Smith Mag Six Word Challenge
Can you write your memoir in only six words? This is a thrilling challenge that encourages you to write sharply and concisely.
Social Security Administration Popular Baby Names
Need character names that suit your 1920s setting? The Social Security website has the most accurate list of popular names from 1879 to the present.
The Eighteen Questions
Also known as 18Q, this site is designed to share the views and experiences of published authors for novice writers in a series of 18 questions. More than 100 authors have taken the quiz.
The Erotica Readers & Writers Association
If you like the extra randy stuff, check out this site, dedicated to erotica writers and writing. It’s a great place for tips and stories, but definitely not a playground for the youngsters.
The Internet Writing Workshop
If you’re not into message boards, The Internet Writing Workshop offers discussions and critiques delivered right to your e-mail inbox. There’s no fee for this service, but there’s a minimum participation time of 30 minutes a week.
The Jewish Writing Institute
This site is for e-mail and correspondence classes, but if you dig a little you’ll find some of the best resources for Jewish writing and publishing. Tamar Wisemon’s article on Jewish magazine and newspaper markets is a must read.
The MuseItUp Club
Hard to beat a free online writing conference, and that’s exactly what The MuseItUp Club offers. The group acknowledges that writers often have insufficient funds to travel across the country, so they bring a weekend of professional advice to your office (or wherever your computer is set up).
The MuseItUp Club Critique Group
Critique groups are limited to five people so your work can get more personal attention. They’ve added a workshop forum for members to discuss monthly workshop topics.
The Poetry in Color
The Poetry in Color forum solicits poets of all backgrounds and encourages quality peer-to-peer feedback on members’ writings. This site isn’t censored, so leave the kids at home.
The Poetry Market Ezine
Get your poetry markets, contests, reviews and news from this free monthly e-zine.
The Publicity Hound
Consultant Joan Stewart shares tips on self-promotion and how to get free publicity—a key for any writer living on a tight budget.
The Publishing Law Center
From fair use of trademarks to electronic rights, attorney Lloyd L. Rich provides dozens of helpful articles on topics important to the writing community.
The Rejecter Blog
This assistant at an NYC literary agency rejects 95 percent of the queries that cross her desk—and blogs about them. She also answers questions about the process and offers up advice on getting your query past her desk.
The Story Starter
If a daily prompt isn’t enough to stuff your writing appetite, check out this site. Get a random story-starter sentence from more than 340 million (yes, you read that correctly) choices. Just one click of a button and you’re on your way.
The Teacher's Corner
Looking for inspiration? These daily writing prompts aren’t only fun, but relate to the date (September 5 is National Cheese Pizza Day—who knew?).
The Urban Muse
The Urban Muse is populated with excellent tips on writing, marketing and staying creative. Don’t miss the “5 Ways to Promote Your Blog” post; great advice.
The Wild Poetry Forum
A poet’s heaven, this extremely active forum welcomes all poetry buffs 13 years old and up. Just be sure to keep your work clean for the children.
The Writer's Resource Directory
Carol Kluz’s site has hundreds of resources for writers. Note that not all of the links work, but most of the ones that do are valuable.
The Writers Society
If too many people overwhelm you, here’s a small forum that may suit your needs. It’s focused heavily on fiction, but there’s some poetry and nonfiction as well.
The Writing Bridge
This private writing workshop is always seeking new members, but you have to be serious about the craft. If you make it through the approval process, you’ll have access to critique forums and creative writing prompts.
The Young Writers Society
If you’re a young writer (think under 18) and looking for support, look no further. The Young Writers Society offers kids and teens a space to share work, chat, blog and more. This site also discourages “netspeak,” which is good news for grammar buffs.
Today’s Woman has nearly 1,000 members who participate in its forum, online critiques and weekly contests. Women aren’t the only ones taking part (43 percent of the members are men), but they’re highly active in this site.
Trent Steele’s Write Street
Trent Steele’s Write Street is a good place to find recommended writing books, articles on the writing craft and inspirational quotes.
United States Copyright Office
Everything you need to know about copyright law is right here, along with the option to register your work for extra protection (for a fee). We recommend bookmarking the FAQ section.
For the public, updated by the public, Wikipedia makes for an excellent starting point when you’re researching a subject. But use it only as a diving board to better sources. (See Questions & Quandaries, p. 65 for a better explanation.)
Gain access to 150 poetry contests by subscribing to its free e-newsletter (and more than 750 if you upgrade to its premium membership). Plus, enter its famous Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest, which searches for the “best humor poem that has been sent to a ‘vanity poetry contest’ as a joke.”
With 4,500 registered users, this site offers a forum to discuss all forms of writing. The extra good news is it’s kid-friendly—there are ratings to let you know if something has explicit content.
Worldwide Freelance Writer
Sign up for this site’s e-newsletter and receive access to a list of more than 500 magazine market listings. There’s also a European market listing available through a subscription.
WOW! Women on Writing
This e-zine caters specifically to women in the writing community, dishing out interviews (and tips) from popular female writers.
One of the most notable watchdogs for the writing community, Writer Beware shares information on writing scams, problematic agents and publishers, and more. New to the site is a blog where writers can share info in the comments section.
In its fourth consecutive year on the list (sixth overall), this site lives up to its tagline: “Bringing you free writer-related articles, paying call for submission and freelance job postings, contests, resources, tips, and more to help induce, improve, and promote your writing career—every week.”
Writer Site Out
Looking for a Christmas present for yourself? Here you can find free, printable posters and bookmarks showcasing quotes from some of your favorite authors. All you need is a printer.
Through interviews and discussion of craft, Writer Unboxed dissects genre-fiction writing. Its daily updates are a nice way to start your day (if you’re a genre-fiction writer).
Created by writers for writers, this online radio station broadcasts author interviews, writing prompts, music to inspire and mini-mysteries. Most of the material is available for podcast download.
Brazil, Hong Kong, Jamaica—find an agent nearly anywhere in the world.
This site welcomes writers of all levels. Sign up and get a free online portfolio, numerous user tools, e-mail services and a chance to network with other writers.
Here’s another fun site that creates writing prompts on the spot. The site currently has several options—prompts for right-brained people, for left-brained people, for kids—and is working to add prompts on classic literature, music and more.