Writer's Digest March/April 2023 Digital Edition
No one can deny that genre fiction makes up a huge portion of the publishing landscape. Readers can’t get enough romances, mysteries, thrillers, fantasies—the list goes on. But for novelists, what does it take to write a genre novel that satisfies readers, a novel that both fits genre expectations but doesn’t feel like something that’s already been done? This issue breaks down those exact questions to help writers of any genre find success.
+ The WD Interview with Holly Black: The co-writer of The Spiderwick Chronicles and author of fantasy books such as The Cruel Prince and The Book of Night talks with WD about her new novel Stolen Heir, which is the beginning of a new duology. By Moriah Richard
+ Know Your Genre & Give Readers What They Want: Jane K. Cleland offers a primer for figuring out what genre you’re writing, the key traits of those genres and subgenres, and how you can apply what readers expect to your own writing. By Jane K. Cleland
+ Nail Your Genre’s Voice & Tone: Beyond identifying key traits of genres and subgenres, a critical piece of connecting with your genre’s readers is capturing the language and mood of the genre. Writing instructor Jordan Rosenfeld breaks it all down. By Jordan Rosenfeld
+ Breathing Life Into Dead Stories: One of the hottest genre markets today is horror. Ran Walker provides five tips for writing better horror stories and terrifying your readers along the way. By Ran Walker
+ Redefining Women’s Fiction: Women’s fiction is often confused with romance but they’re two distinctly different genres, and sometimes, women’s fiction gets cast by the wayside. Tiffany Yates Martin explores the nuances of women’s fiction, how to promote it, and how to connect to other women’s fiction authors. By Tiffany Yates Martin
+ Off the Beaten Path: Writing while neurodivergent can present unique challenges, but characteristics present in genre writing can provide guidance for finding a process and community that works for you. By Sarah J. Sover
+ The WD Self-Published Book Awards: Emmy Award-winning documentary film-maker Neal Hutcheson, winner of the 30th WD Self-Published Book Awards talks about how his documentaries of moonshine-maker and pop-culture icon Popcorn Sutton provided the impetus for his multi-award winning book The Moonshiner Popcorn Sutton. By Amy Jones
+ Writers on Writing: Wanda M. Morris, author of the award-winning, bestselling novel All Her Little Secrets (recently announced to be turn into a Showtime series starring Uzo Aduba) and the recently released Anywhere You Run, shares her thoughts on writing a standout crime thriller. By Wanda M. Morris
Additionally, this issue features a bonus interview with Ani DiFranco on how songwriting helped her write her newest picture book, a beginner’s guide to writing urban fantasy, and tips for transitioning from Indie publishing to traditional publishing. Plus favorite columns like Building Better Worlds, Publishing Insights, Level Up Your Writing (Life), For All Ages, Breaking In, WD101, IndieLab, and more.
This issue also sees the introduction of several exciting new columns!
+ Learn by Example: Each issue, WD Editor-at-Large Jessica Strawser will pick a craft topic and showcase quotes from books that successfully exemplify that topic.
+ Write It Out: Everyone could use a good writing prompt now and then. Each issue will now feature a collection of writing prompts in case you need it now.
+ Next Draft: This three-page column focuses on revision and editing, and in its debut, former WD managing editor Zachary Petit shares advice for what to do when you end up working with a nightmare editor.
+ On Nonfiction: Each issue will now have a column dedicated to nonfiction writing advice. It begins with Don Vaughan’s Five Questions You Need to Ask in (Almost) Every Interview.
+ Literary Agent Spotlight: While our Meet the Agent column (by Kara Gebhart Uhl) isn’t going anywhere, its focus will be shifting slightly to showcase literary agents new to the scene. This new Literary Agent Spotlight column (by Kristy Stevenson) will then feature a Q&A style interview with an established literary agent for additional insights on the publishing landscape.
+ Frontlist / Backlist: Good writers are good readers, and WD has no shortage of book recommendations. This new column, written by a rotation of WD editors, will feature a Frontlist (new) title and a backlist (older) title that we recommend along with an explanation of what writers can get from reading them.