Sunday, December 06, 2009


Writer's Yearbook 2010: A Review

By Jill Earl

One of the things I look forward to at year’s end is picking up a copy of Writer’s Digest’s annual Writer’s Yearbook, another aid for helping writers be the best we can be.

I like ‘The Year in Review’, a rundown of the newsmakers and trends that made headlines in the publishing world. In addition, there’s the listing of the ‘Top 101 Websites for Writers’ that appears in the Digest itself.

My favorite section in the Yearbook continues to be the ‘100 Best Book and Magazine Markets for Writers’. I can count on finding a market or two that I’ve never heard of, and this compilation is a lot less overwhelming than its much larger sibling, Writer’s Market.

Don’t forget the usual helps such as dealing with rejection letters, crafting successful queries, advice on finding the right agent and the like. It’s these resources that keeps me coming back year after year.

The latest edition of Writer’s Yearbook can be found in bookstores. You can also find back issues at the F+W Publications site at

The Writer’s Yearbook. Check it out and get a jump on setting yourself up for a more productive and successful new year.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009


Making the ‘Write’ Connection on Facebook

By Jill Earl

Whether you’re a newcomer to Facebook, or know your way about the social networking site, you might be wondering if there’s an easier way to connect with writers. Take a peek at two of the resources I’ve found helpful.

First up is Creative Writing Sites on Facebook - an Index. Use it to look up authors' business pages, writing programs, writers' groups, writers' retreats and residencies, presses, magazines, workshop communities, the list goes on. According to the site, this index, which was established February 2008, is now at 840 listings.

Next is Creative Writing Blogs on Facebook - A Directory. Established December 2008 and comprised of 110 blogs so far, it’s great for locating writing-oriented blog networks and blogs.

Since both are open groups on the site, you’re free to list your own site or blog, useful for getting your name out there and networking with writing peers globally.

Keep in mind that you do have to join Facebook in order to access the directories and click through to the links, though.

Creative Writing Sites on Facebook

Creative Writing Blogs on Facebook

Check them out and make the ‘write’ connection on Facebook for yourself!

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Thursday, March 05, 2009


100 Fun and Useful Search Engines for Writers

by Jill Earl

I’ve always had a fondness for research. Throughout school, the prospect of choosing a topic, taking the data I’d acquire, picking it apart and trying to make sense of it all greatly excited me. As the Internet grew and flourished, so did my interest.

Imagine my excitement finding my way to the LearningXL blog on WordPress and finding ‘100 Fun & Useful Search Engines for Writers’. Assembled is a very useful list of websites to assist with conducting research, adding multimedia to your projects, developing business plans, and much more.

Need some help with researching industry trends? Zibb might be the stop for you. Want to add multimedia to a project? Glance at a multimedia engine such as Podscope for ideas. And if all that Googling’s made you cross-eyed, take a break with Yahoo! Kids.

Check the list right here:

You never know. That one resource you need for stand-out writing might be waiting with the next click of your mouse!

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Saturday, January 31, 2009


Keeping It All Together

By Jill Earl

When it comes to navigating this writing road I’ve chosen to take (or did it choose me?), I need all the help I can get. So when I kept seeing ads for a calendar tailored to writers, I wanted to check it out for myself. Especially since I noticed that Funds For Writers editor C. Hope Clark featured it in her newsletters.

The verdict? Again, a recommendation from Ms. Clark proves to be a winner. The Bylines Writer's Desk Calendar, created by editor and writer Sylvia Forbes, is a great tool for writers. Besides the prerequisite calendar, you can find weekly inspiration from fellow writers eager to share their triumphs and challenges. You can set up yearly, monthly and weekly goals with ease. There are a number of trackers for your use. You can even become a contributor for Bylines, although the submission deadline for 2010 is February 1st, 2009.

I’m definitely a fan of this little book! Makes organizing my life not only easier, but a bit more fun. Take a look for yourself at

And while we’re on the subject, when it comes to writing, what are some tools you use to keep it all together?

