Resources for Writers

Contributed by Tish Davidson, Carol Hall and Nancy Curteman. Updated 1/4/20 by Scott Davidson



General Writing Resources

Books

AP Stylebook
www.apstylebook.com
The bible for newspaper and magazine writing.

 

The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed.
www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.html
The style bible for literary writing.

 

A Complete Guide to Writing for Publication edited by Susan Titus Osborn (ACW)

 

Digital Ink by Bonnie Hearn Hill and Christopher Poe. A concise guide to writing fiction in the digital age.

 

Scene & Structure by Jack M. Bickham. Emphasis on scene-by-scene flow, logic, and readability.

 

Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody Can Write by Elizabeth Lyon. Step-by-step analysis of the elements of a nonfiction proposal.

 

Plot by Ansen Dibell. How to avoid middle sag, rabbit holes, and weak endings.

 

Writing Fiction by Garry Disher. A clear introduction to the craft of writing with separate chapters on writing the short story and writing a novel.

 

Writer for Hire: 101 Secrets to Freelance Success by Kelly James-Enger (Writer’s Digest)

 

Writer’s Market (Writer’s Digest) — for the general market

 


Conferences and Events

Mystery writer, writing teacher and writer for Writer’s Digest Jane Cleland offers free one hour seminars once a month.  Find out more about the October 17 (10 am) seminar on Foreshadowing here.  The November 14 seminar is “Four Things I Wish I’d Known at the Start of My Writing Career.” Find out more information here

The SF Peninsula Branch is offering an online webinar about book coaching: what it is, how it can benefit a writer, and how you do some of it for yourself.
More information here.
 
The Gotham Writers Workshop in New York City has put together a series of free talks about
writing. Each talk features a writer in a particular genre and an agent who deals with that genre.
The first season covered everything from historical fiction to graphic novels to writing query
letters. Season 1 is archived here
The second season begins October 7 with Inside Short Stories followed October 14 with Inside
Humor. Check out these free talks on your genre

Litquake San Francisco

October 8–17, 2020 (additional events throughout the year. Check their website)

https://www.litquake.org

 

2020 Writing Workshop of San Francisco (1-day conference held near SFO)

October 3, 2020

https://writingworkshopsanfrancisco.com

 

2020 San Francisco Writing for Change (1-day conference for nonfiction writers)

September 12, 2020

sfwritingforchange.org

 

2020 Romance Writers of America Conference (location varies. Held in SF in 2020)

July 29–August 1.

https://www.rwa.org//conference

 

Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference (near Santa Cruz)

April 3–7, 2020 (preconference mentoring available April 1–3)

https://writers.mounthermon.org

This conference offers a contest that awards 10 full scholarships (conference, meals, lodging) for first-time attendees. The deadline to enter is approximately 4 months before the conference, so it has passed for 2020, but the conference/contest is held every year.

 


 

Online Resources

Master Critique Groups

C. S. Larkin offers a Master Critique Group, including an on-line class. There is a fee.

More information

Writers’ Online Toolkit

https://online.maryville.edu/blog/the-writers-online-toolkit/

A list of software for writers, some free, some not.

 

Creative Genius 101
http://creativegenius101.blogspot.com  
Lots of  posts on breaking through writing barriers and improving writing.

 

Purdue University Online Writing Lab
https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/1  
Links to  information on  mechanics, correct grammar, and usage.

 

Resource Guide to Writing Basics

https://www.wristbandexpress.com/content/hand-hobbies-a-resource-guide-to-writing-basics/

A very basic guide, from the writing as a hobby perspective

 

Winning Writers Resources
https://winningwriters.com/resources/working-writers-newsletter  
Contains comprehensive links to resources ranging from books for writers to legal advice to writing for social change. A good place to start if looking for advice and resources.

 

World Cat 
http://www.worldcat.org 
Allows you to search through catalogs of many libraries worldwide and see which ones contain your books or your favorite authors’ books, DVDs, or music. (Alameda County Library System is not a part of this service.)

 

Writers Weekly 
http://writersweekly.com
A free weekly newsletter with writing advice, q&a column, success stories. Slanted toward self-publishing.

 

Website Development

How to Create a Website

 

General Education

Accounting and Bookkeeping for Freelancers


 

Contest Announcements, Publications Seeking Submissions,
Freelance Jobs

Blurb Writing Contest

Write and submit a back cover blurb of 100 words or fewer that sets the stage for a novel, establishes the characters, and raises the stakes in a way that makes readers want to find out more.

Find out more at TheQueryLetter.com

There is a $500 prize for best blurb with no entry fee. Submissions must be in by September 15.

 

Duotrope
https://duotrope.com  
Fee-based site (they give a free trial) that has filterable lists of markets for fiction and nonfiction currently accepting submissions, submission tracker, and updated weekly newsletter (some access fee-based).

 

Freelance Writing Gigs
http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/category/writing-gigs  
New Freelance writing jobs posted several times each week. Also contains a resource for writers section.

 

Winning Writers Newsletter
https://winningwriters.com/the-best-free-literary-contests/free-winning-writers-newsletter     
Free contests—mostly poetry and some prose.


 

Industry News

 

Locus The Magazine and Website of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Field  https://www.locusmag.com (some access fee based)

 

 

Publishers Weekly
http://www.publishersweekly.com   
News about the publishing industry

 



Resources for Screenwriters

 

Books

 

The Screenwriter’s Bible, by David Trottier.
A great reference for formatting questions and beginning screenwriters.

