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Spring 2023 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Q4 2023 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Spring 2023 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Q2 2023 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Winter 2023 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Fall 2022 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Q1 2023 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Summer 2022 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Q4 2022 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Spring 2022 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Q3 2022 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Winter 2022 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Q2 2022 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Summer 2021 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Q1 2022 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Summer 2021 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Q4 2021 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Spring 2021 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Q3 2021 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Winter 2021 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Q2 2021 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Fall 2020 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Q1 2021 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Summer 2020 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Q4 2020 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Spring 2020 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Q3 2020 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Fall 2019 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Fall 2019 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Q2 2020 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Q1 2020 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Q4 2019 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Spring 2019 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Q3 2019 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

WOW! Classes

Writing About Sensitive Topics for Young Adults: Ellen Hopkins, Cheryl Rainfield, and Jay Asher

Submissions Consultation

Best Writing Contests of 2021, recommended by Reedsy

2008 - 2016

Truly Useful Site Award


Go to wow-womenonwriting.comArticlesContestMarketsBlogClasses


BOOKS (Staff Recommendations)


A Broom of One’s Own by Nancy Peacock (Mary Horner, blogger): It’s a real-life journey into the literary world with humorous stories along the way about cleaning houses.

AP (Associated Press) Stylebook (Mary Horner, blogger): for grammar and style. I learned a lot of grammar, punctuation, and usage from this book, which most journalists consider their bible. Some publishers use The Chicago Manual of Style or American Psychological Association’s style books. Find out which one your publication uses, and follow it.

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron (Anne Greenwalt, blogger and Mary Horner, blogger): Mary says, “Full of motivation, inspiration and practical advice.”

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (Anne Greenwalt, blogger): Not strictly for writers but for all types of artists, but very helpful for me.

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott (Anne Greenwalt, blogger): From Amazon: Think you’ve got a book inside of you? Anne Lamott isn’t afraid to help you let it out. She’ll help you find your passion and your voice, beginning from the first really crummy draft to the peculiar letdown of publication.

The Courage to Write by Ralph Keyes (Mary Horner, blogger): Overcome your fear to become a writer.

Crafting the Personal Essay: A Guide for Writing & Publishing Creative Nonfiction by Dinty W. Moore (Melanie Faith, online instructor): I’ve used this text for courses in writing personal essays and CNF (creative nonfiction) and have found that students enjoy the exercises as well as the advice on the genre.

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury (Shelia Bender, online instructor): One of the books I love to use as models for good writing that includes sensory images and description, along with Tarn Wilson’s Slow Farm.

Get Known Before the Book Deal by Christina Katz (Renee Roberson, blogger): This book answers the age-old question: “What is a platform and why do I need one as a writer?” It also gives handy and practical tips on how to slowly build one.

Guide to Literary Agents: The Most Trusted Guide to Getting Published (Bethany Harar, blogger): This book was my best friend during the querying process. It helped me find agents I didn't even know existed.

Making a Literary Life by Carolyn See (Mary Horner, blogger): Great advice for writers, including tips for connecting with others.

Novel Metamorphosis by Darcy Pattison (Sue Bradford Edwards, blogger and online instructor): This is a rewriting workshop in a book. It is so slim you wonder if it is worth it; but if you do each activity, in the end, you will have a plan to rewrite your novel when you are done reading. Very analytic, so it is a good counterpoint to my “let’s just try this” approach to writing.

On Writing by Stephen King (Jodi Webb, Margo L. Dill, Bethany Harar) Jodi says, “For writing advice, it depends on what type of writing I’m doing, but overall Stephen King’s On Writing does it for me. When I first read it, I was all: Writing advice from Stephen King? But wow...just wow.” Margo says, “Best writing how-to book ever written.” Bethany says, “I’m with Margo. One of the best books about writing I’ve ever read.”

Pep Talks, Warnings and Screeds (Jodi Webb, blog tour manager and blogger): Less for writing advice and more as a kick in the pants to get me going. There are short pieces that you read and then say, “OK, let’s get going.”

The Pocket Muse by Monica Wood (Nicole Pyles, blog tour manager and blogger) If you are ever in a creative slump, this is a fantastic book to pick up. It provides photographs, writing prompts, and writing tips to propel you forward.

The Right to Write by Julia Cameron (Marcia Peterson, blog and online classroom manager): A fabulous book for instant inspiration and a jump start to your writing life.

