The Writer Magazine: Fuel for the Aspiring Writer

While browsing through Barnes and Nobles, a magazine caught my eye. The Writer. Tag line: Imagine, Write, Publish.

cover-1On the cover:

Boiling down the bones: Laurie Halse Anderson tackles tough topics in YA literature

Power parody: Veteran children’s author Jon Scieszka uses his own childhood as inspiration

Freelance Success: 5 steps to a great book contract

I don’t usually spend $7 on a magazine. Heck, on you can get subscriptions for a whole year for $5 if you’re into food or health. But, I couldn’t resist.


It just so happened that the January issue was geared toward writing for young readers.

I brought the magazine home, curled up with a blanket and a cup of tea by the pellet stove, and read. I started from the very beginning – usually I read magazines back to front and tend to skip a lot – but I resisted this odd urge, wanting to explore unbiasedly. I wanted to read it all.

A few nuggets from this issue:

Jacqueline Woodson on writing for middle grade: “For middle grade, you have to be in the moment,” she says. “You can go in the past a little but middle graders have no future sense of the world yet because they haven’t lived it.”

Randa Abdel-Fattah on keys to a good young adult novel: “A good story. There’s nothing worse than a book that is solely about “teenage angst” but has no real story at the center of it.”

Seven children’s, middle grade and young adult authors share the books of their youth that inspired their writing careers.

Thumbs Up

I enjoyed the candid interviews of quite a few authors, the helpful advice, the occasional poetry. I appreciated the variety of voices, bits of inspiration, the nod to the digital world. Although not every issue is dedicated to children’s literature, I ordered a subscription for the year. How could I pass up Advice and Inspiration for the Aspiring Writer? It’s like the Sports Illustrated of the writing world.


The website is also full of goodies, including tons of articles on writing, writing resources, and an entire page of writing prompts. There is one particularly helpful article for the new year on how to keep your writing resolutions! Subscriptions are available in digital and/or in print.

And for my fellow writers/bloggers, the has Submission Guidelines about how to submit your very own article to the magazine for publication.

Happy reading!




  1. Thanks, Alison- definitely plan to check it out! Middle Shelf Magazine is one I found last year that I love reading! It’s in digital format and FREE and focuses entirely on middle grade books. They have great author interviews and I love the monthly feature where they look a a specific book cover in all the stages of production- so fun to see! Here’s the link to subscribe:


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