10 Websites Writers Should Check Out
Writing in the Digital Age
It's a well-known fact that all writers need to be connected to the Internet in some shape or form. If you are reading this hub, you are probably a writer who writes for the web, or you are at least aware of how powerful the Internet can be for enhancing your writing.
There are numerous websites I have found particularly helpful to my writing. This is just a sample.
Advanced Fiction Writing
Fiction writer/physicist Randy Ingermanson became somewhat of an Internet celebrity with his free online article "How to Write a Novel: The Snowflake Method," first published in 2005. This ten-step method is easy to follow, and when you complete it, you will have a detailed outline that you can use to write your novel. According to Ingermanson, if you know where your novel is headed, you will have a much easier time writing it. The site also has links to other helpful articles on fiction writing, some useful products (like software based on the Snowflake method), and even some writing courses. You can also sign up for Ingermanson’s free Advanced Fiction e-zine, which delivers helpful writing tips to your inbox each month. You can visit the site here.
Bartleby.com is a wonderful site for readers and writers alike. It provides free online access to thousands of books online, many of which are useful tools for writers. It contains the full text of essential reference classics such as Roget’s Thesaurus and William Strunk’s The Elements of Style. As an added bonus, you can search inside each book for a particular topic of interest. This cuts down research and writing time because you don’t have to wade through the whole book to find the bit of information you need.
Easy Way to Write
Rob Parnell’s Easy Way to Write is a really helpful site for writers of all genres. It offers tips on beginning, ending, and marketing your work. It also provides information on how you can earn money from your writing by becoming a copywriter. Further, when you sign up for Parnell’s newsletter, you gain access to free writing lessons and e-books.
UPDATE 12/11/11: Unfortunately, Rob Parnell is moving on to other activities and will be closing down this website at the end of this year. For the rest of the month of December, though, he is offering fantastic deals on some of his bestselling writing resources. Email subscribers will get a new deal sent to their inbox every day, and there's even a link to all the past deals if you've missed any.
I'll be filling this space with another website just as soon as I can decide on the best one to add. If you all have any suggestions, just let me know in the comments section.
Editor C. Hope Clark’s website, FundsforWriters has been consistently voted by Writer’s Digest Magazine as one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers. It offers free newsletters and an additional advanced biweekly newsletter with writing and marketing information that costs $15 per year. The site lists places writers can submit their writing and get paid for it. And it even has information on how writers can obtain grant money in order to support themselves while they try to enhance their writing success. In addition, the site features the Writing Kid newsletter, which is specifically for writers who are between elementary and college age. This site is a must-see for anyone who wants to begin a career as a freelance writer.
Marilyn Singer’s Ten Tips for Writing Poetry
If you prefer writing poetry over prose, you might want to check out this site. Marilyn Singer presents ten really useful tips for the aspiring poet. She encourages observing the world around you and paying attention to the music of language. She also discusses the differences between rhyming and non-rhyming poetry, and whether one is better than the other. The best advice for the beginning poet that Singer gives is to use your imagination and let your unique voice speak through your writing.
Poets&Writers Magazine has been around for 40 years. Their website has all kinds of useful resources for the creative writer. It provides advice on obtaining advanced training to improve your writing. It lists writing contests and paying markets. It even gives links to job listings, literary agents, and writer’s conferences all over the United States. There is also a link where you can subscribe to the Poets&Writers Magazine for $15 a year.
This page on TheTeachersCorner.net provides daily writing prompts to get your creative writing juices flowing. Writer’s block often occurs because the writer just can’t think of any ideas to get started, and this site helps takes care of that problem. All of the writing prompts are also related to some specific historic event that happened on any particular day, so the person who visits this site gets a mini-history lesson as well as an idea for a story. These prompts are both fun and educational.
WEbook.com is a community for writers of both fiction and nonfiction. It costs a small fee ($3.95) to post either the first page of your completed novel or a whole short story. People in the community vote on your work, and if enough readers like it, it gets elevated. When it gets elevated, literary agents review your writing, and if the agent likes it, you could get a publishing contract out of the deal. Through WEbook's AgentInbox, you can directly connect with agents. There is no fee to send queries through this service, but if you want to track the queries you send, you must pay a $9.95 fee for a 6-month subscription. Webook also has a free online workshop where you can post your writing and receive feedback.
Writer’s Digest Magazine has long been a key resource for writers of all kinds, and the Writer’s Digest web site is every bit as helpful. It provides informative articles and contest information. You can also interact with more than 12,000 writers at the Writer’s Forum, where you can ask questions and provide advice to other writers. The site also offers a good selection of writing prompts.
Writing-World.com was created by writer Moira Allen. It is an all-around helpful site for writers of almost any genre. From this site, you can get a free biweekly newsletter with tips and articles that cannot be found on the web site itself, including job opportunities and free stuff for writers. Some of the articles featured on the site deal with starting a career in writing, improving your writing, learning the business of writing, the basics of writing for specific genres, and help with getting your book published and promoting your published work. It also includes a bookstore, where you can buy products that will help you learn more about the business and craft of writing.
Spend Some Time Doing Your Own Internet Research
As stated before, this is just a sample of some websites that might be helpful to both new and more established writers. There are many others that could not be named here for space and time's sake. I encourage all you writers out there to take some time and look for other sites that you think are helpful, and then please list them in the comments section below. Thanks, and happy writing!