Links and Resources for Writers

Here are some useful sites on writing, book marketing, researching, crime fiction, and freelance writing.



GENERAL LINKS FOR WRITERS – This site has a ton of posts about writing, publishing, and book marketing. There are posts by Joanna Penn and author super-successful writers. The site also has a section on various services Amazon offers for authors. – Jane Friedman’s website is one of the most helpful, extensive, and well developed sites for writers. In addition to her own posts, she has a wealth of guest posts covering both the craft and business of writing. You could spend days here, and as long as you did it after you finished your writing for the day, you’d be the better for it. – An online writing community for writers of all ages, interests and skill levels. According to their founder, anyone may create a free portfolio and exchange feedback with other writers. They were among Writer’s Digest’s 101 “Best Websites for Writers, 2005” and have thousands of writers within their community. I’ve checked this out and it looks great. – Has thousands of writing resources and links. The site includes job listings, news, education, research, money for writers, and information on more than 40 genres. there is also an e-zine for writers. – Addresses such topics as contests, conventions, workshops, agents, education, and many more. One of its most useful features used to be the section called “Predators and Editors.” Lynn Hightower says that the publishing industry is actually made up of two separate industries: publishing writing and preying on writers. The “Predators and Editors” section shares information about scams and how to avoid them. However, it hasn’t been updated in a very long time, so much of what’s there is outdated. It’s still worth  reading, but use with care. – The web site of renowned author Orson Scott Card. I had the pleasure of meeting him (briefly) at the Southern Festival of books and found him to be warm, witty, and genuine–not to mention brilliant. His second “Ender” book, Speaker for the Dead, had a profound effect on me, and I recommend it highly to anyone who likes a good, thought-provoking read. His site includes an online writing tutorial with lessons from the master storyteller himself. – Lists conferences, workshops, markets, job listings, and hundreds of instructional articles. – The site of screenwriter, novelist, and songwriter James Stevens-Arce. This site is heavy on the fantasy/sf genres, but also has a lot of other good information. If you aspire to be a writer, there is probably something here for you. – Offers articles, a free newsletter, and information about markets, publishers, and agents. – Has articles (more than 400), job listings, markets, contest information, a free newsletter, and a lot of good links. – Has articles for writers, but most important are the comprehensive forums that comprise the Absolute Write watercooler. Meet other writers to share ideas, experiences, and expertise. There’s a wealth of information here. – An excellent resource for anyone who writes or wants to write essays. Thanks to the teen chapter of the Midwest Writing Club for this link to “Resources for the Essay Writer.” – A good site for aspiring bloggers with a free pdf about starting a blog. – For people new to WordPress, this site gives you step-by-step instructions to setting up and customizing your website. – I’ve heard good things about 99 Designs, but I haven’t worked with them personally. If you’re looking for a book cover, this seems like a good place to start. You tell them what you want and they send you mockups from multiple designers. Services run from “creative designs on a budget” to “work only with the best,” with prices varying accordingly. – This site is primarily for academic writers, but there are some interesting articles on grammar, plagiarism, and various computer functions. It’s a useful site if you do any academic writing.


SITES FOR MYSTERY / CRIME WRITERS – The official site for Mystery Writers of America, which hosts the prestigious Edgar Awards. This is a professional organization for mystery and crime writers. The site includes news, research resources, an online library, a bookstore, and a host of other services. – The official site of Sisters in Crime, an international organization created to promote parity for female mystery writers. Open to both readers and writers, it’s also an excellent place to meet like-minded people interested in mysteries and thrillers–a great place for writers to network with each other and connect with readers. – The official site of International Thriller Writers. This is a professional organization for thriller writers and hosts the annual Thrillerfest conference. – The Writer’s Medical and Forensics Lab is a site dedicated to answering questions about and providing insight regarding forensic medicine. The information, targeted toward writers, covers a broad range of subjects in accessible language. Classes, lectures, case studies, and manuscript evaluations are all available through the site.

Lee – Lee Lofland’s site and blog, The Graveyard Shift, is a virtual treasure chest for writers of crime fiction. Lee has worked in multiple areas of law enforcement and is the founder of the Writer’s Police Academy, one of the best conferences around for crime writers, with hands-on training from various law enforcement professionals. The blog has posts about weapons, police training, what it’s like to be an officer, and just about anything you can think of related to law enforcement. – Features, contests, conferences, retreats, and other resources for aspiring and professional mystery writers. They sponsor the Deadly Ink writer’s conference, listed below under” conferences.” – The Southeastern Mystery Writers of America site is loaded with good information for writers in the southeastern part of the U.S.

Stop, You’re Killing Me! is a resource for lovers of mystery, crime, thriller, spy, and suspense books. They list over 4,900 authors, with chronological lists of their books (over 56,000 titles), both series (5,500+) and non-series. If you write crime fiction, it’s a great way to keep up with who’s who in the industry. Crime Fiction and Mystery Guide – This genre guide has links to a ton of resources for mystery readers and writers. There are also links for anyone who teaches writing to children and would like to incorporate grade-appropriate mysteries. Thanks to Jacky Talbott for suggesting this resource.

Mystery Thriller Week – This annual online event offers author interviews, blog posts about mysteries and thrillers, author profiles, chats with authors and a ton of great programming, some for readers and some for writers. It’s a week-long event with pretty much round the clock programming.

GENERAL RESEARCH – An excellent source of information for any writer. Put in the topic you need to research, and Jeeves will take you to a host of sites related to your topic. – A free site that has links to encyclopedias, almanacs, dictionaries, all major online newspapers, thousands of small-town and international papers, over 50 search engines, and more. A simply invaluable resource for writers (and anyone else with an unquenchable desire to know things).




crime-lab-projectThe Crime Lab Project is a non-profit organization started by writers and producers, but open to the public, the Crime Lab Project works to increase awareness of the problems facing public forensic science agencies. As the Crime Lab site says, “We seek greater support and resources for crime labs, coroner and medical examiners’ offices, and other public agencies using forensic science. We also seek support for forensic science education and research.”

Anyone may join the Crime Lab Project. Click here for more information.

The Crime Lab Project, Inc. is 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation.