Click on a subject in the below tables to go to a particular section. Note: The Promotion page has been redirected to this page, and those resources have been added into those in the General Writers' Resources sections.
Recognized by Writer's Digest as one of the best sites for writers, Agent Query "offers the largest, most current searchable database of literary agents on the web." But it's so much more than that. Here you can learn about the publishing world; read agent Q&A's; get an agent's full profile and client/book list; get formatting tips and genre descriptions and more.
The Association of Authors' Representatives, Inc. (AAR), a not-for-profit organization of independent literary and dramatic agents. You can search for agents by genre, read their FAQs about agents, or visit their links page for bestseller lists, book fairs, publishing publications and professional organizations.
Preditors and Editors is the place to go if you want to check the reputation of a particular agent. The site tells you how an agency should act for you, then tells you which ones don't follow those rules.
Writer Beware is the "public face of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America's Committee on Writing Scams." They cover scams and unprofessional practices found in literary agencies, POD and vanity book publishers, contests, etc.
Book News and General References
If you need to know what kind of weather a particular location had on a particular day, go to The Old Farmer's Almanac, put in the date and location in their Weather History tool and find out!
Bookwire is "the internet resource dedicated to new titles, new authors, and the general scoop on the book industry!" At this site you can "search book reviews, read about the latest releases, watch author video clips, and learn about upcoming book events."
Writerspace is "the home for over 150 authors, primarily romance and mystery, of the best fiction on the market today. Writerspace communities are familiar places for readers to gather, talk to each other, learn about releases and communicate with authors."
Absolute Write has a forum/ message board covering the writing of novels, children's books, scripts, non-fiction ... You ask a question, you'll get an answer.
FirstWriter.com has a fully searchable contest database which is "updated daily, with old competitions being removed and on average two or more new ones added every day, making it widely regarded as the best writing contest listing on the internet."
25 Reading and Writing Resources is a single stop for 25 great resources. "The sites on this list celebrate English in myriad ways. Some offer advice for aspiring freelance writers, or strategies from writers who have already “made it,” and some just revel in the enjoyment of books, literature, and language in general."
Resources for the Essay Writer is "The Best Free Resource for Outstanding Essay and Paper Topics, Thesis Statements and Important Quotes." It even has a thesis generator to help you "turn your topic into a well-directed thesis, which can lead to a well-organized paper"!
Creative Writing Now offers tips on fiction and poetry writing, a wide range of writing prompts, and free online writing courses.
Alicia Rasley's web site is listed below under romance, but I'm listing her again for the craft of writing because she deserves to be in both places! The RITA-award winning writer has online workshops, books on the craft of writing, plus articles that are not to be missed.
Through its articles, resources, meditations and bookstore, Write Directions "provides the support and tools you need to fine-tune your prose, target your audience and market your work." Also available are workshops, and full-service consulting/public speaking services.
How To Do Things is a really interesting site because it gives a good overview on just about every type of writing (not to mention everything else you could possibly want to do in your spare time!). Ex: How to Write a Business Plan, How to Write a Romance Novel, How to Write a Complaint Letter, How to Write a Wedding Speech, How to Self Publish, How to Write a Press Release. You get the drift so check it out.
FictionFactor, "the online magazine for fiction writers," has articles on the writing business, characters, script writing, honing your skills, world building, self-publishing, promotion and more. They also have good overviews on the various subgenres in fiction.
The Writer's Digest Sourcebook for Building Believable Characters by Marc McCutcheon
This book covers all kinds of character traits. For instance, if you need a name, never fear; you'll find it here! McCutcheon lists them by surnames, given names, gender and country / ethnicity. (Great for historical romance!!) Lists vocabulary for dress (20 different words for eye glasses with descriptions); expressions, accent pronunciations for dialogue (Southern pronunciation for crying is crine); facial expressions, body and vocal language; words to describe personality types; lists of academic degrees, occupations, societies and associations, diseases ... anything you can think of that will help round out your character.
