Writing Tools

Below is a quick list of writing/publishing resources for both veteran and aspiring authors.

 

Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR)

The AAR is a nonprofit membership organization with professional literary and dramatic agents as members. According to the website:

Agents must meet the AAR’s minimum experience requirements and agree to adhere to its Bylaws and Canon of Ethics. Members in the Literary Branch represent authors in all areas of publishing, including the granting of primary publishing rights, as well as subsidiary rights in their clients’ works. Agents in the Dramatic Branch represent playwrights and the rights to their plays.

Writers seeking representation are invited to search our public roster of members for appropriate agents, which can be found under the “Find an Agent” tab on the website. The list is organized by name, office and email address, and genres represented. Authors can be confident that our agents pledge to follow the highest standards of professional conduct in serving the needs of their clients.

 

AuthorTube

AuthorTube is a community on YouTube where published and yet-to-be-published writers post videos on writing-related content. This could be anything from vlogs of their personal writing journey or how-to videos on the craft of writing.

This is not to be confused with BookTube, although there is some overlap. BookTube is another community on YouTube where creators post videos related to books, and they aren’t necessarily writers (though they can be).

Below are some (flipping amazing) AuthorTubers:

 

Books

Not that we need to tell you to read more with your TBR pile competing with the height of the Empire State Building, but make sure to read in the age group and genre you are writing in. This way, you know what is selling in today’s marketplace.

 

Free Writing Events

Mica Scotti Kole launched a website and newsletter, where writers can find free writing events and pitch opportunities, such as literary contests as magazines and Twitter pitch contests.

 

Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman is the co-founder of The Hot Sheet newsletter and has previously worked for F+W Media (who owns Writer’s Digest) and the Virginia Quarterly ReviewHer blog covers a diverse array of content, from author platforms, to how to use adjectives, to how to become a best seller, to the business of writing.

 

Manuscript Wish List (#MSWL)

Jessica Sinsheimer and a team of experts created Manuscript Wish List, allowing people to locate literary agents and editors who may be interested in their manuscript. Manuscript Wish List (also called #MSWL) lists not simply age groups and genres, but also setting, plot, retellings, and more that may spark that professional’s interest.

A similar website is MS Wishlist, which houses tweets from publishing professionals who are announcing manuscripts they’d be interested in seeing.

 

Podcasts

Many publishing industry professionals, such as literary agents, authors, and editors, host their own podcasts where they share publishing industry insight. Here are a few of my favorites:

 

Publisher’s Marketplace

Publisher’s Marketplace is the home to the listing of publishing deals. For a monthly fee of $25, you can see what agents sold what books/what editors or publishing houses purchased select books and a brief description about the manuscript and author.

This is an excellent tool for weeding out schmagents.

 

SavvyAuthors

SavvyAuthors is a website that houses tools, classes, and networking opportunities for both veteran authors and aspiring novelists. They also post regular blogs from guest writers, who dive into various aspects of the industry.

 

Twitter

Twitter has become a hub for activity in the book publishing industry. Writers, literary agents, and editors have all congregated on this social media platform to share knowledge and network. There are also pitch contests, where writers have the opportunity to pitch their work (in a single tweet) with the hope of sparking the interest of agents and/or editors.

Here are a few hashtags to keep an eye out for:

  • #amwriting
  • #amediting
  • #amquerying
  • #AskAgent
  • #ontheporch
  • #tenqueries / #10queries

 

Writer’s Digest

Writer’s Digest is a print and digital magazine, publishing content and resources for the writing community. Editors, literary agents, and authors can often be seen as contributors in their publications.

 

Writer Beware

Writer Beware is an excellent resource to weed out “schmagents” (scam literary agents) and publishers who, essentially, aren’t legit. They discuss ongoing scams, who not to query, publishers to avoid, and more. There is even a page on self-publishing: the cost, how it compares to traditional publishing, and possible scams (unqualified/inexperienced  and deceptive service providers).

Here’s an excerpt from their website:

Writer Beware is sponsored by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, with additional support from the Mystery Writers of America, the Horror Writers Association, and the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

Like many genre-focused writers’ groups, SFWA, MWA, HWA, and ASJA are concerned not just with issues that affect professional authors, but with the problems and pitfalls that face aspiring writers. Writer Beware, founded in 1998, reflects that concern.

Learn More About “Schmagents”:

 

Writers Helping Writers

Writers Helping Writers is a website that hosts a plethora of tools and resources for writers, including a character arc progression tool, setting checklist, character profile questionnaire, editing services, recommended writing communities, and so much more. The website was co-founded by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, both of whom regularly post writing-related resources on their respective social media platforms.

They also founded the website, One Stop for Writers, and created the writing thesaurus series.

 

Didn’t see a resource you love on this list? Send Meg a message! She’s always looking for new, insightful resources to the writing/publishing industry.