Update (9/2014): This list should probably be retitled “Almost 100 Resources for Writers.” Some dead links have been removed since this was originally published in 2013.
Before you get started, a few notes on the links. First of all, I don’t necessarily use or outright endorse all of these resources myself. Thing is, in compiling this list I started thinking, “Who am I to judge what is helpful for other writers?” My goal is to provide you with a starting point for online exploration, not tell you what to do. So if you hate some of this stuff? Fine, not my fault! If you love it? I take full credit!
Resources By Topic
There really is a lot of stuff here. I recommend bookmarking this page. Come back any time to browse, because it took me days to compile and it’s not going anywhere.
Help for Fiction Writers
Networking, Classes & Workshops
Starting Your Author Blog
Blogs By Writers
Writer’s Resources: Writing Prompts
Sometimes it’s not the writing that’s tricky. Sometimes it’s picking something to write about. Use these links for exploring different writing prompts for your blog, your personal journal, or even your next novel.
Ficly: A collaborative place for micro-fiction. Participate in user-created challenges and get your creative wheels spinning.
Plinky: Writing prompts change daily. You can upload images and then share your response on your blog or social media accounts.
Writer’s Digest Promptly Blog: Look for prompts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Includes flash-fiction prompts, activities and some Q&As.
Writing Prompts for Sci-Fi & Fantasy Lovers: A static page with 15 different Sci-Fi & Fantasy prompts to try. Don’t miss the other prompts for poetry and creative writing.
Red Writing Hood: Fiction or non-fiction writing meme. Prompts are posted Tuesdays, and you can link up your posts on Fridays.
Mama Kat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writing Prompts: Weekly writing prompts and link-up for networking with other writers and bloggers.
Writer’s Resources: Help for Fiction Writers
It doesn’t matter what part of the writing process has you stumped, it can be so frustrating to hit a wall. These writer’s resources for fiction writers get you through some of writing’s major challenges.
Guide to Literary Agents: Writer’s Digest blog written by Chuck Sambuchino. Don’t miss the blogroll in the sidebar. Killer reads there too.
Kurt Vonnegut’s Tips for Writing Fiction: How could I not include something Vonnegut? He was born in Indianapolis. Eight short rules to make you a better writer.
5 Ways Not to Write a Novel: Sometimes we learn what to do; sometimes we learn what not to do. Number 2 on the list is one of my personal pet peeves. (Yet, sometimes I still catch myself doing it.)
Character Profile Form: Simple, but oh-so-handy tool for creating memorable characters.
101 of the Best Fiction Writing Tips: A four-part series on Write it Sideways. Basically another link round-up like this one. (Hint: bookmark posts like these for browsing later.)
9 Questions to Create a Novel: Using these 9 questions, authors can clarify the scope of their work and identify themes.
Regional Vocabularies: Yes, I linked to a Wikipedia article. Just my way of suggesting that you do some research to make your characters’ dialogue truly authentic.
Top 10 History Blogs by Authors of Historical Fiction: A pretty rockin’ list for history buffs and historical fiction writers alike. List is compiled by author Michelle Moran.
Writer’s Resources: General Writing
These writer’s resources are potentially helpful and inspirational no matter what you write. Some funny and unorthodox, some straight-laced and in your face.
Biography Writer: For help with biography and memoir writing. The Members’ Memoirs section has a few gems worth reading too.
50 of the Best Websites for Writers: EduChoice.org has compiled a pretty extensive list of links broken down by category—some obvious sites listed here, some not so obvious.
How to Use an Apostrophe: Oh yes I did, because I love the Oatmeal. If you already know how to use an apostrophe, then have a chuckle or two.
The Hot Author Report: I notice THAR is not currently accepting reviews, but you can still jump to the query page to request a feature. Couldn’t hurt, right?
101 Tips to Overcome Writer’s Block: I usually just read, but find what works for you. Tons of stuff to try, but #25 seems pretty damn scary if you ask me.
30 Books to Read Before You’re 30: Good writers read. A lot. How many of these have you read so far?
Girls with Pens: Tips and Tricks for the Emerging Writer: Explore the site for posts of interest, and check out the writer’s resources Marcy and Linda have compiled.
Ambiguous Word List: Some words are more flexible than others. This rather nifty little list sorts words from most to least flexible and allows you to more info on synonyms, hypernyms and hyponyms. Cool for word nerds.
I Write Like: Just plain fun. Copy and paste text from your WIP or your blog and find out who you write like. (Apparently, I write like H.P. Lovecraft, 20th century master of weird fiction.)
Plague Words and Phrases: They make it sound so medieval, don’t they? Just some junky and clunky phrases to avoid in your writing.
How Viral PDFs Of A Naughty Bedtime Book Exploded The Old Publishing Model: A look at how Go the Fuck to Sleep went totally viral. An inspirational tale for aspiring writers.
40 Twitter Hashtags for Writers: I can’t say that I use all of these, but I use some. It’s a great way to find relevant follows as well as get new followers. Don’t forget to use the #WritersWeek hashtag this week to find other participants.
13 Writing Tips: I know, I know. Everyone has writing tips. But these aren’t just any writing tips; these are Chuck Palahniuk’s writing tips.
Tip of My Tongue: I’ve filed this one under “Things I Wish I’d Thought Of.” Looking for a word, but you just can’t get your brain to recall it? There just might be a way to find it after all. (There’s also an app.)
Why Copying Inspires Creativity: Think of Finding Forrester and maybe try copying a bit of something the next time you get stuck.
Manage Your Writing: The blog of my editing professor at IUPUI, Kenneth W. Davis, this site offers practical advice for sprucing up your business writing. (Hint: lots of these tips can be applied broadly across genres.)
Letter Writers Alliance: Writing improves with practice, and letters are a great way to practice. A blog friend of mine turned me on to this site.
Critique.org Workshops: If you really want to be an excellent writer, you want feedback on your work. Just one place you might look for peer review.
11 Stupidest Writing Mistakes: I love this post for the subheadings alone—constipated clauses, comma vomit, the death of adverbs, etc. etc. etc.
10 Grammar Rules You Can (And Should) Ignore: Breaking the rules of grammar is so much fun. It’s also very effective if you break the rules thoughtfully. As a linguistics minor and a language liberal, I heart this page.
Funds for Writers: A whole website dedicated to finding grants and other ways to financially support your dreams.
Poets & Writers: Lots of stuff to check out here, but I wanted to draw your attention to the fact that they maintain databases of creative writing contests and grants, MFA programs, and literary journals.
Writer’s Resources: Freelance Writing
If you’re looking to pad your wallet or put food on the table, freelance writing is a viable career. (Just ask me, I know!) These writer’s resources for freelance writers can help you write better, find better jobs, and earn more money.
Freshbooks: Cloud billing with custom logos and invoices. Freshbooks will even automatically send past due notices to help you stay on top of billing. I’m a Freshbooks user.
Word Count: Freelancing in the Digital Age: This is just one of those all-around good sites for information on freelance writing. Includes a weekly recommended reading feature, I think you’ll find helpful.
Writing Effective E-mail Copy: Meryl Evans will share more tips with us later in the week. For now, check out her tips for writing effective copy, and pay special attention to what she says about calls to action.
Freelance Writing Jobs: I get asked about 100 times per week where people can find freelance writing jobs. Here’s one place.
PoeWar: And here’s another place you might find some freelance writing job leads.
Freelance Success: This is a subscription site. I’ve never used it myself, and I didn’t get paid to link to it. I only bring it up because my experience with membership sites in general is pretty good. (People who pay for memberships like these tend to be more involved.)
How to Create a Client Pricing Package: Overall, Freelance Folder is a great resource. I picked this post in particular, because freelance writers—yes, even some veterans—tend to fret about setting fees.
Freelance Writing Jobs: One of the easiest ways I’ve found to monitor job postings is to subscribe to feeds in my reader (I use Google Reader) via RSS. These are some feeds you might want to monitor.
Your Elance Profile: I didn’t include an Elance.com link because I figure you’ve already heard of it. However, this post offers tips for creating a gig-snatching profile.
Writer’s Resources: Networking, Classes & Workshops
Networking, classes, and writer’s workshops are invaluable. Some are free, some aren’t. Ultimately, it’s up to you to investigate and find the opportunity that helps you achieve your goals and fits into your budget and schedule.
The Freelance Writers Den*: A subscription-based site for freelancers with an emphasis on learning how to earn more through webinars, articles, handouts, and teleclasses. $25 per month.
#WriteChat: I’ve participated in this fast-paced Twitter chat on Sunday afternoons, and highly recommend it. Weekly topics help guide the conversation.
Gotham Writers’ Workshop: Online and NYC-based workshops for just about every kind of writer. Looks like classes run about $300.
Tameri Guide for Writers: Writing workshop and seminar materials offered online. I think this could be a great resource for building your own local workshop with writers in your area.
Critique Circle: Workshops and critiques for all types of writers. I suggest checking out the FAQ page to get information about how the site works.
10 Universities Offering Free Writing Courses Online: ZOMG! I’m in love with this page, and am consider blogging my way through one of these online courses (after Writers’ Week is over, of course.)
10 Amazing Free Online Writing Courses: From Freelance Folder, these 10 courses focus on freelance writing skills with courses on marketing writing, journalism, and web writing.
The Crafty Writer’s Creative Writing Course: Another free online course. This one is offered by Fiona Veitch Smith and is designed for beginning writers.
Writer’s Resources: Starting Your Author Blog
Lots of authors blog as a way to market themselves and their works, but also as a way to develop a writing habit. Here you’ll find blogging resources that give you inspiration and questions to ponder.
Creative Something: This site isn’t just for bloggers, but it certainly works for bloggers. It’s a great reading if you’re looking for creative inspiration.
The Author’s Dilemma: To Blog or Not to Blog: Blog, Silly! There’s no question (at least in my mind). However, this article considers blogging styles and weighs the pros and cons for authors.
Three Keys to Successful Author Blogging: Some of these tips might seem obvious, but there are plenty of authors out there new to blogging. Consider your content focus, interacting with readers, and collaborating.
The Best Author Blogs: Another page from The Internet Writing Journal, this is a nice, compact list of author blogs you might want to follow.
YA Author Blogs: More blogs by authors—this time from Young Adult writers. (Psst! If you think you’re too old to read YA, you’re, like, so wrong.)
31 Days to Building a Better Blog: ProBlogger has a newer version of the 31 day challenge, but the one I’ve linked to is free. You’re welcome.
Five Reasons Why Blogging Improves Your Writing: I agree enthusiastically. I can attest to all five of these points personally, and feel that #1 is the most important thing for writers.
Writer’s Resources: Blogs By Writers
While compiling this list, Dan asked me, “How are author blogs resources for writers?” Hmph. How are they not?
Writer’s Resources: Miscellaneous Resources
Other random tidbits of information I didn’t want to pass up.
Ghostwriting for Beginners: Who doesn’t want to learn something from the Grumpy Old Bookman? Learn what you never knew you never knew about ghostwriting.
Writing Your Own Cookbook: Just a few helpful hints from from the blog of David Lebovitz on preparing to compile and publish your recipes in a cookbook.
Inkspot.com: If you’re looking for somewhere to host your writing portfolio online, this could work. Site is hosted by Writing.com.
7 Great Online Research Resources for Writers: Research is essential to writing well, even outside of the classroom. These suggested research resources come from Daily Writing Tips.
Resources for Romance Writers: Brought to you by Charlotte Dillon, this site is also listed as one of the top websites for writers by Writers Digest.
Resources for Children’s Writers: A pretty thorough list of resources for children’s authors created by Rachelle Burk. She covers it all from self-publishing to illustrators and images.
Online Poetry Resources: This site is maintained by the Academy of American Poets. I highly recommend the “On Writing” section listed under “Poets & Poetry.”
Web Resources for Journalists: Great, useful links for reporters presented in a no-nonsense fashion. Check out the links under “Schools of Thought.”
What’s Your Point of View: First person? Third person omniscient? What does it all mean? Exploring and discussing points of view in literature.
Query Letter Checklist: If you’re ready to start querying agents, check out Janet Reid’s Query Letter Checklist before you send. Short but sweet checklist of everything you should include.