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Hello.

Zachary Petit (Zac Petit) is a journalist / magazine editor / photo dabbler / lover of all things writerly, design-ish and nerd-like.

  • Summer 2014
    • The canary still sings: We’ve been hard at work in the magazine mines, pumping out several gorgeous issues of HOW and Print (HOW March, May and July; Print February, April and June), covering everything from international design to creativity to sex to innovation to the top 20 artists under 30, and featuring some amazing design and writing. Who said print was dead?
    • News! (Well, sort of): In between editing magazines and playing harrowing Words With Friends games with my curmudgeonly father, a rather thrilling national cover story is in the works, in addition to a new nonfiction book under contract for fall 2015. Stay tuned.
  • Summer 2013
    • Bid Early, Bid Often: I’m pumped to once again be representing Writer’s Digest in author Brenda Novak’s Annual Online Auction for Diabetes Research. This year, we’ve decided to offer something new, exciting and wonderfully nerdy for Novak’s publishing world extravaganza—instead of a critique, we’re auctioning off a chance to win a pen from your favorite author. Check it out here.
    • New Magazine: The annual Writing Basics magazine has just returned to newsstands. Come for the craft advice. Stay for the lively, practical and often quite funny spins on the building blocks of the trade.
    • New Article: 30 Cool Things About the World, National Geographic Kids (May 2013). A hurricane in 2012 made the Mississippi River flow backward. The Sahara used to be covered with millions of trees. Fascination.
    • New Profile: Joe Hill (NOS4A2, Horns, Heart-Shaped Box, Locke & Key). Words cannot describe the fantastic Joe Hill. … Or, can they? In the July/August 2013 Writer’s Digest, we try. 
    • Poo-tee-weet: I finally caved and joined Twitter. (I know, I know.) Join me in procrastination and distraction: @ZacharyPetit.
  • Fall/Winter 2012
    • Coming Up: Write Now! 2013, in Raleigh, North Carolina (April 20, 2013). I’ll be providing the keynote at this conference exclusively for freelance writers, plus a workshop and a panel discussion. Come out for some excellent magazine advice from everyone at the event, plus a keynote involving its fair share of lively, oft-strange and (hopefully) funny tales from the freelance reporting trail.
    • Coming Up: The Writer’s Digest Conference (April 5–7). There are also some exciting writerly things in store for the 2013 WDC, including keynotes by James Scott Bell and Adriana Trigiani, and two exciting freelance-based panels I’m helping to put together: How to Write for Major Magazines (featuring the brilliant Susan Shapiro, bestseller AJ Jacobs and others), and How to Be a Regular Contributor for a Magazine (featuring some great writers, plus the editor of WD and me). I’ll provide more details as they become available.
    • Flowchart: Hot off the presses in the November/December 2012 issue of Writer’s Digest.
    • Big Upcoming Magazine Features: Have been written. Stay tuned.
  • Spring/Summer 2012
    • Images: For a slew of delightful political dog photography, check out Red Dog/Blue Dog (Running Press) by Chuck Sambuchino. I photographed some fine pooches for this book. In a very journalistically sound, objective, non-partisan way, of course.
    • Publishing World Extravaganza: Check out Brenda Novak’s Annual Auction for the Cure of Diabetes, which features items such as lunch with Janet Evanovich, a stay at Nora Roberts’ Inn and a critique package from Writer’s Digest and me (includes a webinar and a subscription to WD magazine). Bonus: You get to bid from the comfort of your home, sans wild, fast-talking, gavel-pounding auctioneers, all for an excellent cause.
    • Coming up: ThrillerFest 2012, July 11-14. The event features Jack Higgins, RL Stine, Lee Child, Ann Rule, Karin Slaughter, and many others. Not to mention some of the most fun cocktail parties in publishing. (Thriller writers know how to unwind. And, last year I randomly spotted Margaret Atwood and swooned.)
  • Winter 2011/2012
    • New article: We Are Actually Wax: Madame Tussauds, National Geographic Kids (February 2012). Eyeballs are hand-painted. Red silk thread is made to look like tiny veins. Hair is added one strand at a time. Meet the amazing world of Madame Tussaud.
    • New article: Artists Charley & Edie Harper: Love Bugs, A-Line Magazine (February 2012). A Valentines-Day look at the life and love of the brilliant Cincinnati modernist artists. Aww.
    • New article: Legoland, National Geographic Kids (December/January). I have never gotten over my love for Legos.
    • New article: Diana Gabaldon, Writer’s Digest (January 2012). Supercharged genre-bending guru.
