Writers Links and Resources

Free Resources

A great free resource for general information is the Wikipedia project. Wikipedia is best known for its free online encyclopedia, maintained and developed by its users: the entire internet community.

It is however, not just limited to an encyclopedia, and has some specialist versions which can be very useful for writers looking for specific information or researching details for their writing.

The links below will take you directly to some of the specialist sites available.

Be aware though, that Wikipedia is written by its readers and you need to remember this if you want to use it as a source of information. Take a look at Checking Your Facts on the Internet - the Research Risk for more information.

Reference Books

If you haven't already visited our What You'll Need page or our Reference Books page, why not take a quick detour to one or both of them to see what we think essential start-up equipment and reference books you'll need.

Screen and Stage Writing

If you want to try writing for television or theatre, you could have a look at the BBC Writers Room site which offers advice and insight into this field of writing.

The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain has an excellent FAQ section which will answer many of your questions on copyright law and writing for screen and stage.

In the USA, there is also the Writers Guild of America, West and the Writers Guild of America, East.

Writing Blogs

Some of the best free resources out there are blogs related to writing and the writer's craft. The blogosphere is massive and there's so many to choose from it can be a bewildering experience. To get you started, some of the best can be found at:

Free Books!

An excellent source of copyright-free books is the Project Gutenberg site. Project Gutenberg makes books that are out of copyright in the USA, available for free download in an electronic format, giving you an endless supply of reading material to see how some of the world’s best authors plied their trade.

If audio books are your style, try LibriVox.org for copyright free books in various electronic audio formats.

Style Guides

The Economist Style Guide is also a useful tool that you’ll want to have a look at. It gives an insight to some of the basic rules that journalists are expected to adhere to for article submissions to The Economist.

Why not also have a look at:

Alternative Writing Tools

People are always looking for alternatives to MS Word, and open source software is becoming more and more popular as it develops further. By far the most popular is Open Office, available free for download.

Google has an online word processing capability that allows you to edit and stor your documents online, allowing access from wherever you can get internet access.

Libraries and National Archives

For publicly available information, your country's national library is always a great place to start. In the UK this is the British Library. Here you will find a huge amount of information on how you can get a hold of the research data you’re looking for. You can even access some publications online.

Equally valuable, if not more so, to writers, is the National Archives (aka the Public Records Office). The amount of information and records available here is truly staggering. (try archives.gov for the USA).

Writers’ Forums

Writers’ forums can be of great benefit if you are looking for impartial advice from other writers. Many of these forums will allow you to publish paragraphs that you would like others to critique. Be careful though. There is no guarantee that the other contributors to the discussion threads have any experience in writing at all. Make sure you are familiar with the forum before using it and that you have satisfied yourself that some of the contributors regularly post constructive criticism.

Some of the most popular forums are WritersBeat.com and Writing.com.

More Research

Since the number of sources for researching information is literally endless, we have only included a few here to help you along. Although the internet is a vast collection of regulated and unregulated information to help with your writing, there is no substitute for some of the most familiar methods and sources.

We have mentioned elsewhere on this site the need to check facts when found on the internet. The unregulated nature of many websites means that the webmaster can write whatever they believe to be relevant or correct without necessarily having to ensure its veracity.

For this reason it’s wise to make sure that you can corroborate facts in more than one place before relying upon them for your writing.

Take a look at Checking Your Facts on the Internet - the Research Risk for more information.

Click here for more writing related articles