Historical fiction enjoys a long and vital tradition in world literature. From Ancient Greece to the Ming Dynasty to 19th century Europe, writers have engaged in the task of reconstructing history. In some respects, fiction has had a greater influence over popular conceptions of historical periods than has nonfiction written about the same era.

If you write historical fiction, you are not limited by genre. Historical fiction sub-genres include historical fantasy, historical mysteries, children's historical literature, historically based graphic novels, the ever-popular nautical and pirate fiction, historical romance, and fictional biographies. To expand your reach, see the top resources in these sub-genres:

Top 5 Sites for Science Fiction Writers

Top 5 Sites For Mystery/Thriller Writers

Top 6 Sites for Romance Writers

Top 5 Online Resources for Children's and YA Book Writers

Historical Novels website and blog 

This site contains tons of valuable information on how to write historical fiction, as well as ample resources for researching whatever time period you are writing about. A side bar contains links to time periods (centuries as well as specific eras), as well as geographic region. You can also search YA novels by time period.

Additional features include:
  • A list of more than 600 book reviews of historical novels, ranging from prehistory and the ancient world to World War II
  • Best novel lists and reviewer profiles 
  • Many author interviews
  • Articles covering a broad range of topics  
  • A book release and review blog

Historical Fiction Online Forums

These forums are "a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction." Members can post reviews, reading logs, author announcements, helpful links. This is a very active site, with numerous discussion threads and posts numbering in the thousands.

The Book Blogger List

Looking for a review for your historical novel? The Book Blogger list contains thousands of review blogs - hundreds for historical fiction alone. The list is arranged in no particular order, and doesn't allow for refined searches by sub-genre, so it can be somewhat tedious to compile a list of potential reviewers. But, if you are arranging your own virtual book tour, this list will be invaluable.

Also see my List of Online Reviewers Who Accept Self-Published Books and List of Reviewers for Traditionally Published Books

Historical Naval Fiction 

If you are writing naval fiction, this is your go-to site. It reviews all the latest releases - fiction and nonfiction - and includes an author A-Z, a breakdown of books by sub-genre (e.g. naval fantasy, YA, pirates !), a book title index, and a book timeline where you can search books by time period. For writers, this site contains naval facts and images, a list famous officers, sub-genres of naval fiction, and an incredibly useful glossary of naval terms. To keep abreast of the most recent developments in naval fiction, sign up for their newsletter.

Historical Novel Society 

For historical fiction writers, joining the HNS is a must. Members receive a quarterly 64-page print magazine (available exclusively to members of the society) which includes reviews of every historical fiction novel published in the US and UK. Members also get discounts to the annual HNS Conference. The HNS sponsors several awards, including the HNS Indie Award for excellence in self-published historical novels. Membership costs a reasonable $50 US per year. There are 15 local chapters in the US and UK.

PictureImage: 123rf
Poets tend to be solitary creatures. With a few notable exceptions, they are rarely social butterflies. As a consequence, they often have no idea what to do with their poems once they have written them. (I used to tack mine to trees.)

If you would like to see your poetry published, here are some resources that will provide you with all the information you need to locate the most suitable literary journal for your work.

If you want to pursue poetry as a long-term occupation, then do please take a look at the Poetry Society of America's website and consider joining.


Pushcart Prize List

Clifford Garstang is an award-winning author and lawyer. He is also extremely well organized. He keeps yearly lists of Pushcart Prize-winning literary magazines. (The magazines with the highest number of prizes are at the top.) There are 168 magazines listed, with links. For finding the top poetry magazines, you can't do better than this list.

Poets and Writers

The Poets & Writers Database is an indispensable tool for finding literary magazines. It provides such essential information as whether electronic submissions are accepted, if simultaneous submissions are allowed, reading period, if payment is offered, and circulation numbers. You can filter magazines by poetry or fiction. Magazines are not ranked. So, if you want to know a magazine's standing in the literary world, check it against Clifford's list.

Poets & Writers is the nation's largest nonprofit literary organization serving poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. Aside from their database of literary magazines, they post contests, conferences, agents, jobs, and many other valuable resources for writers.  P&W is worth joining.