Save the Cat by Blake Snyder (Cathy C. Hall, blogger): Yes, it’s about screenwriting. And yes, it will change the way you write anything.

Story Trumps Structure—How to Write Unforgettable Fiction By Breaking the Rules by Steven James (Cathy C. Hall, blogger): The title and first chapter says it all, but you'll keep reading because you won't want to miss a single word.

Take Joy by Jane Yolen (Sue Bradford Edwards, blogger and online instructor): Yolen covers a wide range of topics in this highly inspirational volume. She creates such a wide variety of work, so this one was truly a joy to experience.

Thanks, But This Isn’t For Us: A (Sort of) Compassionate Guide to Why Your Writing is Being Rejected by Jessica Page Morrell (Melanie Faith, online instructor): Wonderful and frank advice for writers seeking publication and presentation in the literary marketplace.

Too Lazy to Work, Too Nervous to Steal – How to Have a Great Life as a Freelance Writer by John Clausen (Mary Horner, blogger): The title alone is worth the money, and this funny book offers a lot of great advice.

The Triggering Town by Richard Hugo (Crystal Otto, blog tour manager and blogger): I appreciate Hugo’s method of teaching without removing the personal interpretation and admire his view of words and how they must be used for more than simply conveying information.

Writer’s Digest Guide to Magazine Article Writing: A Practical Guide to Selling Your Pitches, Crafting Strong Articles, & Earning More Bylines by Kerrie Flanagan, foreword by Angela Mackintosh (WOW’s Editor-in-Chief) – The most comprehensive book on magazine article writing out there.

The Writer’s Digest Guide to Query Letters by Wendy Burt-Thomas (Renee Roberson, blogger): Although most query letters are now digital, this book is still useful because it shares real-life examples of queries for magazine articles, nonfiction book queries, novel queries, agent queries, and more.

The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler (Sue Bradford Edwards, blogger and online instructor): An excellent break down on the various character types in the classic hero’s journey. Discusses how they function and why. Have a story that isn’t quite working or a character that isn’t living up to her potential? Your answer may well be found here.

Writing Begins With the Breath: Embodying Your Authentic Voice by Laraine Herring (Mary Horner, blogger): Advice for accessing your emotions to help you find your authentic voice.

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg (Sioux Roslawski, Anne Greenwalt, and Melanie Faith): Sioux says, “It’s a Zen-like approach to the writing life. It makes you, as a writer, reflect about yourself and the process in short chunks.” Anne says, “One of my favorite writing books.” Melanie says, “The first writing text I ever read and still one of the very best for authors of many genres. I reread it every few years and have taught from it several times.”

Writing Irresistible Kidlit: The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction for Young Adult and Middle Grade Readers by Mary Kole (Renee Roberson, blogger): A practical how-to that gives an insightful overview of the the YA and middle grade marketplace, including what sells, with exercises on how to develop your ideas and concepts to make them shine.

Writing the Life Poetic by Sage Cohen (Melanie Faith, online instructor): Excellent and diverse writing inspiration for the poetic mind, from beginners through advanced practitioners.

BOOKS (Writing Craft Books Written by WOW Staff)


Three books by Kelly L. Stone:
LIVING WRITE: The Secret to Bringing Your Craft Into Your Daily Life, a mix of anecdotal material from writers who have been there and a series of progressive and creative psychological exercises by professional counselor Kelly L. Stone.

TIME TO WRITE: No Excuses, No Distractions, No More Blank Pages, more than 100 professional writers from across genres share their secrets to finding time to write.

THINKING WRITE: The Secret to Freeing Your Creative Mind: In this book, professional counselor Kelly L. Stone teaches you how to use the power of the subconscious mind to capitalize on your writing sessions.

In a Flash! Writing & Publishing Dynamic Flash Prose by Melanie Faith is a practical guide covering a diverse range of topics from the first spark of an idea through to the writing, editing, and submission/publication process, offering real-world advice each step of the way from a teacher and fellow writer with twenty-years publishing experience. Featuring thematic writing prompts and flash examples from authors such as Dinty W. Moore, founder of Brevity, this book is equally inspiring for classrooms, workshops, and individual writers excited about polishing their craft.

