About cover letters - Some publishers will want you to send a cover letter with your short story, and it’s definitely necessary if you’re sending out a novel. Here is some guidance on what to write and what not to write.
William Shunn’s Manuscript Format – If your market asks for you to submit your story in standard manuscript format, this is what they mean.
For tracking submissions:
The Writer’s Scribe – This is a purchasable programme to help track your submissions to magazines. There are some bugs and problems with the thing, but on the whole it is a useful way to ensure you don’t inadvertently keep sending your story to the same magazine.
Duotrope’s Digest – A web-based variant on the Writer’s Scribe, with in-built catalogues of markets.
Fiction and poetry markets:
Ralan’s Webstravaganza – contains a range of useful stuff, but probably the most interesting part is the compilation of short story markets and their average response times. Mostly for speculative fiction.
Submitting to the Black Hole – another handy resource full of magazines and their average response times. Mostly fantasy/sci-fi.
Jacqui Bennett Writers Bureau – Lists of markets for short stories and poetry, across a range of genres. Most of the entries contain links to the websites, where applicable, or include basic submission guidelines.
Miscellaneous resources and opportunities:
BBC Writersroom – This is particularly useful for anyone who is interested in writing scripts for stage, radio or screen. However there are some good general writing tips as well. Writersroom regularly features contests and opportunities for writers.
Writing World – this is a repository for masses of links and articles relating to writing in all its glorious forms. Better set aside a whole afternoon to explore the contents.
The Writer’s Compass – This is a UK-based organisationwhich offers a regular e-bulletin full of contests, opportunities, writers’ groups, creative writing workshops and more for the fledgling writer. Sign up for the newsletter from the website.
Helpful handbooks and manuals: