I’m a big believer in giving back to the communities I live and work within. I add a new link on this page every now and then to help other writers find resources they may not yet be familiar with, so check back often for updates. If you have any you’d like to share, send them to me and we may include them here.

Research

Writing
  • Even writers need a little bit of self-care now and then. Here’s a link to connect you with five minutes of weekly meditation, especially for writers. Sign up here to get renewed and re-motivated.
  • One of the best investments I’ve made in my writing skill is taking online Master Classes. They’re available for work, home, hobbies, and pleasure. A one-year subscription gives you unlimited access to the best minds and most successful people in their fields, and a free trial is available. For less than the cost of a seminar, I’ve learned from Amy Tan, Issa Rae, Salman Rushdie, David Mamet, Margaret Atwood, Nei Gaiman, and more. Go to http://www.masterclass.com, click on Library, then on Writing.
  • By all means, join a group for feedback on your writing. I’ve heard writers’ critique groups trashed as “the blind leading the blind”, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. You’ll learn as much from other writers’ writing, and from their mistakes, as you will from your own. Find a group that understands and writes in your genre (romance, sci-fi, short stories, thrillers, nonfiction), become active, show up, and write. I’m located in metro Atlanta and to find a current list of local groups here, go to the Atlanta Writers Club, then get involved.
  • It’s annoying to readers and embarrassing to writers to find words used incorrectly. Read through this list of 75 of the most commonly misused words to improve the clarity of your writing.
  • Too many commas? Not enough? It’s not a trivial matter. Consider the title of a book on the use of punctuation that was popular several years ago: Eats, Shoots & Leaves.  One reading of the title might bring to mind a shootout in a fast-food establishment; add a comma and you have panda bears enjoying a meal. The Oxford comma is the comma placed before the end of a list of things. For example, in “the flag was red, white, and blue”, the Oxford comma would be the one appearing before “and”. The Oxford comma is grammatically optional when using AP Style—the style guide that newspaper reporters adhere to. The Chicago Manual of Style (used for books/magazines) and the Modern Language Association (MLA, used for academic work) both require the Oxford comma. Want more? For everyday use of commas, this site might simplify their use for you.
Publishing
  • Have short stories, but don’t know where to send them for contests and publications? Click here to download a helpful list that will get you started: Short Story Submission Resources
  • Bill Shunn created the classic format for submitting written work to publications. It has remained the most accepted format for contests and publications, so it’s a good idea to become familiar with it. Shunn Format for Stories. (Sorry, the site is full of ads.)
Marketing