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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.


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 … Read more

Want a shot at getting a free literary agent critique of your manuscript in WD magazine?

I’ve been a bad blogger lately—but it’s because we’ve been working hard behind the scenes on some exciting stuff, like the official announcement below about how you might rope yourself a free … Read more

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 … Read more

Productive (and Sometimes Hilarious) Procrastination: 10 Websites for Writers

Our May/June issue hit newsstands last week, and in it, we have our annual list of the Top 101 Websites for Writers. From among those 101, here are 10 digital venues—and their … Read more

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 … Read more

Writing Prompt: What would you give up for a year? (Plus, a giveaway)

Thanks to everyone who wrote a story in response to my falling-book SOS last week. All the names were put into the magic Promptly hat, and a random drawing has produced one … Read more

Writing Prompt: Turn Your E-Mail Into a Story for a Shot at Winning Books

The towers of swag books are teetering on my desk and WD co-workers are starting to throw nervous glances in my direction, so to prevent Death by Book and thank Promptly posters, … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

The Weird Week in Writing: Author Insults, Blank Books, Anne Rice Auctions

Freaky Friday—the latest from the often weird and wonderful world of writing this week. (In lieu of a new prompt, we’re also still on the hunt for entries for our one-line Romeo … Read more

New Challenge: Can You Spoof-Reject Romeo & Juliet in One Sentence?

In one of our newest (and most staff-beloved) features of WD magazine, Reject a Hit, we’ve called on you to conjure up clueless editors of yesteryear and write humorous rejections of successful … Read more

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 … Read more

Weekend Writing Exercise: Grab a newspaper, and steal from the real

We read some great stories as a result of this prompt in 2009, and with recent bouts of news overload (from Charlie Sheen on up the ladder of substance/relevance to the world), … Read more

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 … Read more

Monday Matchup Writing Challenge: Uncashed check, bad movie, Shakespeare

WRITING PROMPT: Matchup, Ides of March EditionFeel 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 … Read more

Weekend Writing Prompt: The strangest thing you can give up for 40 days and nights

40 Days and 40 NightsFeel 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 … Read more

Beyond the Books – A Closer Look at Kurt Vonnegut

[A Writer’s Digest Magazine Online Exclusive] He died in 2007, but he’s already the stuff of modern writing legend—the man who survived the firebombing of Dresden, penned Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat’s Cradle and Breakfast … Read more

Weekend Writing Prompt: The worst birthday present ever …

We’ve been a bit lax on posting in recent days because of our salvo to finish the May/June issue of Writer’s Digest magazine (more on that soon), but your literary tweets of … Read more

What would literary legends have tweeted? Help us figure it out, and you might appear in Writer's Digest

Last week, we issued a challenge to write the fictitious tweets of dead literary greats. The tweets rolled in, and per our swag promise, we selected one random winner to claim some … Read more

What would our favorite writers of yesteryear have tweeted? (Win free books!)

Would @HMelville have looked past albino aquatic life and tweeted about the issues of his day, such as the invention of the rubber band, the merits of large beards, or perhaps the … Read more

Your Responses: The texts that made her laugh, made him cry, and changed things forever

The fictional thumbs have done their QWERTY roving, causing their fair share of both tears and laughter. As for those texters who took part in our prompt text challenge, the names of … Read more

Weekend WD Challenge: Write a text message, win free books

WRITING PROMPT: Taxing TextsFeel 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 … Read more

7 Places to Find Free Money for Your Writing

The new issue of Writer’s Digest has shipped to subscribers, and it’ll be on newsstands soon. It’s an interesting issue for us because in addition to our regular content (including the brilliantly … Read more

Monday Matchup Writing Challenge: Valentine's Day Edition

WRITING PROMPTFeel 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 … Read more

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