Jessica Strawser is the editorial director of Writer’s Digest magazine, North America’s leading publication for aspiring and working writers since 1920. Her debut novel, ALMOST MISSED YOU, is forthcoming in March 2017 from St. Martin’s Press and has garnered early accolades from a humbling list of bestsellers, including Chris Bohjalian, Garth Stein, Adriana Trigiani, Lisa Scottoline and Jacquelyn Mitchard, and a second novel is slated for a Spring 2018 release. Her diverse career in the publishing industry spans more than 15 years and includes stints in book editing, marketing and public relations, and freelance writing and editing. She blogs at WritersDigest.com and elsewhere, tweets @jessicastrawser and enjoys connecting at Facebook.com/jessicastrawserauthor. Learn more at jessicastrawser.com.
Jessica is participating in the Agent-Editor Panel Luncheon, Critique session, and Agent/Editor Pitches (for Writer's Digest Magazine). She's also presenting:
Regarding pitches: http://www.writersdigest.com/submission-guidelines
INKWELL (a feature of Writer's Digest Magazine), is a great place for new writers to break in:
We consider completed manuscripts on spec as well as queries. A query should include a thorough outline that introduces your article proposal and highlights each of the points you intend to make. Your query should discuss how the article will benefit our readers, why the topic is timely and why you’re the appropriate writer to discuss the topic.
Although we welcome the work of new writers, we believe the established writer can better instruct our reader. Please include your publishing credentials related to your topic with your submission. INKWELL, the upfront section of the magazine, is the best place for new writers to break in. Each Inkwell features an 800-900–word lead story that kicks off the magazine. The article ranges in style and tone every issue, but often takes the form of an opinion-based piece, weaving a narrative and drawing out tips for readers. (Remember that our audience is specifically aspiring and working writers, and you should frame the piece with their best interests in mind.) It can be a great place to discuss theoretical or timely concepts. Inkwell also features short pieces of 300–600 words (how-tos, trends, humor, insight on news that will still be relevant when our next issue hits stores, weird and intriguing tidbits about the writing world). Traditional queries are accepted for Inkwell, but on-spec submissions are preferred. Please note that all product and book reviews are handled in house—as are the Top Shelf, Poetic Asides, and Questions & Quandaries columns. Include “Inkwell:” and the name of your piece in the subject line of your query.
During Jessica's pitch session, she is offering her input and professional review of your pitches. With years of experience editing both magazines and books, as well as writing for both markets, she can offer general tips for those feeling they'd like a second opinion.