Poetry Power: An Interactive Guide for Writing, Editing, Teaching, and Reflecting on the Life Poetic: by Melanie Faith was written to ignite the many stages of your poetry-writing journey, from the first spark of an idea through the editing and publication process. Chock-full of real-world advice, poetry examples, and prompts—here’s inspiration to turbo-charge your verse for writers of all skill levels as well as plenty of creativity for workshops and classes within these packed pages.

Screenwriting for Teens: The 100 Principles of Screenwriting Every Budding Writer Must Know by Christina Hamlett gives teens—who go to the movies more than any age group in the world—the tools to do more than just watch those movies. It gives them the tools to write their own films.

Sorrow’s Words: Writing Exercises to Heal Grief by Shelia Bender: In this writing workbook, Sheila offers help and inspiration for those who mourn. Having lost her son in a snowboarding accident in 2000, she leads readers in using the craft of writing to articulate not only the pain and sadness of loss, but also to find a route into reclaiming joyful memories as well as gratitude for having known the deceased.

Strengthen Your Nonfiction Writing by Mary Horner is a practical guide for anyone who struggles with nonfiction writing, including procrastination and organization.

Writing In A Convertible With The Top Down: A Unique Guide for Writers by Shelia Bender and Christi Killien Glover: A fun and practical guide to writing that will help your writing process be as breezy as driving in a convertible on a summer’s day. The authors’ prompts and personal insights will shift you into creative gear, so you can speed successfully on your way to authentic writing.

Writing Personal Essays: Shaping and Sharing Your Life by Shelia Bender: Writing from the truths in our lives seems difficult, but personal essayist Sheila Bender provides a powerful methodology to reach more deeply into your personal experience and therefore, to reach others deeply. You’ll create eight styles of personal essays to examine your life events from different perspectives. Each essay style is guaranteed to help you mine your experience, for insight and wisdom.


  Behind the Name Generator - generate a random name based on gender, region, and even for fantasy writers.

Character Trait Chart and Personality Components - These are printable charts that you can use while developing each character in your book.

Keirsey - Personality descriptions and common characteristics of each, including some well-known people who fit each type.

Marcel Proust Questionnaire - These 35 questions were made famous by French author Marcel Proust.

Master List for Writers - An extensive resource that helps you develop your character's names, history, quirks, and so much more.

Motive Generator - a fun generator to use to help build your character, especially if they are lacking a motive and direction in your story.

SSA Popular Baby Names - The Social Security website lets you check out names by the year and popularity.

TV Tropes Flaw Index - a list of flaws that you can use to create a more well-rounded character.


  ASJA Writers Conference : Held annually each May this conference is for nonfiction writers who are seeking to grow as a writer as well as network with editors and book agents. Conference is for members and non-members.

Historical Novel Society Conference: This is a conference for historical fiction writers and is held every two years.

Missouri Writers Guild Conference (Margo Dill, editor, online instructor, and blogger): Inviting/friendly Midwest conference with agents and editors present and not too expensive, usually held in April or May.

Northern Colorado Writers Conference: Colorado based conference that provides the opportunity to meet agents and editors, network, take classes and even win prizes. Usually held every year in May.

Pike’s Peak Writer’s Conference : Held yearly in Colorado, this is a conference filled with workshops, one-on-one time with agents and editors and read your aloud for critique.

Romance Writers of America Conference - in this annual, 3-day conference, career romance writers will have the chance to network with fellow writers as well as editors, agents, publishers and other industry professionals.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Nebula Conference - This annual conference is for science fiction and fantasy writers. You do not need to be a member to join the conference. They provide three tracks relevant for professionals in these genres that you can choose to focus on including career management, professional development and expert knowledge panels and workshops.

Sleuthfest - This annual conference provides sessions for mystery writers to improve their craft, social events, and agent and editors available so you can pitch your work.

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conference - They provide two annual conferences, one winter and one summer. This conference provides excellent networking opportunities for new and experienced children’s book authors as well as an opportunity to improve upon your work.

Thrillerfest - This annual conference is for thriller authors and fans alike. It's a mix of networking opportunities, socializing, classes and the opportunity to meet industry greats.

The Write Stuff in Allentown, PA, hosted by the Greater Lebanon Valley Writers Group - (Jodi Webb, blogger): It was the perfect size—large enough that they had well-known speakers and agents, but small enough that it really felt hands on, and you had face to face interactions with agents, publishers, and speakers.

Writer’s Digest Conference - 3-day long customizable conference where you can pick and choose classes you are interested in, as well as a fun reception to meet and get to know fellow writers.


