Write or Die – timed writing sessions for when you need to make yourself write through a block

NaNoWriMo – home of National Novel Writing Month

RainyMood – plays the sound of everything from a drizzle to a thunderstorm for those days when you need a rainy mood

Poets & Writers – a great magazine, their website also has daily writing prompts and a database of literary journals

Horn Book Magazine – for kidlit writers, articles and reviews of upcoming books from picture books to young adult

Query Shark – when you are ready to begin submitting your manuscript, check here for help writing a query letter that actually catches the recipient’s attention

Manuscript Wishlist Feed and Database – a twitter feed of agents requesting specific material, and a searchable database of agents and publishers and what they are looking for

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators – for kidlit writers and authors, the website provides articles, schedules of local meetups, and information about upcoming conferences

Grammarly – an extension for Google Chrome that puts everything you type in-browser through a spelling and grammar check

Hemingway App – a website where you can type or paste in your writing and receive helpful insights into how you tend to open sentences, structure paragraphs, use adjectives, and more



Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft by Janet Burroway – covers creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and screenwriting

Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft by Janet Burroway – an in-depth look at the elements of fiction writing

Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot that Grips Readers from Start to Finish by James Scott Bell – full of intensive exercises to whip your plot into shape

Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink by Gail Carson Levine – thoughts on the writing process with creative prompts at the end of each chapter

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg – a classic book on writing

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Ann Lamott – part memoir, part permission to write crappy first drafts



Jenna Moreci – Jenna self-publishes fantasy and science-fiction novels, and her channel is full of great craft advice regarding the nitty-gritty of author life

Kim Chance – Kim used her channel to chronicle her traditional publishing journey and provides great insights through her channel

Ellen Brock – Ellen is a freelance novel editor, so her channel contains helpful advice from the other side of the industry



Google Docs – free and always saved and backed up in the cloud

Microsoft Word– not free unless you have a .edu email address, but this is the publishing standard: if an agent or publisher requests your work, they will as for a Word document that follows standard manuscript format

Scrivener – an over-the-top computer software that lets you organize your novel in more ways than you previously thought possible