Reviews For Writer's Digest Magazine

Do you want to be a Writer?

Writer's Digest is full of good information for the Writer. It also gives information about what writers are doing. It was in the March issues that I found out about real writers. That is, already published writers who have turned to the internet for income.

I also like the fact that this magazine can take you places in your desire to write. There are contest to enter, goal setting advice as well as advice for the non-fiction writer or the fiction writer. In the back of the issue you can find people who are available for manuscript typing.

There is a writing clinic section and a Global section that tells you what is going on in other parts on the world. The Business section tells you how to say no if you can not fit in one more assignment. How to build a good reputation.

I have gained a lot of information from this magazine.


Accepts Freelance Submissions: Yes
Primary Reason for Buying: Articles

Writer's Digest . . . a long time subscriber

I just sent in my renewal to this magazine just today. I subscribe to it because it generally offers a variety of articles on every aspect of writing and the writing life.

I enjoy reading the articles on fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and screenwriting. There are even excerpts from books devoted to the craft of writing. These usually give me some idea if I do or do not want to buy that particular writing book.

There are also articles on the business aspect of writing, providing information on everything from tax tips, how to submit to a publishers, what editors look for, do?s and don?ts when submitting material, how to get an agent, what agents are looking for, etc.

Also this magazine provides biographical articles on best selling authors. I enjoy reading these as they offer some insight to these so-called ?overnight? success stories, which basically had involved years of hard work, dedication, persistence, perseverance, and a lot of patience on the author?s part.

There is a section in the back, (classifies) where one can look through to find out who is looking for manuscripts. There are also listings of ?book doctors? who will be willing to critique or edit a manuscript for a fee. These I would advise any new writer to avoid as many times it is merely throwing money away.

The Writer?s Digest basically has been a good reference source of information. In fact I?ve been buying this magazine for a good ten years now and have actually saved most of the issues.

Another magazine I try to get on a regular basis is The Writer. They have a different format but basically offer the same material, though not as extensive.


Accepts Freelance Submissions: Not sure
Primary Reason for Buying: Product reviews/information

Write ON!

I know some people are critical of this magazine, for reasons like they repeat the types of articles they run every few years, and such. Maybe they do. If you want to get technical, there's really only so much you can write about "how to write." Personally, I'm glad they repeat the themes that are the most constant and common. It helps me to review them every few years, and remember some techniques I may not have used for a while, and forgotten.

I find this one of the best and most useful tools for my writing business that is available to me, and at a reasonable price. Writer's Digest is just that, a tool, like my computer, or my tape recorder, or my pen and notepad. I wouldn't be caught dead without my tape recorder and notepad when I'm interviewing someone, and I wouldn't be caught dead without Writer's Digest when I'm looking for good, comprehensive, and helpful information on how to increase my business, and make my writing more creative.

I've subscribed to Writer's Digest for years, and I never plan to stop. Each issue gives me new markets to try, and I always come up with new ideas for articles and stories when I read it. My copies are almost always marked with "sticky bookmarks" and yellow highlighter by the time I'm done pouring over them.

The Columns
I don't read all the columns every month, because I don't write poetry, and I don't write for kids, so I normally skip those two. I love David A. Fryxell's column on non-fiction writing, he always has good tips and tricks to help sell to magazines, and I enjoy his writing style. I also have a couple of his books, and they are excellent resources for non-fiction writers.

I always read Nancy Kress' column on fiction writing too. She covers all the basics, like character development, plotting, point of view, and it's always good to review these things, no matter HOW good a writer you are. I get inspired by her column every month.

I also really appreciate the new "Business" column. I think a lot of people don't really realize writing is a business. They think we just write all day, and magically, our work is sold. That's not true, and Jeffery D. Zbar's column is an enormous help to me, when I'm tired of doing the "business," and just want to be writing!

The Markets
If there was nothing else but blank pages in the magazine, and the Market column, I'd still buy it. I turn to the markets first every month, to see who's buying what, and why. I always get ideas for articles from the Market column, and have sold articles to magazines I found in the Markets. I wish they'd expand this part of the magazine.

The Features
OK, I don't read every feature every month, sometimes they just don't pertain to the type of writing I do. I usually don't read the interviews, unless I'm familiar with the writer and their work. I do devour the features that have the most in common with the writing I do, like non-fiction, historical, and online content. I read them because I almost always get (yes, even more!) ideas, and I almost always find something I've known but forgotten, or something new. Writing is just like any other work, if you don't do it every day, you forget things. Writer's Digest is a great memory jogger!

Anything I don't like?
Yeah, OK, I don't like the classified ads in the back, they're mostly useless, and cheapen the magazine. I miss the essay that used to be on the last page, "The Last Word." I wish they'd bring it back. I wish they wouldn't accept advertising from all those cheesy "self-publishers," most of whom just want your hard-earned cash.

The Bottom Line
Writer's Digest is an excellent tool for a beginning writer, but it doesn't stop there. I personally find it a wonderful tool, no matter what your level of writing. Anything that can help me write better, and increase my business has got to get my vote!