Save the Cat, by Blake Snyder.
Story arc and screenplay structure used by many Hollywood screenwriters.

The Indie Producers Handbook: Creative Producing From A to Z, by Myrl A. Schreibman.
Good to figure out how a producer looks at a screenplay and how to make your story less expensive and therefore more appealing.

Anatomy of a Premise Line, by Jeff Lyons.
How to master premise and story development for writing success. Applicable to many forms of storytelling.

 



Online Resources

 

Simply Scripts:
http://www.simplyscripts.com/.
Download scripts to read and study.

 

IMDbPro:
https://pro-labs.imdb.com/.
A subscription service not to be confused with the free IMDb database. The Pro version gives you access to actors, producers, agents, managers, and others’ contact information so you can query them and also gives you your own webpage so others can find out more about you.

 

Writers Guild of America West Registry:
https://www.wgawregistry.org.
Protect your intellectual property by registering your screenplays, treatments, outlines, etc. with the Guild to show you are the creator of your story.



Screenplay Contests

 

Withoutabox:
https://www.withoutabox.com/.
A database of script and film contests all around the world where you can upload and submit your screenplay to various contests.

 

Film Freeway:
https://filmfreeway.com.
The Canadian version of WithoutaBox. Sometimes the same contests are listed here as in WithoutaBox, but with different entry fees.

 

Nicholl Fellowship:
http://www.oscars.org/nicholl.
The most prestigious screenplay contest. Many winners go on to be produced. But competition is fierce.

 

Cinequest Film Festival:
http://www.cinequest.org/screenplay_submissions.
A San Francisco Bay Area Film Festival with a screenplay contest.

 


 

Resources for Christian Writers

 

Books

Christian Writer’s Market Guide by Jerry B. Jenkins

 

An Introduction to Christian Writing by Ethel Herr (ACW)

 

Online

 

Christian Creative Writers
http://www.christiancreativewriters.com

 

Christian Writers.com 
https://christianwriters.com

 

Writers Conferences

 

The 2020 West Coast Christian Writers LIT Masterclass is February 28-29, 2020 at CrossWinds Church in Livermore, CA. 
http://westcoastchristianwriters.com

 

April 3–7, 2020 Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference
http://writers.mounthermon.org

 

General News and Information

 

Christian Writing Today 
www.christianwritingtoday.com

 

Family Fiction  www.familyfiction.com/news

 



Genre Specific Books

 

Mystery, Crime, Thriller

Police Procedure & Investigation by Lee Lofland.
Written specifically for writers by a former police detective, this book covers everything from police training to the death penalty.

 

Science fiction

How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card. A classic.

 

Notes to a Science Fiction Writer by Ben Bova. Tips on what sells.

 

Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy edited by Gardner Dozois et al. Essays by the editors of various science fiction magazines.

 



Genre Organizations

 

Most of these organizations have some information available to the public but require membership dues to have complete access to the resources on the site.

 

Children’s Books: Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators 
https://www.scbwi.org

San Francisco North and East Bay  Chapter 
http://sfnortheastbay.scbwi.org   
San Francisco and South Bay  Chapter
http://sfsouth.scbwi.org

 

Christian Writers:
American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) 
www.acfw.com/about/chapters

Redbud Writer’s Guild
www.redbudwritersguild.com

Inspire Christian Writers
www.inspirewriters.com (Bay Area)

Bay Area Writers Group (510) 565-0619

Creative Nonfiction: Creative Nonfiction Foundation 
https://www.creativenonfiction.org

 

Memoir:
National Association of Memoir Writers 
http://namw.org

 

Mystery: 
Sisters in Crime  
http://www.sistersincrime.org   
Northern California  Chapter
http://www.sincnorcal.org/wp

 

Nonfiction:  American Association of Journalists and Authors 
http://www.asja.org               
Nonfiction Authors Association 
http://nonfictionauthorsassociation.com

 

Poetry:  Poetry Foundation 
https://www.poetryfoundation.org

Poetry Society of America 
http://www.poetrysociety.org/psa/?

 

Romance:  Romance Writers of America
https://www.rwa.org   
San Francisco Area Chapter 
http://sfarwa.net   
Silicon Valley Chapter
http://www.svrwa.com

 

Science Fiction & Fantasy:
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America 
http://www.sfwa.org

 

Science Fiction Poetry: Science Fiction Poetry Association 
http://www.sfpoetry.com

 


 

Useful Blog Posts on Writing From Nancy Curteman

 

Self-publishing vs. Traditional Publishing 
https://nancycurteman.wordpress.com/2010/07/02/the-best-way-to-get-your-book-published

 

Querying a Fiction Book

https://nancycurteman.wordpress.com/2010/11/04/how-to-write-a-query-letter-for-a-mystery-novel

 

E-book vs. print book

https://nancycurteman.wordpress.com/2011/06/08/12-reasons-mystery-writers-should-consider-e-publishing

 

What can I expect if I hire a developmental editor
https://nancycurteman.wordpress.com/2010/10/19/948

 

What are effective ways to publicize your book

https://nancycurteman.wordpress.com/2017/02/18/5-ways-to-launch-your-new-novel