The Writing Craft

101 Tips to Overcome Writer’s Block

Writer’s block sucks. This site presents strategies for getting over the fence. Writers and their blocks differ, but you might find a solution here that suits you, whether you’re a beginner or pro. (Personal tip: change the kind of music you’ve been listening to.)

13 Writing Tips

As one might expect, clever and amusing writing advice from novelist Chuck Palahniuk, Portland author of “Fight Club” and other wonderfully transgressive works.


Subscribe and once a day, they send you a new word or phrase to work with, along with the word’s history and a quotation illustrating its usage.

About Freelance Writing

Freelance writer Anne Wayman regularly publishes articles and presents forums on freelancing. Includes job listings and book reviews.

American Life in Poetry

Former U.S. poet laureate Ted Kooser’s column presents newspapers with contemporary American poems and a short discussion of the techniques that make them effective. Anyone can sign up for free weekly e-mails. Partly sponsored by The Poetry Foundation.

An Economy of Talents

In this essay from Iota, a literary magazine, award-winning poet Paul Maddern discusses the history of the poetry chapbook publishing and examines its current status. Includes publishers seeking submissions.

An Honest Answer

Poet and classical scholar Joseph Salemi examines the limitations of contemporary poetry.

Bad Poets

Randall Jarrell was a relentless, irascible, and wonderful American poet and critic. Here, he reflects upon judging badly written poetry. Compassionate and ruthless. Much like Jarrell.

Between the Lines

This webzine associated with a manuscript-editing service offers interviews, craft articles, essays, forums, and blogs to inform writers and publishing professionals about the current book publishing market. The site’s free, but they charge for their services.

Blocked Writers

More tools for getting over writer’s block.

Boston Comment

Essays on contemporary poetry by poet and critic Joan Houlihan, who takes aim at incoherent experimental poetry, free verse that sounds like prose, and famous names past their prime. (That takes care of much of my work.) Houlihan is the founding director of the Concord Poetry Center in Massachusetts.

Can Poetry Matter?

Dana Gioia sees poetry imprisoned in academia and specialty publishers, and offers some solutions.

Capital Community College Guide to Grammar and Writing

A comprehensive, searchable grammar guide, including lessons on word usage, sentence structure, rhetoric, and writing research papers.

Comstock Review: The Poet’s Handbook

Poets from the Comstock Writers’ Group offer suggestions for professional poetry marketing. Also discusses contests, publishers, and poet’s groups.

Creative Writing Prompts

Over 300 writing prompts to kickstart stalled fiction or journal writers.

Critique Speak

Uses multimedia to teach writers and readers to give and receive constructive feedback.

Daily Writing Tips

Tips on grammar, punctuation, spelling, and fiction writing, offered daily (as advertised).

Death to the Death of Poetry

Poet Donald Hall reports the rumors of poetry’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

Does Poetry Matter?

Poet William Waltz suggests poets should chill and explore their playful side. Pretty good advice for all writers.

Dzanc Creative Writing Sessions

Independent small press Dzanc Books offers fee-based online mentoring, providing members with critiques of their poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction from professionally published authors. Fees support Dzanc’s creative writing programs for low-income youth. Dzanc Books also runs Black Lawrence Press, which sponsors annual literary contests.

Editor Unleashed

General writing tips for writing books, articles, essays, book reviews, a business papers.

Essay Daily

DIAGRAM editor Ander Monson curates this space for discussions about essays and essayists. Includes interviews with essayists and reviews of essays. Note: for essays, query DIAGRAM before submitting.

Facing Altars: Poetry and Prayer

Writer Mary Karr examines the parallels between poetry and prayer as “sacred speech.”

Intends to inspire writers and ease the craft’s more difficult aspects. Comments help crate a supportive community.

Holly Lisle’s Vision

Novelist Lisle’s site provides essays and articles on writing, penned by multiple authors.

How to Copyright It

Copyright basics for almost every kind of creative work.

The Unknown Good in Our Enemies

Ingrid Wendt’s essay honoring the Oregon master poet William Stafford discusses the ways that literature can foster mutual understanding and empathy. I think the compassionate Mr.Stafford would have approved.

Inkwell Editorial

Guidelines on starting a freelance writing career.

Journey’s in Ink

A multiple-author blog examining the writing craft and business, at differing stages in a writer’s career.

Make a Living Writing

Good luck. (Kidding.) Freelance writer Carol Tice addresses the writing craft, the freelance business, and making both pay.

Manuscript Editing

Fiction and nonfiction editing services, covering children’s literature, Christian books, science fiction, mysteries, and romance.

MIT OpenCourseWare

Free writing courses MIT offers through its OpenCourseWare program. Courses include: fiction, short stories, expository work, essays, technical writing, and poetry.


