Because of my boundless love for you, dearest writer, I don’t want you to struggle and slog your way through the internet in search of gilded writing advice as I once did. I have googled and clicked many times, so you only have to click a few times.

Below, I share some of the valuable resources that have helped shape me into the writer I am today. If you don’t really care about the writer I am today (I get that), then let’s focus on how utilizing some of these resources can help you become a better writer 😀 and land your dream agent and become the next JK Rowling or Beyonce. Let’s dive in:

Podcasts:

Image result for podcast gif

88 Cups of Tea with Yin Chang

  • Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/88-cups-of-tea-with-yin-chang/id1027586565?mt=2
  • Why I love it: THIS IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE WRITING PODCAST. Yin is such an intentional and encouraging interviewer, and you really get a look behind the curtain of publishing, writing, creativity, and struggle as Yin interviews various YA authors (and sometimes even agents!) If you take advantage of only a single resource from this entire list, let it be this podcast. Go. Be blessed.

First Draft with Sarah Enni

  • Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/first-draft-with-sarah-enni/id896407410?mt=2
  • Why I love it: Another great podcast by YA author Sarah Enni, who dives deep into the YA world through her interviews with various YA authors. Sarah asks great questions and these interviews have really inspired me to keep at it in times when I would have rather stuck a spoon into my eye than edit the same chapter one more time.

The Manuscript Academy

  • Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-manuscript-academy/id1171799743?mt=2
  • Why I love it: Manuscript Academy focuses more on the publishing side of writing in their podcast, run agent by literary agent Jessica Sinsheimer, and conference organizer and media professional, Julie Kingsley. Definitely check out episode 43 featuring agent John Cusick, who breaks down what makes the first line of a story standout.

Favorite talks on writing:

Fearless Female Writers Panel | San Diego Comic-Con 2018

  • Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxioQQqWLSY
  • Why I love it: It’s just a great panel featuring some bad ass female authors on their writing process, characterization, and the future of females in story. Very inspiring.

Young Adult Authors Discuss the Writing Process

  • Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-IZ9nI6zOM
  • Why I love it: The title is pretty self-explanatory, its YA authors discussing their writing process. There’s a little bit of introductory fluff at the beginning but the real action gets started at 8:33.

Sabaa Tahir (AN EMBER IN THE ASHES) & Patrick Rothfuss (THE NAME OF THE WIND) in conversation

  • Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaQWNgPJAPc
  • Why I love it: Because OBVIOUSLY. Two fantastic fantasy writers discussing their process, the struggles of writing the second book in a series, and managing publisher expectations.

Oprah & JK Rowling in Scotland

  • Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTotbiUjLxw
  • Why I love it: Also…because of course I would love it. Any human would love it. Even non-human androids love it. Oprah interviewing JK Rowling, who candidly discusses her depression, her fame, and what she’ll do after writing the most successful series of all time.

Blogs on the Craft of Writing:

Image result for blog gif

Susan Dennard’s Library of Wisdom

  • Link: https://susandennard.com/writing-resources/
  • Why I love it: Susan Dennard, bless her, is the YA author of the popular Truthwitch series, and she’s one of the most dedicated authors when it comes to helping other writers improve their craft. Her resources on plotting, character arcs, writing the climax, etc are invaluable. Dennard breaks everything down in a way that’s easy to understand and apply.

Helping Writer’s become Authors

  • Link: https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/
  • Why I love it: Short and sweet blogs on the craft of writing that pack a punch. It was very easy for me to read a blog before I started writing for the day and apply some new tips and tricks therein.

Writers Write

  • Link: https://writerswrite.co.za/
  • Why I love it: Another great blog I frequented often when I was first diving deeper into my writing craft. It features topics from compelling protagonists to how to plot out a series. Take advantage of the search feature as they’ve covered a vast array of topics.

