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BY BRIAN A. KLEMS & THE WRITER’S DIGEST STAFF
WritersDigest.com I 43
�ey’re all di�erent shapes. �e competition for this year’s roundup proved to be the toughest yet—a record-setting 4. How ’bout them apples? Key to Symbols & Abbreviations Advice for Writers Classes/Workshops/ Conferences Contests Critiques E-Newsletters/RSS Forums For Young Writers Jobs Markets On Twitter NOMINATING NEXT YEAR’S 101: Don’t see one of your favorite sites here? Wish we’d add a new category? Send your comments and nominations for next year’s list to writersdigest@fwmedia. From there. material speci�cally for young writers. markets for your work and a Twitter account. job listings. e-newsletters/RSS feeds. 1. online writing communities and just for fun—each one alphabetized for easy reference. from the most popular genres to the most talked-about aspects of the writing life. and it’s impossible to tell which ones are going to taste the best. contests. We’ve also included symbols (see the key at right) with each listing so you can see at a glance which sites o�er the features you’re looking for: advice for writers. everything agents. publishing/marketing resources. critique sections. jobs and markets. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a special section of select apples guaranteed to be delicious? Introducing our 13th annual 101 Best Websites for Writers. and pared them down to the best of the best online resources covering all the main food groups of writing. classes/workshops/conferences.com with “101 Websites” in the subject line between now and Dec. forums.19 37 63 76 81 83 hen you go to the grocery store for apples. sizes and colors. there’s always a big pile of them stacked together. you’ll �nd the top sites divided into nine sections— creativity. our hand-picked list of the ripest websites guaranteed to quiet the hunger pangs of even the most discerning writers. So get your bookmarks ready.200 nominations from writers all around the world landed in our inbox. writing advice. 44 I WRITER’S DIGEST I May/June 2011 . 2011. We’re con�dent these links will lead you to plenty of useful information to move your writing career forward. we helped ourselves to a taste of each one. general resources. genres/niches. For easy reference.
com Among the annals of agent Kristin Nelson’s blog.blogspot.blogspot. 8.blogspot. it’s strangely addictive. contracts. Babbles From Scott Eagan scotteagan.com Agent Scott Eagan. founder of Greyhaus Literary. �e agency leans toward Christian and inspirational work. but with so many contributors. 9 WritersDigest. there’s a lot of diverse material for all writers to peruse.com Not o�en are you rewarded for being the worst.com Four agents blog on this agency site. 5 7-18 EVERYTHING AGENTS 10. churning out multiple columns each week on just the subjects writers want to read about— query tips.com Enjoy photo prompts. and their posts—combined with a healthy amount of guest appearances by their authors—make this a great hub of advice for scribes.org �is not-for-pro�t organization has a lengthy list of ethical bylaws that agents must abide by to become members.blogspot. It may not be a résumé builder. Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest bulwer-lytton. and more. 4.net/sixwords Write about a signi�cant time of your life in just six words. pitching. 14. and you might just �nd your work published among the top entries.net/dailywriting-prompts Not only does this site o�er daily writing prompts. 13.blogspot. Association of Authors’ Representatives aaronline.blogspot. the pros and cons of social media.com Literary agent Janet Reid dishes out brutally honest advice on the dos and 7. 5. you’ll �nd real queries from her clients (several bestsellers among them). as well as an 11-part pitch workshop covering multiple genres— and that’s just the tip of the blog-berg. this site invites new visitors to make themselves at home with its roundup of the most popular posts (listed conveniently down the righthand side) on proposals.com Always a great source of picture prompts. 6. Agent Query agentquery. BookEnds bookendslitagency. Easy Street Prompts easystreetprompts.com Need an agent? Find the right one for you by searching this free database. Six Sentences sixsentences. 11. Yet another way to get you in the mood to write. 12. but once you decide to give it a try. Research prospective agents here before you submit.blogspot. Creativity Portal creativity-portal. Six-Word Memoirs smithmag. Hartline Literary Agency hartlineliteraryagency.com Run by agents Jessica Faust and Kim Lionetti. creative writing exercises and how-to advice to help you generate ideas for your work.com Agent Mary Kole’s blog tackles the subject of writing for kids and young adults. story con�ict and so much more. but it also includes minihistory lessons with many of them. 9. Easy Street also o�ers video story-starters. but cra� a terrible opening line to a novel and you could win the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. editing. The Teacher’s Corner theteacherscorner. 3. 2. Query Shark queryshark. Kidlit.com I 45 . It might sound hard at �rst.com What can you say in six sentences? Submit a six-sentence story of your own. de�ning your genre. but it’s de�nitely a fun challenge.1-6 CREATIVITY 1. Pub Rants pubrants. Let information lead you to inspiration.com kidlit. Follow along for free advice every week. is a blog workhorse.
