Author: Jess Zafarris

An award-winning innovator of digital content and marketing solutions and a prolific online and print journalist, Jess Zafarris is the Executive Director, Marketing & Communications for Gotham Ghostwriters. Previously, she served as Digital Content Director and Director for Writer’s Digest and ScriptMag. Her eight years of prior experience in digital and print content direction and marketing include such roles as editor-in-chief of HOW Design magazine and online content director of HOW and PRINT magazine, as well as writing for the Denver Business Journal, ABC News, and the Memphis Commercial Appeal. She spends much of her spare time researching curious word histories and writing about them at Follow her at @jesszafarris or @uselessety on Twitter.

The Power of Positioning (for Authors and Publishers)

Posted: November 15, 2019 | By:

This article by Jess Zafarris originally appeared in the August 21, 2019 edition of the publishing insider newsletter The Hot Sheet, which is curated and edited by Jane Friedman. Learn more about The Hot Sheet and subscribe here.

Coming up on its 40th year in 2020, the Romance Writers of...

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3 Key Storytelling Strategies to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills

Posted: September 5, 2019 | By:

Whether you're writing a speech or presentation yourself or working with a professional speechwriter, it's important to craft a strong hook and identify key messaging that will resonate with your audience. At the recent Writer's Digest Annual Conference, author Steven James — known for his highly engaging and entertaining talks on the craft of writing fiction, along with novels and nonfiction books — turned the lens on his strategies for commanding a room during public...

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Storied Self-Improvement: 3 Benefits of Reading Fiction

Posted: June 14, 2019 | By:

Those of us who read and write regularly know that we're the better for having engaged with our favorite stories. But are the benefits of reading fiction more concrete than that? Research suggests that they are, according to a recent overview of several studies on the subject that was published on the BBC's website, along with several other studies in the past. After a bit more research into the subject, we determined that the benefits of reading fiction are not only mental, but physical as...

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32 Free Online Research Resources for Freelancers & Nonfiction Writers

Posted: April 15, 2019 | By:

I've done freelance and in-house copywriting, content marketing, and general journalism for about a decade, penning everything from broadcast news to newspaper articles and promotional blog posts. I would hardly have managed to complete a third of them if not for the free online research resources and tools I've gathered over the years—first in J-school and professionally in full-time editor/content director roles and in side jobs as a freelance writer and content strategy consultant.

In that time, I've had to write about a lot about things with which I'm generally...

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Featured Writer Friday: Caroline Leavitt

Posted: April 12, 2019 | By:

This Q&A with Caroline Leavitt is the first of many features showcasing the wisdom and experience of the talented writers and editors in our network. These award-winning and bestselling authors and editorial experts know  the writing and publishing process inside and out.

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The Weekly Ghost: Ghostwriting News & Views | April 10, 2019

Posted: April 10, 2019 | By:

Writer friends and beyond: I hope you're having a fantastic week so far. I'm delighted to introduce The Weekly Ghost, a roundup of news, links, and exciting developments in the larger ghostwriting world and in our very own network.

Got news for me? Pitch it for inclusion in the Weekly Ghost and in our newsletter by sharing with me at

Often traditional publishing...

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