76 Resources for Writers (updated 2024)

76 Resources for Writers (updated 2024)

Before you get started, a few notes on the links. First of all, I don’t necessarily use or outright endorse all of these resources for writers myself. Thing is, in compiling this list I started thinking, “Who am I to judge what is helpful for other writers?” My goal is to provide you with a starting point for online exploration, not tell you what to do. So if you hate some of this stuff? Fine, not my fault! If you love it? I take full credit!

There really is a lot of stuff here. I recommend bookmarking this page. Come back any time to browse, because it took me days to compile and it’s not going anywhere.

If you’re self-publishing, don’t miss my warnings about iUniverse and Author Solutions.

Writing Prompts

Sometimes it’s not the writing that’s tricky. Sometimes it’s picking something to write about. Use these links for exploring different writing prompts for your blog, your personal journal, or even your next novel.

1800+ Creative Writing Prompt: From the folks at Reedsy. (You might also like the cloud wordprocessing software they offer.)

Plinky: Writing prompts change daily. You can upload images and then share your response on your blog or social media accounts.

Writer’s Digest Promptly Blog: Look for prompts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Includes flash-fiction prompts, activities and some Q&As.

Writing Prompts for Sci-Fi & Fantasy Lovers: A static page with 15 different Sci-Fi & Fantasy prompts to try. Don’t miss the other prompts for poetry and creative writing.

Technology Inspired Prompts: Another page from Writing Forward. I just couldn’t resist.

Red Writing Hood:  Fiction or non-fiction writing meme. Prompts are posted Tuesdays, and you can link up your posts on Fridays.

Mama Kat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writing Prompts: Weekly writing prompts and link-up for networking with other writers and bloggers.

Help for Fiction Writers

It doesn’t matter what part of the writing process has you stumped, it can be so frustrating to hit a wall. These writer’s resources for fiction writers get you through some of writing’s major challenges.

Guide to Literary Agents: Writer’s Digest blog written by Robert Lee Brewer. A must read if you’re ready to query.

Kurt Vonnegut’s Tips for Writing Fiction: How could I not include something Vonnegut? He was born in Indianapolis. Eight short rules to make you a better writer.

5 Ways Not to Write a Novel: Sometimes we learn what to do; sometimes we learn what not to do. Number 2 on the list is one of my personal pet peeves. (Yet, sometimes I still catch myself doing it.)

Character Profile Form: Simple, but oh-so-handy tool for creating memorable characters.

101 of the Best Fiction Writing Tips: A four-part series on Write it Sideways. Basically another link round-up like this one. (Hint: bookmark posts like these for browsing later.)

9 Questions to Create a Novel: Using these 9 questions, authors can clarify the scope of their work and identify themes.

Regional Vocabularies: Yes, I linked to a Wikipedia article. Just my way of suggesting that you do some research to make your characters’ dialogue truly authentic.

General Writing

These writer’s resources are potentially helpful and inspirational no matter what you write. Some funny and unorthodox, some straight-laced and in your face.

50 of the Best Websites for Writers: EduChoice.org has compiled a pretty extensive list of links broken down by category—some obvious sites listed here, some not so obvious.

How to Use an Apostrophe: Oh yes I did, because I love the Oatmeal. If you already know how to use an apostrophe, then have a chuckle or two.

The Hot Author Report: I notice THAR is not currently accepting reviews, but you can still jump to the query page to request a feature. Couldn’t hurt, right?

101 Tips to Overcome Writer’s Block: I usually just read, but find what works for you. Tons of stuff to try, but #25 seems pretty damn scary if you ask me.

30 Books to Read Before You’re 30: Good writers read. A lot. How many of these have you read so far?

Ambiguous Word List: Some words are more flexible than others. This rather nifty little list sorts words from most to least flexible and allows you to more info on synonyms, hypernyms and hyponyms. Cool for word nerds.

I Write Like: Just plain fun. Copy and paste text from your WIP or your blog and find out who you write like. (Apparently, I write like H.P. Lovecraft, 20th century master of weird fiction.)

Plague Words and Phrases: They make it sound so medieval, don’t they? Just some junky and clunky phrases to avoid in your writing.

13 Writing Tips: I know, I know. Everyone has writing tips. But these aren’t just any writing tips; these are Chuck Palahniuk’s writing tips.

Tip of My Tongue: I’ve filed this one under “Things I Wish I’d Thought Of.” Looking for a word, but you just can’t get your brain to recall it? There just might be a way to find it after all. (There’s also an app.)

