There are a number of websites and blogs dedicated to writing, but some I visit again and again. This is a list of my favorites, and the reasons they keep me coming back.
The Institute of Children’s Literature http://www.institutechildrenslit.com/ is my favorite place to go. Maybe it’s because this is the place that got me started. If you’re thinking this site isn’t for you because you’re not interested or can’t afford to take classes, you’re missing out on everything else they have to offer. Right under the home button, you’ll see Rx for Writers. Not a student? Doesn’t matter. This section offers a free weekly newsletter, the ever helpful Topical Index, and my personal favorite The Writer’s Retreat. Many of the things I’ve learned have come from the helpful authors there.
Writers Helping Writers http://writershelpingwriters.net/ holds more information than you could get through in a day, so pace yourself. You don’t want to miss anything. You can get another helpful newsletter here. Resources for Writers is a beautifully organized list of helpful links. My personal favorite part of this one is the Thesaurus Collections.All you have to do is browse the contents to see they are worth their weight in gold for creative inspiration.
If you’re interested in writing for magazines or the educational market, Evelyn Christensen’s website http://www.evelynchristensen.com/index.html is the most complete up to date list I’ve seen anywhere. Just click on the little crayon on the left that says writers, and prepare to be amazed. These newsletters have up-to-date tips and links to each website. Your complete search all in one place.
It goes without saying that every writer needs a thesaurus http://www.thesaurus.com/ When you skim your page and realize you’ve used the same word four times, but for some reason, can’t think of a single word that means the same thing, go here. You might end up saying “I can’t believe I didn’t think of that,” but at least you won’t be thinking too long. You’ll be writing instead!
Literary Rambles http://www.literaryrambles.com/ is priceless if you’re searching for an agent. While this site has plenty of juicy information about new books and authors, Agent Spotlight is my favorite here. The agent list on the left of the page can save you hours of time, because the searching has already been done for you.
Kathy Temean’s blog https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/about/ is another one I like for finding agents. If you scroll down the page, and look at the Categories header in the side bar, you’ll see there is tons of interesting information for any children’s author. The reason I love her agent posts? They’re very up-to-date. These are agents looking to build their list right now. So if you have what they’re looking for, it gives you a bit of a leg up.
Kidlit 411 http://www.kidlit411.com/ is another place filled with information. Are you interested in agents? Critique groups? Picture books, middle grade, or YA? Submissions? Contests? Revisions? All of this and more can be found at here. You might need more than a day to look this one over.
Brenda Drake’s blog http://www.brenda-drake.com/ is a great place for contests. I was hesitant about this one at first, since I’m not on Twitter, but there’s plenty here for everyone. If you are a twitter fan, PitMad occurs four times a year. That is a lot of opportunity to get noticed. But check this blog often. There is almost always some kind of contest in swing, and many of them don’t involve Twitter.
So, if you’re looking for inspiration to get started ... or to keep going, there’s plenty here. If you know of a great website I’ve missed, please let me know in the comments below. I’m always on the lookout for more information.
Growing up, I was the