There Are No Rules Blog by the Editors of Writer’s Digest

Get on the cutting edge of today’s publishing trends and how authors can succeed in a world of fast-paced technological change, guided by the editors of Writer’s Digest. You’ll get an inside look at the work, play, and passion of the publishing business and find practical tools for success.


Writing tips and writing techniques

4 Tips to Improve Your Writing Instantly

If the “Pro Tips & Techniques” theme of the September 2016 Writer’s Digest sounds a little vague, I’ll fess up: That’s by design. Our most reliable contributors have a way of occasionally pitching outstanding articles that just don’t happen to fit with any of our issue themes. And as I was reviewing a batch...

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5 Things Friday Night Lights Can Teach Us About Writing

I think the general consensus among those writers who teach the craft is that you must read—and read widely—about the craft of writing, particularly those authors who write in your genre. But I think there’s a lot you can learn about writing from other mediums, too. Specifically television. Every other Monday, I’ll bring you...

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Freelance Writing Workshop: Crafting the Perfect Pitch

Breaking into a new magazine or online publication as a freelancer can be a herculean pain. It takes convincing an editor who is (most likely) unfamiliar with you and your work that you can be trusted with an assignment, appropriately understand the tone of the publication, and have the writing and reporting chops to...

Tyler Moss

5 Tricks Fiction Writers Can Learn From Journalism

From George Orwell to Neil Gaiman, there’s a reason that many journalists have gone on to become successful novelists. Journalists are taught the skills necessary to capture stories from the world around them, expressing them in prose with a compelling narrative arc. Thanks to my own background in reporting and magazine writing, I’ve found...

Mary Bly

Love Between the Covers: Inside the World of Romance Writing

By day, Mary Bly is a tenured professor of Shakespearean literature. But millions of readers may know her better by her nom de plume—Eloisa James, bestselling author of more than 25 romance novels. Bly is one of the subjects of the new documentary Love Between the Covers (view trailer here)—a positive, stirring and ultimately...

DIY MFA by Gabriela Pereira

How to DIY Your MFA

This is a guest post by Gabriela Pereira—author, speaker, and self-proclaimed word nerd—whose new book DIY MFA: Write with Focus, Read with Purpose, Build Your Community shows you how to recreate the Master of Fine Arts experience without going back to school. As the founder and instigator of DIYMFA.com, Gabriela’s mission is to empower...

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3 Things House Can Teach Us About Writing

I think the general consensus among those writers who teach the craft is that you must read—and read widely—about the craft of writing, particularly those authors who write in your genre. But I think there’s a lot you can learn about writing from other mediums, too. Specifically television. Every other Monday, I’ll bring you...

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DEADLINE JUNE 20: WD’s 85th Annual Writing Competition

This week is your last chance to enter the 85th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition! With 501 winners, this competition showcases beginning to veteran writers in all genres.       Don’t miss your chance to win a grand prize package that includes:   $5,000 in cash An announcement of the winner on the cover of Writer’s...

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Write a Standout Chapter 1

We all know the importance of starting our stories strong: Without a beginning that draws the readers in (whether those readers are agents, editors or bookstore browsers), they may never make it to the middle. Enter the July/August 2016 Writer’s Digest: An entire issue devoted to helping you make your Chapter 1 shine. When...

Arlene F. Marks

5 Tips for Editing Dialogue

Here’s a guest post from Arlene F. Marks, author of From First Word to Last: The Craft of Writing Popular Fiction and The Accidental God, in which she shares her tips for editing dialogue. If you have a great idea and would like to contribute a guest post of your own, please send an...

Interview: Award-Winning Comedy Writer Kyle Dunnigan of “Inside Amy Schumer”

Emmy award–winning comedy writer Kyle Dunnigan is a writer/producer on “Inside Amy Schumer” who’s also written for FOX’s “Cedric the Entertainer Presents,” Comedy Central, MTV, and more. In addition, as an actor and standup comedian, he’s made appearances on “Reno 911!” “Conan,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” “Late Night with Seth Myers,” and in 2015’s major...

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5 Things The Path Can Teach Us About Writing

I think the general consensus among those writers who teach the craft is that you must read—and read widely—about the craft of writing, particularly those authors who write in your genre. But I think there’s a lot you can learn about writing from other mediums, too. Specifically television. Every other Monday, I’ll bring you...

