resources for writers and bloggers

#1. THE PRACTICING WRITER

Erika Dreifus, author of Quiet Americans (fiction) and a professional freelance writer and book reviewer, keeps up the incredible blog The Practicing Writer. What makes Erika’s blog unique is that she only focuses on paying opportunities. Updated several times a week, Erika makes sure that her readers know about submission opportunities she’s heard about and contests that require no fees. She’s a friend to any writer who insists on being paid for work. (No “payment in exposure” opportunities will be found on Erika’s blog.) Erika also keeps up a separate blog called My Machberet to inform writers with Jewish content about paying and some non-paying opportunities. (It’s a smaller pool for Jewish content in BOTH categories as is!) Finally, Erika’s monthly newsletter is FULL of submission deadlines and other great information for writers.

#2. BEYOND YOUR BLOG

Beyond Your Blog is a site run by Susan Maccarelli, who generously spends a great deal of time keeping bloggers up to date on how to get their work on sites “beyond their blogs.” She is constantly updating Beyond Your Blog’s Facebook page with submission opportunities for sites or anthologies, and she also records podcasts with editors of popular sites and anthology series with great tips on how to break into those markets. While many of the opportunities Susan reports on are not paying ones, I still think regularly checking in with what she’s found is well worth any blogger’s time. I don’t share Susan’s readers’ warm feelings for The Huffington Post, but otherwise I love Susan’s community of supportive bloggers who lean more towards the writing front than the brand representation front.

#3. WRITER UNBOXED

Writerunboxed.com was the first writing site I ever read (about eight years ago), and I’ve stayed a fan ever since. The site is updated daily from one of the many writers on staff with either a craft lesson or a discussion of the business of writing. I appreciate the site because the main focus is on the art of writing and not just about finding an agent, etc. You can, however, still find some of those helpful business tidbits. The Writer Unboxed team is having their first writing conference in November. I can’t attend, but if they do it again it’s for sure one I would seriously consider. I also had a Twitter tips column with Writer Unboxed a few years ago. It was so much fun, and they were so good to me.

#4. THE WRITE LIFE

Good craft and practical articles about the writing life. I especially liked this recent one, “19 Websites and Magazines That Want to Publish Your Personal Essays.”

#5. THE HERSTORIES PROJECT

Jessica and Stephanie of The HerStories Project are quickly becoming experts in publishing anthologies and providing great online classes for writers and bloggers. They always have new classes or anthology submissions in the works. Check out the site to see what’s happening currently.

#6. THE REVIEW REVIEW

Led by Becky Tuch, who I had the pleasure of meeting a few years ago at a writing conference in Boston, The Review Review reports on the world of literary magazines. Becky and others who write for the site interview editors, review literary magazines, and keep readers up to date on contests and what lit mags are looking for in general. There is also a great area on the site to look for literary magazines by genre.

#7. DUOTROPE, NEWPAGES, AND SUBMITTABLE

If you like to keep track of interesting submission opportunities, it’s a good idea to follow Duotrope, Newpages, and Submittable either on Facebook or Twitter.

#8. ANNE R. ALLEN’S BLOG

Anne and her blog partner, Ruth Harris, provide a craft or “business of writing” lesson every Sunday. Each post ends with submission opportunities as well.

#9. MY TWITTER AND BLOGGING TIPS

Hey, it’s my blog. Obviously I have to draw your attention to my series of Twitter and blogging tips where I talk about why I follow people on Twitter (and why I don’t), why certain kinds of thank yous on Twitter feel disingenuous and over the top, and my general thoughts on Twitter etiquette, using Twitter lists, and much more. I have a few posts with blogging tips, too.   

#10. READ WIDELY AND PAY ATTENTION TO BIOS

The most important way to get work into new venues is to read the sites and literary magazines that catch your eye. There’s no way around this. If you’re blindly submitting to random sites and journals, you’re much less likely to be able to show the editors that you understand their publication. I also tend to read the bios of the writers if I like an essay or story. Here’s a list of places I’ve had fiction published, which might introduce you to some new literary journals. And here’s the list for nonfiction.

I HOPE THIS POST INTRODUCES YOU TO A RESOURCE YOU HAVEN’T SEEN BEFORE! I truly believe that the writing world works best if people share. An atmosphere of competition is unnecessary. There is more than enough space out there for all of our words.

Have a great week, writers!

Photo credit is MINE. I took that picture when I was organizing all of my essays and stories into binders. It was a really time consuming but fulfilling project


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Nina Badzin is a freelance writer, an advice columnist at The HerStories Project, a book reviewer at greatnewbooks.org, and a co-founder of The Twin Cities Writing Studio. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and four children.

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