“Professional writers don’t read Writer’s Digest,” so said one of my writing instructors. While I have a great deal of respect for this writer, I must disagree. Case in point: This writer is an established professional, but I didn’t find much by entering this writer’s name in a search engine, nor could I find titles to this writer’s published works.
Is there a correlation between that attitude and the lack of presence? I think so.
I have found both writers’ magazines and writers’ newsletters to be informative tools that can help me develop new possible markets and keep me up-dated on shifts within the markets I pursue, not to mention providing valuable lessons in craftsmanship. And, even though I am only at the beginning of my professional writing career, I have established an online presence that connects me with readers and those who are looking for the services I will provide.
Maybe you’ve shunned writers’ resources due to a similar attitude. If so, here are a few resources you might want to consider:
Writer’s Digest is a magazine that can be purchased at many bookstores, and offers significant discounts to subscribers. The parent company provides a variety of other services for writers, including a book club, the yearly release of several Writer’s Markets, and workshops.
Writer’s Digest magazine regularly includes content for beginner and intermediate writers, with some information that is useful to writing masters. Regular features include interviews with writers and agents, trend information, recurring genre-themed issues, fiction writing tips, market information, as well as business writing and writing business tips.
I have been a subscriber on and off for most of my adult life. I find this to be a valuable resource that has, at the very least, prepared me to excel in my master’s program while I support my family with my writing.
Writers’ Journal is more pulpy than Writer’s Digest. The magazine lacks the glossy pages, but it is also less “corporate” and more writer-to-writer. They do not offer an extensive list of other services, which means the advice they provide comes with less bias.
Writers’ Journal regularly includes content targeting beginners, but also providing content for the intermediate writer. This magazine is less likely to be useful to writing masters. They include a lot of writing tips and introductions to different writing opportunities.
I’ve found some useful information in Writers’ Journal, but much of their content is a primer—a starting point for the research you will need to do in order to act on their introduction to a writing opportunity. This is a very useful resource for writers looking to diversify and grow their writing careers by exploring new strategies.
I have only recently discovered The Writer. From what I’ve read thus far, this magazine seems to target the intermediate writer, with some information for the writing masters as well. I will find out more as I have more opportunity to read additional issues, but the first was valuable enough to start my subscription.
The above are all magazines you purchase. Writing World, and the two remaining resources, are newsletters you can subscribe to for free. Delivered to your e-mail box, these newsletters are the product of working writers who wish to share their expertise.
Writing World has a strong international flavor. The content is often a refresher, rather than a lesson, but the creators also provide their expertise to those interested in asking questions. I believe this is released once a month; and I usually find something worth my time each month.
Funds for Writers is a weekly newsletter that includes information on markets that accept freelance work, grant opportunities, contests, and agents. C. Hope Clark also provides an online database of available markets. The articles are often opinion-based, but they are entertaining. The main strength of this newsletter is the market information.
Worldwide Freelance Writer is a weekly newsletter that includes information on markets that accept freelance work from all over the world. There is also a database of these markets. The articles are often primers, but sometimes they are useful. The main strength is the market information.
There are a large variety of resources available to writers. Your personality and interests are going to strongly influence how you wish to access the abundance of information available. Don’t let hubris get in the way of the success you deserve. No resource is going to be 100% useful to you, but that does not mean it has no value. Nor should you spurn resources that just may have the information you need to get the notice your work deserves, and each of the resources listed provides regular information on how to launch your work into the Information Age and build the online presence that will boost your career.