New Pages

New Pages keeps a huge list of blogs and websites of poets and writers. Blogs have become a permanent feature of the literary landscape. They serve to keep writers informed of the latest news and information, and to share valuable insights and inspiration. If you are just breaking into publishing, the blogs and websites of successful writers also serve as signposts.

Power Poetry

Power Poetry is primarily geared toward young people, particularly high school students. The website offers a list of 50 places to publish poetry, a map and list of local poetry groups, mentors, and other useful resources. Young people can also post their poetry on the site, and receive comments from readers. Some of these talented young poets have posted hundreds of poems.

Poetry Society of America

Poets, hark! The Poetry Society of America is your organization! The PSA website features a comprehensive list of literary organizations, a huge list of poetry journals, poetry publishers, contests, interviews of editors of poetry magazines, and much more. Membership dues start at $25 (student rate).

All of this could be yours, someday.
Organization Wants to Lure Writers to Detroit

Publishers Weekly,  Dec 19, 2013

By Claire Kirch

Write-A-House, a Detroit-based literary organization founded in 2012 by novelist Toby Barlow, hopes to energize the literary community in the Motor City by giving writers not just a room of their own, but an entire home. WAH launched an Indiegogo campaign on Tuesday to raise funds to begin renovating the first of the three homes already purchased by WAH that will be deeded to emerging writers after they have lived in them for two years. “It’s like a writer’s-in-residence program, but the writers get to keep the homes, forever,” states the Indiegogo page titled “Write A House: Renovation of the Peach House.” Members of Young Detroit Builders, an organization that trains young people how to rehabilitate and renovate houses, will do the actual work on the houses alongside a licensed contractor. The three houses that have been purchased to date are all within walking distance of one another in what WAH describes as neighborhoods that are “a rich quilt of culture and change.” WAH bought the three houses for a total of $2,000. Renovations to each is estimated to cost $50,000-$60,000.

WAH's housing program is open to writers anywhere in the world who are willing to relocate to Detroit. “Detroit visual arts & Detroit musical arts have gotten a ton of attention over the years, but we believe this is a city that could really use some more writers,” WAH’s Indiegogo page states, “Any and all writers who are looking for a new home and new inspiration are encouraged to apply.” WAH will begin accepting applications in spring 2014.

WAH hopes to raise $25,000 through Indiegogo in the next 60 days, which will cover approximately 50% of the cost of renovating the first house. The organization hopes to raise the rest of the funds needed through grants by local and national arts foundations. WAH intends to buy more existing housing stock in the city as needed to renovate and then award them to eligible writers. The median sales price for houses in the city itself in the fourth quarter is $41,000.

"Detroit has no shortage of affordable housing stock," Barlow noted, "Writers can take advantage of all the great stories and possibilities this city has to offer, and the affordable lifestyle. Living in these abandoned cities is one of the greatest opportunities. And with the Internet, you can stay in touch with what's going on in New York and LA, and not have to pay those astronomical prices for housing. It's tough being a writer right now." Barlow, who lived in Brooklyn for nine years and in San Franciso for another nine years, has lived in downtown Detroit for seven years.

Nothing is quite so discouraging to an author as a dearth of reviews. After years of working on a novel, months (if not years) of trying to find an agent, and even more time spent waiting for publication, the release date arrives and poof! Nobody appears to be reading your book! It's enough to make you hang up your keyboard.

Even if you self-publish, you will spend months of preparation for a release day that may go out with a whimper, not a bang. In some respects, a lack of reviews is worse if you have self-published, because those who follow that route have to do all their own marketing and promotion, a task which requires direct involvement with readers.

Why are reviews important?

Like any other product on the market, people rely on the recommendation of others when they choose a book to read. In traditional publishing, endorsements by well-known authors and public figures are a key element in marketing. In the self-publishing world, success rests on the number of readers on Goodreads, on Amazon, and on blogs who will give your book a 5-star review. Without this kind of public endorsement, it may be nearly impossible to promote your book, especially if you have enrolled in KDP Select.

Amazon KDP Select giveaways are still the reigning book promotion tool. There are dozens of sites that will post your free days, but nearly all of them require a minimum number of reviews. It's one of those chicken-and-egg dilemmas. You can't promote your book without reviews, but you can't get reviews without promotion.

Should you pay for reviews?

If you are a new self-published author, don't pay for reviews.

