Saturday, April 30, 2016

Writing Resources - Z - Zenpen

Welcome to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Website! Our A to Z Challenge theme – Writing Resources!

There are a lot of great distraction-free writing tools out there. If you'd rather not download an app, though, ZenPen is a wonderful web-based alternative with a simple design and minimal clutter.

To use the editor, simply go directly to the ZenPen site. Erase the starter text and start writing your own. It supports basic formatting like bold, italics, quotes, and links. You can set a word count target and save the whole thing in HTML or plain text when you're done. That's it. If you really want to minimize distractions while you're writing, head to ZenPen and press F11 to full screen your browser.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Writer Resources Y - Young Writers Online

Welcome to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group website! Our A to Z Challenge theme – Writing Resources!

Young Writers Online

This is a community and forum for young writers.

There are dozens of forum topics and hundreds more in each category. Everything from writing to contests. An excellent place for young writers to hang out, network, and share.

Quotes for the day:

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” ― Ray Bradbury

“You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write.” ― Annie Proulx

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Writing Resources - X - XX Ways to Find Your Voice

It was a difficult scramble to fit a resource in for the letter X so I used X as a number instead of a letter. Writers hear about and talk about voice all the time. For new writers, the question is often, what is my voice? Or how do I find it. So take some encouraging wisdom from this link on How to Find Your Writer's Voice.

Only two days left in the Challenge but you can always refer back to all the resources shared on this site.

Did you ever have trouble finding your writing voice?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Writing Resouces - W - Websites and Books

Resource book:

Writing Past Dark by Bonnie Friedman

Resource websites:

Writers Weekly - Features a long list of articles about POD printing and publishing.

Wise Ink - Advice, writing tips, marketing, and more.

Where Writers Win - A large list of freelance editors.

Wikipedia - A large list of illustrators.

Wikipedia - A large list of distributors.

Word Central - A list of library distributors.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Writing Resources V - Verbix

Welcome to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group website! Our A to Z Challenge theme – Resources!

I know you're going to think Verbix is a really cool resource because it's a web-based tool that shows you how to conjugate verbs. You simply plug in the infinitive (base/root) word and Verbix will give you everything from present tense to future perfect tense – and don't forget all the other tenses in between.

See why I think it's a cool tool? And best of all, it's free! 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Writing Resources - U - Useful Links For Writers

Welcome to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group website! Our A to Z Challenge theme – Writing Resources!

Just when you thought you'd read every resources out there on creative writing ...

University Library: a starting point for young and old writers, chalked full of links to useful site. I.e. AWP, Peace Corps Writers, Writers Beware, the Writer's Market, just to name a few.

Teaching Ideas: from the UK, resources for running a creative writing class for students ages 5 - 11.

25 Helpful sites for Creative Writers: Links on grammar tips, writing prompts, peer critiques and advice on getting published. 

Josh Vogt: Links on agents, the craft, the business, queries, synopsis ... you name it. 

Isn't the internet a marvellous place!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Writing Resources – T – Ten Podcasts

Welcome to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Website. Our A to Z Challenge theme: Writing Resources.

Ten Great Podcasts for Writers
Podcasts are a great way of learning more about the craft, particularly while on the go. They also keep you up-to-date with industry news, often in an entertaining way. The trouble is finding the good ones. This link leads to ten great ones, and included is a helpful snippet about each so you can find the ones you like best.

If you enjoy listening to podcasts, which ones are your favorites?

Friday, April 22, 2016

Writing Resources - S - Storybird

Welcome to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group website! Our A to Z Challenge theme – Writing Resources!


Storybird is a family-friendly website for writers and readers of all ages. With the simple tools they provide, you can build a visual book (or visual poetry) within minutes for readers everywhere to enjoy. And it’s FREE! Select artwork from their vast collection and pair it with your words. Instantly it’s available online for feedback from their global community. You can engage with readers and use their input to inspire your stories. They even offer prompts to help you come up with a new story.

Storybird also has a Promotion Program for author’s stories that receive traction among readers. With this program they’ll help to push your stories to grow even bigger.

If you’re an artist, you can commission your exclusive artwork with them.

Or if you just love to read, why not use their over 5 million published stories to build your library?

What’s better than that? Well, kid writers (students) can get in on the fun as well.

Millions of people have taken advantage of this creative site already. Will you be next?

Tutorial on How to Use Storybird:

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Writing Resources - R - Renegade Writer

Welcome to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Website! Our A to Z Challenge theme – Writing Resources!

With a freelance focus, The Renegade Writer is a site which has a great collection of articles to help with your pitch or query.

The Renegade Writer concept is that to have a successful freelance career, you need to do what works for you — instead of blindly following the “rules” you see set forth in books, in magazines, and on blogs.

There’s lots of great advice such as - how to develop a querying style that works for you, overcome freelancing fear, get motivated, figure out your own systems for getting and doing work, earn more money as a freelancer, and basically boost your freelance writing career and reach your writing dreams.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Writing Resources - Q - Query Shark

Welcome to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group website! Our A to Z Challenge theme – Writing Resources!

Query Shark

Need help with your query letter?

Feeling brave?

Send it to Query Shark. Once a week, they post a query and provide suggestions. Sometimes they are brutal in their honesty! But it’s all to improve the query letter and show other writers how to/how not to write one.

Quote for the day:

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives. – William A. Foster

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Writing Resources - P - Preditors and Editors

Here's another must-use resource for the veteran and novice writer.

Preditors and Editors has been around as long as I've been writing. Yes, they spell predators wrong so it will rhyme with editors, The list of what they offer is too long for here but check the site for scams, health of publishers and so many other things a writer will find interesting. With so many things in the literary world changing too quickly to keep up with, especially publishers going belly up, it pays to have someone else keeping an eye on things.

