Editors Blog

There Are No Rules Blog by the Editors of Writer’s Digest

Get on the cutting edge of today’s publishing trends and how authors can succeed in a world of fast-paced technological change, guided by the editors of Writer’s Digest. You’ll get an inside look at the work, play, and passion of the publishing business and find practical tools for success.


Jodi Picoult: Top 10 Writers I Admire, and Why

It’s time for another writerly list. If you liked Erik Larson’s Top 10 Essentials to a Writer’s Life and Sherman Alexie’s Top 10 Pieces of Writing Advice I’ve Been Given (Or That I’ll Pretend Were Given to Me), here’s an excellent one from bestselling novelist Jodi Picoult: Top 10 Writers I Admire, and Why. Happy Friday....

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Agent Jennifer Laughran Teaches the Webinar “Catching and Keeping an Agent” (and Critiques Registrants’ Queries!) on November 21, 2013

This week, literary agent Jennifer Laughran (Andrea Brown Literary) is going to provide a ton of instruction in her brand new webinar for WD. The webinar's instruction is about both the process of finding & pitching agents as well as what to do after you have an agent. But to round out the presentation,...

Famous First Lines Reveal How to Start a Novel

On this day in 1873, writer and politician Edward Bulwer-Lytton died. One thing he left behind: The first line from his novel Paul Clifford: “It was a dark and stormy night …” The sentence went on to serve as the literary posterchild for bad story starters, and it also became the inspiration behind the...

Don’t Let Worry Drag You Down

Writers are often worriers. We’re plagued with indecision about the choices we make for our stories. We doubt the quality of our writing. We wonder if we’ll ever break through into the realm of publication, recognition, and even celebration. We sometimes fret that we’re wasting our efforts entirely in a profession with few to...

How to Start a Novel Right: 5 Great Tips

It’s said that in life, there are two types of people: those who look at the glass as half empty, and those who see it as half full. But for those of us who’ve set the goal of starting a novel, I think it really comes down to how we view the blank page:...

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Writers

A new year, a new writerly you. New Year’s Day is a time for reflecting on the past year while thinking about the goals, wishes, and hopes for the new year ahead. What does this mean for your writing goals? Maybe 2013 is the year you finish your novel. Maybe it’s the year you...

Happy Holidays From WD

Happy holidays from all of us here at WD. Here’s to hoping your own holidays, no matter what they are or where they may take you, are safe, filled with writing and the occasional mulled wine, and as elusively stress-free as they come. Today we randomly stumbled across a cache of Christmas quotes from...

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Agent/Author John M. Cusick Teaches “Writing and Selling Sci-Fi & Fantasy for Kids and Teens” – Dec. 13, 2012 Webinar With Query Critique

On Dec. 13, 2012, we're pleased to welcome back literary agent & kidlit author John Cusick to our webinar program. Because he is both a successful children's novelist as well as a literary agent for Scott Treimel NY who reps kids books, John is a remarkably good instructor at explaining how to get young...

How to Write a Reader-Friendly Essay

Powerful, surprising, and fascinating personal essays are also “reader-friendly essays” that keep the reader squarely in focus. So how do you go about writing one? In this excerpt from Crafting the Personal Essay, author Dinty W. Moore shares a variety of methods for crafting an essay that keeps the reader’s desires and preferences in...

Freelance Your Way to a Better Platform

Long before you publish your book—and long after—you should be thinking about your writer platform. How do you build that core audience? How do you enhance your reputation as a great writer, as well as a knowledgeable one? How do you build name recognition? There are countless answers to these questions, but one of...

Writing challenge! Can you write an opening sentence to a story incorporating these 3 words? (Winners will be published in WD)

Looking for a little Friday procrastination in the form of a writing challenge? Close that Excel spreadsheet you’re working on, minimize your boss’ emails or postpone your daily chores (come on, nobody would rather change a litter box than write, right?). Take five: It’s time for our Your Story contest. Basically, in every issue...