Check Out Some Of Our Favorites From The Authors Headed To Wd’s Novel Writing Conference

The best teachers are practitioners themselves. That’s why Writer’s Digest works to bring a dynamic lineup of up-and-coming and established authors to its events. And this October’s Novel Writing Conference in Los Angeles is no exception.

Take a look at the most recent works of your new teachers:

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Want to Land an Agent? We’ve Got Some Advice!

Finding representation is one of the most intimidating prospects many writers deal with. Too often, promising writers let it serve as a roadblock instead of the challenging—but achievable!—step it is.

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You’re Invited to the Halloween Cocktail Reception!

Halloween Cocktail Reception!

Prizes for Best Costume and Most Creative!  You can't win, if you don't participate!

Dressing up is entirely voluntary, of course. We just want to show you a good time. And if your idea of a good time involves obscure references, literary puns or beloved characters, you’re our kind of book lover.

Need some inspiration? Here are a few ideas inspired by books old and new:

Science Fiction

  • The Illustrated Man | Dress as Ray Bradbury’s carnival sideshow character, a man covered in tattoos that each tell a different tale, and you’ll enjoy plenty of artistic freedom when it comes to your costume.
  • Arthur Dent | Not only is the protagonist of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy beloved (in his own hapless way), he also boasts an unbelievably comfy costume—a bathrobe.


  • Carrie | Have a bridesmaid dress you’ve never managed to wear again? Let Stephen King help you repurpose it. Caveat: some creative paint application will probably render this a one-time only second wear.
  • Cthulu | Classic pulp at its scariest is epitomized by Cthulu, Lovecraft’s aquatic nightmare creation. Best attempted by those with an artistic flair who have a knack with tentacles. (That has to be at least one of you, right?)


  • The Bingley Sisters | Sure, they make heroine Elizabeth Bennet’s life awfully tedious in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, but they seemed like they were having a good time. Also, it’s a great icebreaker, knowing you’ll have the chance to ask strangers to “take a turn about the room.”
  • Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser | A modern nurse who finds herself accidentally transported to 18th Century Scotland in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Romance + Adventure ensues—not to mention the chance to bust out some of your tartans.


  • The Woman in White | Honor who some call the godfather of the mystery, Wilkie Collins, by dressing as his eponymous mystery woman.
  • Nancy Drew or a Hardy Boy | Embrace your inner-child and inner-sleuth at the same time by dressing up as one of your early faves. Saddle shoes and a headband or a sweater and magnifying glass should cover the essentials.


  • Ignatius J. Reilly | A green hunting cap, a moustache and trench coat will get you most of the way to John Kennedy Toole’s ignoble hero. The attitude is up to you!
  • Gatsby Glam | Whether you’re more of a Nick or a Daisy or just want to dress up like a party-goer at one of Gatsby’s Jazz Age soirees, Fitzgerald’s seminal novel provides plenty of cool costume opportunities.

But those are enough of our ideas—tell us your plan on our social pages (come on, even a hint?):

“My motivation for writing has always been curiosity.” Part Two of WD’s Interview with Jane Smiley

With a Pulitzer Prize under her belt and regular appearances on the New York Times bestseller list, writers might be forgiven for finding Jane Smiley’s success a tad intimidating. But you’ll find few authors more open, positive and appreciative than her. It’s part of what makes her so approachable—and a big reason Writer’s Digest invited her to be the central keynote speaker at the Writer’s Digest Novel Writing Conference in Los Angeles this October 28-30.

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Good Advice Never Goes Out of Style—Novel Writing Conference Speakers in the Pages of WD

This year’s inaugural Writer’s Digest Novel Writing Conference is bringing together some of the most successful writers working today. But we didn’t invite them because they’re successful (well, not only because of that), but because they are amazing teachers. And the reason we know they’re so skilled at explaining the craft and business of writing novels is because they’ve proven it in the pages of Writer’s Digest.

Take a look at some of this year’s speakers, their session and then get to know them—and your craft—a bit better by reading their past WD contributions:

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