Ed 2010 ed2010. 21. listen up: �e Market List has hundreds of market listings speci�cally for you.info/blog Agent Michael Larsen is a guru of non�ction writing who freely shares his 18.com journalismjobs.com mediabistro. Hope Clark’s site got more nominations than any other on our list this year.don’ts of querying your novel. The Market List marketlist. Freelance Writing Jobs freelancewritinggigs. Mediabistro. resources and classi�eds. using real-life examples from brave readers. this sites o�ers hundreds of job listings from across the country.com �ese young magazine editors o�er excellent writing advice. fellowships. agent Rachelle Gardner generously shares her expert insights on the cra� and—even better—the business of writing. 28.com Don’t miss the Gazette’s writing-related articles.. jobs. 15.” 17. Writer Gazette writergazette. contests. it’s more appealing and user friendly than ever. Freelance Writing Organ19 ization–Int’l fwointl. �e site also recently underwent a face-li� and.200plus agents listed in this free directory. they’ll tell you how to start one). 25. features.blogspot. 29. JournalismJobs. 46 I WRITER’S DIGEST I May/June 2011 . where he breaks down complicated topics into manageable tips—e. All Freelance Writing allfreelancewriting. tips.com In the past year alone. this site has added 400 new markets to its database for �ction writers and poets. editing and publishing job opportunities. FundsforWriters fundsforwriters. contests.com Whether you’re a recent college grad looking for your �rst job or a seasoned editorial veteran seeking a new challenge. 26. Don’t miss the four full years of amazing archives.200 listings. awards and markets. 16. along with opportunities to meet other magazine pros in your area (if there isn’t a regional chapter by you.com Search thousands of online job o�erings and resources. who are free to browse its more than 3.net Track your queries to any of the 1.com sfwriters.com/ writers-markets �is is a directory of paying freelance markets. 27.com Editor C. 22. the WhisperJobs section is a great resource for both freelance and full-time magazine jobs. Visit for a wealth of information on grants. o�ering industry news. Rants & Ramblings on Day a�er day. “Avoiding Premature Submission: 12 Steps to Writing Success. SlushPile Hell slushpilehell. freelance job postings. 24.com We can’t explain this entertaining literary agent website any better than its tag line: “One grumpy literary agent. we must say. Duotrope’s Digest duotrope.com �is site remains a top resource for freelancers. You can browse by category or search for something speci�c. and other publishing nonsense. Just register and download its free writing resource toolbar. 20. Plus. wealth of knowledge on this blog.g. a sea of query fails.” 19-29 19.com Need a new gig? Stop by Editor & Publisher’s classi�eds section to �nd upto-date writing.com Genre �ction writers. Editor & Publisher editorandpublisher. JOBS & MARKETS FOR WRITERS 23. blogs and more.com �is site o�ers daily freelance assignment updates: Click on “Job leads” to view the most recent listings. and get great information on how to qualify for writing grants. San Francisco Writers Conference – Michael Larsen Life as a Literary Agent cba-ramblings. QueryTracker querytracker.tumblr.
