Resources for Writers

How to Start a BlogThis page has lots and lots of resources for writers: from writing, to publishing, to self-publishing, to book marketing, to tools. As I find new helpful blogs or tools, I’ll add them.

And as links break and sites change, if you try a link and it doesn’t work, PLEASE let me know with an email to

Please put “Broken Link” in the subject box and include which link is broken. I’d sure appreciate it. Now, off we go:


Writing for Children with Karen Cioffi  (you’re already here!)
Writing and book marketing tips

Former agent Mary Kole discusses writing for children

Jane Friedman
Excellent writing, publishing, and book marketing tips

Writer’s Digest
Writing and Publishing

Write, Query, Publish (WQP)
Former editor of Writer’s Digest Guide to Literary Agents, Chuck Sambuchino, along with Brian Klems and Cris Freese (also from Writer’s Digest), created a new writing blog.

Helping Writers Become Authors
Tips on outlining and structure

One Stop for Writers
Amazing resource of writing tips for writers

Writers Helping Writers
Writing tips

Writer Unboxed
Group of writers discussing writing

Funds for Writers
Tips for the Freelance Writer, C. Hope Clark, Editor

Writers on the Move
Group of experienced authors giving writing and book marketing tips

The Winged Pen
Group of writers writing about writing

Sharing with Writers
Carolyn Howard-Johnson: writing and promotion

Writer’s Digest Questions and Quandaries
Online editor Brian A. Klems covers writing-related questions

Story Fix
Larry Brooks talks about the craft of writing

Jerry Jenkins
Best selling author with 190 books gives writing advice

Grammar – Quick and Dirty Tricks
Grammar Girl: For better writing

Evil Editor
Straight talking and humorous editor gives advice on queries, synopses, and the first pages of books.

Inky Girl
Debbie Ridpath Ohi offers tips, tools, inspiration, and links for writers of all kinds.

New York Times Best Seller Cynthia Leitich Smith has lots of resources for children’s and YA writers.

Tools and advice to DIY your master’s in writing

Better Novel Project
Deconstructs best selling novels

Daily Writing Tips
Grammar and freelance writing tips

David Villalva
Tips on writing a novel

From craft and skills to the business end of writing to the writing life

Write That Book
Podcast interviews with authors, agents, editors, poets, and illustrators

Writers in the Storm
Information on all aspects of writing and surviving writing

Writer Beware
An industry watchdog


Agent Query
A free, searchable database of agents with article and formatting tips

Association of Author’s Representatives
Lists over 400 agents who are members

Guide to Literary Agents
Chuck Sambuchino’s Guide to Literary Agents blog

Query Shark
Query Shark critiques fiction queries. You have to send a query to the shark for it to be considered.

Rachelle Gardner’s Rants and Ramblings
Life as a Literary Agent

Nathan Bransford
Former agent blogs about children’s books and much more

Janet Reid
Agent critiques fiction queries (for free). Submit your query and she may review it.

Nelson Agency
Literary agent Kristin rants about queries, writers, and the publishing industry

Book Ends
Literary Agency Blog

Books and Such
Literary agents talk about writing and publishing

Literary agent rants

Publishing and Marketing Blogs

Author Marketing Experts
Book marketing tips and advice from Penny Sansevieri

Seth Godin
Marketing tips

Michael Hyatt
Publishing pro (and Thomas Nelson CEO)

The Creative Penn
Self-publishing, book marketing, and writing

Great info on Kindle marketing

Brooke Warner
Writing and publishing tips

The Book Designer
Self-publishing and book marketing

Terry Cordingley
Book marketing and author publicity

WP Beginner
WordPress tips for beginners and on

Book Marketing Tools
Tips and tools

Self-Publishing Services

Note that when it says “no upfront costs,” it means you don’t have to pay anything upfront, but the company gets a percentage of each sale.

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
Allows you to create and sell e-books through the Kindle format – no upfront costs

Create and sell ebooks – no upfront cost – they get a percentage of the sales

Amazon Publishing
Amazon’s imprints for self-publishing

Dog Ear Publishing
Good one for picture books

Golden Box Books
Good one for picture books

Allows you to create and sell ebooks in several formats with no upfront cost

Packages offered. Also offers writing, publishing, and book marketing articles

Get a paperback published – they do picture books also – no upfront costs

Similar to Createspace  – not sure about picture books.