Publetariat is a site that talks about all aspects of writing. One thing I like about it are the tips on networking and promotion. Check it out and maybe find a new idea.

"We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master." Ernest Hemingway

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” 
― Maya AngelouI Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Have you used Preditors and Editors to check on a publisher before submitting? Have your provided them with an alert? Do you agree with Ernie that no writers ever become masters?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Writing Resources - O - Websites and Books

Resource book: 

On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser

Resource websites:

Overdrive - E-book distributor - must have ten titles to be considered.

Off the Shelf Book Promotions - Book promotion services.

Over 700 Book Publishers - A searchable list of book publishing companies.

One Stop For Writers - A powerhouse of reference tools, descriptive thesauri, and more.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Writing Resources - N - NaNoWriMo

Strictly speaking, Nanowrimo isn't a resource, but since it has helped millions of writers the world over, it has earned its place as an icon in the world of scribes.

Writers over the globe anticipate National Novel Writing Month (November each year) which is when they can cast aside their inhibition and lock up their internal editor while writing to their heart's content.

The aim is to write 50,000 words in 30 days and while many do not have a complete novel at the end of November, a vast amount of writers go on to polish and publish their NaNo novels in the following months.

Nanowrimo is so immensely popular, it has spawned CampNaNoWriMo (that's where you write a novel in a month) and A Young Writer's Programme. In 2015, over a billion words were written during NaNowrimo.

If you haven't yet tried it, pop on over to the site and see if it may possibly be your big adventure in 2016.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Writing Resources - M - Men With Pens

Welcome to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group website! Our A to Z Challenge theme – Writing Resources!

Men With Pens

Since 2006, Canadian based James Chartrand’s Men with Pens has helped writers, bloggers and businesses create engaging copy and market their writing to thousands of readers. If you want to achieve better results with your writing and earn more money as a freelance writer, check out the extensive archives.

"No fluff, no BS, no artsy-fartsy."

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Writing Resources – L – Literary Rambles

Welcome to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Website. Our A to Z Challenge theme: Writing Resources.

Literary Rambles
Run by Natalie Aguirre and Casey McCormick, Literary Rambles is an amazing resource for writers. For me, the worst part of querying wasn’t the rejections, it was the hours spent researching agents to make sure they were a good fit. Well, at Literary Rambles, they’ve done all that hard work for us. They provide an extensive list of agents who represent Young Adult, Middle Grade, Picture Books and Chapter Books. And they’ve organized the in-depth information in a way that is easy to access, and a joy to read through. No more digging, hunting, or frustration from scouring through search engines, looking for morsels of helpful information.

Not only do they provide up-to-date information on agents, but they are also heavily supportive of the writing community. Their blog includes interviews with authors and agents, book features, and generous giveaways.

If you haven’t already, check out this website. It’s brilliant.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Writing Resources - K - Written? Kitten!

Welcome to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group website! Our A to Z Challenge theme – Writing Resources!

This writing resource is for all of my cat lovers out there. :)

But don’t worry dog or bunny lovers. You can get in on this too!

Do you need motivation to reach your word count?

Written Kitten is a simple website that awards you for writing by giving you pictures of kittens (or puppies or bunnies). All you have to do is select what cute animal picture you’d want, how often, and then start writing in the text box they provide. Whenever you reach your word count goal, they’ll give you a kitten picture to boost your motivation to keep writing.

Just as you can change your preference from kitten to either puppy or bunny, you can also change the word count from 100 to 200, 500 or 1,000.

The images come from Flickr’s “most interesting” photos of the cuddly animal you select.

This is a great website for writers using NaNo too. It keeps track of your word count, saves your work if you have the appropriate web browser, and is a fun motivator.

FYI: Don’t be disappointed when you select puppy or bunny and you still get a cat picture after your first 100 words. It’ll change with your next 100 words. Same goes if a picture doesn’t show up at first. Just keep writing!

I tested it out. It works!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Writing Resources - J - Janice Hardy's Fiction University

Welcome to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Website! Our A to Z Challenge theme – Writing Resources!

Fiction University

Janice Hardy started Fiction University back in 2009 with one goal in mind:
To offer writers ways to build a solid foundation for their writing. To provide tips and advice they could take right from these articles and apply directly to their work in progress. She wouldn't just say "show, don't tell" -- she'd give clear examples and advice on how to do that.

Not everything suggested on this site is going to work for everyone, but that's just the way writing is. There is no "right" way to write, there's just finding the process that works for you. It's frustrating to be told "you must do this" when "doing that" is more your style.

The site schedule is as follows:
Monday: Writing Article: Janice Hardy shares general writing tips and advice. 

Tuesday: The How They Do It column. Visiting authors and publishing professionals share tips, advice, and wisdom. As an added twist--throughout the year we'll also hear from a writer "In the Trenches" and gain some insight from those still in the submission stage. It's far too easy for writers to feel alone during this tough stage of their careers, and these articles will show that they're not alone.

Wednesday: Writing Article: Janice Hardy shares general writing tips and advice.  

Thursday: Indie Authors column. Contributing authors share information and tips for those looking to self publish, covering a variety of topics from detailed how-tos to creating an e-book, to overviews on self publishing trends and philosophies.

Friday: Refresher Fridays. There are over 1500 solid writing articles on the site, and each week we'll rerun a helpful article from the archives you might have missed the first time around.

Saturday: Real Life Diagnostics. Part critique, part teach tool, Janice diagnoses reader submitted works in progress and answers questions pertaining to those works.

Sundays: Writing Prompts. Various prompts are offered to inspire and encourage you to write. Some are for the fun of it, while others are designed to build a skill or challenge you to push yourself.