Why Copying Inspires Creativity: Think of Finding Forrester and maybe try copying a bit of something the next time you get stuck.

Manage Your Writing: The blog of my editing professor at IUPUI, Kenneth W. Davis, this site offers practical advice for sprucing up your business writing. (Hint: lots of these tips can be applied broadly across genres.)

Letter Writers Alliance: Writing improves with practice, and letters are a great way to practice. A blog friend of mine turned me on to this site. The LWA is no more, but the site is archived for posterity.

57 Tips for Writers, From Writers: King, Grisham, Hemingway—your favorite authors are all here to help you out.

Critique.org Workshops: If you really want to be an excellent writer, you want feedback on your work. Just one place you might look for peer review.

11 Stupidest Writing Mistakes: I love this post for the subheadings alone—constipated clauses, comma vomit, the death of adverbs, etc. etc. etc.

10 Grammar Rules You Can (And Should) Ignore: Breaking the rules of grammar is so much fun. It’s also very effective if you break the rules thoughtfully. As a linguistics minor and a language liberal, I heart this page.

Funds for Writers: A whole website dedicated to finding grants and other ways to financially support your dreams.

Poets & Writers: Lots of stuff to check out here, but I wanted to draw your attention to the fact that they maintain databases of creative writing contests and grants, MFA programs, and literary journals.

Freelance Writing

If you’re looking to pad your wallet or put food on the table, freelance writing is a viable career. (Just ask me, I know!) These writer’s resources for freelance writers can help you write better, find better jobs, and earn more money.

Word Count: Freelancing in the Digital Age: This is just one of those all-around good sites for information on freelance writing. Includes a weekly recommended reading feature, I think you’ll find helpful.

Freelance Writing Jobs: I get asked about 100 times per week where people can find freelance writing jobs. Here’s one place.

PoeWar: And here’s another place you might find some freelance writing job leads.

How to Create a Client Pricing Package: Overall, Freelance Folder is a great resource. I picked this post in particular, because freelance writers—yes, even some veterans—tend to fret about setting fees.

Networking, Classes & Workshops

Networking, classes, and writer’s workshops are invaluable. Some are free, some aren’t. Ultimately, it’s up to you to investigate and find the opportunity that helps you achieve your goals and fits into your budget and schedule.

The Freelance Writers Den: A subscription-based site for freelancers with an emphasis on learning how to earn more through webinars, articles, handouts, and teleclasses.

Gotham Writers’ Workshop: Online and NYC-based workshops for just about every kind of writer. Looks like classes run about $300.

Tameri Guide for Writers: Writing workshop and seminar materials offered online. I think this could be a great resource for building your own local workshop with writers in your area.

Critique Circle: Workshops and critiques for all types of writers. I suggest checking out the FAQ page to get information about how the site works.

10 Amazing Free Online Writing Courses: From Freelance Folder, these 10 courses focus on freelance writing skills with courses on marketing writing, journalism, and web writing.

The Crafty Writer’s Creative Writing Course: Another free online course. This one is offered by Fiona Veitch Smith and is designed for beginning writers.

Starting Your Author Blog

Lots of authors blog as a way to market themselves and their works, but also as a way to develop a writing habit. Here you’ll find blogging resources that give you inspiration and questions to ponder.

Creative Something: This site isn’t just for bloggers, but it certainly works for bloggers. It’s a great reading if you’re looking for creative inspiration.

The Author’s Dilemma: To Blog or Not to Blog: Blog, Silly! There’s no question (at least in my mind). However, this article considers blogging styles and weighs the pros and cons for authors.

Three Keys to Successful Author Blogging: Some of these tips might seem obvious, but there are plenty of authors out there new to blogging. Consider your content focus, interacting with readers, and collaborating.

The Best Author Blogs: Another page from The Internet Writing Journal, this is a nice, compact list of author blogs you might want to follow.

31 Days to Building a Better Blog: ProBlogger has a newer version of the 31 day challenge, but the one I’ve linked to is free. You’re welcome.

Five Reasons Why Blogging Improves Your Writing: I agree enthusiastically. I can attest to all five of these points personally, and feel that #1 is the most important thing for writers.

Blogs By Writers

While compiling this list, Dan asked me, “How are author blogs resources for writers?” Hmph. How are they not?

