Promptly Blog

Writer’s Digest Managing Editor Zachary Petit helps get your creative juices flowing with Promptly, a writing prompt-driven community that aims to get your pen moving and keep it that way. Posts appear every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, offering flash-fiction prompts, activities and maybe even some Q&As—in addition to some positive reinforcement.


The Shadow

Dampness lingers in the midnight air. Nearby, an unidentifiable sound pricks at your nerves, repeating every few seconds. Your breath catches in your throat as a long shadow cleaves through the light spilling from a street lamp just around the corner ahead of you. You consider turning back. ... What happens...

Why We Write

The Prompt: This week's writing prompt is a little bit different than usual. Instead of telling us a fictional tale, we'd like to hear the why behind your love of writing. Share in the comments—in under 500 words—the reason behind your love of writing. Your response could appear in the February 2018...

20th Annual Self-Published Book Awards-Poetry

Thank you to all the participants in our 20th Annual Self-Published Book Awards.  Please see below for a list of books entered into the Poetry category. A fox peeks out:  poems Ravi Chandra www.ravichandramd.com A Journey of Faith Betty Brown Simm A Poetic Tribute to the Young’uns Who Lunched with Oprah...

20th Annual Self-Published Book Awards-Reference Books

Thank you to all the participants in our 20th Annual Self-Published Book Awards.  Please see below for a list of books entered into the Reference category. “A History of University of Florida Residence Facilities, Rev. 3rd edition” Sharon C. Blansett A Little Bit of This and A Little Bit of That...

20th Annual Self-Published Book Awards-Nonfiction

Thank you to all the participants in our 20th Annual Self-Published Book Awards.  Please see below for a list of books entered into the Nonfiction category. 48 Hours to Chaos John Waterman http://www.johndwaterman.com/ A Busy Moms Guide to Entertaining Lisa A. Stukel amazon.com   authorhouse.com  barnes and noble A Crime Against One...

20th Annual Self-Published Book Awards-Mainstream/Literary Fiction

Thank you the everyone who participated in our 20th Annual Self-Published Book Awards. Below is a list of the books entered in our Mainstream/Literary Fiction category. A Suffering Heart Paula Scanland http://outskirtspress.com/webpage.php?ISBN=9781432790844 “Screenwriter” Rafael Lima www.limastories.com “(C) Rock Stories:  Million-Dollar Tales of Music, Mayhem, and Immaturity” Dave Brigham booklocker.com/books/5152.html + One...

20th Annual Self-Published Book Awards-Winners

Each year Writer’s Digest hosts the Annual Self-Published Book Awards. This self-published competition spotlights today’s self-published works and honors self-published authors. Please join us in congratulating the winners of our 20th annual competition which had a 2012 entry deadline.   Grand Prize Life Stories “Looking Up: A Memoir of Sisters, Survivors...

Your Story 37 Winner: Anonymous

Prompt: After being pulled over for speeding, your character finds something important while looking for her registration in the glove compartment. Once again, you’ve made the Your Story competition a success. Thanks to everyone who participated in the competition (either by entering, reading or voting). Out of more than 600 entries,...

Writer’s Digest Annual Competition

For 80 years, the Annual Writer’s Digest Competition has rewarded writers just like you for their finest work. We continue the tradition by giving away more than $30,000 in cash and prizes! Win a trip to the Writer's Digest Conference in New York City !

What do you want to see in Writer's Digest magazine?

Dear Promptly prompters, Apologies for the brief disappearing act in April—we’ve been working to finish our July/August issue, start our big September Big 10 issue, develop some exciting new stuff that we’ll hopefully be able to announce here soon, and stay dry in the everlasting Cincinnati monsoon that currently has me...

Contest: You won't believe what came in the mail today…

Bring on the romance, horror, romantic horror, lit fiction, thrillers, sci-fi, uppers, downers, fantastical creatures (leprechauns?), cheating husbands, cowboys, cowgirls, astronauts, teachers, students and everything and anything in between—it’s time to once again open WD’s doors for the eclectically awesome submissions to our Your Story competition. For a shot at getting...

April Fools' Day Writing Challenge (With Prizes)

Rather than conducting a fresh print run of our bestselling Plagiarist’s Market title (pictured at right) this year, WD is ringing in April Fools’ Day with an online mini contest. Editor Brian A. Klems’ challenge: Write a humorous, fake April Fools’ headline for writers and post it on Twitter (#AprilFools4Writers) or...

What embarrassing moments made you a better writer?

Around the Writer’s Digest office, like everyone, we have our share of embarrassing moments-we’ll-never-speak-of-again-(after-this-blog)-that-taught-us-valuable-lessons-about-this-or-that. For instance, there are the general ones that educated us about the prevention of head-slapping by immediate research when brainstorming: the editor who had “Pittacus Lore” jotted down on a list of potential authors to interview, or...

Monday Matchup Writing Challenge: Liar, Cow, Cardboard Box

WRITING PROMPT: Matchup #19Feel free to take the following prompt home or post a response (500 words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring) in the Comments section below. By posting, you’ll be automatically entered in our occasional around-the-office swag drawings. If you’re having trouble with the captcha code sticking, e-mail your...

Monday Matchup Writing Challenge: Author, Ocean, Weapon

WRITING PROMPT: Matchup #18Feel free to take the following prompt home or post a response (500 words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring) in the Comments section below. By posting, you’ll be automatically entered in our occasional around-the-office swag drawings. If you’re having trouble with the captcha code sticking, e-mail your...

5 Ways to Break Into Writer's Digest Magazine

One thing I get asked a lot at conferences and via e-mail is how to write for WD—What’s the best way to break in? Aside from pitching a traditional feature article—and if you’re interested in doing so, check out our submission guidelines here, which I’m in the process of updating this...