Inspiration & Information

Inspiration and Information for Writers

Helpful Advice and Inspiration
Creative Writing Strategies
The Critique Process with a Focus on Fiction
Guidelines for the Critique of a Poem
Motivation: Keep on Writing and Sending it Out!
Rejections Rejections
Advice For Younger Writers

Informative Websites

The Internet contains a gold mine of resources for writers. If you are interested in exploring Web sites for writing inspiration and information, start out by exploring the following, which are our own favorites. You’ll find them current, authoritative, and all offer some free content with tangible value to writers.

Click on the following links and you will immediately be connected to the Web sites: The Literature Program of the North Carolina Arts Council offers grants and services to North Carolina writers and nonprofit organizations. This site is an encyclopedia of dictionaries, and is a good place to explore technical and cultural ideas no matter what genre you are writing in. There are fourteen dictionaries, from Webster’s to Ologies & -Isms, Cultural, American Heritage, Phrases & Idioms, and Science. Other offerings: a full reference section, an extensive quotes section, two Roget’s Thesauri, Abbreviations & Acronyms, and a Biographies section. Facts and Figures: Up-to-date news and statistics complement in-depth almanacs covering geography, history, entertainment, sports, business and more. The Library of Congress website, where you can look up books by author, title, publisher or ISBN. Visit the U.S. Copyright Office to find out everything about copyrights and how to protect your work. Up-to-date in-depth information for all genres as well as instant access to thousands of editors and agents. A complete source of where to sell your work, prepared by book and magazine editors themselves. The Black Writers website provides links to African American writing professionals and serves as a discussion forum for black writers. The major emphasis of the organization is to create dynamic conferences and retreats for African American writers. Offering online writing classes in all genres since 1995, this Web site includes writing tips and a wealth of helpful information. Instructors are well-published authors who are experienced in teaching as well as writing. The website for Poets & Writers Inc., the nation’s largest nonprofit serving the needs of poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. It offers a plethora of information: writing contests, conferences, job listings, databases of literary magazines and small presses. Another “must” site for exploration. In national writers conferences you will hear the comment “why are more and more writers moving to North Carolina?” Founded in 1985 as a nonprofit organization, the North Carolina Writers’ Network unites our state’s poets, fiction writers, essayists, playwrights, technical writers and journalists of all ages, background and skill levels. With 1800 members, it is the largest statewide literary service organization in the United States. Keep up with literary happenings in North Carolina by becoming a member. PO Box 954, Carrboro, NC 27510 The Elizabethan World unfolds here. From heraldry to general history, you’ll find all you need to know to write that romance novel or other period work. Learn about Tudor England, the food, occupations, games, heraldry, pastimes, religion, fashions, manners and attitudes in the time of Queen Elizabeth I and Shakespeare. The site also features a discussion group and lists links to other Renaissance sites. Welcome to the Romance Genre. The Romance Writers of America will tell you that two basic elements comprise every romance novel: a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending. Seven romance sub-genres include contemporary romance, historical romance, inspirational romance, paranormal romance, regency romance, romantic suspense and time-travel romance. The Kidz Korner is a good way to get African American kids interested in genealogy, to prepare the next generation of genealogists. It’s a very basic primer that helps them to start thinking about their family heritage, starting with the parents and grandparents with whom the child is familiar, and interviewing the family’s oldest members to find out about their parents and grandparents. Search here for 25,000 personalities, with related links to 2,500 videos and more. Read short biographies, post on their message boards or download educational material. Children’s Express is a national news agency in the United Kingdom “where young people aged 8-18 produce articles on issues that are important to them but of interest to everyone.” Young writers from Great Britain and Northern Ireland have already produced more than 350 interesting articles. Check it out! Part of’s universe, this site shares writing tips and offers help with punctuation and parts of speech. It treats creative teens with respect and candor. Have fun with a caption writing contest or use their random link generator to find a poem, quote or story about teenage dilemmas. Includes some free ebooks, tips for beginning children’s book writers, and a writer’s guide that takes you step by step through the publishing process. Also introduces Children’s Book Insider, a newsletter specifically for children’s writers. It is doubtful that you will find a more comprehensive film resource on the net. Simply go to the search box at the top of the home page, type in whatever it is you’re looking for (film, actor, director, hairdresser, etc.) and get ready to surf. For instance, try typing in “Alfred Hitchcock” and you’ll get a brief biography, a photo gallery, a complete filmography and other useful information. Clicking on a movie title will lead you to a listing of the cast and production crew, professional reviews, a plot summary, and more. With five editors and researchers and the staff at the Institute of Children’s Literature behind them, is it any wonder that Children’s Writer is the most widely read publication in its field, by editors in virtually every children’s book and magazine publishing house in North America. Click here and enjoy well-loved poems in text and audio format. The Academy of American Poets. Discussions, events, a bimonthly e-newsletter and more. Registered visitors (all you need is a functional e-mail account) also can create their own anthologies based on site content. Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, 8271 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048. Applications for writing grants are available by writing the SCBWI Executive office. Winning grants are for $1,500. Runnerup grants are for $500. Only one grant may be applied for in any calendar year and active SCBWI members only are eligible to apply for these grants. If you are a linguist, then you are always on the lookout for new words and phrases in the ever-changing English language. Download Adobe Acrobat for free. While the emphasis is on North American English, linked Linguist sites include Eastern Michigan University, Edinburgh University, Moscow State University, Stockholm University, University of Tubingen and Listserv. A highly academic reference section may help linguists and fiction writers who are working on regional dialogue. This is the Ralan Conley Webstravaganza. If you’d like frequently updated science-fiction and humor markets, Ralan is the site for you. It also lists more than 670 writing-related links.

Want more writers’ Web sites? By clicking on “Our Writers“, you will be introduced to some Web sites from WGOT writers and authors here in the Triad.