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Writing and Publishing

Read About Writing to Improve as a Writer

Another helpful resource for writers is magazines, specifically magazines about writing.

What you can expect from a writer’s magazine includes tips on writing, writing contests, writing exercises, writing samples and critiques, and interviews with authors, agents, and publishers. While not every article will be of interest to everyone, every issue will have at least one thing that is helpful and worthwhile.

One such publication is Writer’s Digest, to which I subscribe and greatly enjoy. From time to time, I also peruse Columbia Journalism Review.

Many writers associations and groups also produce worthy magazines and newsletters. For example, American Christian Writers, of which I am a member, produces two newsletters: Christian Communicator and Advanced Christian Writer. Both are simple in appearance but valuable in content.

I’m sure there are many other magazines to consider, but that is what I have stumbled onto so far.

Whether you pick up these or seek out other options, reading magazines that cover the art of writing is an excellent way to help you refine your craft.

Learn more about writing and publishing in Peter’s new book: The Successful Author: Discover the Art of Writing and Business of PublishingGet your copy today.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.

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Writing and Publishing

Six Reasons to Attend a Writing Conference

Writing conferences are a great place for writers, whether accomplished in their craft or just starting out. At a writing conference, there are many outcomes that can be reasonably expected. In no particular order, they are:

  1. Networking: Conferences provide ample time to interact with other attendees, presenters, and the hosts. This can result in forging friendships, discovering new opportunities, and processing what you have learned with others.
  2. Meeting Agents: There are usually agents or publishers at conferences. Within the confines of decorum and common sense, there may be an opportunity to pitch your book idea. Most publishers no longer work directly with writers; instead, they use agents as a filter. I met one writer who had been to five conferences that year strictly to find an agent.
  3. Attending Lectures: A plethora of presentations will be offered. These are given by accomplished professionals (published authors, agents, professors, editors, and publishers). Often sessions are concurrent, so strategically map out your plan to make the most of what is provided.
  4. Buying Resources: Seemingly everyone will plug books and other resources; most will conveniently be available for purchase at the conference. Without a bit of restraint, it is all too easy to buy more resources then you will ever use; so buy wisely.
  5. One-on-one Consultations: Most of the speakers are available for a 15-minute consultation. These are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis – and many fill up quickly. This may be your most valuable time at the conference, so make the most of it. I recommend scoping this out in advance and determining who you want to meet; sign up as soon as it is permitted.

Encouragement: Conferences can lift up the discouraged or struggling writer. This is coupled with providing a healthy dose of industry realism. Although this can be discouraging, in the end, it will be helpful, saving writers from unwise decisions or wasting time on implausible efforts.

Last year I attended my first writing conference, which I had seen advertised in a magazine. At that conference, another one was plugged, which I also attended. Both were within reasonable driving distance, both were worthwhile, and both will see me again this year. I will share more about them in my next post.

Learn more about writing and publishing in Peter’s new book: The Successful Author: Discover the Art of Writing and Business of PublishingGet your copy today.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.

Categories
Writing and Publishing

Resources for Writers

Although writing is largely a solitary endeavor, it is not wise to go it alone. It is critical to not work in a vacuum and to tap into many of the resources available to writers.

In the past I shared the importance of reading as a tool to help form and better inform your craft as a writer.

Another resource is blogs. Of course, I am biased towards this one (thank you for reading it), but there are many others to consider. I have gravitated towards some agent blogs. Not only do I pick up writing tips and insights (from both the bloggers and the commenters), but I am also learning about the business of writing. This will be of paramount importance on as I move forward in my career. The agent blogs that I regularly read are:

Next is podcasts. Here are the ones I’m currently following: Writing Excuses and The Creative Penn,.

Not surprisingly, there are books about writing. I highly recommend The Elements of Style, by William Strunk and E. B. White. This book has long been my key resource to help me be a better writer. (While I will never fully master the intricacies of grammar, I will keep pressing forward.) There are many other highly recommended books, but I only mention what I have actually read.

In other posts, I round out the discussion on writer resources by addressing conferences, critique groups, and magazines.

Until then, write on!

Learn more about writing and publishing in Peter’s new book: The Successful Author: Discover the Art of Writing and Business of PublishingGet your copy today.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.