Writer's Digest Digital Archive Collection: Iconic Women Writers

Writer's Digest Digital Archive Collection: Iconic Women Writers

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For nearly 100 years, Writer’s Digest magazine has been the leading authority for writers of all genres and career levels. And now, for the first time ever, we’ve digitized decades of issues from our prestigious archives to share with the world. In this, the first of our series of archive collections, discover exclusive historic interviews with classic women authors including Maya Angelou, Pearl S. Buck, Margaret Atwood, Joyce Carol Oates and Joan Didion—and much, much more. Featuring five stunning issues spanning more than 60 years, this collection is perfect for writers, literary enthusiasts, educators and historians. Explore what’s inside:

Writer’s Digest April 1935, Featuring Pearl S. Buck
Format: PDF

Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973) authored dozens of nonfiction works and novels, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Good Earth, and became the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938. Three years prior, she headlined an issue of WD with her wisdom in the recurring “Advice to Novelists” column.

Other gems from this full issue include:

  • “Adventures in Collaboration” by poet, playwright and essayist Newman Levy
  • “A Fiction Trick Explained” by Narleen Thornes
  • "A Young Man Breaks In” by Jean Francis Webb
  • … Plus dozens more pages of historic stories, tips, columns and more.

Writer’s Digest December 1971, Featuring Joan Didion
Format: PDF

Joan Didion remains one of the greatest names in literature, and one of the most widely recognized women authors of all time. A journalist, playwright, screenwriter, memoirist and novelist, Didion is famed for works including Salvador, Slouching Towards Bethlehem and The Year of Magical Thinking, for which she became a Pulitzer finalist and won the National Book Award for Nonfiction. In this 1971 issue, she authors a feature entitled “A Best Selling Novelist Tells Why She Keeps a Notebook.”

Other gems from this full issue include:

  • “5 Ways to Sell Your Play” by Sam Smiley
  • “The Secret of Full-Time Freelancing” by Ted Rakstis
  • "Are you that special person who can write inspirational articles?” by Ruth Peterman
  • … Plus dozens more pages of historic stories, tips, columns and more.

Writer’s Digest January 1975, Featuring an Interview with Maya Angelou
Format PDF

When you think of historic women writers, it’s hard to not think of Maya Angelou, whose poetry and memoirs—including the internationally renowned I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings—are only second in historical significance to her civil rights activism. At age 45, when she was interviewed for this issue of Writer’s Digest, she had already established a reputation as a globally recognized cultural leader and literary icon. Learn about her diverse career as an author, playwright, educator, speaker and journalist in this enthralling interview entitled “Out of the Cage and Still Singing.”

Other gems from this full issue include:

  • “Toward an American Haiku” by Judson Jerome
  • “Tax Questions Answered” by Julian Block
  • "Finding Your Medium: Cartooning” by Jack Markow
  • … Plus dozens more pages of historic stories, tips, columns and more.

Writer’s Digest April 1986, Featuring Joyce Carol Oates
Format PDF

Joyce Carol Oates as proven to be one of the most widely talented authors of our time. An incredibly prolific and consistently prestigious author, Oates has earned the National Book Award, two O. Henry Awards and the National Humanities Medal, and three of her novels and two of her short story collections have been Pulitzer finalists. In this issue’s headlining interview, “Joyce Carol Oates and the Hardest Part of Writing,” she discusses the process of style and revision that have shaped her world-renowned works.

Other gems from this full issue include:

  • “Anatomy of a Short Story” by James Gunn
  • “What to Do When the Publisher Won't Pay” by Dean R. Lambe
  • "The Editor's Wish Book” by John Wood
  • … Plus dozens more pages of historic stories, tips, columns and more.

Writer’s Digest April 2004, Featuring Margaret Atwood
Format: PDF

Canadian poet, novelist, critic, essayist, inventor and environmental activist Margaret Atwood was already a champion in the literary world before her dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale rocketed to global popularity. She has won the Arthur C. Clarke Award, Prince of Asturias Award for Literature and the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade (not to mention the fact that she’s been a finalist for the Booker Prize five time), and in 2001 she was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame. In this interview, “Unlocking the Door,” Atwood expounds upon finding your voice, the beauty of multitasking and what “chick lit” may have in common with Dracula and Frankenstein.

Other gems from this full issue include:

  • “Fiction Essentials” by James Scott Bell
  • “Science Sells” by John K. Borchardt
  • "The Six-Figure Writer” by Robert W. Bly
  • … Plus dozens more pages of historic stories, tips, columns and more.