Beverly Lewis

Charles Stross

Cory Doctorow

Erik Larson

Erin Morgenstern

Erin O’Brien

Frederik Pohl

Heather Massey

John Scalzi

Justine Larbalestier

Meg Cabot

Michael Ruhlman

Neil Gaiman

P.C. Hodgell

Paolo Bacigalupi

Ransom Riggs

Rick Riordan

Steve Salerno

Terry Pierce

Valerie Frankel

Miscellaneous Resources for Writers

Other random tidbits of information I didn’t want to pass up.
Ghostwriting for Beginners: Who doesn’t want to learn something from the Grumpy Old Bookman? Learn what you never knew you never knew about ghostwriting.

Writing Your Own Cookbook: Just a few helpful hints from from the blog of David Lebovitz on preparing to compile and publish your recipes in a cookbook.

Inkspot.com: If you’re looking for somewhere to host your writing portfolio online, this could work. Site is hosted by Writing.com.

7 Great Online Research Resources for Writers: Research is essential to writing well, even outside of the classroom. These suggested research resources come from Daily Writing Tips.

Resources for Children’s Writers: A pretty thorough list of resources for children’s authors created by Rachelle Burk. She covers it all from self-publishing to illustrators and images.

What’s Your Point of View: First person? Third person omniscient? What does it all mean? Exploring and discussing points of view in literature.

Query Letter Checklist: If you’re ready to start querying agents, check out Janet Reid’s Query Letter Checklist before you send. Short but sweet checklist of everything you should include.

Writing Contest Official Results

Writers’ Week and the writing contest were so much fun! More than 550 votes were cast during phase two of the contest!

I’m considering adding a second writing contest in March, so look for more information on that in the next few weeks. I’ll be doing a little market research to determine interest on the part of participants as well as sponsors and prize donors. (If you want to make sure you get this info, I suggest subscribing or following me on Twitter, FB or Google+.)

WINNERS: You will receive an email from me today asking for your contact information. Please reply to this email promptly, so we can get your prizes to you.

First Place

“Ghosts of Seniiti” takes first place. Jake Magee wins:

  • “Ghosts of Seniiti” will be published on Moxymag.com.
  • $100 Amazon Gift Card
  • Literary critique of his query letter and first 30 pages of his manuscript by Natalia Sylvester of Inky Clean.
  • Launching a Successful Freelance Web Writing Career, e-book by Jennifer Mattern of All Freelance Writing
  • T-shirt from Small Business Bonfire

Second Place

“Creative Writing” takes second place. Laurie Skelton wins:

  • $50 Amazon.com Gift Card
  • Professional business card design by KeriLynn Engel of Dreaming Iris Design.
  • 30 Day Marketing Boot Camp for Freelance Writers, e-book by Jennifer Mattern of All Freelance Writing
  • T-shirt from Small Business Bonfire

Third Place

“Business as Usual” takes third place. Stephanie wins:

  • $25 Amazon.com Gift Card
  • One month membership at The Writers Den
  • T-shirt from Small Business Bonfire

Some Votes Were Thrown Out

Now, I mentioned Saturday morning that a few late votes were counted in the displayed results. While it doesn’t really impact the contest overall, I didn’t want anyone to cry foul after seeing the numbers changing after the deadline.

The polling plug-in I used was set to close precisely at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, but collected a few results after that. I don’t understand how or why, but luckily the voting log includes a time stamp (see below), so I knew exactly which votes to cut.


Vote for Your Favorite Writing Contest Finalist

First, I owe many, many thanks to judges, Austin Briggs, Melissa Breau, and Michelle Lowery who spent last week reading and evaluating the Writers’ Week Writing Contest entries. Second, thanks to all of you who submitted entries and participated in the rest of the Writers’ Week festivities.

I’m going to skip thanking the Academy and all that crap and just get on with it. I know you’re all dying to find out which pieces made it to the voting phase of the contest.

Top 10 Finalists

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“Why Yes, I am a Total Badass” at What She Said

I’ll be honest: I’m a girly girl. I love all things Ann Taylor Loft; my idea of camping out involves parking my butt at the poolside bar of a Marriott resort; and, oh, how Clinique’s new lid smoothie eye color with the cooling metallic applicator feels like pure bliss on my tired eyelids. Read more.

