Like many of you, I have been writing for a very long time. Poetry, short stories, essays, screenplays, novellas, and novels. You name it, I’ve tried my literary hand at it. Some of my writings have been published; most have not.
I have a BA in English, but that’s as far as I took it on a formal level. I confess I have little tolerance for the world of academia. That doesn’t mean I stopped learning, of course. I wrote on my own for hours, days, years of practice, devouring advice from other writers through books (I started before the Internet era, mind you (actually before the advent of the PC), magazines, and, now, websites. Some of these were extraordinarily helpful, others less so.
Here are five of the most helpful websites for writers that I’ve come across in my literary travels, listed in no particular order. I noted a few things about each one. I didn’t want to give too much away as browsing these sites and the plethora of info they contain is rather fun. I hope you find these sites as helpful as I did! Of note, I am not in touch with any of these folks so there’s no quid pro quo with these shout-outs.
K.M. Weiland’s Helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com Twitter: @KMWeiland
Looking for writing advice? K.M. Weiland’s got you covered from every possible angle. Story outlining, structuring, character arcs - K.M. Weiland writes about it all. There’s a ton of free content on all of these things, along with a free book (currently Writing Your Story’s Theme, I think). I visit this site a lot! I also have bought several of Weiland’s books as well. Don’t skip this site.
Jane Friedman’s janefriedman.com Twitter: @janefriedman
Friedman is an expert in the publishing field and everything she offers on her website shows it. She offers online classes, books, and speaking engagements, all for a fee. The gratis value for writers is in her blog, which is chock-full of useful, actionable advice for writers. The blog offers advice on writing, editing, publishing, and everything in between. She often brings in guest bloggers as well. And don’t forget to check out the Resources page, where she has a link to her archived writing advice.
Joanna Penn’s thecreativepenn.com Twitter: @thecreativepenn
Joanna’s got you covered on the business of writing and self-publishing. She covers fiction, nonfiction, marketing, and how to monetize your writing! I highly recommend her free podcast, which often includes interviews with successful writers, as well as her blog. Joanna’s no slouch in this area herself, being a successful writer in both the fiction and nonfiction fields, making a living from her writing and as a coach. She offers classes, and a number of books as well, many of which I own.
ALLi’s Self-publishing Advice Center’s https://selfpublishingadvice.org Twitter: @indieauthoralli
You simply cannot overlook this site! Supported by ALLi, which stands for Alliance of Independent Authors, this website offers great free podcasts and blog posts. Be sure to use the categories list on the right to find advice on a multitude of issues surrounding self-publishing. In addition, they provide ratings on self-publishing services, awards, and contests so you can avoid the cheats and con artists!
The Book Designer’s https://www.thebookdesigner.com Twitter: @JFbookman
Given the name of the website, you could be forgiven for thinking this site is only about book design, but no! This site contains a wealth of information, from how to be a better blogger (and gain a following) to marketing your book to legal issues to using social media. For self-promotion and building your author platform, this site has an amazing amount of info to help. Check out the Articles section for yourself!