Poetry & Fiction

RESOURCES

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This is a nifty little page for anyone who might be as interested in writing as I am. On it, I've compiled a list of resources that I've found helpful when word-crafting--whether that's poetry, short fiction, or novels. For ease and clarity's sake, I've divided it up into sections for you. First you'll see the resources anyone can access: books, blogs, podcasts, etc. And then below that will be some local treasures for those who live in my neck of the woods. Don't be afraid to scroll down and check out the local goods, even if you aren't Louisiana-made. The specific organizations that I'll link to may be specific to the Pelican State, but the ideas are not! Almost anything that you'll find in this section, you can find its equivalent right there in your own town. You just have to hunt for it! Happy writing!

Have tools, will travel:
Assets for all

Okay, so I won't actually travel (sorry folks!) but these excellent writing tools will! Get ready to click, because you can access every single one of the following right from your computer.

Scroll to find blogs, podcasts, books, software, helpful websites , and more

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    Helping Writers Become Authors–K.M. Weiland     K.M. Weiland's site, Helping Writers Become Authors, is a veritable treasure trove of goodies. You could even call it a one-stop-shop for all your writing needs. Browsing through the site, you will find well-thought out methods for creating character arcs, story structure, outlining, and more. Weiland also has books, workbooks, and even a bit of software available on  Amazon.  You will not regret following her!  A few favorites:  •  The Secrets of Story Structure  •  Outlining your Novel Workbook  •  Story Structure Database

Helping Writers Become Authors–K.M. Weiland

K.M. Weiland's site, Helping Writers Become Authors, is a veritable treasure trove of goodies. You could even call it a one-stop-shop for all your writing needs. Browsing through the site, you will find well-thought out methods for creating character arcs, story structure, outlining, and more. Weiland also has books, workbooks, and even a bit of software available on Amazon. You will not regret following her!

A few favorites:

The Secrets of Story Structure
Outlining your Novel Workbook
Story Structure Database

    Writing Excuses  –Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Kowal, Howard Tayler     I have a confession to make. I do not like podcasts. In fact, I don't like anything that involves listening to people talk through a device. I can't pay attention! In-person speeches, I can do. Sermons, I can do (hallelujah!). But podcasts, talk radio, audiobooks, I just  cannot  do. Writing Excuses however, is something that I find my also-writing husband listening to on his headphones  all the time.  Now this is a man who can dig a good podcast. After I asked friends for their favorite writing resources and saw Writing Excuses pop up time and again, I figured the husband must be on to something. If you are like him, and don't find your mind wandering hopelessly when listening to people talk over wi-fi, this one is for you.

Writing Excuses–Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Kowal, Howard Tayler

I have a confession to make. I do not like podcasts. In fact, I don't like anything that involves listening to people talk through a device. I can't pay attention! In-person speeches, I can do. Sermons, I can do (hallelujah!). But podcasts, talk radio, audiobooks, I just cannot do. Writing Excuses however, is something that I find my also-writing husband listening to on his headphones all the time. Now this is a man who can dig a good podcast. After I asked friends for their favorite writing resources and saw Writing Excuses pop up time and again, I figured the husband must be on to something. If you are like him, and don't find your mind wandering hopelessly when listening to people talk over wi-fi, this one is for you.

    The Elements of Style      –William Strunk Jr. & E.B. White  **Illustrated by Maira Kalman    The Elements of Style is unarguably a classic. Many of us  have this one tucked into our shelves already. If you do, take it out, blow off the dust, and give it another read. But if you  don't  have it hiding somewhere between your stacks of LOTR and Jane Austen books, buy it here on  Amazon . I've linked to the illustrated version by Maira Kalman because–well–it's just  fun!   If you're too much of a grown up for that, feel free to  find your own, picture-less copy.  The Elements of style is informative, entertaining, and rife with useful points, such as:  • Words and letters commonly misused • Do not construct awkward adverbs • Do not use dialect unless your ear is good

The Elements of Style–William Strunk Jr. & E.B. White
**Illustrated by Maira Kalman

The Elements of Style is unarguably a classic. Many of us  have this one tucked into our shelves already. If you do, take it out, blow off the dust, and give it another read. But if you don't have it hiding somewhere between your stacks of LOTR and Jane Austen books, buy it here on Amazon. I've linked to the illustrated version by Maira Kalman because–well–it's just fun!  If you're too much of a grown up for that, feel free to  find your own, picture-less copy.