Traditional publishers have long-standing ties with the media which self-publishers don't. This often drives self-publishers to pay for publicity. In my experience, paid reviews don't have nearly the clout of regular reviews posted on Amazon or Goodreads. For one thing, they have limited shelf life. A paid review may get posted on Blogcritics and then picked up briefly by small publications, or it may simply get sent to you for your own use. Very rarely do these reviews make it into larger media outlets, where they will reach the maximum number of people. Of course, you can always shell out $400 for a Kirkus review, but you take your chances. A good review in Kirkus is like an endorsement from God, but a bad review is the kiss of death.

How to get free reviews

Fortunately, there are mechanisms in place for getting reviews without spending a great deal of money. Giving away copies en masse is one route, targeting individual reviewers is another.

Librarything allows authors to give away copies of their books to Librarything members. (Read their policies.) Authors of self-published ebooks can give away up to 100 copies. Reviews are not required of readers, although they are recommended, so don't expect more than a 10% return rate. But even 10 reviews will enable you to post your free days on some of the larger freebie sites if you have enrolled in Amazon KDP Select.

Bookblogs is a great site for finding reviewers and for posting your giveaways. Explore the "groups" section and join the groups that are relevant to your genre. When you give away a book, or are looking for reviews, you can post it on the group site. You also have the option of sending a message to every member of that group.

Step-by-Step Self-Publishing
This is a great resource for book review blogs. It's an alphabetical listing of individual bloggers as well as book reviewer lists. This is your one-stop shopping guide to reviewers.

Book Blogger Directory
Over a thousand book blogs, very nicely organized by subject, and alphabetically.

Best of the Web
Best of the Web book blogs organized alphabetically. Not as easy to navigate as the book blogger directory.

Picture"Leo Tolstoy" by Nicolai Ge
It is received wisdom that in order to get a book published you should start by placing short stories in literary magazines. Like most received wisdom, this is hogwash. It is easier to get a book published than it is to get a short story placed in any kind of reputable literary magazine. (That being said, there are literary magazines of ill repute, and your stories may wind up sliding down the slippery slope into a few of them.) Not only is it hard to break into the literary magazine scene, it takes forever. Literary magazines are often staffed by underpaid, overworked grad students, who will take a minimum of three months to respond to your submission – if at all. Moreover, their readerships are generally small (1000 subscribers is a lot), their editorial staff quirky, and their requirements absurd. (No simultaneous submissions? Snail mail? Seriously!)

So, why bother? For one thing, some people are really good at writing short stories – much better than they are at writing novels. Short stories are not easy to write. Unlike novels, which allow writers to natter on for hundreds of pages before getting to the point, short stories are an art form that requires fast efficient character development, a plot that moves at the speed of light, and an ending that sticks in your mind like that song you can’t get out of your head. If you can write a good short story, I envy you. Get it published!

Here are the most extensive, and most useful, resources for finding the perfect home for your short story.

1) Poets and Writers
Poets & Writers is always my first stop when I am looking for a short story market. Their list is not comprehensive, but P&W includes a great deal of useful information, such as circulation, length of time for a response, genres, representative authors, reading period, whether they accept electronic submissions, or charge a reading fee. (Don’t submit to magazines that charge a fee. They will take your money and run.) Listings are alphabetical, but you can also do a search by genre and subgenre.

2) Every Writer’s Resource
These people were not overstating their mission when they called their site Every Writer’s Resource.  Not only do they feature articles, blogs, publishers, but oh! The lists! The big list has 2000 literary magazines on it, which is enough to make anyone’s hair fall out. To keep you from going bald, they also narrow the field down to a list of the top 50 literary magazines, university magazines, print magazines that take online submissions (bravo!), and genre-specific magazines (horror, fantasy and sci-fi).

3) Random House list
Random House doesn’t do anything half way, and their list proves it. It’s very long.  If you are blitzing your way through submissions – and, as an aside, blitzing is a good technique if you don’t have years to waste waiting for replies – this list will enable you to submit to a hundred magazines in a day. There is very little in the way of detailed information, but for sheer convenience, nothing beats the RH list.

4) New Pages 
New Pages keeps a well-organized list with new and featured magazines at the top. Best of all they include icons of the magazine covers. Magazine covers are just as important as book covers (by which we make ill-informed, yet somehow completely accurate judgments). You don’t want your short story appearing in a magazine that has cover art drawn by the editor’s six-year-old grandson. The short summaries alongside the cover icons provide the essentials that will enable you to make a fast choice.

