The Write Site

We’ve all read our share of books about writing, but my recent trip to the States brought home to me what an enormous range of magazines are also available on the subject. Borders Bookstore displayed a baffling range of periodicals for writers of all levels. After much thumbing and scanning, I picked two – Start Writing Now and The Writer.
With articles like 20 Ways to Make Your Writing Soar in 2005 and What Professional Writing Groups Can Do For You, The Writer was interesting enough to fuel a desire to actually subscribe to the magazine. However, I discovered that the magazine content is also available online at
Start Writing Now was billed as An Introduction To The Writing Life. Its cover promised How to Spot Contract Flaws and Story Ideas that Always Sell. Now, how could a member of Eblana leave that on the shelf? It turned out to be a once-off sub-title of the Writer’s Digest range of guides. These guides claim to have been publishing periodicals about writing for over 70 years. However, they are far from being dated, as evidenced by their website –
If ever there was a way to surf yourself into the mood for writing, this site is it. With tips on improving your writing, finding agents and publishers, writing enquiry letters, and beating the dreaded writer’s block – I challenge you to spend less than an hour on the site! It boasts its own Book Club, exclusively for writers, with each book being – yes, you’ve guessed it – all about writing. After you’ve bought and read all the how-to books and manuals and you still feel you might have something left to learn, you can always sign up for a Writers Digest on-line workshop. Here you can pay anything from $179 – $600 for an on-line course about anything from Boosting Creativity and Grammar Rules for Writers to Essentials of Mystery Writing, The Short Story or Starting a Novel.
There are a number of good UK-based websites for writers also. Check out  which includes a number of competitions that I’m sure you will be eager to enter. Same goes for  BBC also has an excellent writing section on its website that is well worth a visit, especially if you are interested in submitting work to the beeb.
You might also enjoy exploring which is looking for writers to take part in a piece of research on whether writers can be trained to write better. For those agreeing to dedicate a few hours each month to their research, they offer free, on-line, one-to-one coaching*. (Of course if the research results eventually show that you simply can’t be trained to write better, you’ll have wasted your time, won’t you!)
Finally, for those of you wondering what gifts to buy for the writer in your life, may I please direct you to
Fiona Price (check out Fiona’s ‘Trouble Brewing’ in the latest Sunday Miscellany anthology)