There are a huge number of resources floating around the internet that might be of value to a writer – but sometimes finding the right book or website can be a trial in itself. For that reason, I present here a brief and comprehensive index that should tell you how to find absolutely anything you might need as a writer.
If you live in the UK, you can benefit from a copy of the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook, which lists agents in the UK and abroad. For an online resource try Agent Hunter, which requires a small fee, but is thorough enough to be worth your time. If you live in the USA, give the Writer’s Market a try.
A Literary Magazine
Duotrope is the definitive resource when it comes to literary magazines. Their database is huge, searchable, and regularly-updated. Not only that, but they track response times and acceptance rates. They charge a monthly fee, but they may just be worth the money. NewPages is also worth a look – they post calls for submissions to literary magazines on a regular basis. Ralan is good for speculative and genre magazines. There’s also Neon’s own list of UK-based literary magazines to consider.
Try the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook if you live in the UK, and the Writer’s Market if you live in the USA. Both these books provide comprehensive listings of publishers in their respective countries. If you’re looking to publish poetry, Neon’s own list of UK-based poetry publishers might be worth a look.
Apples & Snakes organises and catalogues a huge variety of poetry and writing-related events in the UK. Try their website to find something close to you. There’s also Literaryfestivals.co.uk, which lists over three-hundred literary festivals in the UK alone. Finally, there’s also Neon‘s calendar of writing events and deadlines.
The Right Word
Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com both do what you might expect, and are reasonably good at it. There’s also the Urban Dictionary (for slang), the OneLook Reverse Dictionary (for when you know what you want to describe but don’t know the word) and WordReference (for other languages and translation). Finally, if you’re looking for interesting ways to describe a particular emotion, then the Emotion Thesaurus (Provided by The Bookshelf Muse) could be the thing for you.
Booktrust maintains a list of upcoming writing competitions in the UK and Ireland, as well as administering several contests of their own. You can also check out Neon‘s calendar of competition deadlines.
If you’re looking for some constructive feedback on your work, Critique Circle is an excellent place to find it online. You could also seek out an in-person writing group close to you. Try NAWG (the National Association of Writers’ Groups) or Meetup as a way to locate one in your home town – or simply ask at your local library. Finally, Tethered By Letters offers a free professional editing service to its active members.
Support And Advice
There are a number of great organisations dedicated solely to supporting writers and helping them develop their craft. Try Spread The Word (London), Writing East Midlands, Writing West Midlands, NAWE (for writers in education), the Society of Authors, or the Writers’ Centre (East of England).
Writing can be a lonely task, so you might want to make friends with some other writers. There are a number of online forums which can be a good starting point, including Kindle Boards, Writingforums.org, Writingforums.com, and Critique Circle. Alternatively, you can sign up to Collabant, and receive a new suggested collaborator at the start of every month. You can also find other writers in the real world by joining a writers group – try NAWG (the National Association of Writers’ Groups) or Meetup to find one local to you – or ask one of the librarians at your local library.
Reviews And Reviewers
Finding reviewers for your book can be a daunting task. The Indie View maintains a list of independent book reviewers which can be very helpful. Running a giveaway on Goodreads, or soliciting reviews on Twitter can also give good results. Don’t forget about Neon‘s own reviews section, where we write about short story and poetry collections.
Good Books To Read
Within the UK there’s a surprising amount of funding available for writers who need it. Your first port of call should be the appropriate Arts Council for your region (England, Ireland, Scotland, or Wales). Next should be the Society of Authors, who award a number of prizes and benevolent grants, including funding to allow authors with a work in progress extra time to write.
If you live in the USA, the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) is the federal organisation which distributes state funding for the arts.