Every Writer Needs Resources

You bled out your fingertips as you wove your masterpiece, and now it’s done. You’ve got your manuscript complete.

Now what?

I was mystified a few years ago. What do you do? I mean, isn’t it as simple as
1. Write
2. [unknown process]
3. Profit!
?

Yeah… not so much. But thankfully, some friends farther along the writing process helped me out by showing me a number of resources. These aren’t the only resources out there, but if you’re trying to get your writing published, these are great places to know about.

  • Shunn Manuscript Format: If you’ve written a short story, you’ll likely need to know what Shunn Manuscript Format, or Manuscript Format, is. Most places that are looking for short stories want your stories in this format. Now, not every editor is picky, but by using this format, you’ll be respecting the editors as they work through the slush pile. If you annoy one of them, you’re not getting published. Make their job easier. Use Manuscript Format.
  • Open Call: Now that you’ve got that short story figured out, where do you send it? This Facebook group announces open calls for science fiction, fantasy, and horror publications. The posts will usually let you know if it’s a magazine, an anthology, how much they pay, and what they’re looking for. I made my first several sales because of this group.
  • Authors Publish: This group sends out regular emails sharing open calls for short stories as well as publishers looking for novels and other forms of writing, such as poetry or nonfiction. While I certainly don’t use all of the information they send out–I’m not a poetry guy!–it’s useful to see what’s out there. I’ve made several sales because of this site!
  • Writer Beware: It’s also good to know about the many, many scams that are out there. Writer Beware lets you know what to look out for. You can always search their great site for specific publishers, but it’s worth your time to read their general articles so no one gets the chance to take advantage of you.
  • 20Booksto50k: This private Facebook group talks about the business of writing. If you’re looking for help with the craft, look elsewhere. If you’re trying to figure out how to market your book, this group is invaluable. They do have certain rules to abide by if you’re planning to participate, but in my opinion they’re very reasonable. If you want to make a living with your writing, join here, and join here quickly.

Of course there are plenty of other resources out there, and these are not the only groups or sites I frequent. However, if you’re getting started, you could do far worse. And if you’re past the “getting started” phase, but you’re still looking for more sites, again, check these out!

Published by Jon

Jon lives in Kentucky with his wife and an insanity of children. (A group of children is called an insanity. Trust me.)

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