Quick Resources for Writers

Megan Norris Jones

Megan Norris Jones

In my quest to become a better writer, I’ve read books and attended conferences and retreats. Those experiences have been transformative. But sometimes I just need a quick shot of inspiration to keep my writing fresh and my spirits invigorated. That’s when I turn to podcasts, blogs, e-newsletters, and magazines.

There are worlds of information out there, but it’s possible to waste a lot of valuable writing time sifting through to the good stuff. So, today, I’m passing along the best resources I’ve discovered so far. If you have already put in the research time and have recommendations of your own, please pass them along. I’m always looking for new and useful writing resources—especially podcasts—and I would really appreciate your suggestions in the comments.

Podcasts

Writing Excuses: Hosted by authors Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Howard Tayler, and Mary Robinette Kowal, this weekly podcast covers every aspect of the writing process in an entertaining and engaging format. And this current season is formatted as a writing course with relevant writing assignments.

Helping Writers Become Authors: K. M. Weiland covers a wide range of topics, but some of her best podcasts are the ones in which she explores a single topic, such as plot structure or character, over a series of episodes. Her series on structure produced her book Structuring Your Novel.

Websites/Blogs:

WriteOwls: Obviously you like this one, too. We aim to give you the best mix of information and inspiration to fuel your own writing. We are all on this journey together, and we make a point of sharing what we learn in our own continuing education. WriteOwls also offers a vital piece of the writing process: community with other writers.

Writer Unboxed: This website is top-notch, filled with useful articles about craft and business, and written by a list of great contributors.
PubRants Agent Kristin Nelson has an enormous backlog of hugely helpful blog posts, including insight into an agent’s perspective on what makes a good—and sellable—book.

E-Newsletters

Publishers Weekly Children’s Bookshelf: PW puts out weekly e-newsletters focusing on many areas of publishing, but I do kid lit, and this newsletter keeps me up-to-date on what’s happening in the field.

Twenty by Jenny: In addition to offering 20 classic children’s books all children should read for age groups from young children through teens, this weekly newsletter reviews and recommends a new book each week. It’s a great spotlight of the best new books and an excellent gift-giving guide for all the children in my life.

Magazines

Writer’s Digest: When my Writer’s Digest appears in the mailbox, it’s a little messenger reminding me, “You’re a writer. Go write.” The articles are useful, and each issue has a section in the back that focuses on a different element of craft in a very practical and helpful way.

The Writer: When Writer’s Digest didn’t come often enough, I subscribed to The Writer, too, and I’m so glad I did. The two are complementary, and The Writer offers an excellent mix of advice, inspiration, tips, and art.

SCBWI Bulletin: This magazine comes with my membership to the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators. Other publications will occasionally run articles or even special issues on children’s lit, but this magazine consistently delivers information targeted at my own area of focus.

What are the most helpful writing resources you’ve discovered?

3 responses to “Quick Resources for Writers

  1. Those are great resources! I am especially a fan of K.M. Weiland’s podcasts and developing character arcs. I usually go ahead and download her transcripts because those are easier for me to follow.

    • Good point. It’s a really handy bonus to have the info in two different formats. Sometimes, if I hear something particularly useful on the podcast, I’ll go check it out on her blog, too, because I seem to remember things better if I see them written down.

  2. I recently discovered writershelpingwriters.net. While there are books for sale on the site, there is also a bunch of free, useful information, as well.

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