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009


A Quote A Day Brings Inspiration Your Way

By Jill Earl

Found a very interesting blog a few days ago, ‘Quotes on Writing’, created by writer Jim Harrington. Each post begins with a favorite quote of his, then addresses a specific writing topic that he’s used to help him grow as a writer.

Mr Harrington stated in a sidebar on his blog, “My purpose in writing this blog is to clarify in my own mind some of these topics and, hopefully, to stimulate the reader to do the same.” He pulls those quotes from resources such as articles, other websites and books.

In my opinion, he’s accomplished his goal. In the short time I’ve been checking out the blog, I’ve been stimulated by his thoughts and inspired by the quote on a specific day’s topic.

For instance, a quote from Kay Marie Porterfield’s article, ‘10 Reasons to Write Flash Fiction’ is the stepping-off point for the January 14th post, ‘Curing Prosaic Diarrhea’. Here, Mr. Harrington discusses how writing flash fiction helped him write in a concise manner, and he also offers tips to get started. I’ve already bookmarked that particular post for future reference.

Interested? Take a look for yourself at:

And let some quotes a day bring some writing inspiration your way.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008


Inked-In: A Place for Writers

By Jill Earl

After lurking about for a while, I made the decision. I’m joining Inked-In.

Not to be mistaken with Linked-In, the social networking site geared more towards professionals, Inked-In is tailored for writers, musicians and other artists, and is the social network of The Burry Man Writers Center, out of the British Isles.

You can expect many of the same features of other social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and the rest. With The Burry Man’s focus on providing resources for over a decade, established and emerging writers definitely have a place on Inked-In.

As I surfed my way through the site recently, I found someone looking for a poet to write liner notes for their CD. There was a encouraging post for writers dealing with ever-present rejection letters. Event notices came from cities around the U.S.

Of course, you can’t forget the numerous groups to join, such as ‘NaNoWriMo Participants’, ‘Indie Ink’, ‘I Write Because I Have To’ and ‘Fumbling Towards Discipline’, to name only a few.

Hmm, might have to give that last one a serious look.

Inked-In’s reach is wide-reaching. One my last visit, I noticed another new member from the Baltimore, Maryland area--Dundalk, to be precise. Only a short distance from me.

And in the end, it’s about community. An important--and necessary--aspect of the often-solitary life of a writer.

Go check it for yourself. There might be a place for you too.


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Friday, September 12, 2008


The Writer's Chatroom: More Than Just Small Talk

By Jill Earl

You’ve got to love the logo at the upper left corner of their homepage: a figure repeatedly banging its head against a computer keyboard! What writer can’t relate to that image?

This is home to The Writer’s Chatroom (TWC), a Writer’s digest ‘101 Best Websites for Writers’ winner. Editor Audrey Shaffer and the rest of the TWC crew consistently provide a variety of resources that support and encourage writers of all genres and levels of experience. I’ve been exploring the site for a while and definitely like what I’ve seen. Following are some of TWC’s features.

Celebrity Sundays
This is where to come for the week’s spotlighted writer at 7 PM EST. Scheduled guests include everyone from up-and-coming to more noted authors and others from the writing and publishing world. This chat is moderated so attendees get the most out of this time. Open to all, simply choose a username and click on the login button to join in.

Past guests have included Jenna Glatzer, Lea Schizas, C. Hope Clark and ‘Renegade Writer’ Diana Burrell and Linda Formachelli.

Open Chat Wednesdays
For a more informal chance to interact with fellow writers, join this unmoderated chat running from 8 to 11 PM EST, where any topic is up for grabs.

The Forum
Jump in to read posts, add comments, or start your own thread. Great networking opportunity.

Writers Chatroom blog
This is the discussion blog for TWC members.

‘The Bold and The Italics’
Did you know that TWC has its own soap opera? This recent addition to the site’s forum offers a peek into the ‘sordid lives’ of TWC participants. Check it out for yourself at

Four ‘episodes’ have been posted so far, and they’re such fun! A soap about writers, how cool is that?