Make it your virtual writing home for useful craft tips. Story Short: An E-Zine for Writers alongstoryshort. WritersMarket.com �is bestselling author dishes advice and inspiration aiming to help fellow writers (or “creators. Plot Whisperer for Writers Community. InkyGirl. WritersDigestUniversity. Nathan Bransford blog.nathanbransford.com Writer Debbie Ridpath Ohi o�ers tips. 40.quickanddirtytips. Publishing jakonrath. online and o�. along with sensible writing advice. The Creative Writing WRITING ADVICE Beyond 101: 35. creativitysparking prompts. check out WD’s online hub of free articles. inspiration and links for writers of all kinds. if you prefer. WritersDigest. You can read her explanations or. 31.com Anyone considering pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in writing should consult this collection of articles and Q&As about what to expect.com Join the more than 8.30-45 30.com Swing by Martha Alderson’s site and say so long to plot problems. Konrath isn’t shy about sharing his opinions on the best practices for seeking traditional publication as well as for self-publishing digital editions— he’s done both.000-plus market listings updated daily. our family of WD bloggers has you covered for all of your writing needs.blogspot.com Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty boldly takes on the grammatical issues that even experienced writers grapple with.com �riller writer J.com Get one-on-one instruction from professional authors in the comfort of your own home.com �e names on the manuscripts and queries have been changed to allow this anonymous children’s book editor to o�er honest advice on real submissions. 34. where you can connect with others who care deeply about writing.com I 47 . subscribers receive submission trackers. A Newbie’s Guide to WD’s Family of Sites WritersDigest. Long.WritersDigest. Two-year.A.com For everything writing-related.com/blogs From grammar to agent advice to prompts to poetry. Donald Miller donmilleris. WDU classes start year-round and cover everything from grammar to novel writing to marketing. DBW o�ers year-round education.” as he calls them) be more creative than ever. He also provides a robust roundup of writing-related resources. Grammar Girl grammar.blogspot.com & Readers plotwhisperer. WritersDigest. 32.blogspot. including WD’s editorial sta�. annual and monthly paid subscriptions are available. MFA Blog creative-writing-mfa-handbook. 33. Novel Journey noveljourney.net Celebrating its eighth year on our list. 39.blogspot. Grammar Bytes chompchomp. Story Short editors continue to o�er excellent writing tips—and personal replies to every author who contacts them for writing and publishing advice.com Along with 8. networking and resources. what not to expect and how to �nd the best program for you. blogspot. tools. 38.000 writers (and counting) in the Writer’s Digest Community social network. 36. 31 DigitalBookWorld. Long. and then put your skills to the test with interactive quizzes. Editorial Anonymous editorialanonymous. industry updates and more.com A great-looking blog matched with a wealth of author interviews and advice makes Novel Journey a great destination. manuscript critiques (on the forum) and more. for publishing professionals and their partners. 37. practical career advice.com Get a crash course on grammar. She’s also a social media butter�y and a must-follow on Twitter. articles.com inkygirl.com Tired of all the cynicism in publishing? Check out writer (and former agent) Nathan Bransford’s blog for an optimistic take on the industry. listen to them via audio �les.
�ere’s also a list of resources especially valuable to writers of historical �ction. A Book Inside – How to PUBLISHING/MARKETING RESOURCES 54.shawguides. 45. Just the truth about what it takes to get published. Coalition of Independent GENERAL RESOURCES resources on all things writing.com Obtain the tools you’ll need to secure contacts. Terribleminds terribleminds.com Genre writers especially should check out all the cra� and business advice o�ered by the editors at Writer Unboxed. with information on more than 1.” And that’s exactly what this site is.com/resources. BoSacks bosacks. 55.41. this isn’t the site for you. ShawGuides writing. Author Tech Tips authortechtips.gov Get the o�cial word on everything you need to know about copyright—including de�nitions. Writer Beware Blog accrispin. 47.com �is industry watchdog tracks. you’re welcome to join! 48. broken down by category.com �is site ponders big-picture issues for online writers. like how to boost your earnings and improve your blog’s visibility on search engines.blogspot. reviews and more to start a media tour in support of your book.) 44. ShawGuides can help.com Preditors & Editors keeps a �nger on the pulse of cyberspace to help newbie and seasoned writers alike avoid fraudulent or questionable publishing out�ts.com O’Reilly Media General Manager and Publisher Joe Wikert shares views on the future of print.com A group of self-published authors has formed this site to gain exposure for their work—and if you’ve self-published.com Author Tech Tips explains website basics for authors—o�en in step-bystep tutorials—so you don’t have to be a Web architect to build yourself a sturdy home online. 48 I WRITER’S DIGEST I May/June 2011 .com Carol Denbow’s free marketing and publishing advice makes for a 101 Best staple. 43.html No articles or essays here. 42. 56. exposes and raises awareness of scammers and other questionable activities in and around the publishing business. questions and how to protect your work. 49.typepad.000 domestic and international writing conferences and workshops.com Looking for a writing conference close by? Or maybe you’re dreaming of a retreat far from home.com/blog Publishing veteran Alan Rinzler helps writers keep pace with the industry.com “No motivational BS here. Preditors & Editors pred-ed. United States Copyright Ofﬁce copyright. 46-51 46.com booktour. BookTour. 51.com/ramble Chuck Wendig is a writer with an attitude who dishes what he’s learned to anyone willing to listen. online and other media. 50. StoryFix story�x. Writer Unboxed writerunboxed. Wealthy Web Writer wealthywebwriter.com Media veteran Bob Sacks continues his mission to keep you up-to-date on book and magazine publishing. Authors coalition-independent-authors. �e free e-newsletter delivers a mix of news and editorials on crucial industry topics.blogspot. Stephie Smith’s Writers’ Resources stephiesmith. Joe Wikert’s Publishing 2020 Blog jwikert. The Book Deal alanrinzler. Write & Publish a Book abookinside. (But note that if you’re easily o�ended. 53. just links to 46 52-64 52.
