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.


Instant Publishing Tools: Getting Noticed & Visible

Today I taught an online class about instant publishing tools that can help you get exposure for your work in digital formats. Thanks to all the participants who joined me today. Here’s a summary of some of the sites & tools we reviewed (a handy reference for the attendees, as well as a good...

Do Agents Steal Your Stamps? (The SASE Conundrum)

Q: Do agents steam off the stamps on self-addressed, stamped envelopes (SASEs) and resell them?! The agents demand pages, SASEs, that sort of‑thing, but—and I know this sounds cynical—many of my queries disappear.—Don B. A:Of course agents don’t steam off stamps from SASEs and resell them. They steam them off and use the stamps...

Just One More Blogging Benefit for Aspiring Writers

As I catch up from being away at the Writer’s Digest Conference (read more than 100 posts with info here!), guest blogger Jane Koenen Bretl is filling in with some more advice on the benefits of blogging! When I started my blog jane, candid in January 2009, it was my starting point to create...

Benefit From Our Conference From Afar (or Nearby)

It’s definitely one the favorite parts of my job: speaking at events and meeting writers and other professionals in the business. This weekend, Writer’s Digest debuts its first stand-alone event in New York City at the Marriott Marquis on Times Square. (And there’s still time to register on-site at the event, for just a...

Your Friends & Family Are Wrong

Time for a little tough love. To all those writers who say: My family has encouraged me to write this story I had this idea while talking with friends, and they thought it was brilliant My [insert close friend or family member name here] absolutely love my stories I read my work to my...

The Benefits of Blogging (Your Feedback!)

There have been so many wonderful comments from you on the subject of blogging (on this blog, on my Facebook page, and on the Writer’s Digest Facebook page), that I wanted to share a few pieces of the helpful advice. My appreciation to everyone who has shared their experiences! From published (or soon-to-be-published) authors...

Should You Blog? And If So, What Are Best Practices?

Photo credit: Laughing Squid More writers are blogging than ever. And if you’re not blogging already, you’ve probably considered it. Recently, a writer asked me via Facebook about blogging. She said: [It is] my impression that blogs related to writing are primarily written by people with expertise in their field and who have valuable...

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 9/11/09)

I watch Twitter, so you don’t have to. Visit each Friday or Saturday (or Sunday!) for the week’s best Tweets. If I missed a great Tweet, leave it in the Comments. Always welcome your suggestions on improving this weekly feature. Best of Best Great post: “When should I consider spending my own money on...

Book Promotion: Like Shouting Prayers Into Hurricane

I first met author N.M. Kelby at the AWP Conference in Atlanta. The Writer’s Digest staff includes many fans of her work, so it was thrilling to talk with her about a potential book project. I’m now proud to announce the fruits of our collaboration, new to our list this fall:The Constant Art of...

Best Tweets Returns Next Week

It has been nearly 2 weeks since my last curated Twitter list—my apologies for the hiatus. This feature will resume at the end of next week. For those of you who have sent tips and additions for Best Tweets, my appreciation. I have your recommendations safely reserved. If you have a Best Tweet to...

5 Questions You Can Ask Yourself About Stories

A little more from Glimmer Train this month—from the bulletin they just e-mailed to their writers. Go read the full bulletin here. From Ingrid Hill:  The Devil’s Trampoline: My sweet grandmother used to murmur consolingly, when I crabbed about the misery of sitting with hot rollers burning my scalp, “Honey, you have to suffer to...

Zen in the Art of a Kiss and a Dream

Today’s guest post is from everyone’s favorite regular contributor, Darrelyn Saloom. Follow her on Twitter. Nineteen years ago, I read the nine essays of Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing and dreamed I met the legendary author. In the dream, Bradbury and I discussed a story I’d written called “The Last Housewife...

Back from Alaska Round-Up (3 Tips)

I just returned from my 1-week adventure in Alaska. It is certainly the most foreign place I’ve ever been within the United States. You can check out photos here. Here are 3 tips for your Alaska adventure: One glacier experience is probably enough to satiate your curiosity about glaciers. You haven’t experienced Alaska unless...

Monthly News from Glimmer Train

Glimmer Train has just selected the 50 winning entries for their first Best Start competition. Each wins $50 and makes Glimmer Train’s Best Start list. This competition is held quarterly and is open only to writers whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation over 3,000. Each submission should be...

Can I Query Before I Finish My Novel?

Q: I’m currently writing my first novel and am about halfway finished, but I have completed an outline and synopsis. Can I start querying agents now? A: Being a first-time novelist, it’s important to finish your book before sending out any query letters. Without a track record, you have no proof that you can...

If Your Goal is to Get an Agent…

…the September issue of WD–which hit newsstands just last week–is tailor-made for you. We began working on this annual issue devoted to all things agent back in the spring with a lot of anticipation: We get many, many, MANY questions here at WD throughout the year related to literary agents (and, specifically, to our...

"Thought Virus" Protection for Writers

Jane kindly invited me to guest blog here on There Are No Rules while she’s enjoying some R&R this week, and I happily agreed. You may recall that the last time I posted as a guest here, my stay was unexpectedly extended when Jane became stranded in Thailand — so let’s hope for her sake that she...

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 8/21/09)

I watch Twitter, so you don’t have to. Visit each Friday or Saturday (or Sunday!) for the week’s best Tweets. If I missed a great Tweet, leave it in the Comments. Always welcome suggestions on improving this weekly feature. Note: A bit shorter list this week, as I leave for vacation tomorrow—and next week’s...

Pain & Struggle: A Fundamental Part of Writing

Nearly one year ago, I came across the following passage on Galleycat: Reflect on this philosophical dispute submitted by one poetry-devoted reader: “The book was a collection of love poems by William Carlos Williams. The poem was ‘Asphodel, that Greeny Flower.’ And the specific line of the poem over which we disagreed was: ‘I...

5 Questions for Those Who Don't Have Time to Market/Promote

(Pictured above: Writer’s Digest and HOW editors/designers, promoting “Art of Manliness” project) “The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which....

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 8/14/09)

I watch Twitter, so you don’t have to. Visit each Friday or Saturday (or Sunday!) for the week’s best Tweets. If I missed a great Tweet, leave it in the Comments. Always welcome suggestions on improving this weekly feature. Check out these freshly launched personal blogs from the people who work at Writer’s Digest:...

Figuring Out Your Facebook Strategy: 3 Essential Tips

In May 2006, after reading this article in the New Yorker, I joined Facebook, which at that time was primarily used by students. Not being a student, I found very few people to friend, so the account lay dormant for 18 months until Facebook really took off as a direct competitor to MySpace. At...

Hiring a Professional Editor vs. Getting Amateur Critiques

Today I gave a live online class on The First Five Pages—how editors evaluate your manuscript in an instant. It is one of my favorite classes to teach because in one page, you can easily show the tremendous improvement that can be achieved usually by cutting alone. Here’s a small example of what I...

5 Reasons Pitches Can Be Detrimental Rather Than Helpful

I’ve read and listened to hundreds if not thousands of pitches during my decade in book publishing. And while I think it’s important for writers to get out there and interact with and understand professionals in the business, I also think pitching can be a very difficult and unrewarding process for some writers. Consider:...