helpful things

Resources for writers

Writer Life/Community:
Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
SCBWI is by far the biggest association for children’s writers and illustrators. It has chapters in almost every state, hosts two annual national conferences and gobs of regional events. The annual membership fee gives you access to the message boards and online classes.

Chicken Scratch Books Writer Courses
Chicken Scratch is my publisher, but they're also an incredible resource for middle grade writers, teachers, and parents. They offer free and fee-based writing courses taught by an industry veteran to help you hone your craft.

Serious Writer
A growing community for writers focused on the clean/Christian market, Serious Writer hosts conferences and contests, offers a wide range of classes, and provides an active social media forum for writers to connect. Serious Writer Club has both a free option as well as a membership-based option.

Almost an Author
Full disclosure: I blog for them, but even if I didn’t – I’d bookmark this site. Why? Because there’s all kinds of great info about genre and craft, and tons of support. The overall vibe is highly encouraging, and I like/need that.

Searching for an Agent/Editor:
Manuscript Wish List ( and #mswl on Twitter)
This site connects agents and publishers to writers by doing exactly what it says – collecting wish lists of what agents and publishers are looking for and posting it online.

Query Tracker
This site appeals to my spreadsheet-making sensibilities.

Publishers Marketplace
For a $25/month fee, you can access agent and publisher research – lists of who is acquiring what and for how much.

Books about writing
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Revision and Self-Editing by James Scott Bell
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King
Save the Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody
On Writing by C.S. Lewis
Your First Million Words by Jeff Wheeler

Finally – it’s not a book about writing but if you want to write and sell middle grade (or other children’s books), pick up a copy of the Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market.

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