Prather’s Pick: A magazine for writers |

Prather’s Pick: A magazine for writers

Diane Prather

This week’s column is a change of pace. The review is of a magazine — one that I look forward to finding in my mailbox.

Writer’s Digest is published monthly, except for the bimonthly issues in March/April, May/ June, July/August and November/December.

Each issue has a theme. For example, for the most recent, July/August 2016 issue, is all about writing a “standout Chapter 1” which begins with a memorable first line, a line that will make the reader want to read the next line. From there, the writer crafts a first paragraph and then a first chapter.

The information above is included in “The Chain of Awesomeness,” one of the features in the magazine which provides those tips for writing a “standout Chapter 1.” Other features in the July/August issue is the one covering the backstory, counting down to Chapter 1 and story jump-starts, such as clustering. Lots of examples from novels are included in each of the feature stories.

Also included in the current issue of Writer’s Digest, is an article on hints for using multiple points of view and tips for avoiding the hidden dangers when using them.

Every magazine has an interview with an author – questions and answers about the author’s writing and work style and more. The July/August issue features Lisa Gardner who has written a number of novels, including “Find Her” and “The Other Daughter.”

There are regular columns in the magazine, too, such as “Funny You Should Ask” with the answers to readers’ questions about the writing and publishing world. Another column showcases an agent. Readers can find out about contests, conferences, and how debut writers got started, too.

Several “Inkwell” pages feature stories on a variety of topics, including poetry. The stories are contributed by writers and editors.

Toward the end of the magazine, the reader will find a workbook with exercises and tips for “honing specific aspects of your writing.” For example, the workbook in the current magazine offers tips on the essential elements of personal essays and characters and conflict in personal writing.

Writer’s Digest is both inspirational and helpful. It’s published by F+W Media, Inc.

A one-year subscription is $24.96. For information, write to Writer’s Digest at 10151 Carter Road, Suite 200, Cincinnati, Ohio 45242.

Next Week: “First Women.” It’s a nonfiction book about 10 of the first ladies.

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