The Elements of style is informative, entertaining, and rife with useful points, such as:

• Words and letters commonly misused
• Do not construct awkward adverbs
• Do not use dialect unless your ear is good

 
   Scrivener  –Literature & Latte    I admit, as a longtime Microsoft word user, when I first gave Scrivener a try, it overwhelmed me. But after a bit of tinkering and a few tutorials, you can call me a changed woman. I  love  this app!  So what is Scrivener? It is everything you need for the tasks of writing, outlining, character sketches, notes and more-all in one place–no more having ten documents open at once! I wish I could adequately express the power of Scrivener, but there's so much I can't do it justice. Take a look at  Literature & Latte's website  and see what it's all about. Available for both Mac and Windows ($45), as well as for iOs ($19), this app is definitely worth the investment.

Scrivener–Literature & Latte

I admit, as a longtime Microsoft word user, when I first gave Scrivener a try, it overwhelmed me. But after a bit of tinkering and a few tutorials, you can call me a changed woman. I love this app!

So what is Scrivener? It is everything you need for the tasks of writing, outlining, character sketches, notes and more-all in one place–no more having ten documents open at once! I wish I could adequately express the power of Scrivener, but there's so much I can't do it justice. Take a look at Literature & Latte's website and see what it's all about. Available for both Mac and Windows ($45), as well as for iOs ($19), this app is definitely worth the investment.

   Letters to a Young Poet  –Rainer Maria Rilke    If your preferred writing avenue is poetry rather than (or along with) fiction, these letters will speak to your verse-loving soul. I encourage you to  purchase the book , but the letters are also available  online for free .  In Letters to a Young Poet you will not find a "how-to guide" or an instruction manual for poetry writing. Instead you will discover a deep foray into the mind of a great poet. Rilke will remind you why you began writing if the first place. My favorite quote:   "This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple "I must", then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse."

Letters to a Young Poet–Rainer Maria Rilke

If your preferred writing avenue is poetry rather than (or along with) fiction, these letters will speak to your verse-loving soul. I encourage you to purchase the book, but the letters are also available online for free.

In Letters to a Young Poet you will not find a "how-to guide" or an instruction manual for poetry writing. Instead you will discover a deep foray into the mind of a great poet. Rilke will remind you why you began writing if the first place. My favorite quote:

"This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple "I must", then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse."

   Behind The Name–Mike & Tara Campbell    I don't know if Mike and Tara Campbell made this website knowing how handy it would come in for fiction writers, or if it was a happy accident. Either way, this is my favorite resource to find surnames–and sometimes even first names–for my novel characters.  Features include:  • An extensive database of surnames and their meanings, along with etymology if it's available.  • Name search by origin • Name popularity/rankings • A companion  first name site

Behind The Name–Mike & Tara Campbell

I don't know if Mike and Tara Campbell made this website knowing how handy it would come in for fiction writers, or if it was a happy accident. Either way, this is my favorite resource to find surnames–and sometimes even first names–for my novel characters.  Features include:

• An extensive database of surnames and their meanings, along with etymology if it's available. 
• Name search by origin
• Name popularity/rankings
• A companion first name site

 
   Literally Any   Dictionary   & Thesaurus    Go ahead, laugh. Do I really need to recommend the use of two of the world's most basic writing tools?  Really ? Well, think about it. Have you ever read a poem, short story, or book, and thought, "Does this author not know what a dictionary is?"  You have? I rest my case.

Literally Any Dictionary & Thesaurus

Go ahead, laugh. Do I really need to recommend the use of two of the world's most basic writing tools? Really? Well, think about it. Have you ever read a poem, short story, or book, and thought, "Does this author not know what a dictionary is?"

