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


Abbie Emmons – Abbie is an indie published author, but she does an incredible job on this channel of breaking down story structures, outlining, creating compelling characters with strong transformational arcs, etc. Highly recommend! Helpful templates as well.

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