Sunday, June 03, 2007

What WD Missed

Every year Writer's Digest publishes their 101 BEST Websites for Writers in their print mag. I don't know when they make it available online, but the 2006 list is here.

PBW, alas, didn't make the 2007 list. Not too long ago I slammed WD right in front of their senior editor for selling ad space to scammers. Not the sort of thing you should do if you want to get on their best of anything but the Total Bitch List.

Agent blogs were given their own category this year, with best honors shared out among Jennifer Jackson, Miss Snark (apparently they went to press before she closed up shop), the Knight Agency, Kristin Nelson and Rachel Vater. That sounds more like all versus the best agent blogs out there, but it's nice to see them get a nod.

The category of Genre/Niche utterly sucked, listing sites only vaguely concerned with copywriting (2), children's writing(3), erotica (1), fiction (1), freelance (4), poetry (4), romance (2), scriptwriting (2), and white papers (1 but what the hell do genre writers need with leaning how to write proposed government policies?).

Glaringly absent from the Genre/Niche list: crime fiction, media tie-in, fantasy, science fiction, inspirational, horror and historical sites. There were no sites or blogs which cover these on the list. As in zip, zilch, zero. And what's with listing four times as many poetry and freelance sites as fiction and erotica? Is this a best list, or wishful thinking?

Anyway, I have some sites I'd have like to see make the list. All are great for writers and, while WD might have overlooked them, are resources that I go back to use or send other writer pals to constantly.


Angela Booth -- Goddess of the freelancers, Angela regularly posts solid info on job and sub ops.
Authorlink -- publishing and market listings from
Marjorie M. Liu -- In addition to sharing her experiences as a bestselling novelist, Marjorie regularly posts info on decent writing opporunities. -- quite simply the most well-maintained and updated market listing for SF/F and horror writers in existence. -- another publishing and market listing site.


The Generator Blog -- Possibly the greatest source of links to online generatores in the known universe.
Kleimo's Random Name Generator -- allows you to pull names based on gender and obscurity, up to fifty at a time, from US census data.
Seventh Sanctum -- Whatever you need -- a writing prompt, title, character, story idea, etc. -- Steven Savage has got a generator for it.


PBW's Free Online Tools list -- I need to add to it and update it, but all the writing freeware and online tools I find for the Monday ten lists will eventually end up here. -- updated daily, searchable, plenty here for everyone, not just writers.
Freeware World Team -- like, only global.
OpenOffice -- the free office suite I hear most often recommended by other writers.
Rough Draft -- Richard Salsbury's extremely useful writing freeware.
StickIt -- a virtual sticky notes freeware that I use every day.
yWriter -- one of many freeware programs offered by our blog pal, author Simon Haynes.


Louis Cantron's Annotated Sites for Writers page -- lots of excellent links here
Margaret Fisk's Writing Links -- an amazing collection, regularly updated by our pal Margaret.

Research -- the best bible research site I have ever found, period. -- if you need to find an online specialty glossary or dictionary, here's where to look.
HyperHistory -- 2,000 files covering 3,000 years of world history.
The Labyrinth -- Georgetown's terrific medieval studies resource site.
Mobysaurus -- a freeware thesaurus that must be seen to be believed.

I'm going to get started on a proper genre resource link list, too -- I think WD really dropped the ball there -- and I'll post it at a later date.

Aside from PBW (because I know you all love it here), which web sites and/or weblogs would you consider best for writers? Share your recs and links in comments.


  1. (I know you didn't forget this, but you didn't have a category for it either.)

    I heartily endorse Kleimo's Random Name Generator. It's the number 1 place I go when I need a name. I randomly generate names until the right one appears. I know it when I see it. That's all I can say.

    You've listed some new ones, and I'm looking forward to checking them out.

  2. is one of the best places I've ever been. If I had to pay Holly for everytime that she's pulled me out of a writing fiasco she'd be a very rich woman and I'd be a very poor man.

    Flogging the Quill was interesting to see, to get an idea of how editors look at stories.