A great help for writers in all different stages of growth

Writer?s Digest never `made? anyone into a good writer. So, anyone who has been subscribing to the magazine for months, years or even decades and who hasn?t seen much result from it, needs to take that finger and point it right at their own self. Writer?s Digest never said it would `make? anyone into a good writer -- and what a stupid, lofty goal that would be!

No, I think Writer?s Digest has done a lot of wonderful things for people, myself included, but I?m not going to let them take the credit for something they haven?t done: make me take the time to sit down frequently, and write.

I?ve been reading WD for a decade now, ever since my parents began ordering it for me when I was a fourteen year old writer. In the span of that decade, I?ve also taken creative writing classes and English, and I?m now majoring in journalism for my second year at a community college in Irving, Texas. I?m also a sr. research writer for a web development company based in Dallas, and I free-lance gift cards, newspaper and magazine articles, and I keep a diary. I?m putting myself through school with my own writing. I know I?m still young, and still have much to learn, but one thing I?m certain of is that no magazine subscription and no formal education can even come close to equaling the power of sitting down daily to write. Something. Anything. Anything that keeps me writing. Even this.

With that said and out of the way, I?d like to explain what WD has done for me and my passion for words. You see, the good thing about WD is in the variety of topics it covers. When I was fourteen, I had absolutely no desire to read about the markets or other businessy aspects of the profession. When I was fourteen, writing wasn?t a profession. It was something to dream about. It was something to grab at. I might have been in love with the talent back then, but I didn?t have much talent to show for it.

Lots of readers, young and old, particularly beginners, need inspiration and creative jump-starts much more than they need to read about the markets. All that business stuff is bound to scare a beginner away, and I recommend avoiding all that if you?re just starting out.

And your main WD subscription is no place to stop looking. Keep an eye on the shelves, where you?ll find special issues that come out less often but are just as important, such as WD?s Guide to Writing Fiction, which is still on shelves, or the Personal Journaling: Writing about your Life issues, which is a quarterly series, and which educates readers on how to best use their personal writing time. I?ve found those issues particularly useful, because I try to write in my diary every day, and have found that there can be a sort of craft to it.

As I?ve grown older, both physically and as a growing writer, I?ve moved into sections of WD that discuss matters of technique more deeply, and finally, sections concerning business-related aspects of the profession. And, boy, has it turned out to be a profession for me.

But when I find that I?m learning less and less from WD, a magazine that used to mean more to me than any other publication, I don?t hold it against them! I pride myself on getting better, and I pride them on being such a big help all these years. Any writer who keeps at it will eventually find themselves hearing the same things over and over again, no matter what they read. I think this is because good writers can only hear so much advice before they?ve got to realize all the advice is really boiling down to the same tip: if you want to be good at it, then write. That?s all it takes. If you want to be a writer, you?re going to have to write. A lot.

--J.E. Warren


Accepts Freelance Submissions: Yes
Primary Reason for Buying: Articles


Next to my Writer?s Market, Writer?s Digest is bible like to me.

I read it cover to cover. What I like most are the profiles of first time authors. They have a First Success column that give you a glance into a first time author?s life. WD also focuses on better known authors like Tony Hillerman.

WD also has a Business Advice column that focuses on the different aspects of writing, which I find most helpful. Because as a writer I don?t have enough time in my day to track down all the financial issues WD helps by simplifying and sending me in the right direction. The Markets column keeps you up to date on hot markets, as well as, which ones are no longer in publication or where they have moved to.

There is only one area of WD I don?t particularly care for and that is their classifieds. They call it The Writer?s Mart. However, this is not enough for me to give up my WD subscription. If you want the facts about writing then WD?s the place to go.


Writers Gold Mine

I had been receiving the Writer's Digest for several years, but it was not until recently that I began actually using the information I was reading. It has been a blessing for me, as I am not the type of person who sends out queries or requests by snail mail. The web information is wonderful.

This is a monthly magazine that is jam packed with information if you just sit down and read it. It has monthly features, how-to's, and promotional ideas, career information and much more. I usually jump to the back of the book and read the Writers Mart section first. I look to see what people are looking for and selling.By reading this first, I have also come across several freebies that interest me-such as publishing ideas and free booklets that may help my writing. There are workshops that are available for a small fee, books to read and clubs to join. Even the advertisements are writing oriented.

I always enjoy the interview section. This past month it was with one of my favorite writers, Stephen King. I sucked up every word, good or bad. You can find inspirational ideas, how to freelance, epublishing, and markets that are calling for submissions. There is no end to the information available to you in the Writer's Digest. If you are not a subscriber, I would highly suggest you become one. It can only help you if you are seriously interested in writing well. Try it and see...I am certain it will improve your outlook for success.


Primary Reason for Buying: News/Current Events
Accepts Freelance Submissions: Yes

Pricey, but worth it!