Stephanie Garber’s Publishing Journey

  • Link: http://www.literaryrambles.com/2017/02/stephanie-garber-guest-post.html
  • Why I love it: Okay this guest blog post by Stephanie, YA author of the very popular Caraval series, isn’t technically about writing craft, but if you’re in need of crafting patience and perseverance and some inspiration, look no further. Stephanie’s journey to publication is a long one, but it reminds me never to give up every time I read it!

Blogs featuring contests and craft work:

Janet Reid, Literary Agent

  • Link: http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/
  • Why I love it: If you’re writing your query, this is the place to go. Query shark is run by literary agent Janet Reid, and she takes her own valuable time to break down queries and let us know what makes them work or what would send them straight into the rejection pile. I’m not sure how the process works to enter your own query for critique, but I’m giving you the website so I’m trusting you can read and figure it out from there. Don’t let me down 😉

Miss Snark’s First Victim

  • Link: http://misssnarksfirstvictim.blogspot.com/
  • Why I love it: This was one of the first writing resources I ever came upon! Run by Jillian Boehme, a YA fantasy author, who puts an unparalleled amount of work into helping writers with her contests, insight, and inspiring/vulnerable words. She hosts different critiques every so often that you can enter, and I would highly recommend taking full advantage!

Author Mentor Match created by Alexa Donne

  • Link: https://amm-4ddff9.easywp.com/
  • Why I love it: After being around for a while, I’ve seen firsthand how valuable (and close knit!) the AMM community is. I have a few friends who have been mentored or are currently mentors themselves, and it’s a great, free way to take your finished manuscript to the next level. This contest runs a few times a year so there’s plenty of chances to enter.

Pitch Wars

  • Link: https://pitchwars.org/
  • Why I love it: Like Author Mentor Match, Pitch Wars matches aspiring authors with experienced mentors so they can shape their manuscript into the best possible version of itself. A bit more selective than AMM as this contest runs only once a year, but definitely worth entering if your manuscript will be finished by the end of the summer when the submission window opens!

Websites & Blogs on the Industry:

Image result for writing gif

Writer’s Digest: How I got my agent

Writer’s Digest: New Agency Alerts

Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent Blog

  • Link: https://rachellegardner.com/blog/
  • Why I love it: I’ve used this blog quite a bit when I was first getting started in my writing journey. Rachelle is an agent who takes a lot of her time writing easy to digest blogs to help you become better at both the business and creative side of writing.

The Manuscript Academy

  • Link: https://manuscriptacademy.com/
  • Why I love it: I mentioned them above as well, but this website helped me land my agent, as you can read here and here, so I’m obviously biased. They have a great podcast that’s helpful for writer’s in the pre-querying stages, and they offer a ton of great classes and critiques that you can sign up for! Run by an agent and an author, it’s designed with writer’s in mind.

Manuscript Wish List

  • Link: http://www.manuscriptwishlist.com/
  • Why I love it: A great way to search for agents interested in your genre and see what themes/arcs/plotlines they’re looking for. A handy tool for building your query list!

#MSWL wish list

  • Link: https://mswishlist.com/
  • Why I love it: An easy way to browse agents’ and editors’ twitter posts with the #mswl (manuscript wish list). A great way to easily see what agents are looking for, and to search and see if someone’s looking for what you’ve written! It’s like a matchmaker tool for the writer and I used it quite a bit to narrow down my query list.

Query Tracker

  • Link: https://querytracker.net/
  • Why I love it: It’s THE BEST if you’re into Stalking Within Reason. I got the paid version this last round of querying, and it was an invaluable way to stress myself out even more. I loved it. I could see when an agent responded to a query, see which genres they requested most, and also keep a list handy of everyone I’d queried/hoped to query. 10/10 would recommend.

Publishers Marketplace

  • Link: https://www.publishersmarketplace.com/
  • Why I love it: This is super helpful once you’re getting interest from agents, and even before then to figure out what’s currently selling in your genre! This site requires a subscription, but it can help you determine which agents/agencies are making sales and which aren’t—a beneficial bit of information if you’re trying to choose between multiple agents.

