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 titles and you will immediately be connected to the Web sites:
www.ncarts.org The Literature Program of the North Carolina Arts Council offers grants and services to North Carolina writers and nonprofit organizations. These include literary organizations, literary magazines and presses, libraries, and non-literary organizations that make literature part of their public activities. We support writers and programs in fiction, poetry, literary nonfiction, literary translation, spoken word performance, children’s literature, and literary work that crosses genres and art forms.
www.yourdictionary.com Wordsmiths will flip over this handy site. It’s more than an encyclopedia of dictionaries. It offers nine thesauri. It’s an entire world of dictionaries, whether you speak English, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Hebrew or Egyptian. This is the widest and deepest collection of dictionaries on the web. Technical documentation on the site include specialized dictionaries for accounting, advertising, agriculture, anthropology, archeology, architecture, art, astronomy, automobiles, and aviation — and that is for only one letter of the alphabet!
www.infoplease.com This is the way to find facts and figures on the internet. Up-to-date news and statistics complement in-depth almanacs covering geography, history, entertainment, sport, business and more.
www.loc.gov This site should be on your “must visit” list. The “loc” stands for Library of Congress, where you can look up books by author, title, publisher or ISBN. Or visit the U.S. Copyright Office to find out everything about copyrights and how to protect your work. Meet amazing Americans, jump back in time, or take a “tour” of all 50 of our states by clicking on “America’s Library,” a fun site for kids and families.
www.writersdigest.com Our favorite magazine for writers provides up-to-date in-depth information for all genres as well as instant access to thousands of editors and agents. Includes a free weekly e-newsletter with posted articles from special WD publications, including WD print interviews. Your most complete source of where to sell your work, prepared by book and magazine editors themselves.
www.blackwriters.org The African American Online Writers Guild provides links, discussion groups, listings of Black agents, publicists, editors, publishing companies, consultants, newspapers and magazines that celebrate the strength of Black heritage and the beauty and richness of African American culture.
www.writersmarket.com Here is where to get a quick list of target markets perfect for your query letter or manuscript. Easy-to-use search settings make it a snap to search through thousands of markets in seconds. The freelance writer’s “bible” since 1921 has always been in book format, but is now available online, providing complete market contact information to subscribers, including pay rates and submission guidelines that are constantly being updated.
www.writers.com Offering online writing classes in all genres since 1995, this Web site includes writing tips, information on contests and an online bookstore. Instructors are well-published authors who are experienced in teaching as well as writing.
www.pw.org This is another great site that will become one of your favorites. ‘PW’ stands for poets and writers, the site of Poets & Writers Magazine. It includes the most comprehensive listing of literary grants and awards, deadlines, and prizewinners available in print. With a circulation of 70,000 copies nationwide, the magazine includes essays on the literary life, and articles with practical applications for both emerging and established writers.
www.ncwriters.org 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
www.renaissance.dm.net 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.
www.rwanational.org 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.
www.afrigeneas.com/kidz 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.
www.biography.com 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.
www.childrens-express.org 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!
www.teenwriting.about.com Part of About.com’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.
www.write4kids.com 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.
www.imdb.com 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.
www.childrenswriter.com 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.
www.poets.org/index.cfm 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.
www.scbwi.org 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.
www.americandialect.org 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.
www.ralan.com 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.