Writer's Digest is a bit on the costly side, but no aspiring writer should be without it. The information that is included in each issue, is invaluable to anyone wanting to have a career as a writer.

The magazine has articles that provide instruction on developing your writing style. Whether you prefer to write in the first person or in the third person, Writers Digest will guide you to the one that is right for you.

There is up to date information on getting your work published. You are given step by step instruction on how to present your manuscript to perspective publishers. It also includes a few ads for publishers who are looking for writings in different areas, such as childrens books or books aimed toward teenagers. The one thing that Writers Digest doesn't provide is false hope. It lets you know that the first publisher may not like your work, but the next one may. Diligence is the key to success as a writer.

To top it off, they include contests for poetry, essays, and short stories. I have entered a few contests through their advertisements. As a result, two poems that I have written have been published in books that are in The Library of Congress. Yes, I suppose that that makes me a little bias, but so be it.

For as long as I can remember, my dream has been to be a writer someday. Writers Digest has been a great inspiration to me. Mainly, I say this because the magazine helps me to stay focused on my goals. It also provides inspiration to me as I read others success stories.


Accepts Freelance Submissions: Yes

THE Writer's tool

I have been a subscriber at various points in my writing life, and am equally happy that they have moved into the electronic age with a web site as well. I've read a lot of the other opinions, and yes, some articles do repeat over time - seems that is a common fault in any topical magazine though. As writers, I think we NEED the repetition of basic skills and information because, with all that is available, I don't think we truly assimilate it all the first time. Different authors also put their own slant on the ideas so I never feel let down by the quality. Bearing in mind also, that there is a new readership joining all the time - are they to miss an important lesson on writing skills because it was covered by another author in a previous edition?

I do agree that it is giving more space to advertising nowadays, but I suppose that is in preference to raising the cover price. I find plenty to keep me interested, and prod me into writing when my mood wanes.

As for the selling perspective, I must admit that there are a few writers who want to stay in the closet with their writings in a drawer, but for most of us the goal is to get our work into print and to have people credit us for our work. I think that is why they do print a lot of articles on publishing - be it self-publishing, finding an agent, submitting to large publishers, query letters, etc ...because a high percentage of their readers are looking towards that goal in some form.

This has always been one of the best magazines out there for writers, and I feel it continues to be so. To me, it is an investment and I never fail to learn something new. I await my copy eagerly from one issue to the next.

This magazine covers all genres of writing - unfortunately the page would not submit without a choice from the 4 genres offered so I chose poetry although in fact this is a magazine to help improve your writing skills and help you learn how to get published.


Primary Reason for Buying: Articles
Subject Matter: Poetry
Accepts Freelance Submissions: Not Sure

A Magazine That "Delivers" Literally!

It's very difficult for me to explain how much "Writer's Digest" has meant to me as both a writer and a procrastinator.

"Writer's Digest" has all the tools you'll ever need to get off the ground, keep running, and not stop until you've reached your creative goals.

Every single issue is a cover to cover read. I've never picked up so many helpful hints, strategies and tools for my writing, than in a single issue of WD.

Each issue has columns dedicated strictly to one area of writing, including ones on fiction, nonfiction, poetry, writing for kids, a writer's clinic in which a writer submits a piece to be reviewed and critiqued by another, careers in writing, business of writing, ePublishing and writing on a global scale. These sections alone make the magazine well worth a newsstand purchase or better yet, a subscription.

Also in the magazine are articles designated for the single purpose of inspiring and all writers agree that inspiration or lack there of, is the single most important thing to a writer besides time. My last month's issue had a piece entitled "Soulful Screenwriting Secrets" which instantly inspired me to give a shot at working on a screenplay. It's still not off the ground completely, but it's making progress, thanks to WD.

These articles are usually written with tips and pointers numbered out in list format with explanations following, making the plans a simple step by step procedure and allowing the reader a much easier glance through the material. I know it made my reading of the magazine much more enjoyable and helped me to retain the information easier as well.

There are MANY advertisements in the magazine, but they are catered to the writer, so I actually find them interesting to browse through, and I'm almost certain to find a book about writing that interests me. (WD also has a book club in which they advertise in the magazine.)

If you are a writer, wish to become a writer, or are looking to just pick up a pen and paper, you must check out this magazine. It has everything to offer and is well worth the subscription.


Accepts Freelance Submissions: Yes
Primary Reason for Buying: Product reviews/information

Worth the price!

I have been a Writer's Digest subscriber for over ten years and can highly recommend a subscription. Writer's Digest is an excellent source for freelance writers and has helped me earn a place in print. The want ads in the back of the mag, where I always begin reading, is a great resource of information and places to sell my writing. Two years ago there was an ad for an essay contest which dealt with women and how they overcame some obstacle in their personal life. I entered the contest and won!! That was the first time I was published in a book and the trill was no less than wonderful. I owe part of that success to Writer's Digest and their continued excellence in the arena of helping writers! Every issue is full of information whether you are interested in fiction or nonfiction, help is in this magazine.


Accepts Freelance Submissions: Yes