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“How Vine Leaves Stuffed Nemesis” at Brainfluff

‘You’d be much more attractive if you didn’t have that cloud of midges buzzing around your head,’ I grumbled, waving away the pesky insects. I smoothed out the frown lines that weren’t doing a lot for my wonderful Grecian brow, or high perfect forehead. Read more.
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“Lessons 2” at Views from Nature

“When I was 13, I thought that everything would be easier once I was an adult,” Rachel confided. She stood at the door to her small loft studio conveniently located a stone’s throw from the cave. Read more.
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“Creative Writing” at Flight of the Tumblebee

Elevators are little more than inverted coffins strung up on piano wire. Except there also are telephones. And, really, that’s not much of an improvement if you ask me. Read more.
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“Fusio Taganinni and the Long Rescue” at Wiley-Davis.com

The difference between good binoculars and bad binoculars wasn’t what it used to be. Even optics had fallen under the domain of cheap but good. Fusio Taganinni wanted to hate his cheap binoculars, but the lenses could reveal a blackened pore at a thousand yards and besides, these binoculars were custom. Read more.
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“The Black Sheep” at {Not} Mommy of the Year

I never did care much for this part. For months I raised them. Fed them every day, made sure they had fresh water, talked to them. I helped in the barn – clipping tails, trimming hoofs and shearing wool. Most of my “help” was standing around watching and handing tools to my dad or Uncle Scott. Read more.
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“I Need To Believe” at The Misadventures of Mrs. B

I used to believe that Santa Claus was real. One night out of every year I’d lay in bed, struggling to stay awake, waiting with bated breath to hear those hooves on my roof. I must have fallen asleep too early, I’d reason the next morning. Read more.
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“Out of the Corner” at Writer’s Challenge

In two weeks I have to go back to the hospital, so Dr. Frey can do my left eye. I don’t know if things will get better or worse. But if something doesn’t change, I’m not going to make it. If things get worse, fourteen days may be all the sanity I have left. Read more.
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“Ghosts of Seniiti” at Writing Works

You can learn a lot from a mother, she thought. I wish I had that chance.
Alone in the endless green of the forest that encompassed her humble village, Alix found she had a lot of time to think. She also discovered that her thoughts didn’t always go where she wanted them to. Read more.
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“Business as Usual” at From My Write Side

“Please don’t make me have to do this again. Please tell me you have the permits with you and you are here in this building somewhere?” Blair’s hands shook as she held the cellphone to her ear. Read more.

 Vote for Your Favorite!

You have until Friday, September 30 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern to vote for your favorite. Votes are logged by IP and a cookie. (Because people who try to game the system suck, that’s why.)

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Writers' Week Wrap-Up

I’m not going to lie, last week was exhausting. But it was also a lot of fun.

Because Writers’s Week was a first-time thing for me and an experiment of sorts, I confess to being slightly worried at the start that no one would want to participate. Thank God all of you came to show your support.

Before Writers’ Week had even ended, I was asked a few times if I planned to do it again. So I thought I’d state this for the record for any of you still out there wondering: Yes, I plan to make Writers’ Week an annual event on Suess’s Pieces.

I was particularly amazed by the number of pieces submitted to the writing contest. (If you haven’t already started, I highly recommend you make your way through the list and read each entry.)

Writing Contest: Next Steps

This week our esteemed judges will continue making their rounds and evaluating all of the submissions.

Then, next week on Monday, September 26, I will post the top ten finalists as chosen by the judges. At the same time, online polling will open so that you can vote for your favorite entry.

Voting will close at midnight on Friday, September 30.

Winners will be announced on Monday, October 3.

Writers’ Week Sponsors

I can’t say thank you enough to some very generous sponsors and prize donors. They not only supported me and Suess’s Pieces, but also supported and celebrated writing and creativity on a much larger scale. Please visit them and consider giving them a shout on Twitter or Facebook to help me say thanks.


Content by Smiling Tree Writing
All Freelance Writing

Prize Donors

Small Business Bonfire
Dreaming Iris Design
All Freelance Writing
Dear Dr. Freelance
The Freelance Writers Den

Building Your Freelance Writing Career

Today the topic is freelance writing—how to start if you’ve never done it before and how to do it better if you feel like you’ve hit a wall. We’ll cover freelance writing in three sections: the basics of freelance writing, the freelance writing tools I use every single day, and no-bullshit answers to your questions.

Freelance Writing Basics

Because freelancing is one of those things I’ve been doing for a while, I’ve blogged about it a lot. I don’t want to be redundant and rehash what I’ve already covered though. So before I really get into the nitty-gritty of today’s post, I want to link you to some other articles that might be helpful for beginners (and maybe even the pros).