Online etiquette, from marketing and technology expert Judith Kallos, emphasizing the importance of courteous submissions, query letters, and weblog entries.

Novel Writing Advice

Fiction writer Caro Clarke discusses plotting, pacing, revising, and other aspects of creating a novel, from 30 articles originally written for the online magazine Novel Advice.

On Making the Poetry Manuscript

Jeffrey Levine, editor of Tupelo Press, offers advice on preparing poetry book submissions.

Philip Nikolayev: Interview

Discussions on innovation, self-subversion, and artistic growth from the editor of Fulcrum.

Poetic Asides

This poetry blog from Writer’s Digest features interviews with contemporary authors, writing prompts, advice on craft, and introductions to poetic forms.

Poetry and Politics

Poet William Pitt Root discusses poetry, politics, and moral courage.

Poetry Debates & Manifestos

Thirty-one American poets address some of modern poetry’s primary debates and literary manifestos.

Poetry’s Perilous Popularity

Slate’s A. O. Scott and Katha Pollitt examine: the gap between “official” poetry and poetry’s stealth bestsellers; and the challenges of teaching classic work.

Poets & Writers: A Frequent Winner’s Advice

Cynthia Owen’s interview with Poets & Writers Magazine discusses achieving success through writing contests.

Purdue University Online Writing Lab

PurdueUniversity’s resources for learning grammar, punctuation, spelling, APA and MLA citation styles, and composing resumes and business letters.

Rhyme or Reason – What Makes a Good Poem?

The editor of FirstWriter magazine discusses integrating rhyme more effectively into poems and choosing the best style for your subject.

Self Editing Blog

Professional editor John Robert Marlow offers advice on identifying common problems with novels, screenplays, or nonfiction books.

Writing and getting published from writers who have been “published in a few literary journals, piled up hundreds of rejection letters, worked in bookstores, and followed the industry.”

SparkNotes Ultimate Style

A grammar guide, with a searchable topic database and an alphabetical FAQ list.

Start Blogging Online

Blogger and social media expert Mike Wallagher’s site offers writers a simple step-by-step introduction to creating their web presence, including: choosing a blogging platform, the pros and cons of free versus paid hosting, promoting a blog on Twitter, search engine optimization, and digital marketing.


Novelist Larry Brooks offers advice on writing novels, screenplays, and general storytelling.

Ten Tips for Psychological Survival in Writing

Bruce Holland Rogers, author of Word Work: Surviving and Thriving as a Writer, offers his top 10 writing survival tips.

Text Etc

Articles on writing and understanding poetry, and on getting published, from novice to advanced writers.

The Everyday People’s Guide on How to Write a Novel

Novelist Peder Hill explores the writing process for his novel-in-progress, Dreaming Underwater. Articles address plotting, character development, and dialogue.

The Fortunes of Formalism

Poet and critic David Yezzi emphasizes mastery of verse forms as essential to a poet’s education, and reflects on formalism’s fall from grace.

The Frugal Editor

Book-promotion expert Carolyn Howard-Johnson tackles writing business nuts and bolts: query letters, book manuscripts, and book proposals. Readers can submit questions for the site’s possible reply.

The Contented Blog

Writer, poet, and web content strategist Rachel McAlpine offers lessons in web content development and business English.

The Creative Penn

Novelist and nonfiction writer Joanna Penn draws upon her professional experience to discuss craft and publishing options. The site includes online resources.

The Fiction Writing Blog

Novelist EmilyHanlon discusses writing, exercises, and prompts.


PurdueUniversity’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) offers over 200 grammar and writing resources.

The Poetess in America

Formalist poet Annie Finch defends poets who have fallen from fashion as literary modernism has become ascendant.

The Short Story Reading Challenge

A group blog reviewing short stories and story collections.

The Smart Approach to Contest Submissions

The staff of Poets & Writers Magazine offer seven steps to make contest submission choices more efficient and better targeted.

AlienFlower: Quick Guidelines for a Poetry Critique

Suggestions for conducting sensitive critiques and effective writing workshops.


Writing coach Cheryl Wright focuses on helping authors earn a living from their work. Includes online courses, an e-newsletter, and links to books and articles to help improve writing and marketing.

Writer’s Lounge

Tips for snagging the publishing industry’s attention. In a good way.

Writing Career

Career information for writers, including education, and career changes.

Writing It Real

A portal to writing tools and instruction. Teacher, poet, and author Sheila Bender presents this e-newsletter and online courses that offer: writing exercises, discussions, and instruction on crafting memoirs, personal essays, and poetry. The site also offers a personalized critique service.

One thought on “The Writing Craft

  1. Pingback: Uncovering New Territory in the Splatterverse | splatterverse

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