Author: Luisa Perkins
•11:25 AM
Long ago, I posted about resources I keep on my desk for use when I write; today, for your reading pleasure, I'll focus on online helps for writers. Writing is a solitary pursuit, but a writer should never feel alone when searching for help. The Web has so many sites for writers that one could easily spend all day perusing them instead of actually writing. Don't fall into that trap. Instead, use the sites listed below to help make the most of your writing.

All Writers:
William Shunn is a fabulous show-and-tell site illustrating exactly how to get your manuscript into the format that most publishing markets prefer.

Query Shark is another amazing show-and-tell site. It's the blog of prominent literary agent Janet Reid, who posts her edits of query letters submitted to her. My writer friend Melissa recently reminded me of this site, and I'm so glad she did. You can learn a ton by browsing through the archives and seeing what works (and what emphatically does not work) in a query letter. Ms. Reid doesn't call herself 'Shark' for nothing; she doesn't pull any punches. But she's always right, as far as I can see.

Scribophile touts itself as a free social networking site for writers, but I think it's more useful than that. Members can post works to be critiqued by peers and can critique the works of others in turn (there's a point system to it all). Writers can participate in forums for every interest from haiku to perfecting the art of speed pitching. Scribophile also hosts writing contests with some pretty sweet prizes. One runs the risk of spending a good bit of time vacuuming the cat here, but a motivated writer could also find a lot of help.

Nathan Bransford, Literary Agent is another blog, and that title always cracks me up (think "International Man of Mystery"). The San Francisco-based Nathan is young and looks like a surfer dude, but he's very much on the ball. He takes writing and publishing seriously, but is never self-important. Read his "Essentials" (links are halfway down on his sidebar), and you'll get a good and accurate education on the particulars of today's publishing world.

"Dave Farland's Daily Kick in the Pants" is an email series written by the phenomenally successful Dave Farland/David Wolverton. Dave is as generous as he is gifted, and that's really saying something. His goal is to remind people to write on a daily basis. He addresses all sorts of topics, often prompted by questions members of his large following send him. If you'd like to subscribe, email davidfarland@xmission.com and say "Kick me!"

Short Fiction Writers and Poets:
Duotrope's Digest is fantastic. It lists thousands of markets for all genres of short fiction and poetry and gives vital information on response times for each. It also has a terrific Submissions Tracker tool; I use it to keep track of where I've sent my stories. Duotrope is completely free, but if you find it useful, consider donating to the site to help keep it running.

Speculative Fiction Writers:
Whatever is the blog of science fiction writer John Scalzi. Scalzi is smart, successful, and endlessly entertaining (and his book Zoe's Tale made my 2008 Top Ten list). He hosts a regular series of interviews with other published writers called "The Big Idea"; these informative and inspiring posts outline how recently published writers came up with and developed their stories.

Submitting to the Black Hole is another website that lists response times, but it includes speculative fiction book publishers as well as short fiction markets. Believe me, when your story has been out in some editor's slush pile for weeks upon weeks, it can help calm anxiety to visit the Black Hole and realize that you are not alone. I always report my response times to both Duotrope and the Black Hole.

Ralan's Webstravaganza lists all kinds of markets for speculative fiction and humor writers: anthologies, books, and periodicals of every form and payscale. Ralan works very hard to keep his site updated and accurate, and often has the scoop on the newest changes to markets. He also gratefully accepts donations.

LDS Writers:
LDSStorymakers is a website devoted to the growing LDS publishing market. It includes links, a calendar of events, and a market directory. LDSStorymakers hosts a writers' conference every spring; see the website for more details.

The Association for Mormon Letters boasts a market directory as well as information on regional writers' guilds and an extensive review archive. The AML also publishes the periodical Irreantum twice yearly, which devotes space both to scholarly articles and to fiction and poetry.

There you have it: the online resources I've found most useful. Do you know of any I haven't mentioned? If so, please let me know!
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17 comments:

On 22/1/09 , Heidi Ashworth said...

Luisa, thank you! This is priceless!

 
On 22/1/09 , Melanie J said...

I just recently resubmitted an LDS fiction novel and used the info I found at the LDS Publisher website. I think I got it right, but now I'm terrified to go check the Query Shark link in case I was terribly, terribly wrong. But I'm a third of the way through my second novel and I'm bookmarking that sight for sure.

Also, what about Kristin Nelson's blog? I think it's Pub Rants, maybe? Seems fairly helpful. I can't wait to check out some of the other links you provided. Cool!

 
On 22/1/09 , Melanie J said...

P.S. I tried to follow your blog but it won't let me! I'll try again next post.

 
On 23/1/09 , Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Wonderful resources - some familiar, some not.

Thank you so much!

 
On 23/1/09 , Jenna Consolo said...

I love it! Thank you for all the legwork!

xo!

 
On 23/1/09 , Josi said...

Wow--what a resource! I need to bookmark this for future use.

 
On 23/1/09 , Annette Lyon said...

I use several of those too. Great list! I enjoy Janet Reid's blog too (she's behind Query Shark as well).

 
On 25/1/09 , TC said...

I Luisa, it seems you've neglected to mention or list anything for us creative nonfiction writers. ;~)

Here's a site for creative nonfiction for your consideration:
http://www.creativenonfiction.org/

 
On 25/1/09 , Brillig said...

Um, yeah. I've bookmarked this post. SO much essential information here! YOU are so generous. Bye-bye, random google searches....

 
On 25/1/09 , swedemom said...

I'm sending my sister to your blog. That list was so incredibly helpful!

 
On 25/1/09 , Virtualsprite said...

Thank you so much for posting this! This is just invaluable!

 
On 26/1/09 , Kimberly said...

I am bookmarking this. Twice.

 
On 29/1/09 , charrette said...

Invaluable! I'm especially eager to check out the Query shark! I LOVE stuff like that!

And, dear one, in all your perusing, have you stumbled across any that specialize in children's fiction (particularly picture books?) I'd be most grateful...

 
On 30/1/09 , Julie Wright said...

fabulous post! Lots of great information!

 
On 3/2/09 , rjlight said...

Thanks, Luisa. Very helpful.

 
On 3/2/09 , strugglingwriter said...

Thanks for these. I'm gonna check them out.

Paul

 
On 23/2/09 , googler said...
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