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Writer's Resources

Writer's Resources - Subject Guide

Introduction | Writing AssociationsWriting Tools | Self-Publication | Writing in General | EducationPoetry | Law for Writers

Introduction

There’s no greater thrill for writers than seeing their words published for the first time. You slave over each sentence or stanza to produce a short story, newspaper article, poem, or book, and now it’s in print and you’ve actually been paid.

Sheer bliss.

But how does this happen?

It may start with a smidgeon of an idea, like Mary Shelly thinking about the possibility of assembling a human and bringing it to life; or perhaps Charles Dickens remembering his terrible experiences in a bottle-blacking factory in his youth; or Mark Twain dreaming of floating down the Mississippi River with a runaway slave.

Whatever the spark, you’ve fed the flame until you produce your own masterpiece. And perhaps the rest of the world might consider it a masterpiece as well, but a lot has to happen from the time your writing is completed until the public reads your words.

At a magazine, newspaper, publishing house, or Internet website, an editor has to consider your writing worthwhile before it’s published. So you submit your writing for consideration and face acceptance or rejection.

Does a writer send a piece of writing to one editor at a time, or deluge many editors? Or does a writer send twenty-five articles to one editor and pray that one is accepted? 

Other authors believe in themselves enough to forego the emotional seesaw of acceptance and rejection by starting their own magazine or book publishing company. A short list of self-publishers includes W. E. B. Dubois, Deepak Chopra, Mark Twain, Gertrude Stein, Zane Grey, Upton Sinclair, Carl Sandberg, James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, Ezra Pound, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Stephen Crane, George Bernard Shaw, Virginia Wolff, e. e. Cummings, Edgar Allen Poe, Rudyard Kipling, Henry David Thoreau, Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Alexandre Dumas, Beatrix Potter, L. Ron Hubbard, and John Grisham. 

And some well-known titles that were self-published include What Color Is Your Parachute, In Search of Excellence, The Celestine Prophecy, The One-Minute Manager, The Elements of Style, The Joy of Cooking, and The Encyclopedia of Associations.

The best way to determine your route to publication is to learn about the positives and negatives of each method. We hope that this seminar, and the packets of information we distribute, will help you decide and make your road to publication a short one.

The best way to determine your route to publication is to learn about the positives and negatives of each method. We hope that this information will help you decide and make your road to publication a short one.

Writing in General

Websites for Writers

Writing forums that discuss all aspects of writing; there’s even software recommendations for writers.

Books for Writers

See www.writers.com for lists of essential purchases in a variety of genres. Below are some titles recommended for writers. All can be found at the Voorhees Branch of the Camden County Library System. Please check our catalog for availability at other branches.

  • Characters and Viewpoint (Elements of Fiction Writing) by Orson Scott Card 808.3 Car
  • The Complete Guide to Literary Contests by William F. Fabio and James M. Plagianos (compilers) Ref. 807.9 Con
  • On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Non-Fiction by William Zinsser 808.042 Zin
  • The Writer’s Art by James Kilpatrick (Out-of-print, but a book that every writer should read. Please ask your local library to obtain it by interlibrary loan.)
  • How To Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card 808.3876 Car
  • Plot: Elements of Fiction Writing by Ansen Dibell 808.3 Dib
  • How To Write A Damn Good Novel by James N. Frey 808.3 Fre
  • Self-Editing For Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King 808.3 Bro
  • The Weekend Novelist by Robert Joseph Ray 808.3 Ray
  • Writing Mysteries by Sue Grafton (editor), Jan Burke (editor), and Barry Zeman 808.3872 Wri
  • How To Write Romances (Genre Writing Series) by Phyllis Taylor Pianka 808.385 Pia
  • Writing the Modern Mystery (Genre Writing Series) by Barbara Norville (On order as of 3/03)
  • Freelance Writing for Magazines and Newspapers: Breaking in Without Selling Out by Marcia Yudkin (On order as of 3/03)
  • Associated Press Guide to New Writing by Rene J. Cappon (On order as of 3/03)
  • Writing In General And The Short Story In Particular by L. Rust Hills (On order as of 3/03)
  • The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers by John Gardener 808.3 Gar
  • You may also want to consider reading and/or purchasing the titles listed in the section “Writers’ Tools.”
  • Reference Books for Writers
  • Our reference librarians are available to assist you with your research. Below are some suggested titles to get you started. All can be found at the Voorhees Branch of the Camden County Library System. Please check our catalog for availability at other branches.
  • American Directory of Writer’s Guidelines 2nd edition, Ref. 070.5025 Ame
  • A compilation of information for freelancers from more than 1,300 magazine editors and book publishers. Explains what the editors and publishers hope to receive from writers.
  • Burrelle’s New Jersey Media Directory, NJ Ref. 070.1025 Bur
  • Complete Guide to Literary Contests, Ref. 807.9 Com
  • “Daily Life In…” A series of reference books that gives the details of everyday life in various historical time periods, for example, Daily Life in Elizabethan England. To find these titles search our catalog using the keywords daily life through history.
  • Dramatists Sourcebook, Ref. 792.025 Dra
  • Details script-submission procedures for more than 350 theaters seeking new plays; more than 150 prizes with sections on submission guidelines, fellowships and grants, organizations, script preparation, agents, colonies and residencies, workshops, publishing opportunities and submission calendar.
  • Editor & Publisher International Year Book, Ref. 070.058 Edi
  • Encyclopedia of the newspaper industry with listings for all dailies worldwide and all community and special interest U.S. and Canadian weeklies.
  • Gale Directory of Publications and Broadcast Media, Ready Ref . 071.3025 Gal
  • Grants and Awards Available to American Writers, Ref. 001.44 Gra
  • Greater Philadelphia Media Guide, Ref. 070.5025 Gre
  • Guide to Literary Agents: 600+ Agents Who Sell What You Write, Ref. 070.52 Gui
  • International Directory of Little Magazines & Small Presses, Ref. 051.025 Int
  • Literary Marketplace, Ref. 070.5 Lit & International Literary Marketplace, Ref. 070.5 Int Contact information for publishers and literary agents.
  • Ulrich’s International Periodical Directory, Ready Ref. 016.05 Ulr
  • Writers Guide to Book Editors, Publishers and Literary Agents, Ref. 070.5825 Wri

