As a writer and editor, Catherine C. Harris fully understands how difficult it can be to find the right resources for our writing needs. In this edition of the Top Ten List, visit the top ten websites for writers. You can write beautiful words that inspire emotion without any help, but knowing where to find people and guidance will help you along the road to publication. These organizations and web sites will help you on your writing journey.
One of the most important parts in being a successful, published writer is in knowing where to go for information. You can write beautiful words that inspire emotion without any help, but knowing where to find people and guidance to help you along the road to publication. There are liability issues, contracts to sign, and other things writers come across that can overwhelm an inexperienced writer. These organizations and web sites will help you on your writing journey.
The National Writer's Union (http://www.nwu.org) was founded in 1981. It is a trade union for freelance writers. All genres are welcome and supported. They have over 6500 members and 17 local chapters throughout the United States. Membership dues are decided according to the income you make as a writer. Although no genre is turned away from the NWU, they do have guidelines for writers wanting to join.
The benefits of being a member are numerous, from contract help to moral support. However, if you can't join right now, you can still benefit from visiting the MWU web site. You will find American Writer, a seasonal e-zine for writers, on their site. The Fall 2001 issue includes such topics as: the recent NY Times court battle, all-rights contracts, diversity in writing, being victimized by editors, and only writing for publications who pay a dollar per word.
Poets and Writers Online (http://www.pw.org) is a branch of a magazine by the same name. It's noted a resource for creative writers. They have an online preview of their print publication, Poets and Writers. They are quick to list current events, so this is important for any writer who wants to be "in the know" about things happening in the world of creative writing. It's very professional and crisp looking, and you'll want to set aside time to really digest what you are reading.
Writers Write (http://www.writerswrite.com) is near and dear to my heart. This was one of the first places I ventured to when I decided to pursue writing full-time. I met some wonderful people when I visited their chat room, and it gave me the courage to pursue my goals. There is a wealth of information at Writers Write, anything from how-to write a best selling article to market resources. You'll want to make this an Internet shortcut, as a book-mark hardly seems adequate.
Writers Net (http://www.writers.net) carries well-presented information that is useful to all writers. Whether you are a veteran writer, or are just picking up your pen for the first time, you'll find much needed inspiration and helpful advice here. You can become a member and list yourself among the writers, publishers, agents, and editors.
The Writer's Guild of America (http://www.wga.com) is a must see! They have current events listed in a way that begs to be read. You'll find yourself feeling like you've fallen into a Writer's Wonderland when you see this site. They have an Online Mentor program, a free newsletter, an agent list, and many more useful items.
Romance Writers of America (http://www.rwanational.org) is dedicated to the mass of writers who entertain the world with their works of romance. They host a contest and a conference. The web site is inviting with loads of information for romance writers.
Women Writers (http://www.womenwriters.net) hosts a listserv to help members keep in touch and contribute to the well-being of the group. You'll find informative articles and interesting tid-bits of information. This is a very bright and cheery site with a focus on women who write.
Mom Writers (http://www.momwriters.com) is another group close to my heart. I've been a member of this wonderful group for over a year. You'll find endless inspiration, encouragement, and insight. They were listed in Writer's Digest as one of the top 101 sites on the Internet for writers, so they certainly deserve a place here.
Freelance Writing (http://www.freelancewriting.com) produces a bi-weekly newsletter, hosts a networking center, publishes helpful articles, and lists markets for freelancers. You'll want to keep this site on your weekly "to-see" list.
Web Writer News (http://www.webwriternews.com) is a reader-friendly site with a focus on those people who write for on-line publications. Articles cover such topics as taxes, writing problems, and inspiration. You'll find the latest news in the web writing community at this site.
Be careful not to be a victim of information overload. Take a look at one of the sites each day, and try to process the information in short pieces. You'll get excited when you see all the information and networking opportunities that are available, but take it slow. It's better to process short bits and use them, than to run through them all and forget the next day.