to get a site up and running in a day or less—often in one evening! You don’t have to know any code, understand any technical jargon, or have previous experience with websites or blogs. You also don’t need to own your own domain or have hosting, although advice will be given on those issues. Click for more details and to register. Read more

Fantasy Brawl

The wizard’s terror bolt lances overhead. You shout back to your party that you’re going in. Dagger held high and ice shard at the ready you tear towards the dastardly spell caster. How does your fight play out? Read more

10 Books That Have Never Left You – What Are Your 10?

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Recently a friend challenged me to, without thinking too hard, make a list of 10 books that have stayed with me in some way after reading them. Here’s my list. What’s on yours? Read more

I Think I’m a Clone Now

Ah, back home and time to relax. Long weeks are brutal. Is that the television you hear? Well you haven’t been home all day so you decide to check it out, thinking you left it on. As you enter the room you see the television is indeed on. And you’re already sitting there watching it. What’s going on here? Read more

The Board of Education

The fight has been raging for three days. The teachers on their end, toting rulers, eraser canons and textbook grenades, and the students on the other, with only school-approved items found in their bookbags. Both sides have suffered casualties and people are wondering, what happened three days ago at Winston Waters High that started this mess? Start your story three days ago. Read more

A List of Upcoming Online Courses From Writer’s Digest University

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Interested in improving your writing skills? Your blogging skills? Want to become a copywriter master to make a good living on the side (to support your creative writing)? It’s time you checked out Writer’s Digest University slate of online courses, designed to help you improve your technique and reach your writing goals. Here’s a list of upcoming courses. Read more

A Few Sips Off

You take a sip from your drink and feel different. That may be because your torso has an extra arm protruding from it. Another sip, another arm. Then a wing. What happens if you finish the drink? Read more

Are Subjects Joined by And Singular or Plural?

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Q: I’m writing a letter and am uncertain which sentence is correct: Your passion and commitment to my company HAVE inspired many, or, Your passion and commitment to my company HAS inspired … Read more

Conquer the Dreaded Synopsis: Construct Your Ultimate Sales Tool – Aug. 21 Webinar With Agent Nephele Tempest

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In this live 90-minute webinar — titled “Conquer the Dreaded Synopsis: Construct Your Ultimate Sales Tool” — literary agent Nephele Tempest will show you how to tackle the task head on, and to generate the right synopsis for your project—and your audience. Shake off your fear and frustration and master the art of writing the synopsis. It all happens at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, August 21, 2014, and lasts 90 minutes. Read more

What if Dr. Seuss, J.K. Rowling and Mary Shelley Were Rejected by Agents?

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As writers who receive piles of rejection letters, it only seems fair that, from time to time, we be given an opportunity to return the favor. There are many books I’d love to reject (here’s my #1 choice), if only for the satisfaction of releasing some pent up frustration and envy. Or, perhaps, just to be funny. Thanks to a few witty writers, we have some fake rejection letters that are pretty hilarious. (Plus, your chance to write a rejection.) Read more

Writing and Selling Middle Grade Fiction – AUG 14 Webinar With Jennifer Laughran

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In this live 90-minute webinar — titled “Writing and Selling Middle Grade Fiction” — instructor and literary agent Jennifer Laughran will talk about what’s happening in the exciting Middle Grade market, as well as examine some recently published titles to see what they got right. She’ll also talk revision tips and tricks to help you take your work-in-progress to the next level — she’ll also critique either your query letter or the first 500 pages of your MG novel. It all happens at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, August 14, 2014, and lasts 90 minutes. Read more

PUNch Out

You’re in an epic pun off; whit is spewing out of your mouth and your opponent’s mouth with punishing purpose. What are some sweet puns you could use to really wipe the smile off your opponent’s face? Make sure not to frown on the worst of puns either—they’re all beautiful. Write this scene and battle of puns. Read more

WD Online Exclusive: Book Proposal Basics

The October 2014 Writer’s Digest lets you in on “The Secret to a Stronger Nonfiction Book Proposal”—but if you need a refresher on how to put the whole proposal together, we’ve got that … Read more

8 Unexpected Lessons From Working with a Literary Agent

I had two full manuscripts and one partial out with various interested agents when I got the email. The email that said Stacey read my manuscript and wanted to set up a time to discuss it. I’d been rejected by 14 other agents already, so I wasn’t even sure what that meant. Then I got the call. Thus began a string of very important lessons for my writing career. Here they are. Read more

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