Magazines of Interest to Writers

  • American Journalism Review: Magazine for journalists and communications professionals. Copies can be found at the Voorhees Branch. Website at http://www.ajr.org.
  • Variety: Entertainment industry trade publication with information of interest to screenwriters. Copies can be found at the Voorhees Branch. Website at http://www.variety.com.
  • Editor & Publisher: Weekly magazine covering the newspaper publishing industry. Copies can be found at the Voorhees Branch. Website at http://www.editorandpublisher.com.
  • Horn Book: Bimonthly magazine covering children’s literature. Copies can be found at the Voorhees Branch. Website at http://www.hbook.com.
  • Publisher’s Weekly: Weekly magazine covering the book publishing industry. Copies can be found at the Voorhees Branch and the Haddon Twp. Branch. Website at http://www.publishersweekly.com.
  • Writer’s Digest: Monthly magazine for writers’. Copies can be found in the Periodicals Department of our Voorhees Branch and in the Periodicals section of our Haddon Twp. and South County Branches. Website at http://www.writersdigest.com.

Writing Associations

Online Resources

  • Authors Guild http://www.authorsguild.org 31 E. 28 St., New York, NY 10016. Tel: 212-563-5904. National membership organization for nonfiction & fiction books, authors & freelance journalists. Publication: The Bulletin (quarterly).
  • Dog Writers' Association of America Inc. (DWAA) http://www.dwaa.org
  • 173 Union Rd. Coatesville, PA 19320. Tel: 610-384-2436 Provide information about dogs (sport, breeding & ownership) and assist writers in gaining access to exhibitions. Publication: DWAA Newsletter (monthly).
  • Garden Writers Association of America http://www.gwaa.org 10201 Leatherleaf Ct., Manassas, VA 20111. Tel: 703-257-1032. Professional association of garden communicators, working as staff or free-lance as newspaper columnists, magazine columnists, etc. Sponsor annual writer's contest. Publication:  Quill & Trowel (bimonthly, newsletter).
  • Horror Writers' Association, (HWA) http://www.horror.org P.O. Box 50577, Palo Alto, CA 94303. Monthly newsletter, online information, databases of agents, etc. Annual Gathering. Publication: Newsletter (monthly).
  • Mystery Writers of America Inc. http://www.mysterywriters.org 17 E. 47th St., 6th Fl, New York, NY 10017. Tel:  212-888-8171. Membership open to professional writers in the mystery & other fields. Publication: Mystery Writers Annual.
  • National Association of Science Writers (NASW) http://www.nasw.org P.O. Box 294, Greenlawn, NY 11740. Tel: 631-757-5664 Local meetings in 7 cities. Publication: NASW (quarterly).
  • National Writers Union http://www.nwu.org 113 University Place, 6th fl., New York, NY 10003. Tel: 212-254-0279 An organization whose goal is better treatment of freelance writers by publishers. Publication: American Writer (quarterly).
  • Romance Writers of America http://www.rwa.org/  3707 FM 1960 West, Suite 555, Houston, TX 77068. Tel: 281-440-6885 Conducts workshops and sponsors regional conferences. Publication: Bulletin Board (monthly).
  • The New Jersey Chapter of the Romance Writers of America http://www.njromancewriters.org
  • The New Jersey Chapter of the Romance Writers of America has its meetings in Iselin, NJ (Monmouth County)
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. http://www.sfwa.org P.O. Box 171, Unity, ME 04988. Tel: 888-322-7392 (toll free) An organization of professional writers and others in this field. Publication: SFWA Bulletin (quarterly).
  • Society of American Travel Writers http://www.satw.org 1500 Sunday Dr., Suite 102, Raleigh, NC 27607. Tel: 919-787-5181.
  • Whateverswrite http://www.whateverswrite.homestead.com This is a prose writers' workshop group based in South Jersey, which meets the 1st Thursday of each month, at 7 pm, at the Haddon Township Branch of the Camden County Library.