You have? I rest my case.

   Writing Prompts–"Luke" on Tumbler     What this site lacks in a fancy title and definitive logo, it makes up for in substance. With over 800 writing prompts available, Writing Prompts is an extensive resource for those who are spurred on by writing exercises. What I appreciate about Luke's site specifically:   • It encompasses a wide range of topics, from the fantastical to the introspective. • The prompts are presented in an eye-catching, image-based format. • "Random Prompt" button for when you're feeling dangerous

Writing Prompts–"Luke" on Tumbler

What this site lacks in a fancy title and definitive logo, it makes up for in substance. With over 800 writing prompts available, Writing Prompts is an extensive resource for those who are spurred on by writing exercises. What I appreciate about Luke's site specifically: 

• It encompasses a wide range of topics, from the fantastical to the introspective.
• The prompts are presented in an eye-catching, image-based format.
• "Random Prompt" button for when you're feeling dangerous

   Storymakers Tribe–LDS Storymakers   **Or any other Facebook group of fellow writers   Storymakers Tribe is a facebook community of writers, which happens to be the group I frequent.  But the point here isn't to do what I do–the point is to  find your tribe.  Do a facebook search, ask your other writer friends, and join  some  facebook group or other online forum geared towards writers. Benefits of an online writer's group include:  • Having fellow writers on call for tricky questions and answers • The ability to do some quick and dirty research about other locations, fields, and hobbies, just by asking your community

Storymakers Tribe–LDS Storymakers
**Or any other Facebook group of fellow writers

Storymakers Tribe is a facebook community of writers, which happens to be the group I frequent.  But the point here isn't to do what I do–the point is to find your tribe. Do a facebook search, ask your other writer friends, and join some facebook group or other online forum geared towards writers. Benefits of an online writer's group include:

• Having fellow writers on call for tricky questions and answers
• The ability to do some quick and dirty research about other locations, fields, and hobbies, just by asking your community

Treasure Time: Local Gems

Ready for a treasure hunt? X marks the spot on these Louisiana-based finds! Most of these are in Baton Rouge, but you can find similar resources no matter where you are. If you happen to be stuck outside of the Stick, take a look below and get inspired to find your own treasures, right in your backyard.

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   Fiction Writer's Workshop  –EBR Parish Library    Baton Rouge brothers and sisters, this one is for you. This Fiction Writer's Workshop is held every 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month at the Greenwell Springs Road Regional Library at 7:00 PM.  Benefits of becoming part of this group include:  • Writing exercises and discussion at each meeting • Helpful critique and commentary on your work from other area writers • The opportunity to read & critique the work of other writers, with the purpose of building up, bettering, and inspiring.

Fiction Writer's Workshop–EBR Parish Library

Baton Rouge brothers and sisters, this one is for you. This Fiction Writer's Workshop is held every 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month at the Greenwell Springs Road Regional Library at 7:00 PM.  Benefits of becoming part of this group include:

• Writing exercises and discussion at each meeting
• Helpful critique and commentary on your work from other area writers
• The opportunity to read & critique the work of other writers, with the purpose of building up, bettering, and inspiring.

   East Baton Rouge Parish Library    EBRPL is a fantastic library system. But whatever the Parish/County, the local library is an invaluable resource for any human–and definitely for any writer! Many libraries may have programs geared towards writers (such as the Fiction Writer's Workshop here), but even if they don't, they have plenty of reading material to inspire your creativity, instructional books for writers, reference materials, and more.  Speaking of the "more," did you know that you can call or visit your local reference librarian and ask them for help with any questions you might have? About almost  anything ? If you need to do some research for that WIP of yours, utilize your local librarian. He can point you in the right direction!

East Baton Rouge Parish Library

EBRPL is a fantastic library system. But whatever the Parish/County, the local library is an invaluable resource for any human–and definitely for any writer! Many libraries may have programs geared towards writers (such as the Fiction Writer's Workshop here), but even if they don't, they have plenty of reading material to inspire your creativity, instructional books for writers, reference materials, and more.