That’s all she wrote, folks! I hope these resources are helpful to you on your journey to finish your first book, get your first agent, or prepare for your first attempt at world domination. Lots of love, etc, etc.

Bree

Podcasts:

Image result for podcast gif

88 Cups of Tea with Yin Chang

  • Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/88-cups-of-tea-with-yin-chang/id1027586565?mt=2
  • Why I love it: THIS IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE WRITING PODCAST. Yin is such an intentional and encouraging interviewer, and you really get a look behind the curtain of publishing, writing, creativity, and struggle as Yin interviews various YA authors (and sometimes even agents!) If you take advantage of only a single resource from this entire list, let it be this podcast. Go. Be blessed.

First Draft with Sarah Enni

  • Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/first-draft-with-sarah-enni/id896407410?mt=2
  • Why I love it: Another great podcast by YA author Sarah Enni, who dives deep into the YA world through her interviews with various YA authors. Sarah asks great questions and these interviews have really inspired me to keep at it in times when I would have rather stuck a spoon into my eye than edit the same chapter one more time.

The Manuscript Academy

  • Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-manuscript-academy/id1171799743?mt=2
  • Why I love it: Manuscript Academy focuses more on the publishing side of writing in their podcast, run agent by literary agent Jessica Sinsheimer, and conference organizer and media professional, Julie Kingsley. Definitely check out episode 43 featuring agent John Cusick, who breaks down what makes the first line of a story standout.

Favorite talks on writing:

Fearless Female Writers Panel | San Diego Comic-Con 2018

  • Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxioQQqWLSY
  • Why I love it: It’s just a great panel featuring some bad ass female authors on their writing process, characterization, and the future of females in story. Very inspiring.

Young Adult Authors Discuss the Writing Process

  • Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-IZ9nI6zOM
  • Why I love it: The title is pretty self-explanatory, its YA authors discussing their writing process. There’s a little bit of introductory fluff at the beginning but the real action gets started at 8:33.

Sabaa Tahir (AN EMBER IN THE ASHES) & Patrick Rothfuss (THE NAME OF THE WIND) in conversation

  • Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaQWNgPJAPc
  • Why I love it: Because OBVIOUSLY. Two fantastic fantasy writers discussing their process, the struggles of writing the second book in a series, and managing publisher expectations.

Oprah & JK Rowling in Scotland

  • Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTotbiUjLxw
  • Why I love it: Also…because of course I would love it. Any human would love it. Even non-human androids love it. Oprah interviewing JK Rowling, who candidly discusses her depression, her fame, and what she’ll do after writing the most successful series of all time.

Blogs on the Craft of Writing:

Image result for blog gif

Susan Dennard’s Library of Wisdom

  • Link: https://susandennard.com/writing-resources/
  • Why I love it: Susan Dennard, bless her, is the YA author of the popular Truthwitch series, and she’s one of the most dedicated authors when it comes to helping other writers improve their craft. Her resources on plotting, character arcs, writing the climax, etc are invaluable. Dennard breaks everything down in a way that’s easy to understand and apply.

Helping Writer’s become Authors

  • Link: https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/
  • Why I love it: Short and sweet blogs on the craft of writing that pack a punch. It was very easy for me to read a blog before I started writing for the day and apply some new tips and tricks therein.

Writers Write

  • Link: https://writerswrite.co.za/
  • Why I love it: Another great blog I frequented often when I was first diving deeper into my writing craft. It features topics from compelling protagonists to how to plot out a series. Take advantage of the search feature as they’ve covered a vast array of topics.

Stephanie Garber’s Publishing Journey

  • Link: http://www.literaryrambles.com/2017/02/stephanie-garber-guest-post.html
  • Why I love it: Okay this guest blog post by Stephanie, YA author of the very popular Caraval series, isn’t technically about writing craft, but if you’re in need of crafting patience and perseverance and some inspiration, look no further. Stephanie’s journey to publication is a long one, but it reminds me never to give up every time I read it!