” 64 . Winning Writers winningwriters. technology and the Web—all cheap.com One writing renegade tackles the questions facing freelancers trying to make it in today’s di�cult market.org Get the latest science �ction and fantasy writing news from the organization dedicated to supporting writers in the genre. yet immensely valuable tools for writers—by reading Mashable every day. The Copywriter Underground copywriterunderground. Learn from one of the best in the business. We’re big fans of its “Write” section focusing on the cra�.com I 49 . Marian Schembari marianlibrarian. 63.com Home of the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest for the best poem that has been sent to a “vanity poetry contest” as a joke.57.org/writetips. Society of Children’s Book his “Weekly Tweetfest” rounds up interesting writing news he’s found on Twitter. Mashable mashable.com Get social media advice from a maven who successfully used a Facebook ad to get her job in publishing.com/seths_blog Not many have mastered marketing like 57 this writer has.blogspot. this site gives beginning writers solid information while allowing them a chance to have their books reviewed. Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America sfwa. articles and writing-related links. �e resources and information are invaluable. 66. get published and sell their work. Pimp My Novel pimpmynovel.com Self-published authors and small.typepad. And WritersDigest. 68. Writers & Illustrators 69. HORROR 67.org All writers of books for kids and young adults should bookmark this site. Horror Writers Association horror. and are accessible even to nonmembers.com From writing prompts to writing contests.com Stay ahead of the curve on social and digital media. Winning Writers gives you info on 150 poetry contests just for signing up for its free e-newsletter (and paid membership gets you leads on 750 of them).com From article writing to business writing to querying magazines. The Renegade Writer Blog therenegadewriter.com Rachelle Burk’s site links to hundreds of articles for children’s writers looking to improve their writing. independent imprints take note: Publetariat is an online community and news channel designed for you. 61. 58. Start with his article “How Should Writers Use Social Media? With Purpose.htm �e Horror Writers Association aims to help writers improve their �ction with its books. Seth Godin’s Blog sethgodin. 65-85 CHILDREN’S/YA WRITING GENRES/ NICHES 66 65. FANTASY/SCIENCE FICTION freelancewriting. And the comprehensive index makes navigation extra user friendly.com Dan Blank’s excellent blog on platform building is a great addition to any blogroll. OnceWritten.com A publishing sales rep gives you the inside scoop on what happens to books a�er they’ve been acquired.com Professional freelance copywriter Tom Chandler shares secrets for success. 60. Resources for Children’s Writers resourcesforchildrenswriters. network with other writers. 70. Don’t miss the Pro�t & Loss (P&L) series—a fascinating read on a little-known aspect of how book publishing really works. this site lays out nearly 700 articles on how to be successful and pro�table as a freelancer. 59. Publetariat publetariat. Freelance Writing scbwi. We Grow Media wegrowmedia. FREELANCE 71.com oncewritten. 62.
read the work of others. Join the more than 10. International Thriller Writers thrillerwriters. ChristianStoryTeller christianstoryteller. WOMEN’S WRITING 80. and o�ers up answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the genre. Romance Junkies romancejunkies. including �ction.com �ere aren’t many better sites for Christian writers looking to network. POETRY 81. James Rollins. ROMANCE muslimwriters.com moontowncafe.typepad.com Writer Elizabeth Spann Craig uses her blog for good. But if you love writing poetry.com WOW! is designed to support women’s creativity and energy (not to mention blood. Romance Writers of America rwanational.blog spot. 87.org Get the latest info on mystery writing. discuss and debate poems and the art of poetry. MoonTownCafé. interviews and poetry recordings all in one convenient place. essays. The Best American Poetry thebestamericanpoetry. THRILLER 74. Script Blog scriptmag.000 members. Murder By 4 murderby4.org �is writing organization boasts more than 1. 84.org On the Academy of American Poets’ award-winning website.blogspot. poets gather to exchange. including several New York Times bestselling authors. so it’s not for the faint of heart.com With more than 30. author interviews and more by visiting the Junkies. 86-95 86. poetry and more.org poets. the popular Absolute Write forum 50 I WRITER’S DIGEST I May/June 2011 ONLINE WRITING COMMUNITIES (known as the Water Cooler) is �lled with chatter and advice on most types of writing. Mystery Writers of America mysterywriters. writing for the Web. Get the inside scoop on faith-based organizations. WOW! Women on Writing wow-womenonwriting.org Celebrating its 30th anniversary. freelancing. 