Thursday, December 9, 2010

Writers Resources

The title really says it all. Yesterday, I joined in on the YA Lit Chat on Twitter, which was about resources (of any kind) for writers. I thought it was a good idea, so I went through the transcript (which there was quite a lot of) and my own brain to bring you the most comprehensive list of writing resources you’ve ever seen on this blog.

Yahoo Groups is a place to create a place to network with like-minded individuals.

@robin_talley of Twitter suggested teenlitauthors, which is for writers, published and unpublished alike, to trade news, ideas and suggestions. Joining is easy, but you do need a Yahoo ID. Once you have that, you send them a message with your name and where you heard about them, and you’re in!

@sarahockler of Twitter suggested Author Cynthia Leitich Smith’s wonderful website, whether you want book suggestions or help with writing for children.

QueryTracker helps you find agents and publishers, keep track of what queries you’ve sent to whom, and chat with other writers : ). Yes, that’s as good as it sounds. Oh, and did I mention it’s free?

Publishers Marketplace has information on sales, which shows you what an agent is interested in and what the market is interested in. Otherwise, you have to wait for it to be published to find out what is selling two years ago. The only downfall (which people say is totally worth it while querying) is it costs $20 dollars a month.

AgentQuery is one of my favorite websites. You can search for agents by genre, their name or their agency’s name. It gives you fairly up to date information on what they represent, their recent sales, their websites, and what they want to see in a query.

Preditors&Editors is another favorite of mine. The agents hear are listed alphabetically by their first names (a bit annoying) and some of the information is out of date, but it tells you who has made sales, is a member of the AAR, and who has been convicted of fraud. Yes, really. has a phenomenal writers’ forum, with Ask an Agent, Editing and Publishing, Marketing and Promotion and tons more. The only downfall (and it’s a pretty minor thing) is that it costs $40 a year. Not bad considering what you get for it. 

Absolute Write all about writing and the business of writing. A welcome source for any writer.

Janet Reid, agent and shark extraordinaire has her own blog and another one where she rips queries to shreds at Query Shark. You can follow both her (@Janet_Reid) for tips and the Shark (@QueryShark) for posts on what not to do with a query.

Though no longer agenting, the archives at are considered one of the best sources for any writer.

Kristen Nelson is another agent who has tons of query tips on both her blog and her agency website. No, she’s not on Twitter, but her fellow agent Sara Megibow is (@SaraMegibow)!

Rachelle Gardner (also on Twitter at @RachelleGardner) has an amazing website where she coaches you on writing query letters, what to do when an agent calls (ah, the dream!) and so much more.

Autocrit has an editing wizard. If you sign up, you get a lot more but even the free version has a good word analyzer that finds those repeated words, sentences beginning with conjunctions, and inactive writing words. Too bad you are limited to 800 words at a time.

Dropbox is an online storage site. You get 1 gigabyte of storage space for free and can access your documents from anywhere.

Scrivener is basically an online version of the blackboard writers used to paste their notes all over. I don’t use it (it just doesn’t fit with my writing style) but I’ve heard wonderful things. Warning: it’s for Macs and $45, although there is a free trial and the beta for PCs is out. Buy it at

@Georgia_McBride is amazing. She tweets so much, I think she may have cloned herself. But really, she tweets a lot of useful information, has a helpful blog, and hosts #yalitchat on Wednesdays from 9-10.

Jennifer Laughran better known to tweeters as @literaticat, is a wonderful source of information. Check out her blog for even more.

@ElanaRoth is another tweeter of good info. She’s sharp and straight to the point, the kind of agent we all really need.

Though no longer an agent (alas) @ColleenLindsay has a wealth of information and sometimes still hosts a #askagent chat session. She’s also as funny as hell, so you can’t go wrong with following her.

Another sadly no longer an agent, @nathanbransford still tweets a lot of information. For more, visit his website which has info on writing queries, synopses, proposals, and more great websites for writers.

Agent Jennifer DeChiara who tweets at @4writers. She often invites questions about the publishing industry and promises to answer.

Michelle Wolfson, who tweets at @WolfsonLiterary, always has tips and advice. Follow her so you don’t miss anything!

Twitter Hastags
#askagent and #askyaed are random chats hosted by agents or editors. Your best bet for coming across one is to follow the agents and editors I’ve listed above : ).
#kidlitart(@kidlitart): for children’s book illustrators/authors/professionals. Hosted by @BonnieAdamson and @lyonmartin on Thursdays at 9 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time). Visit site:
#kidlitchat: for readers and anyone involved in the children’s book industry. Hosted by @BonnieAdamson and @gregpincus on Tuesdays at 9~10 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time).
#litchat (@litchat): for readers, writers, and book industry professionals. From 4-5 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Visit site:
#poetparty: Hashtag for poems or talking with poets/editors. No particular time, but hosted by @32poems.
#poetry: For readers, writers and anyone else. Hosted by @gregpincus on Thursdays at 9-10 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time).
#romancechat: Romance in writing. Hosted by @theworldamongus @ObsidianMiss on Saturdays at 4-5 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time).
#scifichat: Sci-fi in writing. Hosted by @DavidRozansky on Fridays at 2-4 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time).
#scribechat: Here to focus on the changes in the publishing industry. Hosted by @LiaKeyes on Thursdays at 9-10 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time). Site at
#writechat: General writing talk. Hosted by @WritingSpirit on Sundays from 1-4 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time).
#yalitchat: Discussion of YA literature for readers and writers. Hosted by @Georgia_McBride and @LiaKeyes on Wednesdays at 9-10 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time). Site:

On Writing by Stephen King is supposed to be a wonderful book on the craft, whether you like his books or not.
Several people on Twitter (I don’t know who was first) suggested Anne Lamott’s BIRD BY BIRD
@sarahockler of Twitter also suggested: GIVE ‘EM WHAT THEY WANT: THE RIGHT WAY TO PITCH YOUR NOVEL TO EDITORS AND AGENTS by Blythe Camenson and Marshall J. Cook; and THE SELL YOUR NOVEL TOOL KIT by Elizabeth Lyon
WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL by Donald Maass is supposed to be another great source.
Suggested by @StirlingEditor: Elizabeth Lyon’s MANUSCRIPT MAKEOVER 

There are tons more than this, but this took a long time to compile. For more information, I suggest you visit the sites I've listed. If you need it, I'm sure they have it.


  1. Excellent collection of resources! Bookmarked and I will be using all of these!

  2. Great collection!

    Of course, queryshark is quite well known, and I've seen Kristen Nelson's blog as well on a couple of occasions.

  3. Awesome resources! Thanks for sharing!!

  4. Excellent list of resources!!! Query Tracker is one of my favorites. They have an AWESOME monthly newsletter (electronic) that you can have e-mailed for free. I HIGHLY recommend it!

  5. OMG, this list is fantastic! Thanks for the time and work to compile the transcript - and welcome to YALitChat : )

  6. Wow! Thanks for this great holiday gift. :D

  7. OMG, this is chock full of good stuff! Thanks, and nice to meet you and your blog!

  8. I think it's safe to call this post popular. Hope everyone found something in it useful!

  9. Great list of resouces. There were a few I hadn't heard of yet!



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