News, Reviews, Previews, and a Long Winter’s Nap

Dear WU Community,

First one, then two, then three, four, and five people sent notes yesterday to let me know that Writer Unboxed was named a Top Ten Blog for Writers in Write to Done’s annual roundup. Thanks so much for all of your nominations. We’re proud of this designation, and that we’re able to sustain quality posts for you  year-round, with an eclectic and talented group of contributors, and our generous guests (56 of them in 2013 alone).

We’ll be taking a short break to recharge, but we’ll be back on January 1st with a post from The Donald (Donald Maass, of course). In the meanwhile, feel free to peruse our archives–

January posts

–and our monthly contributors’ most popular columns in 2013:

A Brief Review

This year brought a load of change to Writer Unboxed.

My dear friend and co-founder, Kathleen Bolton, had to step aside as her day job’s workload increased. I (wo)manned the ship alone for a while, then had a lesson in life’s-too-short and asked for help. Now WU has a Twitter team (Denise Falvo, Lara McKusky TaylorHeather Webb, and me) and two fantastically helpful admin assistants (Julia Munroe MartinJeannine Walls Thibodeau).

The Writer Unboxed Facebook group became 5,000 members strong, and went “secret” to better preserve our valued promo-free zone. (But you can still join; more about that here.) Our Facebook group continues to be sustained and nurtured by a team of dedicated WU’ers, to whom I am maximally grateful: Kim Downes BullockValerie P. ChandlerHeather Reid, and Vaughn Roycroft.

The Writer Inboxed newsletter was put on haitus just this month. Not because it didn’t thrive under the stalwart leadership of editor Jan O’Hara and assistant editor Liz Michalski, but almost because it thrived too well. What could that possible mean? Read the brief, final letter here, which includes Donald Maass’s perfectly timed tips on endings. A huge thanks to the entire newsletter team and its many guests for eighteen vibrant, gem-packed issues.

Some of our esteemed contributors said farewell in 2013 and will be sorely missed, while two favorites returned: Jane Friedman and Allison Winn Scotch. New powerhouse contributors joined the ranks as well, including Julianna BaggottTom BentleyDavid CorbettAnnie NeugebauerMeg Rosoff, and my agent, Elisabeth Weed.

Looking Ahead

Will 2014 offer more of the same? Yes, and no.

Our focus will continue to be providing you with empowering posts on the craft and business of fiction.

We’ll bring back some of our themed months in 2014, beginning in February, when contributors focus on the topic of “inside publishing.” (Have a topic you’d like to see covered here in 2014? Please let us know in comments.)

I’m excited to announce that 2014 will herald the return of one of our old favorite contributors, J.C. Hutchins, and that one of our most popular and frequent guests, Catherine McKenzie, will join us as a contributor as well.

Most ambitious plan for 2014? A live event. Not quite a conference, or a festival, or a retreat, but something that is custom fitted for us. Mark your calendars: This will happen in November. Stay tuned for details. (And now that I’ve posted it here, there is no turning back!)

In short, we hope to continue to try new things in 2014, to fail sometimes, to grow despite that.

We hope the same for you. Go west, dear writers. Find new ground. Claim it. Repeat.

See you next year. Until then? Write on.


About Therese Walsh

Therese Walsh co-founded Writer Unboxed in 2006. Her second novel, The Moon Sisters, was named a Best Book of 2014 by Library Journal and BookRiot. Her debut, The Last Will of Moira Leahy, sold to Random House in a two-book deal in 2008, was named one of January Magazine’s Best Books, and was a Target Breakout Book. She's never been published with a lit magazine, but LOST's Carlton Cuse liked her Twitter haiku best and that made her pretty happy.


  1. Thea says

    Blessing and Happy doings to all of us in the New Year! and thanks, Teri, for keeping the herd safe. xo t

  2. says

    Wow–just reviewing the best posts you list here reminds me what a stellar year ’13 has been here on the blog. I’d like to thank the contributors for keeping that WU bar so high. I know that it takes dedication, deliberation, empathy for others, and plain hard work to keep it there. You all ROCK!

    I’m very happy with the direction of the WU group since our status change, too. Seems like the spammers in full retreat, and folks who come and stay are interested in sharing in the enriching, empowering, and supportive atmosphere that has made WU a special community.

    As I review my own year, I know that not only am I richer for the support and aid of my WU colleagues and friends, but my work has continued to be lifted to new levels as a result of my association and involvement with this extraordinarily dedicated and talented network of individuals.

    Cheers, happy holidays, and happy New Year, WU! I’m quite sure the best is yet to come.
    Vaughn Roycroft´s last blog post ..Spartans, What is Your Profession?

  3. says

    Therese, thanks for the year-end recap. What an impressive team! Words cannot express how helpful the WU contributors have been to me and countless other writers. Keep up the good work and happy holidays!
    CG Blake´s last blog post ..Books Read in 2013

  4. Carmel says

    Thank you, Therese et al, for making WU possible! The blog and FB page are great resources for a fledgling writer, and they make writing not such a lonely occupation.