Interested in a Freelance Writing Career?: An interview with Missy from Literal Mom where I answer questions related to time management, breaking into freelancing, establishing fees, and building a portfolio.

Four Clients Every Freelancer Needs: A guest post for Outright.com, a site that helps business owners with accounting and bookkeeping, outlining the importance of blogs, websites, and social media accounts for freelancers.

5 Reasons Not to Be Afraid of a Freelance Career: On Grow with Stacy I explain how you can be shy, poor, ignorant, have a full-time job, and still be a freelance writer.

How to Get Deadbeat Clients to Pay Up:  As a contributor to the Small Business Bonfire Blog, I often write from the perspective of a freelancer. This post tackles ways you can more effectively deal with clients who don’t pay on time.

Top 10 Signs of the Worst Freelance Job Ever: In this guest post, I help you avoid scam freelance writing jobs by identifying some of the most common red flags.

5 Tools I Use Daily As a Freelance Writer

Freshbooks: I invoice clients and track my expenses with this cloud bookkeeping system. If you’re just starting out, you can maintain records for up to three clients for free.

Evernote: I use this for collecting notes and grabbing little bits of the internet that might be helpful for upcoming projects. There is a paid version of Evernote too, but I find the free version has everything I need.

Small Business Bonfire: It’s no secret I’m a contributing writer for the Small Business Bonfire blog and that SBB is also a sponsor of Writer’ Week. But did you know I am also an active member? Some of the past guest authors on Suess’s Pieces are Bonfire members, and I’ve guest posted for other members as well.

AP Stylebook: I have an online subscription that I bought for freelance writing jobs, but I also use it a lot at my day job. I’m such a nerd that I also frequently read the “Ask the Editor” archives for fun.

Google Alerts: Several of my clients have been with me since the beginning. Without Google Alerts to keep me informed about their industry-specific topics, I’d probably pull my hair out trying to brainstorm new topics.

Freelance Writing Q&A

Q: You said no bullshit answers. I want to know how much you charge.

I sense a little frustration in your question, and I think I understand why. Everyone one wants to know how much they can expect to get for their work. The thing is, freelance writers don’t frequently publish rates or share them with the general public. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Part of it is about protecting the freelance writer’s clients. Financial information is considered confidential by individuals and businesses alike, and a lot of freelancers err on the side of caution, even if a client has never said outright, “Please keep our rate agreement confidential.”
  • Part of it is about the freelancer’s ability to maintain flexibility when quoting new projects. Maybe the freelancer wants to charge different prices to non-profits or small businesses and adjusts quotes based on the client’s budget. Maybe the freelancer is having a difficult time finding clients and wants to lower rates for a few months. Maybe the freelancer wants to keep existing clients at an old rate while taking on new clients at a higher rate. All of these things are a lot easier to manage if you don’t publish or otherwise blab about what you charge.
  • Part of it is about competition. Some freelancers don’t publish rates or share them with colleagues because divulging that info means someone out there knows precisely how much they can undercut on a bid.
  • Part of it is that it’s just nunya damn bidnezz. (That’s the no bullshit part of this answer.) I know what it’s like to start out and feel like you don’t have a clue. But I do wonder why it’s acceptable to ask a freelancer what she makes but at the same time it’s uncouth to ask the bank teller or the guy in IT what he makes. Anyway, the reality is that you might not be able to command the same rates as a person with different skills, a bigger portfolio, and more experience. So if you’re new to freelance writing, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to ask someone who’s been writing for 30 years what he charges. Just something to ponder.

Setting rates is many times a trial-and-error sort of process. All freelance writers have to set their fees on their own, and there is no magic number that the pros are trying to hide from the newbies. With all of that disclaimer junk out of the way, I will tell you that once upon a time I wrote 500-word articles for $10 each. It was worth it to me then. It so totally isn’t now.

Q: I’ve been freelancing for 8 months now… I can get jobs consistently, but I don’t really feel like I’m advancing at all. Any advice?
I don’t know where you’re currently getting jobs and how you market yourself, but I can offer some general advice.