Print Resources

The Reference Department at Voorhees Branch of the Camden County Library has a number of books listing more writers’ associations and organizations.  Some additional titles to check are: Literary Market Place (R070.5 Lit) and Writers’ Market (R070.5 Wri).

Education for Writers

Online Resources

Print Resources

The Reference Department at the Voorhees Branch of the Camden County Library has a number of books listing colleges and distance learning classes for writers; all are in the Job & Career Information Center (JACIC). A few titles are:

  • The College Blue Book Ref. 378.73 Coll
  • Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges Ref. 378.73 Pro
  • Guide to Distance Learning Programs Ref. 378.1554 Pet

Look for either “writing” or “creative writing” as the subject.

Writing Tools

Online Resources

  • Merriam Webster Online http://www.merriam-webster.com/ A dictionary based on the Webster 10th Collegiate edition, 1993. Each word includes definition, pronunciation, usage, grammar and brief etymology. Also includes a thesaurus.
  • American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language http://www.bartleby.com/61/ Searchable electronic dictionary based on the fourth edition (2000). It includes over 90,000 entries feature 10,000 new words and senses, 70,000 audio word pronunciations, 900 full-page color illustrations, language notes and word-root appendixes.
  • Librarian’s Index to the Internet Directory of Dictionaries http://lii.org/search/file/dictionaries Annotated links to all kinds of English language dictionaries and word resources including specialty subjects, rhyming dictionaries, synonyms & antonyms.
  • The Elements of Style http://www.bartleby.com/141/ The full text of the 1918 edition of this classic reference work offers rules of usage and principles of composition.
  • The American Heritage Book of English Usage http://www.bartleby.com/64/
  • This reference work offers detailed information on grammar, style, diction, word formation, gender, social groups and scientific forms.
  • Onelook http://www.onelook.com A search engine for words. Enter your word and Onelook searches a collection of over 800 online dictionaries. It can search for definitions and translations. You can also browse these dictionaries.
  • Camden County Library’s Databases http://www.camdencountylibrary.org/subscription-databases

Print Resources

The Reference Department at out Voorhees location has an extensive collection of English Language and foreign language dictionaries including the Oxford English Dictionary 2nd edition (20 vols.) English language dictionaries may be found at Ref. 423. Thesauri may be found at Ref. 423.1. Foreign language dictionaries may be found at Ref. 423.3–499. Please check our catalog for availability at other branches.

Other books of interest when writing include:

  • The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White, 807.042 Str
  • Chicago Manual of Style, Ref. 808.027 Chi
  • The New Fowler’s Modern English Usage, Ref. 423.1 Fow
  • MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 808.027 Gib
  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 808.0661 Pub

Poetry

Online Resources

  • RhymeZone Rhyming Dictionary & Thesaurus http://www.rhymezone.com Enter a word and this website helps you find rhyming words.
  • Passions In Poetry Learning Center http://www.netpoets.com/learning This site helps people write better poetry and has other information for poets.
  • Poetry.com http://www.poetry.com Another website with helpful information for poets.
  • Poetry Daily http://www.poems.com/  Information on self-publication, poetry circles and a section for posting your poetry on the Web.

     

Print Resources

Unless noted, all of the titles below can be found at the Voorhees Branch of the Camden County Library System. Please check our catalog for availability at other branches.

  • Poet's Guide: How To Publish and Perform Your Work by Michael J. Bugeja. 808.1 Bug (Bellmawr Branch)
  • Poet’s Market 2003 Ref. 070.5025 Poe
  • Poet Power! : The Practical Poet's Complete Guide to Getting Published by Thomas A. Williams. 808.1 Wil
  • Words To Rhyme With: For Poets and Song Writers by Willard R. Espy Ref. 423.1 Esp & 423.1 Esp.

Other rhyming dictionaries can be found by searching our catalog for the keywords “rhyming dictionaries.”

