Hi, friends! Let’s talk about what’s going on inside your notebook. Whether it’s a webbie, a yellow pad, or a Rhodiarama sewn-spine (my absolute favorite), chances are it contains a story/poem or two if you are creatively inclined—maybe even a whole book. If that’s you, I want you to feel supported. Because as sturdy, gorgeous, and durable as your Rhodia is, it can’t pick up the phone and sell your manuscript or tell you it’s going to be OK if it doesn’t. That’s why I’m giving you this neat little list of writerly resources. Most of these sites have been instrumental in my getting published, landing jobs, learning about craft, and picking up weird literary marginalia to spice up dinner parties. Enjoy!
Duotrope This resource is a great repository for publisher, agent, and publication information. You can view calls for submissions by genre, average response time, deadline calendars, and a submission tracker. It does cost money ($5.00 per month or $50.00 per year), so keep that in mind, as reading fees add up.
Submittable It has most of the Duotrope features except for the turnaround statistics, and it’s free! I’ve been using Submittable since college and love their interface. It’s easy to see which magazines/publishers are accepting work, and then compile places you want to submit to into a list. You have the option of keeping a credit card on file, so once you’re ready to let your stories out into the world, all you have to do is upload your work and the site will handle the rest.
Poets & Writers Like Duotrope and Submittable, P&W is a great resource for writers looking to get published, but it also posts grants, writing contests, residencies, interviews, articles about writing, job openings (writers gotta eat, too!), and a list of over 1200 magazines and their submission guidelines.
Publishers Marketplace This is basically a bulletin board for the publishing industry. Here you can learn about the latest book deals, manuscripts currently looking for publishers, and agents shopping for specific projects. It’s great if you’re wondering how your longform work stacks up against other projects in the market. They also have a job board for those looking to get into publishing. I’ve personally gotten two jobs out of it. Features that are relevant to writers are free.
Writer’s Digest They feature writing contests, awards for self-published books, writing prompts, as well as lighter articles and think pieces.
Where to Pitch Simply look for your category from a drop-down menu, and you’ll see a list of magazines with links to their pitching guidelines. This is perfect for freelance writers trying to build up a client base.
She Writes This is an online community for women writers. When you join, you get your own She Writes blog and the opportunity to network with other writers at different stages in their careers. The site publishes everything from personal pieces to software program recommendations.
Association of Writers & Writing Programs The AWP is a nonprofit literary organization dedicated to supporting its members with workshops, conferences, writing resources and programs, contests, and a wonderful job board. This is one of the most important resources for anyone who is serious about writing, writing education, and/or the publishing industry.
Tips and Tricks:
Grammar Girl You’re all probably familiar with this site. It’s one of the first pages that pops up when you type “lay vs. lie” into the Google search bar.
Jane Friedman With over 20 years of editing and publishing experience, Jane offers consulting services, writing advice, and other resources via her popular site.
Writers Write This is more of a straightforward, business-oriented resource for bloggers and creative and business writers. While they do upload longer articles on writing and interviews, a lot of it is dedicated to tips and tricks of the trade.
Funds for Writers It’s in the name. Look for places that will pay you to write—the ultimate dream.
The Rumpus They’re a popular online literary magazine featuring reviews, essays, interviews, and some fiction, poetry, and non-fiction work by both well-respected and emerging writers. The now uber-famous Cheryl Strayed wrote the Dear Sugar column for The Rumpus before it became a book and podcast.
Electric Literature They’re an online publisher with some interesting essays by working writers and editors. Their weekly The Commuter series features a short story recommended by a famous author.
Lithub This is a great place to go to keep up with book news, award winners, new fiction and poetry, and even literary gossip. It’s like candy, so give yourself a time limit if you’re at work.
Brain Pickings If you’re looking for literary trivia, some interesting reading recommendations, and a dose of commiseration, Brain Pickings will make your day a little brighter. Emily Dickinson’s love letters to Susan Gilbert? Lord Byron’s elegy for his dog? You can find them there! It started out as a weekly email writer Maria Popova sent out to friends, and it has definitely preserved that heartwarming quality.
Lit Rejections I was once told by someone who wasn’t a writer that writing is mostly rejection. And you know what? He was right! But not to worry. Just look at how many well-loved books were rejected 60, 80, 100 times. We’re all in this together, and this site is a good reminder.
Do you have any other suggestions for writers’ resources? Which Rhodia notebook do you use? Let us know in the comments!