5) Duotrope (payment required)
When Duotrope was free I used the site daily. Not only does Duotrope include every literary magazine, you can search magazines by genre, whether they take electronic submissions, response time, and acceptance rate. These last two details are extremely important, and because Duotrope’s figures are based on what writers report, they are fairly accurate. The subscription is $5 a month (7-day free trial). (You can access Duotrope’s basic stats for individual magazines by doing a Google search on “duotrope” and the name of the magazine.)

6) The Grinder (free version of Duotrope)
Like the fourth (and fifth) books of the Douglas Adams trilogy, I am adding a 6th source to my top five. (Many thanks to Wm. Luke Everest for suggesting this wonderful site.) Here you can find a virtual replica of the old Duotrope site - and it's FREE. We tempest-tossed writers yearning to publish free really do appreciate their generosity. So go to The Grinder, and check it out! I'm going there right now...

Alien landscape by xymonau: RGB
Originally published on Blogging Authors as "Top 5 Online Resources for Science Fiction Writers"

Of all the fiction genres, sci-fi – aka speculative fiction - stands as the one least likely to inspire a casual encounter. Sci-fi buffs are die-hards. That’s because sci-fi authors are required not just to do world-building, but to do universe-building. That’s real escapism. 

Traditionally, a background in science has been virtually mandatory for sci-fi writers, and there are still many sci-fi magazines that require a strong scientific element in their published stories. But, as the concept of “science” has marched on to include not just the “hard sciences” (notably, physics and biology) but the social sciences (anthropology, sociology, history, and, to a certain extent, linguistics), sci-fi has matched pace. At this point, the subgenres are almost too numerous to name: cyberpunk, steampunk, apocalyptic, dystopian, space opera, spy-fi, and, of course, anything written by a woman. (For decades, sci-fi has been an all-male club.) Naturally, such a variety allows for considerable leeway, not just in what may be considered sci-fi, but how to write it. There is perhaps no other genre that has encompassed such a broad range of writing styles and voice. 

How lucrative is the sci-fi market? It’s hard to say. Compared to romance novels, which generate a huge amount of revenue, sci-fi is a country cousin. But, what the sci-fi market lacks in big bucks, it makes up in sheer rebellion. Recently, Hugh Howey sold the print rights to his underground sci-fi hit, Wool, to Simon & Schuster for a “mid-six-figure” advance. Howey turned down “multiple” seven-figure advances because he’d already raked in over a million dollars of royalties from his self-published eBook. And Howey isn’t the only word-of-mouth wonder in the sci-fi world. This is a genre that thrives in the dark, subterranean alleys of the net, exploring strange new worlds, seeking out new life and new civilizations, and boldly going where no man has gone before.

These sites will help you on your mission.

1) Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction
There aren’t many institutions of higher learning that offer programs in science fiction. The Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas is, to our great delight, one of them. Their vision is stated clearly and unequivocally on their home page: “We are working to save the world through science fiction! To help achieve this, we have built a comprehensive program to serve SF students, educators, scholars, and fans, and through this extend the influence of this literature of change and the human species onto the world at large.” 

You may think it doesn’t get much better than saving the world, but it does. Their resources list is the most comprehensive I have ever seen. Here you will find websites for writers, teaching and scholarly resources, awards, magazines, review sites, anthologies, fandom, blogs, artists, conferences, author websites, and more. When you are done browsing this site, I guarantee you will feel as if you are not in Kansas anymore.

2) SFsite
If you are going for sheer quantity this is a site that has reams of it: book reviews, opinion pieces, author interviews, fiction excerpts, author and publisher reading lists, a comprehensive list of links to author and fan tribute sites, sci-fi conventions, sci-fi TV and movies, magazines and e-zines, writer resources, publishers and small press sites, and many other sci-fi resources. For researching your competition, nothing beats this site.

3) Links to Science Fiction Websites
This page features a very long list of sci-fi sites (over 300).  It is not as well organized, or as broad in scope, as the Gunn Center’s page, but there is a greater focus on contemporary sci-fi magazines, fan pages, and review sites, which makes this list quite useful to those trying to get stories published.

