Originally provided to attendees of the Staycation, this list of resources compiled by Zahara over the years will guide you through writing your book (or other project), revising it, networking with other writers, finding an agent, and cultivating your artistic life.
Zahara’s Top Two Resources for New Writers
As a new writer, the most important things you can do for yourself are to improve your craft as a writer, learn the business of writing, and build a community with other writers. Here are my top two resources for taking those steps:
1. Subscribe to Poets and Writers Magazine
The rest of the resources on this page are meant to be helpful to writers at any stage in of the process, from beginners to published authors.
Conferences and Writing Retreats
AWP (The Association of Writers & Writing Programs) Conference
Academically-oriented conference also has opportunities to meet agents.
August every year in Vermont, literary focus, with some events open to the public.
Wesleyan Writers Conference
In Connecticut every June
Yale Writers Conference
Split This Rock-BiAnual Poetry Conference, DC
A fabulous poetry and social change event; save the date March 27-30, 2014
Thrillerfest, June in NYC
Flathead Writer’s Conference September in Montana http://www.authorsoftheflathead.org/
Saint Augustine Writer’s Conference October in Florida http://staugustinewritersconference.com/
Salt Cay Writer’s Retreat October in the Bahamas http://saltcaywritersretreat.com/
New York Writer’s Pitch Perfect Conference November in New York http://newyorkwritersworkshop.com/nyww-fiction-pitch-conference
Algonquian Writers’ Conferences Throughout the year, including pitch events http://www.algonkianconferences.com/conferences.htm
Local and Regional Events
Bay to Ocean Writer’s Conference, MD
Baltimore Writers’ Conference
Virginia Center for the Creative Arts
Maryland Writers Conference
Conversations and Connections
Includes speed dating with editors, mostly for DC area writers.
Library of Congress Book Festival http://www.loc.gov/bookfest/
More on Writer’s Retreats:
Agents, Publishers, and the Business of Writing
Poets and Writers Agents Listings
Association of Authors Representatives
Website for legitimate agents
Email List about publishers (free email and optional paid upgrade to access database)
Free, searchable database of literary agents.
Free, searchable database of agents and publishers.
Including this page: well-known authors and their agents
Learning the Business of Writing: Tips from Zahara from Ask an Agent Class Originally created as a handout for the Ask an Agent class, this document provides a quick reference for building a platform, moving from self-publishing to mainstream publishing, tracking queries, and joining conferences and writer’s associations.
Show Me the $$$! – A list of paying literary magazines: www.thereviewreview.net/publishing-tips/show-me-literary-magazines-pay
Searchable database of fiction and poetry markets. Currently on a subscription model of $5/month, which includes access to personal submissions tracking software.
The Submissions Grinder- A subscription-free, but smaller, database like Duotrope. http://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com/
Absolute Write Water Cooler
Authors’ forum including sections for networking, critique (password-protected), genre, and research and background checks on publishers and agents.
Preditors and Editors – Watchdog organization ensuring writers get fair deals and escape literary scam artists. http://pred-ed.com/
Romance Writers of America
Conference in CA
Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
Annual Awards and other events
Historical Novel Society, London
Horror Writers Association http://www.horror.org
Western Writers of America http://www.westernwriters.org
National Writers Union: http://www.nwu.org
Authors Guild: http://www.authorsguild.org
Writers Guild of America: http://www.wga.org
Applications and Software
Storyist-For Mac only
Dragon Dictate, Dragon NaturallySpeaking-Speech-to-text generators for when you feel like writing, but not typing.
Publications & Books about Writing
Poets & Writers Magazine
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Write the Perfect Book Proposal: 10 That Sold and Why by Jeff Herman and Deborah Levine Herman (nonfiction)
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne
Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass
Mentoring & Manuscript Review
A local option: Signature Printing, Gaithersburg MD
Patrick Ross–“Creativity, Writing, and an Art-Committed Life”
An agent with Nelson Literary, LLC ‘rants’ about queries, working with writers, and news in the publishing industry
Upstart Crow blog
The blog of the staff at Upstart Crow Literary Agency
A literary agent gives the how-tos of writing, submitting, publishing, and marketing your book
Chuck Sambuchino’s Guide to Literary Agents Blog
The author of Writer’s Digest Guide to Literary Agents 2010 blogs about preparing a submissions package and book platform, finding an agent, and marketing.
Literary agent with a strong community following
A YA (young adult) literary agent blogs on publishing
Janice Hardy—Published author offers step-by-step guidance through writing and publishing process
StoryFix—Novel Writing Tips and Coaching
Write a Novel in a Month
National Novel Writing Month A community of writers who commit to write 1,667 words per day for the month of November–leading to 50,000 words in all, the minimum for a completed novel. Campnanowrimo.org
Write a Novel in Three Days
The 3-Day Novel Marathon: write a novel in a marathon spurt over Labor Day weekend. Outlines encouraged, but the action text of the novel must be completed over Labor Day weekend! The site has lots of resources for writers in a rush, as well as copies for sale of previous years’ winners: http://www.3daynovel.com/writing-resources/
TED TALK: Billy Collins
Billy Collins and Mary Oliver-Music Center at Strathmore
Sunday October 28, 2012 3:00pm
Doodle scheduling software
DropBox–access your word documents anywhere
Project Dialect–does your Midwestern character call it “Coke” or “pop”? And more! http://www4.ncsu.edu/~jakatz2/project-dialect.html