  Note: WOW! does not endorse any contest, other than our own WOW Quarterly Flash Fiction and Creative Nonfiction Essay Contests. Be sure to read their terms & conditions carefully before entering. Good luck!

Almond Press’s List of Writing Contests - An extensive list of writing competitions listed by deadline.

Bellingham Review - Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction.

Booksie's Writing Contests - Booksie offers several contests a year, including a first chapter contest and short story contest.

Boulevard Magazine Contests for Poets, Short Fiction, and Nonfiction: Contests for emerging poets, fiction and nonfiction writers.

Creative Writing Ink Writing Competitions: They offer a list of writing competitions and their own short story competition.

Dream Quest One - Poetry and writing contests.

Finishing Line Press - New Women’s Voices Chapbook Competition.

Freelance Writing - A compilation of active writing contests for a variety of genres.

Literal Latte - Literal Latte Annual Contests in Poetry, Essay and Fiction.

Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition - Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition for Emerging Writers.

Michael Steinberg Essay Prize - Michael Steinberg Essay Prize for best essay/memoir.

New Letters - New Letters Literary Awards for Fiction, Poetry and Essay.

New Pages - Calls for submissions and writing contest listings.

NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge - a world-wide flash fiction challenge where writers create stories based on genre, location and object assignments in 48 hours or less.

Poets & Writers Classifieds - Writing contest listings, calls for submissions, and more.

Reedsy Writing Contests - A compilation of active writing contests, including Reedy's own short story competition.

Writer’s Digest Competitions - A list of contests hosted by Writer’s Digest Magazine.

Writers-Editors Network - List of upcoming contests, including their annual International Writing Competition.

Zoetrope All-Story Contests - Zoetrope’s All-Story Short Fiction Contest.



Note: WOW! does not endorse any of the following websites, except for our own Writers Workshops/Critique Groups. Be sure to check out their policies before joining.

Booksie - Share your poems, short stories, and novels. Invite friends to read or publish.

Critique Circle - Online critique group. “Members submit their stories to the story queue, and pay credits to do so.”

Critters - Online workshop/critique group for serious science fiction, fantasy, and horror writers.

Inked Voices - Fee-based writing community that includes critique groups and workshops.

LA Writer’s Group - Los Angeles Writers group offers online and offline critique

Meetup - Join local writing groups in your area.

Reddit Writing Community - A reddit writing community that provides weekly threads where you can post links to your story to get feedback from other redditors.

Scribophile - “Online writing community for people who take their writing seriously.”

SFWA - Science Fiction Writers of America's links to online workshops, annual workshops, and local opportunities.

The Next Big Writer - A writing community where you can post your work and get guaranteed feedback. The readers determine who receives paid publishing contracts and novel award.

Word Weavers International - Christian-based critique group.

WriteRomance Critique Group - An online community group for any level of writer. - A Yahoo listserv romance writing critique group.

Zoetrope - Zoetrope virtual studio critique group and community. Critique groups for flash fiction, short stories, screenplays, short scripts, poetry, novellas, and novels.



Book Editing Associates - Find editors by genre and subject.

Chelsey Clammer - Professional editing services by WOW! Women On Writing’s instructor, Chelsey Clammer. Chelsey has over thirteen years of professional editing experience. Whether it’s a one-page email to someone really important, or an entire novel you feel like you want to write but don’t know how to go about it, Chelsey can do any type of editorial work—from line edits to coaching you through writing your book.

Editor-911 - Editing services by WOW! Women On Writing’s managing editor, Margo L. Dill.

Edit My Novel - Editing by USA Today bestselling author and editor, Cara Lockwood.

Two-for-One Kid Critiques - Published authors Gloria G. Adams and Jean Daigneau combine their years of writing and editing experience in this unique service that offers two critique edits for the price of one—picture books through young adult novels.

Warner Coaching - Coaching, Editorial Services, Book Proposal Assistance, Ghostwriting, Manuscript Assessment, and more from Brooke Warner.



Association of Alternative News Weeklies - Classifieds from the Association of Alternative Weeklies (newspaper jobs).

Funds for Writers - C. Hope Clark’s Funds for Writers e-mail newsletter.

Freelance Writers Den - A supportive community where freelance writers learn how to grow their income fast. The Den has live calls and webinars, e-courses and bootcamps, forums, private messages, and a junk-free Job Board.

