Why Writer’s Digest Needs to be Your Friend

In last week’s blog Why Resources Matter, I touched on one of the many great aspects of Writer’s Digest. But…I felt like more could have been said. So, here we are! Enjoying an entire blog post dedicated to why Writer’s Digest needs to be your new friend. If you are a writer, then this post is for you!

While tackling this writing/publishing journey, I find myself turning to Writer’s Digest for most of my needs or concerns. From screen writing to poetry, novel writing and various routes to publishing, Writer’s Digest has you covered. I’ve made it easy and attached hyper links that bring you directly to the sources I am encouraging you to dive into.

Side note: I am not a spokesperson for Writer’s Digest. They are not paying me to say these things. I am hopefully helping you get one step closer to your writing goals.

Writer’s Digest Magazine

Who doesn’t want monthly resources mailed, or digitally downloaded, and in hands reach all at the cost of two coffees or a decent bottle of wine? These magazines offer a wide range of resources that can bring you one step closer to whichever form of writing dreams you have. Their feature pieces are sure to cater to any questions or ambitions you are currently trying to pursue. The content is engaging, straight and to the point.  My biggest advice that I will always push is that resources matter! They really, really, really do. The more you know, the less time you have to spend blindly searching for answers. Writer’s Digest has the answers!

I personally enjoy the magazines for the easy access to know all the things Writer’s Digest. You’ll learn of agent spotlights, upcoming events and webinars that might be a solid fit for whatever area in your writing you want to work on. Enjoy this light read with your morning coffee, tea or at night with a glass (or bottle) of wine.

To learn more and invest in your writing future, click here to be directed to the Writer’s Digest Magazine. The magazine also offers a convenient digital download for those who enjoy reading on the go.

Writing Workshops

My favorite writing workshop is the First Ten Pages Boot Camp. If you want the best bang for your buck, this is your ticket. For this workshop, you submit the first ten pages of your manuscript to an agent. Said agent critiques the first ten pages and gives you feedback on ways to make sure you hook readers from the very beginning. This is a great opportunity if you struggle with giving too much back story (which was one of my biggest weaknesses). Writer’s Digest hosts a handful of these throughout the year, so either check their website often or sign up for weekly newsletters and receive updates on when the next boot camp will be.

Another vital workshop they offer is catered to query letters. Again, these happen all throughout the year just like the First Ten Pages Boot Camp, so find a way to stay in the know! This workshop comes with a one hour long informative video that shows you the do’s and don’t for query letters. Yes. The Guide to Literary Agents does have examples. And yes, they’re very helpful. But hearing one or two experienced, professional human beings break a query letter down in a one hour workshop can build your knowledge and confidence like nothing else. I know it changed my query writing game (yeahhh. That sounded way cooler in my head.)Your query letter is critiqued and you receive valuable information that helps your submission stand out from the slush pile.

When you reach out to agents, the Query letter is basically the first thing they see. It is a representation of you and your work. Why not make 100% sure that you are presenting your work the right way?

Writer’s Digest Podcast

If you’ve browsed my page even a little bit, you should know that I love a good podcast. Podcast are convenient and make house chores not so dreadful. (And yes, I loathe house chores. I did not get the domestic gene.) So, like a podcast, I’ll make this segment, short, informative and to the point.

Combining the easy convenience of a podcast with vital information at just the click of a button is an absolute treat! This podcast is fairly new, but each episode packs a lot of true stories and advice that just might steer you down the right path. You can subscribe to this podcast on ITunes, Spotify or wherever it is you stream your content. While you’re cleaning dishes, pop in some headphones and listen to interviews with people who have put in the work to make it one step closer to their dreams. I whole heartedly believe that a podcast can raise your spirits. If you’re listening to someone talk about how they made it, you should get excited, because if they can make it, so can you! Writer’s Digest has gone even further to make sure they reach you in the most convenient way possible. Give the show a listen during your next drive to work.

Conferences – Lengthy, but I had to do story time!

If you haven’t splurged on a conference, I highly recommend you do! And do it with Writer’s Digest. Their staff is incredibly helpful. I mentioned briefly on my About Me page what my first conference was like. Story time!