Self-Publication

Books

 All of the titles below can be found at the Voorhees Branch of the Camden County Library System. Please check our catalog for availability at other branches.

  • The Copyright Handbook: How to Protect & Use Written Works (5th edition) by Stephen Fishman 346.0482 Fis
  • The Copyright Permission and Libel Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers by Lloyd J. Jassin and Steve C. Schecter 346.0482 Jas
  • Editor and Publisher Syndicate Directory 2002 (On Order for Reference 3/03)
  • The Self-Publishing Manual: How To Write, Print, and Sell Your Own Book, 13th edition) by Dan Poynter (Poynter is a self-publishing guru and former president of the Publishers Marketing Association.) 070.593 Poy
  • Complete Guide to Self Publishing: Everything You Need to Know to Write, Publish, Promote, and Sell Your Own Book (Self-Publishing 4th Edition) by Tom Ross and Marilyn Ross 070.5097 Ros
  • Guerilla Marketing For Writers by Jay Conrad Levinson, Rick Frishman & Michael Larsen. (On Order 3/03)
  • Jump Start Your Book Sales: A Money-Making Guide for Authors, Independent Publishers, and Small Presses by Marilyn Ross and Tom Ross 381.45 Ros

Magazines

  • Writer’s Digest: A monthly writers’ magazine. Copies can be found at the Voorhees, Haddon Twp. and South County branches. (phone:800-333-0133, http://www.writersdigest.com)
  • Publishers Weekly: A periodical about the book industry. Copies can be found at the Voorhees and Haddon Twp. branches. (212-645-0067, http://www.publishersweekly.com)
  • Editor & Publisher- A weekly that covers the newspaper industry. Copies can be found at the Voorhees branch. (800-722-6658, http://www.editorandpublisher.com)

Self-Publishing Newsletters

  • Book Marketing Update. Open Horizon Publishing Company, 209 S. Main Street, #200. P.0. Box 205, Fairfield, IA 52556-0205.
  • The Publisher Notes. A Newsletter for the Self-Publisher. P.0. Box 8475. Denver, CO 80202.

Organizations for Self-Publishers

Mid-Atlantic Book Publishers Association (MBPA). The Dracon Building, 318 Fitzwater Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147-3204. http://www.midatlanticbookpublishers.com/

Small Publishers Association of North America (SPAN). SPAN Headquarters. P.0. Box 1306. Buena Vista, CO 81211. 719-395-4700. http://www.spannet.org/

Print On Demand

Xlibris Publishing http://www.xlibris.com A local copyediting, on-demand printing, and book marketing company.

Iuniverse Independent Publisher http://www.iuniverse.com Another company to consider for writers and publishers who want print on demand book production.

Self-Publication Websites

Bookwire http://www.bookwire.com Lots of information on book publishing and links to important websites. 

Bookzone http://www.bookzone.com A one-stop website for writers, publishers, as well as booksellers and buyers.

American Book Producers Association http://www.abpaonline.org A place for authors, editors, and publishers to shop for a book producer. (The ABPA defines a book producer as follows: “Book producers, also known as book packagers, provide all the services necessary for publication except sales and order fulfillment. They work with authors, editors, photographers, illustrators, designers, and printers (among others) to deliver fully edited manuscripts, formatted computer disks, film for a printer, or finished books. Book producers also assist publishers in developing and executing marketing plans for their titles.”)

Baltimore Writer’s Alliance http://www.baltimorewriters.org/essay%20archive/july00.html Self-publishing tips from a very active writing organization.

Law for Writers

Online Resources

Print Resources

All of the titles below can be found at the Voorhees Branch of the Camden County Library System. Please check our catalog for availability at other branches.

  • Business and Legal Forms for Authors and Self-Publishers by Tad Crawford. 343.0998 Cra
  • Copyright Handbook: How to Protect and Use Written Works (5th edition) by Stephen Fishman 346.0482 Fis
  • The Copyright Permission and Libel Handbook: A Step-By-Step Guide for Writers, Editors and Publishers by Lloyd J. Jassin and Steve C. Schecter 346.0482 Jas
  • Every Writers Guide to Copyright and Publishing Law by Ellen M. Kozak 346.0482 Koz
  • Getting Permission: How to License & Clear Copyrighted Materials Online and Off by Richard Stim 346.0482 Sti
  • Kirsch's Guide to the Book Contract: For Authors, Publishers, Editors, and Agents by Jonathan Kirsch. 343.0998 Kir
  • Making it in the music Business: a Business and Legal Guide for Songwriters and Performers by Lee Wilson. 780.68 Wil
  • The Public Domain: How to Find Copyright-Free Writings, Music, Art and More by Stephen Fishman

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