4) Top 50 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Novels Blogs
I always include this blog list in my “Top 5” posts no matter what the genre, because this is simply the best blog list out there. There isn’t a blog on this list you shouldn’t read. That being said, start at the top and work your way down. (You will notice that SFsite is at the top. There’s a reason for that.) The advantages of reading good blogs about your genre (and others) are almost too numerous to list - great writing tips, the latest news, reviews, entertaining stories, all the industry scuttlebutt - but essentially all these benefits boil down to one thing: you will not know what is going on in your field unless you read these blogs. Being up to date is something all agents and publishers expect of writers.

5) Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
SFWA is the professional organization for authors of science fiction and fantasy. Past and present members include Isaac Asimov, Anne McCaffrey, Ray Bradbury, and Andre Norton. It goes without saying that if you join SFWA, you will be in good company. 
In their own words: “SFWA informs, supports, promotes, defends and advocates for its members. We host the prestigious Nebula Awards, assist members in legal disputes with publishers, and administer benevolent funds for authors facing medical or legal expenses.  Novice authors benefit from our Information Center and the well-known Writer Beware site.

SFWA Membership is open to authors, artists, editors, reviewers, and anyone else with a professional involvement with sci-fi or fantasy. Affiliate membership is $70 a year. Professional membership is $90.

First published on Blogging Authors as "Top Five Sites For Mystery/Thriller Writers."

One of the chief advantages of writing mysteries is that you can actually make a living at it. Usually, mysteries are published in series. Once you have established an engaging main character and a perfect setting (according to Bowker, Americans like their mysteries set in “the misty bogs of Scotland and London’s Trafalgar Square” – but New York or Rome will do in a pinch) you are in business forever. Because human beings are hunters at heart, there is an insatiable demand for whodunnits. Roughly 48% of those who purchased novels last year bought mysteries.

Whether you are just starting your career as a mystery writer, or have a book or two under your belt, these should be the top sites to put on your “favorites” list.

1) The Mystery Writers Forum
The Mystery Writers Forum is a little peculiar looking, but it is the most useful site I've found for researching a mystery or crime novel. Some of the goodies you will find on this site are: forensics (everything from fingerprints to poison to forensics to photography), handwriting analysis, law links to law libraries, journals and internet resources, organizations, police procedure, DNA analysis, print publishers, ebook publishers, short story publishers, writing resources, and a long list of review sites. You can even consult a cop (for a fee) if you want firsthand information from someone in the trenches.

Special feature: The “Find a Death” link will take you to a site listing the deaths of celebrities – always useful fodder for a crime novel. Sadly, the link to the Mafia home page is broken.

2) Stop You're Killing Me
This site lists over 4,100 authors, with chronological lists of their books (over 46,000 titles), both series (4,700+) and non-series, which you can search alphabetically or through specialized indexes: diversity, historical, genre, job, and location. The site also features a comprehensive list of mystery/thriller awards with archives going back to 1988. New hardcover, paperback, and audio book releases are listed by the month, which makes this is a great resource for researching your competition. Stop You’re Killing Me also hosts giveaways. This is a great place to have your book reviewed!

3) Sisters in Crime
What a fabulous organization! Sisters in Crime offers an enormous list of mystery websites. The resource section on the website includes a helpful book publishing glossary. Membership dues are a mere $40 annually for an author pursuing a career in mystery writing, a bookseller, a publisher, a librarian, an editor or anyone who has a business interest in promoting the purposes of Sisters in Crime, Inc. Membership includes:
  • inSinC, a quarterly 16-page newsletter
  • Sisters in Crime listserv, including special guests on "Mentor Mondays"
  • Regional chapters, including The Guppies, a support and critique group for unpublished writers
  • Website link to titles by Sisters in Crime authors via WorldCat, a global catalog of library collections
  • An institutional presence at national and regional book events, mystery conferences and festivals with opportunities for individual author participation and/or distribution of promotional materials
  • An ongoing mystery review project that monitors media coverage of female and male authors
  • Our blog written by board members and other distinguished SinC members
  • Our monthly "SinC Links"—a digest of "news you can use" about the mystery business
  • New Sisters in Crime interactive map to find SinC authors and their most recent titles
  • Discounts for Members in 2013 - Gotham Writing Workshops and Writers' Police Academy
  • Reports from SinC's annual publishers summit
  • Networking, mentoring, and fun

4) Blog Rank Top 50 Mystery Novels Blogs
If you want to locate the top 50 blogs for just about any genre, go straight to Blogrank. This service ranks blogs according to the number of unique visitors, RSS feeds, Alexa ranking, and monthly visitors, all of which is useful information if you are looking for a high-profile site to submit a guest post. Aside from offering venues to increase your visibility, these blogs offer valuable insights into the publishing world, the latest industry trends, and, of course, great tips from top mystery writers.