Bookwire is "the internet resource dedicated to new titles, new authors, and the general scoop on the book industry!" At this site you can "search book reviews, read about the latest releases, watch author video clips, and learn about upcoming book events."
Alas, pirating of ebooks has become rampant. If you want Google to take down a link that leads to your pirated book, click here. Then click the button for Web Search, then click the "I have a legal issue that is not mentioned above," and then click I have found content that may violate my copyright. Proceed from there!
Critters Workshop is "an on-line workshop/critique group for serious writers of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror. You get your work critiqued in exchange for critiquing the work of others, both of which are invaluable ways to improve your writing."
Faith Writers is an "encouraging community of Christian writers" (over 20,000!) which offers free membership, writing courses, forums, critiques, articles, and more.
Grammar & Punctuation
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation gives rules (with examples) of grammar and punctuation, including rules for writing numbers, and offers quizzes so you can check to see just how much you don't know!
At Dictionary.com you can type in a word and search by dictionary, thesaurus or encyclopedia for loads of info.
At Merriam-Webster.com you can sign up for the "Word of the Day" to be emailed to you, thus making it easy to quickly expand your vocabulary. That's a bunch of palaver, you're thinking. Okay, so you're probably not thinking that--unless you got your emailed word of the day: palaver.
This excellent Guide to Grammar & Writing was created by the late Dr. Charles Darling as a guide for his students. Includes subjects like paragraph development and sentence variety, writer's block and quizzes.
The info on Jack Lynch's Guide to Grammar and Style is arranged alphabetically. Click on "C" and learn about Cannot, Can't Help But, Capitalization, Cases, -Century, Citation, Clarity, Cliches, Colon, Commas, Comma Splices, Comparatives, Conjunctions and more. Or go straight to the full list of contents.
Show Me The Money! is a compilation of royalty and sales information put together by historical romance author Brenda Hiatt. Gives info on average advances by publisher for first book, 2nd and subsequent books, pay-outs, etc. Excellent reference!
Poewar's Writer's Resource Center is one of the best sites around for writers and aspiring writers. Features articles, freelance jobs, fiction, nonfiction, essays, poetry, you name it. They tell you how to do it and how to get it published.
FreelanceWriting.com, "the website for today's working writers," posts freelance ads, contests, forums, articles, events and more.
Writer's Market from Writer's Digest is an online searchable service for writers. For a few dollars a month you have access to information on most publications, books, publishers, agents and editors. Instead of subscribing that way, I buy the "online"version of their annual Writer's Market book, With the "online" version of the book comes a serial number for activating an online account. It's cheaper than paying the monthly fee. And you get a hard copy too.
Agents who blog and give great advice in their columns from how to pitch,
how to write a blurb, what an agent looks for in a possible client, how to write
a query letter (and how NOT to:-) and much, much more. The great thing about
blogspot is that everyone is using labels now, so you can click on a label such
as "pitches" and read all of that agent's blogs on the subject.
Rants by Kristin Nelson of the Nelson Literary Agency. Be sure to scroll
down the main page and look at the advice columns. There are a series of pitching
workshop/critiques and she even shares the query letters from some of the
clients she took on, giving comments throughout their letters to let us know
what she liked about them.
Reid of Jet Reid Literary Agency. No BS here and you'll definitely
learn what NOT to do when submitting to an agent. She tells it like it
is! The agency also has their own Non-Fiction
Proposal Guidelines, which pretty much work for any non-fiction proposal
to any agent or editor, from what I've seen.
Snark, the anonymous literary agent who blogs on writers, her life as an
agent, writers, the publishing market, writers ... well, you get my drift. And
after you read her first snarky reply to some hapless writer, you'll be hooked.
(Honestly, though, this agent's "voice" sounds just like Janet Reid's,
only, uhm...snarky). In her blog News
Flash! Agents ARE Human Beings!, she says that you can pitch your book
any day in a query letter, but for agent/editor appointments, you need to make
a "person-to-person connection." And she gives you questions
to ask that will help you do just that.
Your Pitch is an especially great column where they let readers send in their
pitches and they critiqued them. Agent Jessica Faust has some great pitching
(and other!) tips in her blog. Go
to The Art of a Strong Pitch, Part I to read what will make you stand out
during a scheduled pitch with her. Here's a hint...she wants the "hook" and
if you think that has anything to do with the story, boy, are you wrong! Then
check out The
Art of a Strong Pitch, Part II, to find out how to pitch to an agent in a
Create Space, Amazon's print-on-demand company, makes the process unbelievably simple to publish your book and get it into print. Tthey will also distribute to BarnesAndNoble.com, libraries, and other print book retailers. There's no cost to publish and they'll even give you a free ISBN. They can also take your print manuscript file and turn it into a kindle book for you.
BookMarket.com isa site dedicated to first-time novelists. They not only list web sites and contact info for book publishers (traditional--not POD, self-publish, e-book, etc.) who have published first novels, but I like the site for the inspiration regarding the trials of first-time novelists. For example... " Unknown author Jennifer Weiner was turned down by 23 agents before finding one who thought a novel about a plus-size heroine would sell. Her book, GOOD IN BED, became a bestseller. The lesson? Don't take 23 agents' word for it. Find the 24th that believes in you and your book."
The Romance Reader at Heart web site is currently dedicated to readers of historical romance. Whether you love Scottish, Colonial, Western, or Regency historicals, this site will help you find the perfect book to curl up with, and they are all broken down by category.
At Authors On The Web, you'll find author bios, roundtables, message groups and more--authors of all genres.
Geometry.Net Writing Romance Resources has 104 web sites listed (with extracts) on anything you can think of that pertains to writing romance. If you go to their W page and look under all writing subdivisions, you'll find around 1,000 links to all types of writing, historical research for writing, web sites for writers, writing contests, etc. It boggles the mind!
At All Romance Writers you can search for books by author name, hero or heroine name, subject/theme, or even character type (such as psychic, countess, spinster...).You'll find reviews, resources and more.
The Passionate Pen is a resource site for romance writers and includes articles on writing, submitting manuscripts, publisher information and more.
If you're learning to write romance, Alicia Rasley's web site is a must for bookmarking. The RITA-award winning writer has online workshops, books on the craft of writing, plus articles that are not to be missed.
An article about Windows Movie Maker. Jill Elizabeth Nelson also uses it to upload trailers to You Tube.
Ghost Writer Extraordinaire will give you a "high-quality video trailer for your book, posted at over 40 popular video sharing sites, including YouTube, Google Video, Yahoo Video, and AOL Video, and a DVD copy for your files" all for only $150
At Circle of Seven Productions, you can view their client-publishers list, watch the videos they’ve made, read testimonials, and look at costs, which range from $300 to $4,000. See what they did for Lisa Kleypas, Kayla Perrin, Christine Freehan, Heather Graham and more...
At Watch The Book you can check book trailers for every genre to help you decide what to do with yours!
In return for the use of their free royalty free music loops, Partners In Rhyme ask that you please link to their website using one of their copy 'n paste html codes.
InkTip.com is all about "getting the right script into the right hands." With a free membership, you receive at least one free lead (a call for scripts put out by industry pros) per week via the regular newsletter and for a fee you can place your script for viewing by industry professionals. View success stories, writer and industry endorsements, successful loglines and synopses, or browse their selection of excellent (free) tips and articles by industry professionals. Highly recommended site.
Done Deal Professional covers the business and craft of screen writing. You can get info on contests, examples (of releases, queries, etc.), browse forums, read interviews and newsletters for free, and for just $23.95 a year you have access to information on agents, lawyers, managers, news, production companies, sales, sales archives and studios.
Mr. Jenkins History Resources links to comprehensive history research on US history and world history. Jump to the The Colonial Period for links to U.S. Colonial History, British and Colonial Relations 1753-1776.
You'll find anything and everything pertaining to American history at About.com.
Boston: A Social History by Brett Howard. Good information about the women and society of Boston.
Everyday Life in the Massachusetts Bay Colony by George Francis Down. (As an aside, I'll mention that my ancestor was Edward Rawson, Secretary of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Many of the original documents bear his signature!! See my family tree at tribalpages.com).
The Great Buildings Collection is a gateway to architecture from around the world and across history. The Great Buildings Online documents hundreds of buildings and leading architects with 3D models, photographic images and architectural drawings, plus commentaries, bibliographies, and web links, for famous designers and structures of all kinds.
BritainExpress.com covers English architecture from prehistoric monuments through the Victorian Age. Features architects, landscape architects and great buildings including castles, abbeys, cathedrals and country houses.
English Architecture--A Concise History by David Watkin. Chapter 13 covers the Classical Revival (Adams, et al).
Art & Literature
Romantic England: Writing and Painting 1717-1851 by Peter Quennell. Lots of good info on the artists and art of the time.
A listing of Hammer and Milled coins. Discussion for English Coins denomination minted in England during the American colonial period from James I through George III.
and Deliver has great info about highwaymen and highway robbery, including
articles, biographies of famous highwaymen, and links to other resources
such as The King's Highway, a forum on the subject of highwaymen and other rogues.
The British Library's Crime and Punishment page describes 18th century law enforcement, the morning routine before an execution at Tyburn, and shows pictures of actual newspaper articles from the 18th century on punishments.
Fashion & Costumes
The Costumer's Manifesto has links to everything you could ever possibly think of regarding fashion, costume history, undergarments, military uniforms, and more...for just about every period in history!
The Victoria and Albert Museum has a really good page on 18th century fasion. You can click to read the articles which show pictures of dresses, hats, etc., and can zoom in to note the details described.
The Eighteenth Century-Costume in Context by Jennifer Ruby. Excellent book for details on dress. Ends with 1799.
Costume in Context: The Regency by Jennifer Ruby. Starts with 1805.
Everyday Dress 1650-1900 by Elizabeth Ewing. Excellent book--not only shows the clothing worn but also describes how spinning, weaving, dying and cleaning was done.
The Internet Modern History Sourcebook contains The Industrial Revolution with links to The Agricultural Revolution of the 17th-18th Centuries, The Revolution in the Manufacture of Textiles, The Revolution in Power, Railroads, Steam Ships, The Great Engineers, The Process of Industrialization. Also, the Social and Political Effects deals with The Lives of Workers, Urban Life: New Social Classes, Social Reformism. The Internet Modern History Sourcebook index page is at Main Page.
Hanover College's History of Texts and Archives of The Industrial Revolution With links to Leeds Woollen Workers Petition, 1786 | Letter from Leeds Cloth Merchants, 1791 | Reports on Working Conditions, 1832 | Richard Guest: The Steam Loom, 1823 | Lectures of Arnold Toynbee | Andrew Ure: The Philosophy of the Manufacturers, 1835.
The Industrial Revolution by James A. Corrick. This excellent book is part of the World History Series. Covers changes in daily life due to the industrial revolution. Has good timeline of inventions.
It was 18th century England, where kidnapping a 15-year-old girl was a misdemeanor
but pickpocketing a capital offense. And it is all documented on The
Proceedings of the Old Bailey London 1674 to 1834. "A fully searchable
online edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite
people ever published, containing accounts of over 100,000 criminal trials held
at London's central criminal court. This web site is the brainchild of two British
historians, Tim Hitchcock and Robert Shoemaker."
The English Town--A History of Urban Life by Mark Girouard--all
aspects of town life, including assembly hall entertainment.
The Eighteenth Century by G.M. Trevelyan.
The English Village by Richard Muir
English Social History: A Survey of Six Centuries--Chaucer to Queen Victoria by
G.M. Trevelyan. Excellent source.
Pirates, Privateers, Smuggling & Trade
Cindy Vallor's Pirates & Privateers includes book reviews and pirate adventures, a newsletter with the latest pirate-related news and information, articles on maritime piracy from ancient times to today, links to the best sites specializing in piracy and life at sea in the Age of Sail. Her Bookaneer pages have reviews on the latest fiction and non-fiction books for children and adults. Other highlights: specialized bibliographies, piratical places to visit, pirate dates in history, piracy quotes.
Pirates Hold features a pirate a month, gives a timeline of important events of piracy, lists ships (with pictures) used for piracy, shows maps of the eras, and other such items.
Beej's Pirate Image Archive. Images of pirates at this site include Bartholomew Roberts, Henry Morgan, John Rackam, Mary Read, Roche Brasiliano, Edward Teach aka Blackbeard, Charles Vane, Anne Bonny and others.
Rob Ossian's Pirate's Cove has the "most comprehensive collection of Pirate and Nautical information on the web!" with bios of pirates, privateers, and explorers; complete list of sailing vessels; nautical and historical terminology, nautical navigation, pirate music, and more.
The Canadian Privateering
Homepage. "Privateers were privately owned warships ... today they
are an exotic subject, often lumped in with pirates, but in Canada's past, privateers
were an accepted and respected way of waging war, and often the only means of
defence for isolated Canadian communities."
Check out the details of the lives of a number of famous Cornish people through the ages.
The coast of Kent, being so close to France, has for centuries been known for the smuggling of goods both into and out of the country. The wool-smugglers themselves were known as 'owlers', a name that lives on in the OILLER families of the Marsh today. Tea was another commodity which was profitable for the smugglers. Some 350 or more years ago, the Wishing Well stood between two flint cottages. The well was used by smugglers to hide contraband. Smuggling had become so rife in this part of Kent due to high import duties on tea, tobacco and spirits.
The East India Company--Trade and Conquest from 1600 by Anthony Wild.
The East Indiamen by Russell Miller.
Undiscovered: The Fascinating World of Undiscovered Places, Graves, Wrecks and Treasure by Ian Wilson
Treasure: Lost, Found and Undiscovered by Mike Groushko.
Treasure Wreck: The Fortunes and Fate of the Pirate Ship WHYDAH by Arthur T. Vanderbilt II. Whydah went down off coast of Massachusetts in 1717.
Regency Collection has tons of info on that period, including bios on famous
and infamous people of the era, info on postal history, industrial advances,
marriage, London clubs, dress, military life, receipes, and much more.
Georgette Heyer (1902 - 1975) was an amazingly prolific writer who created the Regency England genre of romance novels. Although Jane Austen published during this period (1811 - 1820), she was writing contemporaneously while Heyer was making very well-researched historical fiction, full of all you could ever want: romance, fashion, upper classes, cross-dressing, arranged marriages, murder, intrigue, cant language, sarcasm and humour!
Rakehell offers author bios and interviews, book reviews, and links to other Regency sites.
At The Cupidity Home Page, you can probably find anything about the Regency period that you're looking for including The Famous People, Military, Waterloo, Voices, The Spanish Bride, Harry Smith Bio, Regency Life, Postal History, Industrial Advances, Coaching resources, Illustrations, Recipes, Writing, and more....
A zillion links here to pages with a zillion more links on the Regency period--food, drink, the clubs (White's, Almack's), Vauxhill Gardens, articles by Regency romance writers, gaming, swordsmanship, duels, furniture glossary, dancing, fashion and much, much more.
Electric Scotland has the most comprehensive collection of historical information about Scotland that I've found--places, people, clothing, language, historical periods and events, clans, castles, music and more. (You can also sign up for their freeweekly newsletter which is full of interesting articles and facts.)
You can find history, myths & legends of Scotland at Mull of Galloway. The concise history begins with the Romans in 82AD and continues to present time, giving details of the differences in every day life for people of the 18th and 19th centuries.
RLS.org.uk shows pictures and gives descriptions of Scottish coins from the 1400's through the 1900's.
