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 to everyone who participated in the competition (either by entering, reading or voting). Out of more than 600 entries, readers helped us...

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 awaiting Kevin Costner...

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 your work published...

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 on our Facebook...

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 the otherwise typically...

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 piece and the...

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 piece and the...

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 week—there are five...

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 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...

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 of Champions, and made ironic generational poetry of his catchphrase “So it goes.” But who was Kurt Vonnegut, really? For some answers,...

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 yesteryear have been coming in through our social networks and blogs, and we’re loving them. (To get the scoop on how you...

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 automatically entered in a random swag book drawing that will take place Tuesday, with the winners announced Wednesday. If you’re having trouble...

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 concepted new Top Shelf and 5-Minute Memoir sections…), we tackle a subject in the feature package that’s often a source of confusion...

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 in our occasional around-the-office swag drawings. If you’re having trouble with the captcha code sticking, e-mail your piece and the prompt to...