TWC Newsletter
You’ll want to sign up for this so you won’t miss useful articles, upcoming chats and other announcements. It comes out at the beginning of the month and features a letter from Audrey herself.

So if you’re looking for a one-stop site for writers, check The Writer’s Chatroom at

It’s more than just small talk.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008


Can't Think of the Perfect Word? Think Flip!

by LuAnn Schindler

So, you call yourself a writer. But if you have friends or family who are similar to mine, they want the specifics: what exactly do you write? Calling myself a writer is fine. But sometimes I say I'm a freelancer, and that's still not specific enough. I could try one of these: author, biographer, calligrapher, columnist, composer, copyist, correspondent, critic, dramatist, editor, essayist, fabulist, hack, journalist, lyricist, novelist, playwright, poet, reporter, reviewer, scribe, scrivener or wordsmith.

Surely somewhere in that list of possibilities is a word that explains what I do for more than half of each day!

I have found a great source that cuts my frustration when I know what I want to say but the right word fails to come to my mind. Flip Dictionary by Barbara Ann Kipfer, Ph.D.. weights in at 692 pages and offers more than just specific words that separate a mundane sentence from a descriptive and accurate line.

Let's say I'm interested in writing about war. When I turn to that entry, not only do I get a list of specific words and related terms, but I also have a list of wars that have occurred throughout time.

This book has rightfully earned its place on my desk. It's been useful and guided me toward the word I couldn't think of several times!

Check it out and see if it can assist you when you can't think of the exact word you want to use.

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Friday, July 04, 2008


4th of July Blog Love

Happy 4th of July!! To celebrate this fun-filled day, I'd like to turn you on to some other writing blogs out there that have recently mentioned WOW! Thanks bloggesses ~ enjoy your independence, and write on!

Jennifer Mattern's All Freelance Writing is a great resource for the freelance writer focused on web content. Her site includes a job board and writer's markets.

Revision Notes by Darci Pattison provides solid information for the fiction writer in revision mode--which is where we always should be. ;)

Lori Calabrese Writes! is a fun and informative blog for the children's picture book writer. If you're looking to purchase your next picture book, Lori has recommendations! The blog also features children's book writing contests, writing articles, and writer's resources.

E. Lucas-Taylor's Freelance Job Board is for the hungry writer looking for freelance gigs and resources.

The Education & Tech blog has information-packed posts that focus on teaching, writing, and tech topics. If you're into learning more about blogging, SEO, and social media, check it out.

Cathy C.'s Hall of Fame has a variety of writerly topics written in a fun and conversational voice. If you get a chance, check out her blog on Wednesdays where she writes a column, "What Not to Do Wednesday." Great stuff!

The Coffee & Critique Writers Group has great energy and the feel of a writers group...because it is! It offers bite-size posts on writing tips, contests, book publicity and submission opportunities.

Danette Haworth's blog, Summer Friend, is a fun blog for writers, with a focus of writing for children and teens. Danette, the author of Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning, has a great voice and her posts are always full of great description. If you get a chance to stop by her blog, check out the pic she snapped of one of WOW's contest prize packs!

Ann-Marie Nichols' blog The Write Spot is a great resource for authors, freelancers, and businesses who want to promote their business by using social media and Web 2.0. And really, who doesn't?

And in other recent mentions, we thank the following for giving WOW! a shout out on their blogs:

So Many Books, So Little Time
Gala Darling
An Audience of Me
Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup - a nice interview with Debbi Michiko Florence!
The Wild Rose Press - Post by Allie Boniface on her book release (she mentioned us in her trivia section) ;)
Mama of Letters
Get Paid To Fart - Good review of freelance bidding sites, and nice mention of us.
Apathetic Lemming of the North - nice review of one of our articles.

Would you like to be featured in our next Blog Love post? All you have to do is write about the WOW! ezine or this blog and we'll find you! I do a monthly check on bloglines to see who's mentioning us. Thanks again to everyone who gave us a shout. :)

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