  • Stop looking on junk sites for work. Many of my clients look for me, I don’t go looking for them. In fact, my top three clients all found me by doing the same thing: searching Google for “freelance writers in Indianapolis.” If you don’t have a website, get one. If you have a free website that’s 5 years old, hire a professional to make it better. If no one is visiting your super-duper new site, get your SEO on.
  • Make it easy for people to check up on you. Create a rockin’ portfolio and build a LinkedIn profile to serve as your resume. Get testimonials from clients. (Two of my clients decided to hire me before I ever knew they were looking.)
  • Try branching out. If all the jobs you ever apply for are blogging jobs, you probably won’t be able to satiate your drive to be creative. Step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Some people aren’t cut out to be trapped or limited by a niche or specialty.
  • Are you worth more than you’re getting paid? Raise your rates.

Q: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever written for money.

Most of the stuff I write isn’t weird at all—blog posts and web content for small businesses and large businesses make up the majority of my content. However, there was this one time that a guy asked me to give him a quote for writing messages on his behalf to women on a dating site. He told me that he’d pick the profiles he liked, and then I could write introduction letters for him. I declined. I guess money can’t buy you love or even love letters.

Q: Are you ever going to write a novel?


Q: Can you talk a little bit about freelance writing contracts?

You need to be familiar with writing contracts. Even if you don’t have your own (and you really should have one ready to use), somewhere along the way a corporate client is going to ask you to sign their contract. It will likely cover things like publication rights, compensation, confidentiality, approval and cancellation terms. Always read before you sign.

If you need help drafting your own contract, there are a few free templates online. I’ve used a variation of this contract and so have some of my clients. You can make tweaks here and there to make it fit your unique situation.

As Laura Spencer wrote on Freelance Folder, sometimes drawing up a contract for a small project is a waste of time. However, if you plan to work with a client on a big project or on a long-term basis, I highly recommend you get an agreement in writing. On little projects, you may decide that a simple email outlining the scope and pay is enough. In the end, the decision is yours, and it all comes down to how much you’re willing to risk.

Have a question for me but didn’t submit it? That’s okay! Just ask in the comments.

Do it with (AP) Style

Take the AP Style Quiz

Associated Press style is the gold standard for journalistic writing in the U.S. (And a lot of other things, too.) From personal essays you’re hoping to freelance to press releases for a client, knowing whether it’s e-mail or email will give your copy a clean look that editors will love. (Or, at least, give you some good writing karma!)Take the Writers’ Week AP Style Quiz and test your skills. If you’re rusty, or even if you’re not, consider  an online subscription to AP’s online stylebook. Or pickup a hard copy. You can also follow @APStylebook on Twitter.

1    What’s the correct style for a state when it’s used in a dateline or in conjunction with a city?

Alaska: AK, Alak., Alaska

Delaware: DE, Del., Dela.

Pennsylvania: Penn., Pa., PA

Texas: Texas, Tex., Txs.

Wisconsin: Wisc., WI, Wis.

New Jersey: N.J., NJ, Jersey

California: Cali., Calif., CA


2    More than/Over:

The book has more than/over 1,500 style mistakes.


3    Temblor/Tremblor:

The earthquake had a magnitude of 5.6 and rattled homes across the region. Geologists blamed the temblor/tremblor on a long-dormant fault line.


4    Numbers:

a)    Eighty/80 books were donated.

b)    Officials said there were six/6 robberies overnight.

c)     The hurricane was the eleventh/11th storm of the season.


5    Political Affiliations:

Michele Bachmann has support of the Tea Party/tea party. But the Minnesota Republican/republican faces a heated battle from GOP/Grand Old Party rival, Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

6    Wine:

Like all good writers, she relaxed after a long day at the computer by enjoying an oaky Chardonnay/chardonnay or a nice, full-bodied Bordeaux/bordeaux.


7    He ran to the local Wal-Mart/Walmart to pick up some groceries.


8   Abbreviations:

a)    Senator/Sen. Debbie Stabenow

b)    Rev./Reverend/Pastor Al Sharpton


9    Tech Things:

a)    She couldn’t stop hitting refresh on the website/Web site.

b)    He hastily sent the e-mail/email without proofreading.

c)     Stewart issued an edict, saying no one was allowed to use their smartphones/Smart Phones/ SmartPhones during board meetings.

d)    As Internet/internet dates go, this one was going down in flames.


For quiz answers, click here. (No cheating!)

From Writer to Writer: Mahesh Raj Mohan's Advice for New Writers

Meet Mahesh Raj Mohan

Born and raised in Oklahoma, I decided to be a professional writer when I was eight years old; aside from a brief stint as a canvasser, all of my paying jobs have been related to writing or editing. My reviews have been published by Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper The Oregonian and Hugo-nominated website Strange Horizons.

