I have been encouraged and prodded by other writers, and I want to do the same for you!
Hearing from professionals that I have what it takes has given me the courage to pursue a dream, take my writing out of the drawer, and submit. Below are only some of the tons of sources I’ve used to improve my game. Joining an online writer’s group was immensely helpful in the beginning, although, like doing online research, both can doom productivity. I urge all writers to find a critique group, or at least one or more writing friends who will look at your work and give their unbiased opinions.
A beginning list of resources for writers, both aspiring and professional: (Please let me know if a link doesn't work! Broken links ruin SEO. You're doing any website owner a favor when you tell them about broken links.)
(The best way to get the most information in the least amount of time, and the absolute best way to get your foot in the publishing door.)
http://www.writehisanswer.com – Annual Christian Writer’s conferences in both Philadelphia, PA and Boulder, Colorado. These half-week conferences are packed with workshops, clinics, seminars, continuing sessions, and one-on-one appointments. Presented by editors, publishers and established writers.
http://www.acfw.com/ – American Christian Fiction Writers
http://www.scbwi.org – Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Secular $85 for the first year and $70 a year after makes you a member of a society that provides a lobbying voice and access to networking opportunities, events, awards and grants, publications and conferences.
http://awsa.com/ – AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) is made up of over 300 of the top Christian women communicators who both publish books and speak around the country. It is a ministry of Right to the Heart, a 501(c)3.
http://cbiclubhouse.com/ – The Children’s Book Insider Clubhouse – This is what they have to say about themselves: "You’ve found the ultimate learning & sharing spot for children’s writers, packed with articles, audio, video and fellowship with writers worldwide. Beginner or pro, everything you need is right here – and it’s all free with a Children’s Book Insider subscription!”
http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org – The last word on what is and is not acceptable grammatically.
Publishing Industry and Information:
http://www.cbcbooks.org – The Children’s Book Council is the national nonprofit trade association for children’s trade book publishers. This is a great place to find out the trends in the secular industry, a great reading list of children’s books, and a source for news on awards, etc.
http://stuartmarket.com – Home of the Christian Writer’s Market Guide, the Christian version of The Writer’s Market. About $30 a year.
The Writers Market– The most all-inclusive listing of writing opportunities. The rights were sold, and AFAIK there is no longer a Writer's Market website, only the book.
http://www.utmostchristianwriters.com – A large list of Christian publishing markets.
Advice from other writers:
http://www.writingforchildrenandteens.com/ – Many writers offer advice on the how-to’s and business of writing. Cynthea Liu’s is one of the best.
http://www.underdown.org – Another treasure trove.
Self-Publishing and E-Publishing: