Resources

Looking to get into writing and maybe get published? Try these trusted links and articles.

I wrote my first book and began my publishing journey at age 31 while nursing a baby on my couch in Atlanta. Everything I learned about editing, agents, and the publishing business came from free online resources, many of which are below. You do not have to pay anyone to query or get published; money flows toward the writer. I found my agent through the slush pile. Slush works!

 

Classes

I regularly teach online classes at LitReactor, including Worldbuilding 101 and NaNoFixMo.

Writers Digest is another great place to learn online. My agent, Kate McKean, teaches there.

Here's a list of 40 Free Educational Websites, including TED, Khan Academy, and many universities.

 

Cheat sheets

My post on 25 Steps to Being a Traditionally Published Author

And a condensed, one-page resource for Writing Women, Writing Sex

Need a cheerleader? Read this collection of tweets on why you are a writer. You can do eet!

Motivational Tweetstorms on Writing Topics

On my writing process and time cogitating vs. working

On networking and cons

On what I wish I'd known as a new writer (with bonus Chuck Wendig thread)

On wardrobe as an author, especially female presenting

On book reviews and criticism 

On getting caught in anxiety loops and micro obsessions 

On the importance of synchronicity and the subconscious when writing 

On The Arena and imperfection

On querying and when to move on

On getting out that first draft no matter what and ignoring The New Shiny

On writing IP (intellectual property) like Star Wars, Star Trek, etc.

On how to come back from depression or grieving as an artist

 

On Writing, Books, and General Publishing

Book - On Writing by Stephen King (I consider this book the #1 resource in my writing career)

Book - Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Agent Blog - Janet Reid

Agent Blog - Jennifer Laughran (now archived, but her top posts are linked)

Agent Blog - Kidlit.com (site of agent Mary Kole)

Writing Blog - Fiction University by author Janice Hardy

Writing Blog - Terrible Minds by author Chuck Wendig - NSFW, but terribly helpful writing advice

For new/aspiring authors: Debut Author Lessons from author Mary Robinette Kowal

For new/aspiring authors: JT Ellison's Networking Do and Don't List

 

Finding Agents

AgentQuery - online database of agents, searchable by genre

QueryTracker - online database of agents, searchable by genre

SFWA's guide to agents

Preditors and Editors - Make sure an agent doesn't have a bad reputation

 

Querying

Queryshark - Agent Janet Reid tears apart queries (The #1 way to learn how to write a query!)

Writer's Digest - specifically How I Got My Agent and New Agent Alerts

Absolute Write Forums - join, post your query, and have it critiqued

Verla Kay's Blue Boards - forum for picture books, middle grade, YA

 

My articles and guest blogs on writing topics:

Why We Shouldn't Sugarcoat YA at Book Riot

15 Blood-spattered Tips for Writing Violence at Terrible Minds

25 Humpalicious Steps for Writing Your First Sex Scene at Terrible Minds

How to Write a Novella at Fiction University

Things I Learned from Things I Learned from #RWA13 at Fiction University

30 Tips for Surviving Your First (Or Any!) Writing Conference

25 Damned Dirty Lies About Publishing at Terrible Minds

25 Things I Learned About Becoming a Hybrid Author (After Two Days) at Terrible Minds

How to Throw an Epic Book Launch Party at the Holy Taco Church

 

Swag and printing

Ninth Moon for bookplate design and printing

Moo.com for mini business cards with as many images as you want

Vistaprint.com for wine bottle labels, business cards, and general printing

 

My #1 Writing Advice

1. Read a lot of books in a lot of genres. Keep your mind nimble and open.

2. Write a lot. Stephen King says you have to write at least a million words before you have any talent.

3. Especially until you know your process, write your first draft through, start to finish, without editing or jumping around.

4. Be gracious about criticism and use it to improve your writing. You don't have to accept all of it, but you do have to consider it carefully and thank people for their time.

5. Only take advice from people who are where you want to be. There are an awful lot of people out there who promise they'll teach you how to write a bestseller... but they have never written a bestseller. Be especially wary if someone wants money to publish you or says their way is the only way. There are infinite paths, and there is no one guaranteed way to success.

6. If it's really important to you, never give up. It's not over until you quit writing.

Good luck! And if you have specific questions, ask me on Twitter, @DelilahSDawson. I'm always happy to help, especially in 140-character bursts.