This is a list of writing and publishing resources. Feel free to email us with more links of interest. Contact info here.
Duotrope Digest – Lists over 3000 fiction and poetry publications, and has a handy search form to help you find what you’re looking for. Please note that to use the full service, as of January 2013, you will need to subscribe to Duotrope.
Ralan’s Webstravaganza – With lists organised by category: pro, semi-pro, pay, for the love, anthology, audio, flash/poetry, and more. Lots of great information here.
Publishers Marketplace – Hosts a large list of agents, publishers and editors, with contact details and information about each one.
Literary Magazines and Journals Database – Looking for somewhere to submit your story?
The New Writer – The New Writer is unique and is aimed at all writers: the short story writer, the novelist, the poet, feature writer, anyone with a serious intent to develop their writing to meet the expectations of today’s editors.
Alt Fiction – Offering an extensive programme of horror, fantasy and science-fiction literature events, including panels, workshops, readings and podcasts.
Novacon – Novacon is the UK’s longest-established regional science fiction convention, held every autumn since 1971.
Bristol Con – A one day convention organised by the Bristol Fantasy & SF Society. Includes guest authors, exhibitions, and activities.
Frome Festival – Includes short story competitions and writing / arts events.
Wells Festival of Literature – With lectures by authors, poets, journalists, broadcasters and others, as well as competitions.
Mere Literary Festival – A massive week-long programme of events taking place in Mere, Wiltshire. Check their website for current programme details.
Bridport Open Book Festival – An annual celebration of writing and reading, hosting many guest authors, workshops and events.
Bath Festivals – This website lists various literary events taking place in or around Bath during 2012.
UK and Ireland Literary Festival Directory – This site lists many different lit events, as well as info and links to individual websites. Well worth checking out if you’re interested in the lit fest scene.
Winchester Writers’ Festival – Offers inspiration, support, networking opportunities, as well as many lectures and one-to-one sessions with agents, editors and authors.
Editing & Formatting
Manuscript Format – William Shunn’s popular article on how to properly format your manuscript ready for submission. Please note: this is aimed at short stories rather than novels, although a lot of this advice works for both.
General Writing Sites
Writer Beware – A publishing industry watchdog group. From their tagline: shines a bright light into the dark corners of the shadow-world of literary scams, schemes, and pitfalls. We also provide industry news, writing advice, and a special focus on the weird and wacky things that happen at the fringes of the publishing world.
Absolute Write – Massive forum dedicated to all aspects of writing, with threads about writing for various audiences, finding beta readers and writing buddies, grammar, research, publishing, and writing news. You have to join the forums to post and comment, but joining is free.
40 Sites for Writers – A list of various writer-related websites that are out there, including news sites and forums.
Daily Writing Tips – Fantastic site that provides information on a host of writing topics, from grammar and spelling, to writing basics and competitions.
Articles on Writing
Finding Your Author Voice – In the beginning, it was also about finding my author voice: some unnameable quality in my writing that would make my work recognisably mine.
On Countersinking – A form of expositional redundancy in which the action clearly implied in dialogue is made explicit.
Choosing Character Names: Fun, or a Total Nightmare? – Some common tips for picking character names, and a few pitfalls to avoid.
Planning For A Writing Life – Tips on writing regularly and keeping the inspiration flowing.
Caution: Contains Strong Language – A wonderful article by Ash Krafton about using language to strengthen your story, with helpful examples.
To Outline, or Not To Outline? – Post about the merits of outlining your stories and choosing to write off-the-cuff.
Time Travelling, Awkwardly – A short post about the passage of time in fiction. Let’s face it, if character A stares at character B for ‘several minutes’, there’s something seriously wrong with character A. Stalker, maybe? But seriously, have you ever timed two or three minutes?
Publishing, Agents & Rejection
About Literary Agents – Highlights misconceptions about literary agents; who they are, what they do, and when to be wary.
Why Did My Story Get Rejected? – One of the best articles on why a story may be rejected, by Marion Zimmer Bradley.
How A Book Gets Published – Article by Nathan Bransford, highlighting the processes of mainstream publishing.
What Do Literary Agents Do? – More about from Nathan Bransford. This time he talks about the role of a literary agent. Reliable source, since he used to be a literary agent himself.
How to Pitch Your Story to an Agent – Literary agent Rachelle Gardner posts tips on how to pitch your book to a potential agent.
The Letters That Publishers Wish They’d Never Sent – Writer’s Services lists a few rejection letters sent to popular published authors like Stephen King, William Golding, and Joseph Heller (before they were famous). Yes, even the prolific and well-known have been told ‘no’. Take heart!
Query Shark – How To Write Query Letters … or, really, how to revise query letters so they actually work.
Story Prompts & Ideas
Adam Maxwell’s Fiction Lounge – Has a story prompt generator.
Character Name Generator – Same as above, only this one generates an original name for your character(s).
Feath’s Bookcase Story Prompts – This site also lists lots of different prompt generators, from first word prompts to character description generators.
Seventh Sanctum Story Prompt Generators – Another site that hosts a load of story prompt generators. Some are very silly.
Character Interests Generator – Having difficulties coming up with small personality traits and interests that will help round out your character? Try this.
Grammar, Spelling & Punctuation
Lynch’s Guide to Grammar and Style – An extensive resource, alphabetically organised for easy searching. You’ll find most topics on grammar and style listed here. This is a goldmine.
The Online Grammar Guide – Lists many topics.
The Elements of Style – By William Strunk Jr. This is an old, well-known grammar and style guide, and while a few of the ‘rules’ are a little outdated now it still contains many helpful articles.
20 Common Grammar Mistakes – Exactly what it says on the tin.
Grammargasm – An active community for people who are kinked by grammar and etymology. Also a great place to ask grammar questions, post articles, and discuss grammatical topics.
Grammargeeks – Similar to the above: a place to ask grammar questions and post interesting links.
Franklin’s Grammar Cheat Sheet – A lot of grammar tips and advice.