Free Stuff for Writers: Advice on How to Write, Edit, and Get Published
What do writers need?
Whether you are an established writer or a new writer, you can probably use some advice and some inspiration.
Perhaps you, like me, are a novice writer. I spent my career doing market research. I have just begun to write in the last few years. During my career as a market researcher, I wrote plenty of reports to present the findings of the research. When I retired, I wanted to return to my childhood ambition. I wanted to be a writer.
I had a lot to learn. I would no longer be writing for a specialized audience--market researchers--following the prescribed format used in the profession. I’d be writing poetry, fiction, and articles for the general public.
I was always a good writer with good command of the English language—an understanding of grammar and a good vocabulary. Moreover, my years in market research taught me to write concisely and to organize my content well. But my new career as a freelance writer and blogger required new skills.
I could have taken seminars and courses and maybe even gone back to college for a degree. Like many new writers, I didn’t have the money for these things. Fortunately, there are many free resources for writers.
Here are a few that I found particularly useful.
Funds for Writers
Funds for Writers is a free weekly newsletter that is a “must” for every writer. Each edition hits your in-box filled with advice and inspiration, calls-for-submissions, contests, grants, freelance markets, jobs, and a listing of publishers/agents. Many of the contests listed have no entry fee. I used the information I found in this newsletter to submit my writing to a publisher of anthologies and was subsequently published.
You will also want to visit the Funds for Writers website for even more free information. You will find articles with tips for writers on many different subjects.
The editor of Funds for Writers is C. Hope Clark. She is a successful freelance writer herself and the author of several books, including the Carolina Slade Mysteries which recently added its 3rd book.
Hope also publishes a paid-subscription newsletter, “Total Funds for Writers.” The cost is so low that it is practically free--It is only $15 annually for a subscription of 26 bi-weekly issues. It has the same type of information as the free newsletter only much more of it.
Writer’s Digest is the one magazine every writer needs. It is not free, but a subscription doesn’t cost very much. Every month you will find articles about the craft and business of writing, about agents and publishers, and about other topics of interest to writers. There is a monthly writing contest based on a prompt—no prize money, but no entry fee either, and if you win, you can get published in the magazine. The subscription comes with a monthly newsletter delivered to your in-box.
If your budget will only support free, you can get the Writer's Digest Free Weekly Newsletter. You will find lots of invaluable information for writers. The newsletter includes writing tips, prompts, news, and blogs from the editors of the magazine.
Writers Network News
Writers Network News is an excellent free monthly newsletter from Bobbie Christmas who heads up Zebra Communications. Bobbie is a professional editor so the main focus of the newsletter is on editing and related topics. The newsletter also includes information on a variety of other topics of interest to writers. I eagerly await it each month.
In one recent newsletter, Bobbie wrote about lipograms. I had never heard of a lipogram. Her brief write-up inspired me to research the topic and write an article about it: WordPlay: What is a Lipogram? I both learned something new and got a story idea out of it. I sent Bobbie an email to thank her for the story idea, and in the next newsletter, she linked to my article. That was a whole lot of benefit for zero money.
Did Bobbie name her company Zebra Communications because of the old joke: What’s black and white and read all over? (The answer to the riddle is not books. The answer is "an embarrassed zebra.") Please forgive the old joke. I’ve become addicted to puns ever since I wrote WordPlay: What is a Paraprosdokian?
Winning Writers publishes a free weekly newsletter and their website has lots of information about the craft of writing, literary contests, and publishing markets. They even have a page devoted to book reviews. Not everything on this website is free, but it is worth perusing.
Publishing Syndicate published a free monthly newsletter called "Wow Principles" for 10 years. Each newsletter contains at least one article about the craft and/or business of writing. They are no longer publishing the newsletter, but all of thew back issues are available on line. You can browse through them for articles that might be useful to you.
I'm a little partial to Publisher's Syndicate because a few years ago they were publishing a series of anthologies called Not Your Mother's Book. They included my creative non-fiction stories in two of these anthologies. One was and the other was Not Your Mother's Book ... On Being a Mom. Not Your Mother's Book... On Being a Parent
HubPages is one of the very best free resources for writers. It has been an immense help to me on my journey to establish myself as a writer. Best of all, it is not only free, but I can earn money. HubPages provides templates for authors, hosts their web domains, and allows authors take a share in the revenue obtained from advertising and the sale of products resulting from links in their articles. You are reading this on HubPages.
Be sure to check-out The Learning Center whether or not you write for HubPages. The advice given there is to about how to write for HubPages, but it is useful for anyone who blogs or writes articles. I started blogging about two years before I started with HubPages. Take a look at my blog: Premium Cable Reviews. Look at a recent post and then go back to a post from 2012-2013. It will be obvious how much writing for HubPages has improved my blogging.
For More Information
You might also enjoy reading my essay How to Write: Quotes from Famous People on Writing
Did you find a new resource for writers here that you want to look into?
A Mini-Seminar on Writing
The Joy of Writing
This is the book recommended in the above video. It is part witty memoir by an award-winning journalist and author and part practical guide for writers.
© 2015 Catherine Giordano