5) Mystery Writers of America
Mystery Writers of America is the leading association for professional crime writers in the United States. Founded in 1945, MWA presents the Edgar® Awards, widely acknowledged to be the most prestigious awards in the genre. 

Membership is open to professional writers in the crime/mystery/suspense field whose work has been published or produced in the U.S., and who reside in the U.S. (special memberships are offered to those living abroad); agents, attorneys, booksellers, editors, reviewers, librarians, journalists, and publicists. Dues for all categories of membership are $95.00 per year.

The MWA website features an extensive list of author newsletters, author blogs, and an extremely useful list of over 150 approved publishers (including periodicals and ezines).

Romance novels are arguably the most economically successful of all fiction genres. According to Romance Writers of America, romance books bring in a whopping 1.3 billion dollars a year, more than mystery novels, science fiction and fantasy combined. It's no wonder that more than half of all new fiction is comprised of romance novels. (This statistic is borne out by Amazon's top ten bestsellers – both free and paid – half of which are romances.) Not surprisingly, 90% of the market for romance novels is comprised of women.

If you are thinking of becoming a romance writer, the competition will be stiff. But by the same token, with over 30 million dedicated readers, there is always room for more. This is one market that will never be saturated. But, even with that uplifting thought in mind, romances, like any other genre, need to be marketed. These are the best sites to help you ensure your romance is a success.

1. Stephie Smith … Fiction with Humor and Heart
Host: Stephie Smith

Stephie Smith, who describes herself as a "Database Administrator for a software systems and services company... oh, and, yeah, I write," has put together this excellent general resource for romance writers.

This site has everything you need to get your romance off the ground – book review sites, online resources for period romances, book news, and general writing resources.

Site features: An incredibly well-organized spreadsheet of contests, including sponsor, cost, eligibility, dates and genre (more than romance is listed); general writers' resources, publishing and promoting your book, grammar, agents, epublishing, script writing, romance writing; romance book review sites; and some wonderful historical resource sites, including period costumes, coinage, ships and, of course, pirates. Be sure to check out Stephie's fabulous links.

2. Top 50 Romance novel blogs

Blogrank – an extremely useful site for investigating any type of blog – ranks blogs according to the number of unique visitors, RSS feeds, Alexa ranking, monthly visitors and various other criteria. Visitors to some of these blogs number in the millions. A number of these high-profile blogs review books, others allow guest bloggers. If you want to get noticed in the romance community, this is a good venue to pursue. Posting a guest article on one of these blogs will guarantee traffic to your site. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the other genres ranked by Blogrank.)

3. Romance Junkies

Writer's Digest named Romance Junkies one of the “101 Best Web Sites for Writers” for three years running. Romance Junkies is an impressive site, with written reviews, interviews, trailers, bloghops and contests. With over one million hits per month, this is one of the most heavily trafficked romance review sites on the net.

Site features: Reviews of romance novels, author bios and spotlight, a “cocktail hour” with featured writers, contests, free reads, a writer's corner offering information on Indie publishing, critique partners, and articles about the craft of writing. Submissions by paper or PDF attachment: http://www.romancejunkies.com/contact.html

4. Passionate Pen
Host: Jenna Peterson

This is an excellent website put together by Avon author, Jenna Peterson. Here you will find links to publishers and agents who accept all kinds of romance, writing tips, research and marketing links. The information on publishing is particularly useful for writers – of any genre – who are trying to break into the print market.

Site features: Extensive list of agents representing romance writers with links to their submissions pages, a complete list of romance publishers (including electronic publishers, a large-print library and Christian presses). Also includes a very useful submission checklist with detailed instructions for contacting agents and publishers as well as a great list of links covering every aspect of the publishing industry.

