May 21, 2010, Newsletter Issue #203: Resources

Tip of the Week











Below are several archived tips from the old “Resources” category.  Though some tips have been edited by the current guru, James Gapinski, most are the original creations of past Life Tips gurus.
 
Research companies in your area
 
Create a list of companies in your area that would be likely to hire writers. Brainstorm!! Send job query letters to magazines, newspapers, online firms, university communications & development departments, etc.
 
General Online Resources
 
This site contains an exhaustive list of places you can go online to get advice, job leads, and support for your writing career.
 
http://minerva.stkate.edu/offices/administrative/careerdev.nsf/pages/links4writing#gen
 
Major style resources for today´s writer
 
Writers trying to publish today should be familiar with the following style guides. Doubtless you know MLA from your college term paper days, but Chicago style is an equally important thing to know--many "non-literary" markets will prefer it.
 
Modern Language Association (style guide)
http://www.mla.org/
 
Chicago Manual of Style
http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/cmosfaq/
 
American Spoken English
http://www.spokenamericanenglish.com/
 
Online Workshops
 
Need a class but have no time? Consider an online class. Do some digging on the internet. Choose a course that is run by people with M.A. or M.F.A writing degrees or at least a solid list of publications.
 
Your college Career Services office
 
You may have forgotten all about those perky people in Career Services because you graduated ages ago. But did you know that as an alum you are still entitled to their help? Give them a call. Successful graduates often list open positions exclusively with their alma mater’s Career office. They looooooove filling positions in their companies with people from their old school--even years down the road.
 
Searching for a job online
 
Set up search agents on sites like JournalismJobs.com & MediaBistro.com. The writing resource site Sunoasis.com keeps lists and features detailed articles about searching online. Be proactive with the listings you find--thousands of other people are also pulling them up on their computers, so you’ll want to act quickly.
 
Online writing communities
 
For Writers.com
http://www.forwriters.com/
 
The Online Writery
http://www.missouri.edu/~writery/fun.html
 
Writing.com Online Community
(I have an account with them, it’s a great community.)
http://www.writing.com/?rfrc=stories.com&rfrt=www
 
Zuzu’s Petals Literary Resources
http://www.zuzu.com/index.htm
 
Writer Groups
 
Research writing groups in your area by internet search. I found several in my city by searching under "state/city & writer group".
 
Also check out this list, organized by genre/audience/subject matter.
http://www.writerswrite.com/groups.htm
 
Adult Education & Distance Learning
 
This site on Yahoo will help you find a writing course in your area that you can attend after work or in your spare time. Check your local yellow pages for Adult Education institutes in your area.
 
http://dir.yahoo.com/Education/Distance_Learning/Adult_and_Continuing_Education/
 
Network
 
It gets said a lot, but it’s true. The best jobs are had because you take the time to make a contact in your desired industry. Call HR reps at companies you think might have room for writers and get their input on your chances. Chances are, they’ll be willing to have you come in for a chat. HR reps are skilled at sizing people up to see if they would fit a job or a company--so have your portfolio ready and be able to say in detail what you’re looking for in a position and why you’re interested in that company.
 
Seminars
 
Check the Events page on websites of local colleges and universities for seminars, weekend workshops, etc., that may be free or very economical.
 
Promoting Your Site
 
Have your site blasted to loads of search engines to ensure plenty of hits. Click the button below for a quick, easy submission.
 
Add Me!
 
Publications that will help you find homes for your work
 
1. THE WRITER’S MARKET (published each year)
A book that lists markets for journals, magazines, etc. This is available in the bookstore, but since it is an annual publication, I recommend consulting one in a library.
 
2. POETS & WRITERS MAGAZINE--www.pw.org/index.html
A good general resource. Lists contests, deadlines, etc., as well as articles useful to writers who want to publish.
 
3. WEBSITES of individual journals--will have a page for submissions guidelines.
 
4. YOUR HUMBLE GURU
I keep lists of journals & their stats on hand & would be happy to suggest one for you. Or if you would like an exhaustive list, give a yell for that too.
 
University Writing Programs
 
More and more schools are offering instruction and degrees in creative writing. These are good if you want to immerse yourself in an intensive writers community, and thus will require considerable investments of time and finances.
 
Research programs on this list to find one that’s right for you.
 
http://www.gradschools.com/listings/menus/creative_write_menu.html
 
Find Resources in CraigsList
 
From finding a local writer's group where you can get your work read and critiqued, to finding writing jobs, CraigList is a great resource to help you with all your creative writing endeavors. Just be careful of scams- don't send money over the internet and meet writing groups in public places!
 
http://www.craigslist.org
 
General Links
 
The Writers Market
http://www.writersmarket.com
 
Sunoasis
www.sunoasis.com
 
Careers in Writing
http://minerva.stkate.edu/offices/administrative/careerdev.nsf/pages/links4writing#gen
 
PubList
www.publist.com
 
Bookwire
http://www.bookwire.com/bookwire/
 
BookTalk
http://www.booktalk.com/
 
Writers Digest
http://www.writersdigest.com/101sites/2002_index.asp
 
Literary Marketplace
http://www.literarymarketplace.com/lmp/us/index_us.asp
 
Basic Web Design for Writers
 
If you want a writing career these days, it doesn´t hurt to be literate in either HTML or Java. Fortunately, neither is difficult to learn, and you can easily pick them up from the slew of online tutorials available. EchoEcho.com has tons of web design resources to get you started. http://www.echoecho.com/
 
Create a Free Writing Website
 
In order to get your writing out there, you can build a free website at several different websites, including http://www.freewebs.com and http://www.wordpress.com. Additionally, there are many free resources out there that can help you create the website that you want. http://www.bravenet.com is one of my favorites.

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