  3. Jordan Summers and Alison Kent, for Industry stuff and writing tips/information.

    Alison Tyler for Erotica. Both stories and information. ( )

  4. Jane Yolen keeps an excellent online journal ( She answers questions about writing and the industry, has some wonderful insights into the craft and the career backed by her years of experience, and she occasionally posts her own poetry, which is just breath-taking. She also talks about the travel she does, giving talks and workshops. I highly recommend her site.

    I also highly recommend Jan Espenson's blog for screenwriting ( She's written for shows like Buffy, Firefly, and Battlestar Galactica (the newest incarnation). Much of what I've learned from her blog applies to fiction as much as it does screenwriting. She's fun to read, too.

  5. Holly Lisle will definitely be #1 on the fantasy section of the genre resource list. I should also do one on craft, too.....(scribbling all this down.)

  6. Stephanie Bond's Writers pages.

  7. Thanks for mentioning yWriter ... much appreciated. There's a link from the yWriter page to my articles on writing and publishing, which folks might also find useful.

    And this is completely OT, but I got the go-ahead from my publisher on a fourth novel in the Spacejock series. Yippee ;-)

  8. A resource for writers who want to add some mayhem and murder to their work and need to check out the gory details. LOL. Found it looking for info on fatal stab wounds to the neck. (I do often wonder what someone would think about me seeing only my google searches. . . )

    The Writer's Forensic Community at

  9. Anonymous1:14 PM

    charlotte dillon's website is a good resource for romance writers...don't know if she made the WD list or not, but she is terrific.

    I like Scalzi's blog too...they've had some informative discussions over there about SFWA politics, creative commons/free ebook distribution, and how much writers get paid.

    morgan hawke doesn't post often, but her articles on writing, and specifically writing erotica, are thought provoking and insightful.

  10. PBW wrote, "Not too long ago I slammed WD right in front of their senior editor for selling ad space to scammers. Not the sort of thing you should do if you want to get on their best of anything but the Total Bitch List."

    And you had me believing that wasn't the type of thing you pandered to. I agree, though. WD should not sell ad space to scammers -- impressionable, inexperienced people buy that magazine, and they trust the they will not get taken for a ride in the process. If hearing it to their face offended them, that's too bad.

    Them doing that is the equivalent of a pro athlete saying, "I'm not a role model." Bull. You are whether you want to be or not. It's just a matter of what time of role you're modeling. Me? I like the PBW model.

  11. Thanks for the links. I'll start checking them out immediately.

  12. Anonymous7:54 PM

    For lesbian fiction, I rely on: (and more specifically, their yahoo group) - it's fee-based, though. - predominantly lesbian fiction reviews, but they also list calls for submissions etc. -still a new forum, but has indept discussions about the craft as well as market information etc. - market/submission calls - for writing tips.

    For general writing: - online writing workshop - Some very good explanations of the basics.

    for SF: - the Tough Guide to Science Fiction

  13. Anonymous11:03 PM

    well...*G* naturally yours.

    Alison Kent has some helpful info for the writer.

    Wikipedia. I love wikipedia. And encyclopedia mythica. love that one. those are my fave research sites.

  14. Duotrope's Digest is another excellent online market list, and I find it easier to use than Ralan's.

    For fantasy/historical writers who want to know what real swords looked like, Museum Replicas has pictures, dimensions, and small histories of weapons from a wide variety of historical periods.

  15. I concur with your assessment of BibleGateway. I have Bible programs on my computer that I use for my hardcore Greek and Hebrew work, but for English research I head to the Gateway

  16. Oh, wow! Thanks for the link to Very good stuff.

  17. Anonymous11:06 PM

    That was very kind of you to mention my blog. Totally unexpected.

    Yours, naturally, is on my list -- along with Mediabistro, Monstropedia, and a bunch I'm forgetting at the moment.

  18. Anonymous11:33 AM

    I downloaded the Book database last night and started entering my books. I've been wanting to organize my books and had been dreading trying to develop an Excel spreadsheet for tracking them. Now I don't have to. Thank you!


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