ScottishHistory.com has a nice page of Scottish links, as well as essays and articles, books, music, history, and more.
Scotweb's Scottish History has a great article on the Highland Clearances, as well as pages on various battles, the history of the kilt and more.
Ships & Naval History
John's Nautical & Boatbuilding Page contains the The Mother of All Maritime Links. Very comprehensive site with links to Pirates, History and Maritime Archaeology.
HistoryCentral.com brings you the history of all US Naval ships. You can look up a ship by name or by ship type.
The Naval Historical Center is the official history program of the Department of the Navy. Its lineage dates back to 1800 with the founding of the Navy Department Library by President John Adams. The Center now includes a museum, art gallery, research library, archives, and curator as well as research and writing programs. Useful links include Ships History Branch: Histories of individual navy ships, 1775-present and Early History: Research and writing on U.S. naval history, 1775-1918.
Shipwreck by John Fowles - Covers ships from the mid to late 1800's and the 1900's
The Frigates (part of the Seafarers series) by Henry E. Gruppe. I love (and own) this book! It's a gem! Tells about the fighting frigates and their captains. Gives accounts of sea battles including Trafalgar (a map shows positions of all ships) and battles during the War of 1812.
Fighting Sail (part of the Seafarers series) by A.B.C. Whipple. Each of the Seafarers series is wonderful.
Ships by Richard Humble. A quick overview of the progress of shipbuilding. I found this in the juvenile section of the library, but hey--whatever works.
Laura's British Titles of the Nobility at Chinet.com is the place to go if you want to know anything about how members of the nobility were addressed in speech or writing, formally and informally, by other members of the peerage and everyone else. If you scroll down to the Table of Contents, there are links for pages explaining about courtesy titles, dowers and entailments, the rights and privileges of the peerage, and more.
BMD-Certificates specializes in acquiring replacement birth certificates, replacement marriage certificates, and replacement death certificates obtained from Government sources for England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
British Biographies of famous artists, architects, writers, landscapers, scientists of the Regency Age, plus links to bios of the Royal Family, and people from Prehistoric Britain, Roman Britain, Anglo-Saxon Era, The Middle Ages, The Tudor Era, Stuart Britain, Georgian Britain, and The Victorian Age.
GENUKI is the genealogical information service for the UK and Ireland, containing a large structured tree of information. The information that is provided in GENUKI relates to primarily historical material, rather than material resulting from genealogists' ongoing research, such as GEDCOM files.
The Victorian Web has a plethora of pages that detail the Victorian era's public health; conditions of life and labor; race, class, and gender issues; education and children's lives; leisure and amusements; economic history; and cities, towns, and countryside. And that's just in the Social History section. Then there's the Political History, Religion, Science, and Economical sections too!
History in Focus has info on the Victorian Era which includes diaries, articles, research, selected web site links and an overview of that time.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, has a very comprehensive site on the Victorian Era. Subjects include politics, technology, prostitution, society, architecture, morality, fashion and more.
Virtual Victorians is one of the best sites I've found on this era of history. Pages include "Day in the Life" from the point of view of a married couple for each day of the week, plus a Themes Gallery filled with pictures and info on agriculture, education, leisure time, health, childhood, clothing and more.
Britain Express has info on Victorian life including famous people of that time, Victorian London, art and more.
This freepages/geneology/rootweb has a great list of names given to children born during the Victorian Era.
The Historypage of BritainExpress.com contains information on England from Pre-Historic times through The Victorian Age. Covers people and events, architecture, royalty.
At History.com you will find historical information ranging from Great Speeches(in audio) to facts about This Day in History."
The History of the United Kingdom, Primary Documents, economic history contains links to British - American Diplomacy Documents concerning the Paris Peace Treaty, the Jay Treaty, the War of 1812,and the Convention of 1815 Between the United States and Great Britian, Child Labour 1750-1900 With accounts of eyewitnesses and participants, plus commentary and Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft 1792.