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Indie Authors: Build Your Platform at Local Libraries

BY TYLER MOSS A library is more than simply a brick-and-mortar place to borrow books. It’s a community hub. A repository for stories. A portal into the imagination. But this fall, libraries will evolve again and become something more—a vital partner to independent authors in search of a platform. October 8, 2016, is the...

Tanaz Bhathena

4 Ways to Take Criticism Like a Pro

Here’s a guest post from Tanaz Bhathena, who writes Middle Eastern and South Asian fiction. If you have a great idea and would like to contribute a guest post of your own, please send an e-mail to robert.brewer@fwcommunity.com with the subject line: Guest Post Idea for No Rules. ***** Eight years ago, when I...

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June 25-26: WD’s Sci-Fi & Fantasy Online Conference

Don’t miss your chance to attend WD’s one-of-a-kind Science Fiction & Fantasy Online Writing Conference! On June 25 and 26, Writer’s Digest University will provide expert insights from SEVEN award-winning and best-selling authors on the finer points of how to write within the science fiction and fantasy genres. Spend the weekend learning techniques for honing...

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DEADLINE JUNE 6: WD’s Self-Published Book Awards

This week is your last chance to enter the premier self-published competition exclusively for self-published books. Writer’s Digest hosts the 24th annual self-published competition–the Annual Self-Published Book Awards. This self-published competition, co-sponsored by Book Marketing Works, LLC spotlights today’s self-published works and honors self-published authors.   Don’t miss your chance to win the grand...

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Creating Setting and Subtext in Your Fiction

The following is a guest post by Writer’s Digest author Mary Buckham, author of A Writer’s Guide to Active Setting: How to Enhance Your Fiction with More Descriptive, Dynamic Settings. She is also the author of the USA Today bestselling Invisible Recruits series, which has been touted for its unique voice, high action, and...

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4 Things The Office Can Teach Us About Writing

I think the general consensus among those writers who teach the craft is that you must read—and read widely—about the craft of writing, particularly those authors who write in your genre. But I think there’s a lot you can learn about writing from other mediums, too. Specifically television. Every other Monday, I’ll bring you...

Tyler Moss

4 Writing Routine Myths That Kill Creativity

BY TYLER MOSS Let’s get real—writing a novel is difficult. Especially if it’s your first time. Not only is it a test of stamina to see if you can stay committed and motivated to complete a full, book-length manuscript, but you have to explore and test out what practices work for you and which...

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It’s Never Too Late, Until You Don’t Do It

Here’s a guest post from Kim Bailey Deal, a published author who lives near Chattanooga. If you have a great idea and would like to contribute a guest post of your own, please send an e-mail to robert.brewer@fwcommunity.com with the subject line: Guest Post Idea for No Rules. ***** I started writing short stories...

What’s Your Storytelling Superpower?

In our social media-driven world, personality quizzes abound … but have you ever wondered if taking one could reveal something useful about your writing? Enter the Storytelling Superpower quiz, a fun and surprisingly insightful analysis of your strongest writing qualities.       The quiz was developed by Gabriela Pereira, the founder of DIY MFA and...

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How to Create a Successful Protagonist

This guest post is by Joseph Bates, whose new book Writing Your Novel From Start to Finish: A Guidebook for the Journey provides the instruction, inspiration, and guidance you need to complete your novel. Bates is the author of Tomorrowland: Stories (Curbside Splendor 2013), and his short fiction has appeared in such journals as...

Kathy Edens

What I Would Tell My Younger Writer Self

Here’s a guest post from Kathy Edens, a professional copywriter who works on fiction in her spare time. If you’d like to contribute a guest post of your own, please send an e-mail to robert.brewer@fwcommunity.com with the subject line: Guest Post Idea for No Rules. ***** There’s something so appealing about stepping outside of...

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4 Things Wayward Pines Can Teach Us About Writing

I think the general consensus among those writers who teach the craft is that you must read—and read widely—about the craft of writing, particularly those authors who write in your genre. But I think there’s a lot you can learn about writing from other mediums, too. Specifically television. Every other Monday, I’ll be bringing...