Customer Review

238 of 283 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So generic it's uesless, October 7, 2004
This review is from: Writer's Digest (1-year) [Print +Kindle] (Magazine)
Writer's Digest puts out a lot of great resources for writers. The magazine ain't one of them, however.

For starters about half of the magazine is ads - mostly for other Writer's Digest products. One you get past paying $19.95 a year for what's essentially a brochure, you'll notice that most of the articles don't apply to you. Most writers stick to one genre, yet the magazine focuses on all aspects of writing - fiction, poetry, business writing, editing, non-fiction, etc. If you're working on a biography of J. Edgar Hoover, do you need to look at an article on poetry in the stlye of ee cummings? I'll take "no" for $600, Alex.

So, now you're down to about 10 pages that might be relevant. Well, let's start chipping away at that:

The letters about grammar questions are a waste: if you have a question about affect versus effect, would you write to a magazine and wait a month or two or would you pick up your style guide and have an answer in less time than it took for you to read this sentence? Thought so. (Furthermore the idea that someone would write to a magazine with a question like that is so incredulous one has to wonder if the questions aren't just submitted by staff members in an attempt to fill space, like I used to do when I was the news editor at my college paper.)

Writer's Digest does review software and other technology that might be useful to writers. My favorite was when it reviewed Microsoft Word. Thanks - I'm sure most readers had no idea about the monopolistic word-processing program. To be fair, some of the reviews are useful, although you can get better information just by looking up the product on Amazon.com and reading the reviews there.

If you're going to Writer's Digest for market information, you'd be better served elsewhere: the annual Writer's Market publication has all the markets and is more thorough, whilst the Writer's Market website has all that information and is up-to-date. Your money would be better spent on those two products.

About the only articles I have found useful are the profiles on authors and how they have succeeded. There you have it: two or three pages an issue that are useful.

If you're trying to get your work published, Writer's Digest has several other products that are a better investment than its magazine: go with the annual Writer's Market book, the website, and pick up a style manual of your choosing (Chicago is the best). Don't waste your money on this magazine.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 18, 2011 7:31:48 PM PDT
Melinda G. says:
I started to place an order for this magazine, but decided to read the reviews first. Your review was most helpful! Thank you for the details.

Posted on Apr 16, 2013 5:21:16 PM PDT
Remix says:
Very helpful review. Was seriously considering a subscription, but now I'll put that money elsewhere!

Posted on May 30, 2013 4:18:47 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 30, 2013 4:21:47 PM PDT
John Walker says:
I like your review, and I think it's really helpful, but I'm going to go ahead and subscribe for a year just to see if it has any merit. I'm not expecting much based on your review, but as someone who is aspiring to write in all different areas (fiction, nonfiction, copy, technical, script, grant, etc.), I'm going to give this magazine a spin. Pretty much all magazines are half-full of ads anyways, and it seems like the ads in this particular magazine are at least tailored to the field that I'm trying to immerse myself in.

I gave your review a thumbs-up because I thought it was terrific.
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