We wanted to round up some free to cheap resources for writers. All of these websites and tools have help us immeasurably with our writing practice. We'll continue to update this list as we further explore options for our writing.
Google Docs: https://www.google.com/docs/about/
First off you should have a @gmail address. Included with your google email address is google docs which allows you to create word documents, spreadsheets, folders, etc. that you can work on from anywhere. I like to use google sheets to track my writing submissions and I'll take notes in google docs that allow me to work both when I'm at my desk and when I'm at home. Docs also autosaves your work, which is honestly my favorite feature.
I personally have an iPhone, which comes preloaded with the Notes app. I'm sure other smart phones have a similar option for you to take quick notes on your phone. This is helpful when you're recording a quick thought, copying down a quote you like or keeping track of books you'd like to read. I have a running list of books that I always check before I head into the bookstore.
Celtx offers free screenwriting software that allows you to organize your notes, storyboard your script and collaborate with others. The software automatically formats your screenplay so you don't have to worry about going back and fixing your formatting. It does more than just screenplay templates though; there are multiple templates from novels to collaborative writing writing tools to help you organize your projects.
There are many websites out there with writing advice, publication information, submission deadlines and contest information. We suggest bookmarking a few of them and checking them regularly to keep track of opportunities for your work. Below we're listing just a few of our daily reads.
Ok this is the one thing on this list that cost money, but in my opinion it is totally worth the $5.00 a month. Duotrope is a website that lists literary magazines, contests, chapbook calls, and contests. You can also keep track of deadlines, submissions and they tell you your acceptance rate. This is a great tool for finding the right journals for your writing.
The Review Review: http://www.thereviewreview.net
Found a lit magazine you like but you aren't sure what they are looking for? The Review Review is a great source to find out more about the lit mags you are interested in. They feature reviews of current issues and editor interviews. While they don't have every single magazine out there it's a good place to peruse if you are looking for specific genres or subjects that you write about.
The Write Life: https://thewritelife.com
The Write Life covers topics from how to get the most out of author conventions to revision tips. They often list publications, open calls and they even have lists of publications that will pay writers. We especially love their craft essays.
Lit Hub: http://lithub.com
We love Lit Hub's essays and book reviews. With a wealth of advice on craft, publication and the work of professional writing LitHub is super helpful to up and coming writers looking for advice and inspiration.
Here are a few others we check regularly:
Who Pays Writers: This is a searchable database of website that pay writers. Search for publications you're interested in submitting to and see their average pay rates.
The Millions: Full of author interviews and book reviews The Millions is a great resource if your wondering what you should be reading right now.
Six Questions For: A great resource to learn more about what editors are looking for in submissions.
Sometimes the work of being a writer is being your own hype man. It's important to share with others when you are published, most publications are run by very small staffs, so any time you share your work with others it increases the readership of the issue. With that in mind we think it's important for writers to have at least one or two social media channels. Here are the two we find most effective:
We would highly recommend starting a twitter account! Twitter can help connect you with journals, editors and fellow writers. Through the Daphne twitter account we've even approached authors, asking them to submit, and shared other open submissions calls. It's also a really great way to interact with fellow writers and keep track of what your contemporaries are doing.
We have a personal Facebook page that we use to share our upcoming publications. We are also members of several Facebook groups, alumni associations, and writers groups that we use to reach a wider audience. It's helpful to be able to share your work with people outside of your immediate social circle.
We're sure we'll be adding to this list over time. We'd love to know what websites and programs you use to help your writing practice!