Self-Publishing Advice Center
Tips on all things self-publishing

10 Things Every Writer Should Know About Amazon Publishing

Please research any self-publishing company you’re thinking of going with. Make sure they’re reputable and know exactly what you’ll be getting for your money.

Resources and Online Tools for Writers

The Chicago Manual of Style Online
Answers readers’ questions

United States Copyright Office
Learn about copyrights

This is an excellent starting point for gathering information. It is NOT an end-all for fact checking though.

Self-Publishing Services Reviews
Alliance of Independent Authors review of self-publishing services / this site has excellent information for self-publishers

Winning Writers
Resources for poets and writers

Online dictionary and thesaurus

Names of people and places for research

Offers info on different cultures, folktales, etc

A program that helps you write better, by highlighting passages in your text that are either clichés, other overly-used common expressions, or phrases of your own that you have repeatedly used within the same document. ClichéCleaner includes a list of nearly 7000 unique clichés and common expressions that are compared against your text.

A robotic copy editor to help you refine your writing by finding common mistakes. To get started, paste a chapter of writing into the box below and click Edit! Don’t paste too much or the script will stop responding. This is still in the Beta stage.

Dolch Word List
Finding age appropriate words

Alchemist Name Generator lists forty random names (first and last) at a time.

Fantasy Name Generate lists dozens of names at a time

A FREE downloadable one-click English thesaurus and dictionary for Windows that can look up words in almost any program. It works off-line, but can also look up words in web references such as the Wikipedia encyclopedia.

The Institute of Children’s Literature
Teaches children’s writing

Wristband Express
Resource Guide to Writing Basics
Unique webpage that offers wrist bands with writing inspiration, writing ideas, and writing tips.

Dropbox (FREE 2 GB Online Data Storage Backup Service)
This is probably one of the most valuable tools you will have for your writing. Saving your work, and/or your clients work is an absolute must for all writers. Although zip drives are great, they do fail, so having an offsite service that will back up only the files you want is like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow . . . to writers anyway.

Free step-by-step instructions on how to create a WordPress website.

Make a Website Hub
Tips and guide to create your own website.

LaughingBird Graphics
To market effectively, you need to use graphics / images. They have lots and lots of options to create your own unique images, headers, and even social median banners. I use Laughingbird and like it so much, I’m an affiliate for the product.

Library of book cover templates to help you create the perfect cover.

How To Make a Website
Step-by-Step Guide From a Web Developer

How to Start a Blog: A comprehensive guide on creating a blog.

Writing and Marketing Groups, Programs, and Services

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
Has a yearly fee, but is a worldwide organization focusing on children’s writers and illustrators. It’s a great place for beginning and intermediate writers to ask questions, find lots of information, and find quality critique groups.

Author’s Den
Where authors and readers come together.

Connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults

Good Reads
Probably the largest site of readers discussing books and giving reviews.

Writer’s Market
Find places to sell your writing, whether you’ve got a book, manuscript, or article idea. Use information specific to your writing needs–whether you’re interested in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, children’s, scriptwriting, or agents–with their niche-specific pages.

Writers Relief
Submission service for Authors

Publisher’s Marketplace
Track deals, sales, reviews, agents, editors, and publishing news

The Literary Marketplace
Find information about book publishers, literary agents, illustration agents, and marketing

Writing for Children with Karen Cioffi
Specializing in ghostwriting and rewriting children’s picture books through middle-grade. The site also has great articles on writing – check out the blog.

Build Your Author/Writer Platform
4-week, in-depth eclass through WOW! Women on Writing that shows you how to start and build your author online platform: your website, blogging, social media, and email marketing

Things to Watch For in Your Writing and Book Marketing Journey

Three Ways to Avoid Copyright Infringement for Images on Your Blog
How to Avoid Using Images Illegally

Self-Publishing 3.0 Medium

FINALLY, if you know of a site that should be on this list, please let me know. If I think it’s a good fit, I’ll include it! You can let me know at