will be pleased to learn, I expect, that there’s no lack of information on
the Internet for the budding writer (and the experienced one, too). By and
large, this material falls into two main categories: help on writing
skills and advice on getting published, though in many cases both areas
are covered at the one site.
start with one of the best-known U.S. magazines on the
Writer’s Digest, now well established on the Web.
Like the printed monthly, the site presents both types of
assistance — perhaps with more emphasis on the marketing
aspects of the writing life.
its articles are extracts from the current printed issue or from recent
Writer’s Digest books. For instance, on one visit to the site I
discovered a feature on a WD special issue entitled Writing for the
Web, with the text of several articles available for our perusal. Always
prominent is a useful list of 101 Best Web Sites for Writers.
it is a commercial site,
Free Advice from
Cader Books, a U.S. publishing house, is deserving of a stopover. Set out
as a series of questions with answers, this place concentrates,
predictably, on how to get published. Subjects addressed include agents,
editors, copyright protection, contracts . . .
a couple of sites devoted to the needs of those who create content for the
Internet. Contentious is
a Web-zine run by Amy Gahran that caters for editors as well as writers.
It contains substantial articles, current and archived from previous
similar vein is e-write,
“the latest word in writing”. This site offers a free email newsletter on
writing in the electronic age, as well a showcase of what it considers
well-written Web sites. Another regular feature is its E-mail Message
Makeover, which shows how to improve electronic business letters.
Reading is another excellent site: “The Fundamentals of Critical
Reading and Effective Writing”. This is ideal for secondary school
students and adults alike. Webmaster Dan Kurland “shows you how to
recognize what a text says, what a text does, and what a text means by
analyzing choices of content, language and structure”.
for Poets to Gather”, Shadow
Poetry is dedicated to the goal of helping unknown poets come out
of the shadows and gain recognition for their poetry. Apart from its large
archive of poems (representing over 400 poets), this site features a
strong interactive component, where poets can make constructive criticism
of each other's work. There is also a creative writing workshop available,
as well as a “What Is Poetry?” section to answer potential questions poets
might have, using definitions and examples.
of constructive criticism, why not pay a visit to
The Write Connection?
This is a site for writers of all genres, where they can share their work
and also seek and offer feedback from other writers. Genres include
poetry, short stories, essays and fan fiction. There is a weekly
newsletter available as well.
If by now
you’re thinking that the U.S. has a monopoly on writing-oriented Web
sites, you’d be right. There are two reasons for this, as I see it. First,
of course, is the fact that the U.S. has a monopoly on Web sites, period,
and probably always will. The second reason is that Americans (more than
the English or Australians, say) like teaching things, and are pretty good
at it too.
said, let me mention a few Australian sites related to writing.
helpful is the Australian
Copyright Council site. From here you can download many
information sheets (over fifty of them). As well as things like Copying
for Research or Study or Music & Copyright or Ideas: Legal Protection,
some unexpected topics have rights implications, for instance, Games &
Copyright and even Line Dancers & Copyright. All information sheets
are in a process of continuous revision. A recent addition to the site are
the online training modules.
want a free writing course or six home-study tutorials with personal tutor
(not free), then these and much, much more (over 200 subpages) are
available from a wonderful Aussie site called
Write101. It's run by Jennifer
Stewart, an ex-teacher of high school English. For fun, you could always
add your own chapter to The Never-Ending Story. If you're game, that is.
a couple of UK sites on writing matters.
Jacqui Bennett Writers Bureau.
Once again, this is a series of links elsewhere, but with a British slant.
Constantly updated and reviewed, this inventory is distinguished by a
sub-list entitled Fun with Words, which according to Harlish Goop is
definitely worth a visit or two.
in Manchester, England, run a great site whose aim is to provide resources
for learning, writing and business. There are objective book reviews, free
resource materials for students, even a complete guide to essay writing.
Downloads of demo learning software too, as well as the full versions for
sale via the site. It has a free newsletter, not to mention a direct link
to the Infonautics Electric Library, which is a search facility for
publications of all sorts.