Blogs featuring contests and craft work:

Janet Reid, Literary Agent

  • Link: http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/
  • Why I love it: If you’re writing your query, this is the place to go. Query shark is run by literary agent Janet Reid, and she takes her own valuable time to break down queries and let us know what makes them work or what would send them straight into the rejection pile. I’m not sure how the process works to enter your own query for critique, but I’m giving you the website so I’m trusting you can read and figure it out from there. Don’t let me down 😉

Miss Snark’s First Victim

  • Link: http://misssnarksfirstvictim.blogspot.com/
  • Why I love it: This was one of the first writing resources I ever came upon! Run by Jillian Boehme, a YA fantasy author, who puts an unparalleled amount of work into helping writers with her contests, insight, and inspiring/vulnerable words. She hosts different critiques every so often that you can enter, and I would highly recommend taking full advantage!

Author Mentor Match created by Alexa Donne

  • Link: https://amm-4ddff9.easywp.com/
  • Why I love it: After being around for a while, I’ve seen firsthand how valuable (and close knit!) the AMM community is. I have a few friends who have been mentored or are currently mentors themselves, and it’s a great, free way to take your finished manuscript to the next level. This contest runs a few times a year so there’s plenty of chances to enter.

Pitch Wars

  • Link: https://pitchwars.org/
  • Why I love it: Like Author Mentor Match, Pitch Wars matches aspiring authors with experienced mentors so they can shape their manuscript into the best possible version of itself. A bit more selective than AMM as this contest runs only once a year, but definitely worth entering if your manuscript will be finished by the end of the summer when the submission window opens!

Websites & Blogs on the Industry:

Image result for writing gif

Writer’s Digest: How I got my agent

Writer’s Digest: New Agency Alerts

Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent Blog

  • Link: https://rachellegardner.com/blog/
  • Why I love it: I’ve used this blog quite a bit when I was first getting started in my writing journey. Rachelle is an agent who takes a lot of her time writing easy to digest blogs to help you become better at both the business and creative side of writing.

The Manuscript Academy

  • Link: https://manuscriptacademy.com/
  • Why I love it: I mentioned them above as well, but this website helped me land my agent, as you can read here and here, so I’m obviously biased. They have a great podcast that’s helpful for writer’s in the pre-querying stages, and they offer a ton of great classes and critiques that you can sign up for! Run by an agent and an author, it’s designed with writer’s in mind.

Manuscript Wish List

  • Link: http://www.manuscriptwishlist.com/
  • Why I love it: A great way to search for agents interested in your genre and see what themes/arcs/plotlines they’re looking for. A handy tool for building your query list!

#MSWL wish list

  • Link: https://mswishlist.com/
  • Why I love it: An easy way to browse agents’ and editors’ twitter posts with the #mswl (manuscript wish list). A great way to easily see what agents are looking for, and to search and see if someone’s looking for what you’ve written! It’s like a matchmaker tool for the writer and I used it quite a bit to narrow down my query list.

Query Tracker

  • Link: https://querytracker.net/
  • Why I love it: It’s THE BEST if you’re into Stalking Within Reason. I got the paid version this last round of querying, and it was an invaluable way to stress myself out even more. I loved it. I could see when an agent responded to a query, see which genres they requested most, and also keep a list handy of everyone I’d queried/hoped to query. 10/10 would recommend.

Publishers Marketplace

  • Link: https://www.publishersmarketplace.com/
  • Why I love it: This is super helpful once you’re getting interest from agents, and even before then to figure out what’s currently selling in your genre! This site requires a subscription, but it can help you determine which agents/agencies are making sales and which aren’t—a beneficial bit of information if you’re trying to choose between multiple agents.

That’s all she wrote, folks! I hope these resources are helpful to you on your journey to finish your first book, get your first agent, or prepare for your first attempt at world domination. Lots of love, etc, etc.

Bree