The Internet School of Writing

As writers we are constantly bombarded with ways to spend our money to improve our craft. Phenomenal conferences, star-studded workshops, weekend retreats. Quite the smorgasbord of expensive writerly treats.

The truth is: you don’t need to spend another dime.

You can find tons of inspiration, tutorials and writing wisdom through blogging. Here are a few blogs that dispense plenty of useful advice at a price everyone can afford.

Adventures in Children’s Publishing
If you don’t already follow these ladies, you should. Their Friday roundups of blog posts are legendary. You could literally spend all day reading the amazing links they find each week. Their WoW Wednesdays posts are instructive and inspiring, and on Mondays they highlight new releases, often with giveaways.


Laura Pauling
This chick can analyze story structure in books like no one I’ve ever seen. Her posts are so good at showing what makes a story work. People always say that reading is the best teacher. I say read with Laura. Check out the books that she analyzes and then re-read her posts. It will help you understand the craft behind a good story and help you on the way to improving your own novels.


The Other Side of the Story
I just recently discovered this blog and holy smokes, what a treasure trove of information. Author Janice Hardy has more than 500(!) articles on planning, writing and editing your novel and it’s beautifully organized to make finding what you’re looking for a cinch.

The Bookshelf Muse
Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have put together multiple thesauruses for writers. With lists of descriptive words for emotions, setting, symbolism, and more, these ladies are a great resource when you’re at a loss for words.

Literary Rambles
Casey McCormick does a ton of research to help writers find agents. Her profiles on people who rep books for kids should be your first stop once your manuscript is polished. She is constantly updating the information and if you don’t see the agent you’re looking for, you can email her your suggestion for a future profile. In addition to the agent profiles, Natalie Aguirre now regularly contributes with interviews and book give aways. Definitely a great site for kidlit writers hoping to be published one day.

Write On Con
The brain child of Casey McCormick, Elana Johnson and a host of other bloggers, this is the most amazing site. The inaugural free online conference took place last summer and all the incredible transcripts are still available on the site. They’ve also been hosting monthly chats with agents and live query events. This year’s conference is scheduled for August 16-18 so mark your calendar. You won’t want to miss it.

There are so many more valuable blogs and web sites. What are some of your favorite online resources? Give ’em a shoutout in the comments (even if it’s your own blog!!).

19 thoughts on “The Internet School of Writing

  1. Wow, Sherrie, I am completely humbled to be included among those other blogs. Thank you so much. I break down stories on my blog because that's what I'm doing behind the scenes to improve my craft b/c just craft books and conferences weren't doing it.

  2. You've listed all my fav blogs, Sherrie. Laura's, ACP, and Janice's are three of my top favorites. I'm going to be on ACP's this July. *nervously chews fingernails and contemplates post ideas*

  3. Sherrie, this is a perfect point. I still feel guilty that I've yet to attend a conference in person. I've attended two online conferences, which was great! But the wisdom, encouragement, and sharing of skills I've gained through blogging is really priceless.

  4. You're right! So much free stuff out there. The Muse Online Writers Conference in the fall has great sessions, and Elizabeth Spann-Craig's blog always provides tips.

  5. You've put together a great list, Sherrie. Most of my faves are right there, but I also appreciate Stina's Friday round-up and Heather @ Heather's Odyssey does a great Tuesday Twitter round-up. 🙂

  6. I also love Stina's Friday round-up–I always find something helpful, and you're so right about all these great sites. ACP is one I ought to visit a bit more frequently. I hope Write on Con doesn't conflict with my family vacation again this year! But I sure did enjoy all the archived content.

  7. The Other Side of the Story is essential. I don't know what I would do with Janice Hardy. So are ACP and Literary Rambles. I also love:
    TalkToYoUniverse
    The Blood Red Pencil
    Wordplay
    Nathan Bransford

  8. Completely agree! And for the business end, Nathan Bransford's blog (the FAQ particularly) is great.

    I once considered going for my MFA. Now I'm not sure what the point would be (FOR ME). Everything I need, I have at my fingertips.

  9. Great list, Sherrie. Marissa, Martina, Laura, Janice, and Angela are all amazing! There are so many others that could be included, too.

    Thanks for including Lit Rambles and WriteOnCon. So glad they're helpful to people!

  10. Thanks for all the recs! I already follow some of these.

    It's so true that the blogging community has so much to offer. I was totally blown away by all the info that was out there and just a click away. 🙂

  11. It's true. You can find all that conference-type info on the Web if you know where to look. QueryShark is also a great boot camp for queryiers.

    But conferences do offer the chance to network and meet people in person. If you can afford them, they're energizing and a great way to get out of your writerly rut. I'm blogging about that tomorrow.

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