Connecting writers and editors with each other, resources, markets, and audiences



As a writer-editor I am often asked for advice about how to make a living as a writer or editor (or both) and how to find a good writer, editor, or proofreader. I launched this website to provide frank information both for people who want to know the basics and for those who want to dig deeper in a particular field. Those looking for a writer or editor might start with the job banks or specialized organizations for writers and editors (which often have directories or job banks). See also Can I make a living as a writer?

You will find links to websites and organizations useful for writers and editors, both general and specialized, with an emphasis on North America. The range of specialty organizations is astonishing -- serving science writers, cat writers, fantasy sports writers, to name a few. As time permits I'll add advice and organize pages so subcategories of information are easier to find. For now, think of this as a useful reference library that needs re-organizing and decorating.
-- Pat McNees



Fact-finding and fact-checking (plus calculators, converters, search engines, quotations, and checking for hoaxes, viruses, and urban legends)
Fiction writing and editing (sites, advice, organizations, and other resources)
Films, plays, and documentaries (and resources for screenwriters, playwrights, documentary filmmakers, critics, fans)
Food, beverage, and travel writing
Free digital libraries (books and references are available free online)
Freedom of Information Act and other freedoms
Freelancing, contracting, telecommuting (thriving as a creative entrepreneur)
Front matter, order of

Getting published (starting out)
Google book settlement
Grammar and style (websites, blogs, articles, quizzes, and exercises)
Grants and fellowships for writers
Great books for book clubs (and recommended reading)
Great search links

Health insurance, freelancers, and the Affordable Care Act

How much to charge (ranges for various types of service or product)'
Intelligent radio and TV talk shows
"Iowa Writers' Workshop vs. NYC


Narrative nonfiction (classic examples in book form)
Narrative nonfiction (excellent online examples, short-form)
Narrative nonfiction (books on the craft, including useful anthologies)
Narrative nonfiction (resources))
Nonfiction (including essays, academic writing, and food writing)
Novels and novelists (and shorter fiction)

Online games to engage the brain (including learning games for people with cognitive deficits)

Organizations for medical and science writers
Organizations for fiction writers and fans
Organizations of or for ghostwriters and collaborators
Organizations that help artists with disabilities
Organizations that may be useful for freelancers
Organizations for publishing professionals and booksellers
Organizations for editors, proofreaders, and indexers
Organizations, local and regional, for writers and editors
Organizations for journalists
Organizations, major (fighting for creators' rights, interests, and ethical behavior)
Plays and playwrights (Films, plays, and documentaries)
Podcasts and podcasting
Poetry and verse (plus publications, organizations, and contests)
Preface, foreword, and introduction (what's the difference?)
Print-on-Demand (POD) (digital publishing)
Publishing and bookseller organizations and resources
Publishing marketplaces
Publishing news, resources, and organizations
Radio and TV talk shows (including top NPR programs)
Recommended for book clubs
Resources for bloggers
Resources for producing ezines
Rights and permissions (clearing rights in visual arts, in music and sound, and in books, scripts, and screenplay)

Sample contracts and agreements for services
Scams, bad deals, and other ways to lose money (vanity/​​subsidy publishing, subsidy presses, and author mills
Science and medical writing
Screenwriters
Self-Publishing (indie publishing)
Social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, social networking)
So, you want to write a book! (Sarah Wernick, updated by Pat McNees)
Specialty (niche) writing , from children's books to sportswritin
Standing and adjustable-height desks and walkstations
Starting Out (getting published)
Style, grammar, and word choice
Style guides, basic
Style guides, online
Style guides and dictionaries, discipline- and situation-specific (print and online)
Style and grammar books
Subject specialties (animals, autos, bowling, children's books, food, gardens, family history, jazz, résumés, sports, travel, website, wine writing, etc.)'

Talk shows, radio and TV (the best shows for authors, readers, thinkers)
Technical writing and editing (technical communications)
Textbook and academic authors
Tips on Tact and Tone (Pat McNees)
Travel writing
The truth about print-on-demand (POD) publishing

What is the difference between a memoir and an autobiography (or memoirs) (Pat McNees)
Will journalism survive? In what form?
Writers colonies (aka residencies, communities, retreats)
Writers conferences, workshops, and other learning places
Writers' offices
Writers organizations, major See Organizations, above, for different kinds of writers organizations.
The writing life
Writing niches (including animals, autos, bowling, children's books, food, gardens, family history, jazz, résumés, sports, travel, website, and wine writing)

Can I make a living as a writer?

These links answer many frequently asked questions, such as "Can one make a living as a writer?" (As a poet, generally, no. You'll have better luck as a novelist, but fiction is very much a crap shoot. With nonfiction, you're more likely to be able to make a living, and if you choose a field like technical writing, business writing, or speechwriting, and you're good at it, have expertise in fields with few experts, have credentials and a good track record, and live in an area where there's high demand for writing, you can make a very good living.) If what you want is to be rich, your odds are better if you choose another field. But if writing comes at all easy to you, and you develop marketable skills, it's a very interesting way to spend a life.

As is probably true in any line of work, the most satisfying jobs are not always the ones that pay well, and it's very hard to predict what will satisfy and what will pay well! Once when I was giving a talk to a writer's group about writing and editing in the Washington DC area, I said that "the more boring the work, the more you can charge," which is generally true. (Note that food and travel writing tend to pay little and technical writing tends to pay more, for example.) But as a result of that talk, I got one of the least boring, most interesting, most lucrative projects of my career. As any writer will tell you, sometimes we take on projects just because we love them, and know the psychic satisfaction will be high. Sometimes we take on work because we like who we will be working with or for. Occasionally everything comes together and we get paid well for work that is satisfying, for publishers or clients who are a dream to work with, writing for an audience we really care about. May you all find such work! May all your editors know what they are doing and do it respectfully, may all your writers turn in compelling and clean copy, and may we all play well in the sandbox!

I have also included links and tips for just plain readers, news junkies, and other enthusiasts. Please let me know about your favorite (and most-used) sites, blogs, organizations, books, etc.
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