    • New project: If you like writing prompts, stay tuned for the release of a new e-book that Brian A. Klems and I wrote for Writer’s Digest—A Year of Writing Prompts: 366 Story Ideas for Honing Your Craft and Eliminating Writer’s Block.
    • Call to writing arms: Don’t forget about the Writer’s Digest Conference. We have more than 60 agents signed on this year, alongside keynotes such as AJ Jacobs (The Year of Living Biblically) and Chris Baty (NaNoWriMo).
    • Blog: The new Writer’s Digest blog is here. The first post will be up 1/16. I’ll be posting every Friday. First up for me: some delightfully odd and timeless finds from the Writer’s Digest archives.
  • Fall 2011
    • New article: Haunted Vacations, National Geographic Kids (October). Do you have a kid? Are you a kid? Do you like ghosts? History? The bizarre antics of rifle heiress Sarah Winchester? Check out the excellent NGK.
    • New article: RL Stine, Writer’s Digest (November/December). The coolest man on earth.
    • Coming up: The Writer’s Digest Conferencein New York City. This year, Jan. 20-22, expect:Three educational tracks: The Business of Getting Published, Mastering the Craft of Writing, and How to Thrive in the Digital Future of Publishing; a pitch slam with more than 60 literary agents; 24 sessions; 30 speakers. Also, drop by the panel I’m moderating on fiction writing and say Hi. Also: Cocktail?
  • Summer 2011
    • Announcement: It looks like we’ve fallen victim to the classic scourge of all personal websites—long time, no update. Here are a couple of the latest goings-on—in a new-and-improved first-person landing-page voice. (I’ve dropped the illusion that I’ve got a mysterious Web wizard at work in the background. Or, perhaps given the lack of updates, a mysterious freeloader Web wizard using my neighbor’s wireless, eating my snacks and napping on my couch.)
    • Coming up: ThrillerFest 2011. If you’re going to be in New York July 6-9 for the event and want to talk about writing, Writer’s Digest magazine, freelancing, book proposals, weird writing miscellanea or anything else in that vein, give me a shout, or drop by the panel Friday on the importance of media.
    • Coming up: Get Published! Writer’s Workshop. If you live near Cincinnati and are interested in learning how to market and sell your fiction and nonfiction, the Erlanger branch of the Kenton County Public Library is having its writing conference Oct. 8. I’ll be teaching a session on freelancing, and savvy former Writer’s Digest publisher Jane Friedman will be teaching a session on creating an online platform. For more information, click here.
    • Confession: We’re no longer updating the Promptly blog—thus rendering my nifty RSS feed at right a tad behind the times—because we have a new blog baby in the works. Click the Blog tab above for more info.
  • Winter 2010
    • Coming up: Join us in New York Jan. 21-23 for the Writer’s Digest Conference. On tap this year: WD’s signature agent pitch slam, featuring at least 57 agents representing a variety of genres and styles; sessions on the future of publishing, craft, platform, social media, freelancing and more; panels and Q&As with agents and other pros; our off-site poetry slam in SoHo. Click here to learn more.
    • Coming up: I’ll be teaching a seminar entitled “The Good, The Bad and the Nightmare Freelance Query” at the Naples Writers’ Conference April 9-10. Come check out some of the best and worst queries discovered in a storied slush pile and pick up tips and ideas from those queries to break free of the submissions inbox and sell pieces of your own. The conference features the Authors & Books Festival, an array of panels and sessions for fiction and nonfiction scribes, and more.
  • Summer 2010
    • Coming up: Curious about writing? Have a publishing question about whether you should submit or shred a vampire novel? Have a knowledge of obscurely specific things like “ms,” “stet” and “on spec”? Indulge your writing nerd senses and check out a panel with the Writer’s Digest editors at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati Sept. 20. Also, WD is putting on an Editors’ Intensive Sept. 11-12 in Cincinnati. Expect manuscript critiques, panels and workshops. And, of course, being a publishing event, a happy hour.
  • Spring 2010
    • Listen: Alongside Guide to Literary Agents Editor Chuck Sambuchino, I’ll be teaching a live webinar on selling freelance articles (to newspapers, magazines and websites) at 1 p.m. May 20. Check it out here.
    • Purchase me: I’m participating in writer Brenda Novak’s Online Auction to Benefit Diabetes Research—a massive auction featuring oodles of publishing-related items and opportunities, from author promotion packages to getting your name in a John Lescroart novel to my 25-page WD manuscript critique. Check out the full auction here.
    • Coming up: In the great Midwest? I’ll be teaching a seminar on freelancing for magazines April 17 at the Mad Anthony Writers Conference. Stop by and say hello.
    • Up and running (… right?): New website is online. More content is on its way.