Speaking of the "more," did you know that you can call or visit your local reference librarian and ask them for help with any questions you might have? About almost anything? If you need to do some research for that WIP of yours, utilize your local librarian. He can point you in the right direction!

   New Delta Review    The New Delta Review is a literary and arts journal produced by graduate Creative Writing students at LSU. Established in 1984, NDR publishes the works of both emerging and established writers. If you're looking for a place to submit locally, this may be a good option for you. You can check out all of their  back issues  online, and see their submission guidelines  here.

New Delta Review

The New Delta Review is a literary and arts journal produced by graduate Creative Writing students at LSU. Established in 1984, NDR publishes the works of both emerging and established writers. If you're looking for a place to submit locally, this may be a good option for you. You can check out all of their back issues online, and see their submission guidelines here.

 
   Louisiana Book Festival    The annual Louisiana book Festival usually takes place in the fall in downtown Baton Rouge, near the State Library. This festival is great for any book lover, of course, but for a writer it presents a world of literary wonder! Here you can mingle with published writers, check out some new books, engage in some fun activities and view book-related presentations.

Louisiana Book Festival

The annual Louisiana book Festival usually takes place in the fall in downtown Baton Rouge, near the State Library. This festival is great for any book lover, of course, but for a writer it presents a world of literary wonder! Here you can mingle with published writers, check out some new books, engage in some fun activities and view book-related presentations.

   Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society    The Faulkner Society was created in 1990 with the goal of "providing assistance to developing writers, creating literacy initiatives, continuing education for adults in literature and writing, and presenting literary programming for readers."  The Faulkner Society hosts a Creative Writing Competition with eight categories each year, opening for submissions on January 1. Becoming a winner of the competition is a great achievement to have under one's belt, and some winners have gone on to be published in the future. Along with the Creative Writing Competition, the Pirate's Alley Faulkner society hosts Words and Music: A Literary Feast in New Orleans. Words and music is a festival celebrating Faulkner's birthday, and includes entertainment as well as the opportunity to rub elbows with, learn from, and be critiqued by successful authors, editors, and publishers. Don't miss it this year!

Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society

The Faulkner Society was created in 1990 with the goal of "providing assistance to developing writers, creating literacy initiatives, continuing education for adults in literature and writing, and presenting literary programming for readers."  The Faulkner Society hosts a Creative Writing Competition with eight categories each year, opening for submissions on January 1. Becoming a winner of the competition is a great achievement to have under one's belt, and some winners have gone on to be published in the future. Along with the Creative Writing Competition, the Pirate's Alley Faulkner society hosts Words and Music: A Literary Feast in New Orleans. Words and music is a festival celebrating Faulkner's birthday, and includes entertainment as well as the opportunity to rub elbows with, learn from, and be critiqued by successful authors, editors, and publishers. Don't miss it this year!

   Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators    **Louisiana/Mississippi Chapter   I am not a children's book writer, but I've heard good things from others about SCBWI. I'll take their mission statement directly from the website and let you see for yourself:   "{SCBWI) is the only professional organization specifically for individuals who write and illustrate for children and young adults. Our mission is to support the creation and availability of quality children’s books in every region of the world.    Through our awards, events, and publications, we give established writers and illustrators the tools and resources to manage their careers, as well as educate those just starting out. SCBWI is also proud to serve as a consolidated voice for our members within the publishing industry."   If you are a children's writer (or illustrator!) check out a local chapter near you!

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
**Louisiana/Mississippi Chapter

I am not a children's book writer, but I've heard good things from others about SCBWI. I'll take their mission statement directly from the website and let you see for yourself:

"{SCBWI) is the only professional organization specifically for individuals who write and illustrate for children and young adults. Our mission is to support the creation and availability of quality children’s books in every region of the world.

Through our awards, events, and publications, we give established writers and illustrators the tools and resources to manage their careers, as well as educate those just starting out. SCBWI is also proud to serve as a consolidated voice for our members within the publishing industry."

If you are a children's writer (or illustrator!) check out a local chapter near you!