5. Romance Writers of America
General membership is $120.00

If you are a romance author, this is the organization for you. The RWA, a nonprofit association, represents more than 10,250 writers and publishing industry professionals in 145 chapters offering local or special-interest networking and education. RWA hosts an annual national conference and contests and awards for both published and unpublished writers. Membership includes subscription to the monthly Romance Writers Report, and access to lists of approved agents and publishers.

Site features: Statistics on the romance industry, description of sub-genres (with word counts), reader statistics, awards, chapter contests, an honor roll and “hall of fame.” 

(Originally posted on Blogging Authors, Jan 10, 2013 as "Five Best Online Resources for Children's and YA Book Writers")

Children's books are a burgeoning market. Only a few years ago it was possible to send a manuscript directly to a publisher. Although some small publishing houses still follow that policy, the larger houses require an agent. As a consequence, agents who specialize in children's books are burgeoning as well. Writers who are daunted by the process of securing a publisher are increasingly turning to self-publication, a field which is burgeoning along with children's book agents, writers, and publishers.

With all this burgeoning, where can a children's book writer find reliable, comprehensive, and concise information about publishing and marketing? Among the spate of websites that offer information about the world of children's literature, there are five that stand out as particularly useful. Make these the first stops on your path to publication.

1. Literary Rambles: Spotlighting Children's Book Authors, Agents and Publishing
Hosts: Casey McCormick and Natalie Aguirre

If you are looking for an agent, this blog is for you! Every Thursday this site puts the spotlight on an agent who represents children's fiction. The spotlight profiles what these agents are looking for, personal quotes, interviews, response times, what other writers are saying about their professionalism, as well as linking up their web presence – all in one convenient post.

Site features: Over 120 agent spotlights, list of agencies representing children's books, interviews, helpful posts, and numerous links to agent blogs, editor blogs and forums. Also included is an agent search by age category (PB, MG or YA). Be sure to look at the wonderful list of resources on the right sidebar.

2. Rachelle Burk's Resources for Writers
Host: Rachelle Burk

This blog provides one-stop shopping for children's book authors. Rachelle Burk, a children's book writer from New Jersey, has compiled an extensive list of resources designed to help writers with every aspect of their careers – from writing tips to legal advice.

Site features: Helpful writing articles, Publisher/Agent Warning sites, Publisher Listings, Agents, Editors, Query and Cover Letters, Websites: Sources and articles about writing for children, Newsletters and E-zines, Online Forums, Critique Groups, Critique and Editing Services, Author Visits, Nonfiction Writing, Work-For-Hire and Freelance, Reference Resources, Rhyming and Poetry, Writing Organizations, Workshops, Courses and Conferences, Legal Advice, Contests and Awards, Teacher’s Guides, Book Reviewers, Illustrators and Images, Self-Publishing, Print on Demand and Subsidy Publishers, Electronic Publishing, Book Marketing and Promotion, Author Sites for Book Promotion, Books on Writing for Children, National and International Writers' Organizations, Blog List. Of special interest: Resources for Kids Who Write.

3. Writing-World.com

Writing-World is an all-round resource for writers of every stripe. The children's book page contains a list of eye-opening articles.

Site features: The Art and Craft of Writing for Children, Picture Books, YA Books, Agents, Publishers, Book Promotion and Author Interviews. Of special interest: Specialized Markets.

4. Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
Membership: $85

If you haven't already joined the SCBWI, now's the time! With membership, you get The SCBWI Bulletin, a bi-monthly publication containing the most current, comprehensive information about the field of children’s literature. The Bulletin includes the latest marketing reports; articles on writing, illustrating, and publishing; contests and awards announcements; SCBWI member news; and ongoing SCBWI activities throughout the world.

Site features (free): Comprehensive list of awards and grants. The “Find a Speaker” search bar is a great way to locate other children's book writers in your area (which is absolutely essential for networking).

5. Colossal Directory of Children's Publishers

The title of this site says it all. On the upper left sidebar is an A-Z of American publishers of children's books. The website also includes Australian, British and Canadian publishers. The ads on this site are annoying, and the articles are too general to be helpful, but there is no better online resource for children's book publishers.

Site features: Links to children's book publishers, articles on publishing, marketing, editing, writer's guidelines, manuscript formatting, finding a critique group, and “how-to” books.