Resources for Writers

December 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

Probably one of the most useful things about writing blogs is the sharing of resources – less time spent trawling the internet for those short story markets means more time to spend writing, after all. Here is a list of the various resources I use most often. I am also going to save these in a new page, Links for Writers, which will be updated from time to time as I find new things.

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 you are sending your story – or novel – off to the big boys, they’ll want to see it in professional manuscript format. This is a widely accepted ‘correct’ way to do it. Note: not all markets will want your story submitted in this format.  Most of them will have their own submission guidelines published somewhere, usually on the web. Read these carefully and do as it says.

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 – This is a new discovery for me, recommended by another blog which … seems to have disappeared. So I can’t link you to their post on the subject. So far it looks like a Writer’s Scribe and Ralan’s Webstravaganza all in one.

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.

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.

Additionally, there are handbooks published yearly for professional writers. Books like The Writer’s Handbook and The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook are stuffed full of publishers and markets for short stories, novels, poetry, articles and, in the case of the latter, art. They also tend to carry articles from professional authors, agents and publishers on a lot of useful topics – like how publishing rights work and how to market your book. These two are UK-based, of course, but there will probably be equivalents for the US or other parts of the world. Worth investing in if you’re planning to make a serious effort at getting published next year.

That’s it for now. Hope these help!

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