77.com Post your own poetry for feedback. not evil—except when she’s explaining how to cra� antagonists. 82. Lee Child and other bestselling thriller writers in this group dedicated to “thrilling” the world with great books. Poets. non�ction. . and more. you won’t �nd many groups that are as encouraging as this one. �nd thousands of poems as well as hundreds of poet biographies. sweat and tears) throughout all stages of the writing process. these four masters of suspense continue to o�er more than enough tips on writing in the genre to earn a spot on our list. Wild Poetry Forum wildpoetryforum. Mystery Writing Is Murder mysterywritingismurder.blogspot.100 members. 75. who o�er the latest on up-and-coming writers of romance novels. and network with other writers of whodunits.org Join Steve Berry. Sandra Brown. Resources for Muslim Writers sage board. competitions and more. RWA is the place for you if you write romance. 79. you’re missing out.MYSTERY 81 SPIRITUAL 72. Absolute Write absolutewrite. 76. Backspace bksp.com Here.com Anything goes on this uncensored mes- 78. scholarships.com If you’re a Muslim writer and not reading this site.com Browse book reviews. 73. 85.com Yet again this year. SCRIPTWRITING 83.000 other writers who are already members.com/author/chadgervich Hollywood scriptwriter and occasional WD contributor Chad Gervich maintains this excellent blog on Script magazine’s website. And it does a good job of it.
so the stu� on this site isn’t technically free.com I 51 . Klems is the online community editor of WD.org/CMS_ FAQ/new/new_questions01. Fake AP Stylebook twitter.html OK. Critique Circle critiquecircle.org Founded by Dr.A. where you can get and give reviews of work. �is site allows you to track your progress and get support from other participants (which.com Why not dust o� those books you haven’t touched in years and trade them in for titles you really want? �is cool book-swapping site makes it easy. 91 needed) dose of laughter for any overworked journalist. 93. Andrew Burt. Style Online chicagomanualofstyle. generate characters and more. but you will laugh a lot. The Chicago Manual of JUST FOR FUN 96 Month nanowrimo.000 writers in 2010). Also. 97.000 words in 30 days. Writing.Day e-newsletter to increase you vocabulary (and your Scrabble score). 98. which costs $40 annually to subscribe.com Garner valuable feedback from My Writers Circle’s many review forums. a former vice president of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. 95. try this online community.html �e editors of longtime resource �e Chicago Manual of Style give amusing answers to writers’ questions. 89. resources. WritersDigest. BookMooch Bookmooch.com writing. befriend fellow writers and more.net Run by college-aged writers. While you’re there. All ages are welcome. My Writers Circle mywriterscircle. with its ambitious collective goal of 50. WritersCafe. Young Writers Online youngwritersonline. You’ll �nd sections for general advice. check out the great forum. track submissions. You might not learn a lot.Check out Steven Hendlin’s “Your Write Mind” columns. The Writer’s Chatroom writerschatroom. share your work and enter contests. along with the video book trailers.com Need a laugh during a quick writing break? Swing by Apostrophe Abuse for a roundup of giggle-inducing signs containing misplaced apostrophes. National Novel Writing 94.com Be prepared to be an active participant in this online workshop that’s home to writers of all genres and includes tools to measure manuscript progress. Wordsmith wordsmith. you can meet other writers. topped 200. what started as a critique group for writers in the genre has grown into a set of workshops for almost every form of writing. 96-101 96. its hilarious tweets are a guaranteed (and much- 100. Critters Workshop critters. �e literary ducks are a WD sta� favorite. for the �rst time. 101. �e Writer’s Chatroom pulls in spirited crowds for Celebrity Sundays and Open Chat Wednesdays. 91.org writerscafe. Chats are moderated to keep the discourse friendly and informative.) 92. 99. critique and discuss their work.com/fakeapstylebook While this is strictly a Twitter account rather than a website per se. WD Brian A. this is a forum for teenagers and 20-somethings to post. but it’s still �lled with eye candy for writers of all types. that’s what NaNoWriMo challenges you to do.org Sign up for the A.Word. Apostrophe Abuse apostropheabuse. 88.org If you’re looking for free online writing courses.com Take advantage of this site’s free online writing portfolios.com With dedicated windows for real-time discussions.org Dedicate November to writing your novel—at least. Shakespeare’s Den shakespearesden. job listings and even o�topic conversations. (Note: All the information here is free except for the forum.com/writing1. 90.
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