So. Imagine a young, southern girl from Alabama booking a flight to Los Angeles. Imagine her spending weeks trying to convince her dad that he didn’t need to go with her. Then imagine her, the day before, going to the doctor to learn she had bronchitis. Shit!

Guys. I had saved up A LOT of money for this trip. (A lot means different things to different people, but as a fresh college graduate four months into her big girl job, what I paid, was a lot!) I wanted to treat the trip as business and pleasure and I was  ready to spread my southern little wings in a city I’d never been to. And not even bronchitis could stop me. I wasn’t contagious. I think…

I’ll spare the gory and tedious details. Short version is: Dad said I wasn’t going to the conference, but mamma had my bags packed and my sick tail at the airport thirty minutes before take off. (Yes, I lived with my parents at the time. Fresh college graduate, duh.)

Anyway…I landed in L.A. and crawled into bed at 2 a.m. without setting an alarm. The next morning, I was two hours late to registration and had already missed a panel and a half worth of information. I hurried down to the floor the conference was hosted on and walked around lost for a solid 20 minutes. Yeah…that was one of the many moments I regretted not having my dad with me. He has a way of figuring things out and not letting social anxiety get in his way.

And guys…I kid you not. Literally, the moment I decided to call it quits until lunch and head back up to my room, a woman approached me. Her badge was similar to mine, but it said STAFF. To this day, I regret not catching her name. I blame the cold meds and lack of sleep for being so rude and oblivious.

This woman could sense I was clueless. She brought me over to a coffee station and started small talk. As soon as I opened my mouth, her eyes got wide. I had to explain, in my Darth Vader voice, that I was not contagious. Not sure if she believed me, but she kept a solid smile on that was convincing enough. She asked what I wanted out of the conference and then she helped me pick and choose the panels I needed to sit in on.

And for the next three days, I enjoyed the hell out of that conference. And the people who host the panels are kind and really do want to help you. They are open for questions and want you to get the most out of your conference.

Basically, if you go to a conference, you will enjoy a helpful staff that wants you to get the most from your trip. At the New York conference, they went the extra mile to give a list of recommended places to eat that were easy to navigate to in the busy streets.

And listen…You get so much more than a friendly staff when you attend a Writer’s Digest Conference. I’m highlighting the staff, because I want you to know first hand how kind and helpful the company really is.

Right now, Writer’s Digest has three events for 2019. But, it’s only March. They might add more!

Editing Services

Having a second set of eyes look over your work is vital. Having a professional set of eyes is even better. Writer’s Digest offers editorial services that will cater any needs you have. Looking to polish that synopsis? Need an editor for the second draft? Writer’s Digest has you covered. There are no deadlines. These services are always available, ready to make your manuscript one step closer to hooking an agent’s attention.

I haven’t personally used these services but know people who have and so far, I haven’t heard one complaint. I plan to use them soon and will of course, share my experience.

Competitions

Ready to put your work out there? Want to win money in the process? Writer’s Digest Competitions are open for anyone. Currently, they are hosting a competition for self-published novels and their annual writing competition.

For the Annual Writing Competition, there are at least nine categories and dozens of potential prizes. What do you have to lose? I’m definitely against instant gratification, but these competitions are a fun way to put yourself out there. The more you put your work out there, the easier it will be to embrace critique.

And who knows. You might have a sparkling gem sitting on your computer and winning a competition, just might give you that final nudge to believe you have what it takes.

And if you don’t win, it’s not worth getting discouraged over. A LOT of people submit their work. This is one of those chances where you can easily put yourself out there and see what happens.

If you haven’t browsed the Writer’s Digest page, I HIGHLY, HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend you do! It can be overwhelming at first, but that is because they offer so much content. And this post only covers the traditional publishing side. I left a lot of information out because this post would go on for hours if I had discussed all Writer’s Digest can do for you.

I hope something has sparked your interest and you are making your way over to their resourceful page. Enjoy!

Until next time.

-Michaela Perry-

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