My screenplay, “Indian Errand Day” is a 2011 Kay Snow Award Winner. I live near Portland, Oregon with my wife Sara.

Mahesh’s Advice for New Writers

As you blog, create a network, appear on bidding sites (like eLance), and/or query editors, you will generate leads.

After you and the prospective client begin to discuss the project, you need to ask yourself three questions:

  1. Do you really want to write or edit this material?
  2. Is the time frame reasonable to you?
  3. How did the client react when you mentioned your rate?

If you answered “no” to any of those questions, then politely decline the project.

Here’s why:

-If you are not interested in the material, you won’t produce your best work.

-If you rush a project, you won’t produce your best work.

-If the money is way below the rate you established, you’ll resent every second of the project.

Writers and editors are not pack animals, and we are not magicians. But prospects need to understand your boundaries and whether or not you are a good fit for the project. They will appreciate your honesty.

There is no shame in turning down work that doesn’t meet the criteria I listed above. Also, don’t worry that your pipeline will dry up.

If you cast a wide enough net, you will generate more leads. And, as time goes on, these prospects will convert into clients, and some will become repeat clients.

Happy hunting!

Connect With Mahesh

Portland Freelance Writer | Twitter//

From Writer to Writer: Melissa Breau on Getting Started

Meet Melissa Breau

My name is Melissa Breau. I’m a freelance writer, editor and a cheesy romantic who likes long walks on the beach and arguing about comma placement.

I specialize in helping business owners put their passion into words. I write freelance for several magazines, including as a columnist at Pet Business and edit ebooks for self-published authors.

Melissa’s Tips for Getting Started in the Writing Biz

The best thing I ever did for my own writing was learn how to read someone else’s writing critically. Find a really good story–what was done right? Find a really bad story–what was done wrong? Keep that part of your brain switched to “on” whenever you’re reading.

Realize that writing is not one of those things you can ever truly perfect; that’s part of its charm. Because of this, you should ALWAYS be working to become better.

Know that everyone gets nervous when pitching. Proofread your pitches; maybe even let them sit overnight. But be sure to send them out, because if you don’t you definitely won’t land the assignment.

Learn how to dissect a publication; can you tell which style guide they use? What about their voice? Identify these things before you pitch; then check for them in your final piece. The closer you manage to match the publication’s tone, the more your editor will love you.

Finally, there is an amazing group of writers and editors available on social media. Introduce yourself and then listen. They share some excellent tips… (if necessary, resort to flattery).

Connect With Melissa

Jargon Writer | Twitter

From Writer to Writer: Jeena Cho

Meet Jeena Cho

Hi! I’m Jeena. I’m a full time bankruptcy attorney, wife, and a part-time writer. I practice bankruptcy law with my husband. I’ve been writing for a very long time, but blogging since 2009.

Jeena’s Advice

Don’t ever take rejection personally. (I know, it’s hard!) Try to get some feedback as to why your work was rejected, then pick yourself back up and try again. And again. And again.


Connect With Jeena

Scripting Happiness | Twitter | Facebook

From Writer to Writer: Heather Schweich

Meet Heather Schweich

I’ve been writing articles and essays as a hobby for about 5 years, but started seriously blogging at Milk Bubbles about 3 months ago. I tend to run on about nursing, parenting, and marriage all while wrangling two precocious boys. I currently call Central Florida home, but would not mind moving somewhere that has more than one season!

When not tied to a keyboard or serving as a human jungle gym, I have an on-again, off-again relationship with my sewing machine and crochet hooks. On the rare occasion I have a 3- or 4-hour block of kid-free time you will probably find me curled up with my nose in a Sci-Fi or Fantasy novel.

Bloggers Face Rejection Too

If your article or guest post gets rejected, try not to take it personally. As much as your writing is a part of you, no one is saying no to you, they’re just saying no to the piece. There are hundreds of reasons why your piece might not work and none of them have to do with who you are as a person.

Take any comments you are given and apply them as much as you can without compromising what makes your writing special. Evaluate any critiques you get, burn the ones that aren’t helpful and incorporate those that are. Your work should evolve and grow through this process, but never lose that quality which makes your writing distinctly yours. Be yourself!

Keep trying and try everyone. Determination pays off!

Connect With Heather

Milk Bubbles | Twitter

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