Writers’ Resources

National Associations:

The Authors’ Guild supports working writers by advocating free speech, fair contracts and copyright protection.  Members receive a package of goodies that includes one of the best form publishing contracts in the business.

For aspiring editors, the Editorial Freelancers’ Association is invaluable. Classes and Friday Twitter chats help hone your craft; the job list sends jobs directly to your email.

For authors, Inked Voices helps people find online critique groups. Jane Friedman has some good tips for finding the right critique group here.

Austin Area Groups, Meetups and Events:

The Writers’ League of Texas is an invaluable resource for Texas writers. They provide classes and retreats focused on both the craft and the business of writing. Their annual Agents and Editors’ Conference is an opportunity to meet agents and gain valuable insight into the publishing industry. They also have a wonderful resources page that lists editing, marketing, PR and other services, plus pages on Texas Publishers, Texas Literary Journals and MagazinesGrantsLocal Freelance Editors, Proofreaders and Mentors, and much more.

The Writing Barn, located on the 7.5 acre wooded estate of author Bethany Hedgus, has classes, writers’ retreats, and events.  Occasionally she has writing days when people can just go there to write.

One Page Salon — the first Tuesday of every month at the fabulous North Door, features Austin writers from a variety of genres reading one page from their works.  Owen Edgerton hosts.

Austin Writers’ Roulette — The 2nd Saturday of every month, a community of writers, lyricists and poems meets to read and perform.

Malvern Books — a bookstore specializing in independent publishers and emerging voices, has regular meetings and performances.

Useful Websites on the Craft and Business of Writing

The Rights of Writers, from attorney Mark Fowler, covers a range of legal issues that writers might encounter. Of course no blog can be a substitute for personal advice from an attorney you trust. But Mark’s blog can help you see how the law might affect your writing.

Writer Unboxed is a community for writers talking about writing. Their Facebook group and Twitter feed provide rich and supportive conversation.

Agent and Editor Wishlist: Literary agents and editors tweet about books they’d like to see in their slush pile under the hashtag #MSWL — “manuscript wish list.”  Eventually those tweets appear on the Tumblr blog called “Agent and Editor Wish List.”  I’ve found the Twitter feed to be substantially more complete and more up to date — plus, you have a handy link to the agent or editor’s profile and a compilation of their most recent 140-character thoughts.

The Unkind Editor will give it to you straight.

Intuit has a wonderful tax guide for writers who self-publish on the Kindle platform. Thanks to Jan Harris for the link.

If you need a book designer, Joel Friedlander is the man to know.

Bad Publishers and Scams

I hate this part of the resource page. But you can save yourself some time and grief by checking out these resources for finding complaints about agents and publishers.

Writer Beware shines a bright light into the dark corners of the shadow-world of literary scams, schemes, and pitfalls.