Last week I told you about the books for writers that I found most helpful. Today I’m going to talk about the websites that I find most useful. Most of them are Irish, but a couple are international. Even if you’re not based in Ireland, I think you’ll still be impressed with what the Irish sites have to offer.
The information available on this site is encyclopaedic. Seriously. Everything from markets looking for authors, guides to writing, news updates and interviews. If you can’t find something to interest you here well, are you sure you’re a writer? Link: http://www.writing.ie/
Irish Writers’ Centre
When I lived in Dublin, I enjoyed visiting the centre in Parnell Square as often as my schedule permitted. It’s a great place to stop in and meet other writers. Now I’m based in Kells with not even a bookshop to its name (I know), I really miss the craic and the camaraderie. If, like me, you can’t get into the City Centre, you can still check out their website. They have courses on various aspects of writing; events such as Publishing Day and the Novel Fair; Festivals and any number of other goodies. In addition, the site offers links to audio interviews with writers, a list of literary journals in Ireland and the UK, and information about a wide range of resources and organisations that every writer should know about. http://www.writerscentre.ie/html/about.htm
Dublin Writers’ Festival
I must admit to some bias here because I’m currently one of the bloggers for this year’s festival. If you can only get to one festival this year, then the Dublin Writers’ Festival should be it. I mean, what else would do? The tomato-grower fest? The DWF’s site is being updated daily with blog entries and news. Don’t miss all the action: http://www.dublinwritersfestival.com/
Writers Web TV
This is a new resource and like all great conveniences, I wonder how any of us managed before it came along. Here’s how the site describes what they have to offer:
“WritersWebTV is fun to watch, easy to access and open to anyone to take part. Just log on when we are live. Then take part in a full day’s workshop, featuring the world’s best writers, an in-studio audience of aspiring writers and plenty of ways for you to get involved – all without leaving your desk or home.”
The site offers online workshops covering a variety of specialities. You can also sign up for their newsletter. Link: http://www.writerswebtv.com/
City of Literature
I was surprised at how much there was on this site when I first checked it out. Sure, there’s the expected history about UNESCO’s City of Literature, and about Dublin’s designation, but there’s much more. For instance, you can check out literary Dublin. Or the Emerging Writers’ Programme. There are news updates that will appeal to readers as well as writers and much more. http://www.dublincityofliterature.ie/
The stated objectives of the Irish Writers’ Union are:
- To organise writers in Ireland;
- To advance the cause of writing as a profession and as a form of work;
- To achieve better remuneration and more favourable conditions for writers;
- To provide advice, assistance and support to individual writers in their relations with publishers and other users of their work;
- To provide a means for the expression of the collective opinion of writers on matters affecting their profession;
- To contribute to educational policy in so far as it relates to the art of writing and the use of literature in the educational system.
The website offers news and events from around the country, a list of publications, and links to other essential sources. See their site here: http://www.ireland-writers.com/
An essential guide to what’s happening in the publishing industry. As writers, it’s easy to forget we’re part of an industry. Keeping up with who’s buying and who’s selling will broaden your understanding of the business side of things. You want to know what agents have started their own business and are looking for clients? What publishers are starting a new fantasy series and are looking for manuscripts?
The essential guide to writing query letters. It’s a sort of clinic (with a pretty vicious doctor in attendance. Hey, she isn’t called a shark for nothing.) People submit their query letters and she goes through them line by line. Her advice is always helpful, if sometimes savage. She can be very funny too. For instance, here’s an example of a line from a letter that the QS has a fairly typical response:
Ariana only wants to go home, but that means finding people.
Right here is where you lose me. What does “finding people” mean? Finding the person with the key to the locked door? Finding the Wizard of Oz? Finding the limo driver?
Check the shark out. Just don’t try jumping over her: http://queryshark.blogspot.ie/
This is a great site if you’re interested in publishing your work in the US. It has a vast store of information about who’s looking for what, how much they pay, how long it takes them to respond, and just about anything else you might need to know. You can also track your submissions on the site, which is helpful. Duotrope asks for a small fee but it’s worth it. Use the free trial to check it out and decide if it’s for you. https://duotrope.com/
Poets and Writers
The US-based journal, Poets and Writers, has a very helpful site that should interest writers who aim to produce literary work. Their site is American-centric, but full of information and, on occasion, wisdom. This is where you can find out what’s happening in the literary world, and not just in the US. P&W offers updates on the international literary scene too. The ‘Tools for Writers’ section offers links to lists of literary journals, small presses, conferences and agents. There are writing prompts here too, and so much more.
One of the reasons I love this site (and the print journal when I can get my hands on it), is it avoides that cheesy painted-by-numbers approach you find in so many writing sites and magazines. For instance, this month the headers include video of a John Banville interview, literary guides to various US cities, and a report from literary Syria.
I’ll be away next week so look for me on the 26th March. Happy writing!