The Freelance Writing Jobs Network - Deborah Ng’s Freelance Writing Community and Freelance Writing Jobs Resource.

Journalism Jobs - Journalism Jobs Job Board for media professionals.

Just Tech Jobs - Search for IT and tech jobs.

MediaBistro - MediaBistro Job Listings, requires free registration to search listings.

New Pages - Calls for submissions from literary publications—poetry, creative nonfiction, flash fiction, essay, art and photography, and anthologies.

Online Writing Jobs - Help wanted ads seeking freelance writers.

Poynter Online - Dan Poynter’s job board.

Problogger Job Board - Jobs for bloggers.

Publisher’s Marketplace - Publishers Lunch Job Board.

Writers Weekly - Angela Hoy’s e-zine has weekly writer's markets and an e-mail newsletter.

Write Jobs - Job listings posted daily as well as a premium section for higher paid writing jobs. - Jobs for a variety of freelance writers and other freelance workers.



Antagonyms - words that have opposite meanings.

Chicago Manual of Style - The Chicago Manual of style, Q&A, forums, and more.

Center for Writing Resources - Writing resources including a grammar handbook and writing tips that cover grammar basics.

Cliché finder - over 3000 clichés indexed.

Commonly confused words - Commonly confused words that sound alike but have different meanings.

Common errors in English language - website lists common language errors in the English language. - A dictionary, thesaurus, and “Word of the Day” feature for email subscribers.

Elements of Style - The Elements of Style, William Strunk, Jr. Online.

Grammar Book - English grammar, punctuation, and capitalization rules, examples, interactive quizzes with answers and explanations, weekly e-newsletter, contests, and more. Perfect for writers, editors, teachers, and students. Find the entire contents of Jane Straus’s bestselling The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation here!

Grammar Bytes - A site for teachers, offers hand-outs and interactive exercises.

Grammar Girl - Grammar Girl’s quick and dirty tips for better writing.

Grammar Now - A site dedicated to answering grammar questions.

Grammar Slammer - Grammar correction and also includes resources on letter writing.

A handbook of rhetorical devices - definitions and examples of rhetorical devices.

Heteronyms - information about heteronyms which are words that are spelled identically but have different meanings.

Junket Studies 11 Rules of Writing - The most commonly violated rules of writing, grammar, and punctuation.

Merriam-Webster - Dictionary and thesaurus online.

OWL at Purdue Writing Lab - Free resources for writer’s and includes information on grammar, usage, and other specific.

Oxford Dictionaries - Dictionary and Word of the Day.

Shunn Manuscript Format - Manuscript formatting.

Virtual Salt - A handbook of rhetorical devices

Wikipedia - A free online encyclopedia.


  The following agencies are ones that WOW! Women On Writing has worked with over the years.

Andrea Hurst & Associates

Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises

BookEnds LLC

Bradford Literary Agency

Corvisiero Literary Agency

Dijkstra Literary Agency

Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret LLC

FinePrint Literary Management

HSG Literary Agency

Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency

Keller Media Literary Agency

KT Literary Agency

Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency

McIntosh and Otis Literary Agency

Metamorphosis Literary Agency

Nelson Literary Agency, LLC

Nordlyset Literary Agency

New Leaf Literary Agency

Noah Lukeman Literary Agency

Nordlyset Literary Agency

Red Fox Literary

Serendipity Literary Agency

The Bent Agency

The Jeff Herman Agency

The Knight Agency

The Lark Group

The Tobias Literary Agency

Trident Media Group

Wendy Sherman Associates, Inc.

Zeno Literary Agency



The Author’s Guild - Nationals oldest and largest professional organization for writers.

Book Club of California - Non-profit for authors and book lovers.

Changing Hands Book Club - Near the Tempe, Arizona area, this local book club provides several book clubs to join that meet on a regular basis.

Geek Girls Book Club - Facebook & Twitter based book club.

Healdsburg Literary Guild - Promotes the literary arts and supports the community of the Healdsburg area.

The Lane Literary Guild - Located in the Eugene, Oregon area, this guild supports local writers and events for authors as well as critique groups.

Literary Guild of Orange County - Literary Guild of Orange County, CA. Sponsors the annual Festival of Women Authors.

Literary Guild of St. Simons Island - Located in St. Simons, George, it's a way to support the local community and various events.

Numismatic Literary Guild - A literary guild dedicated to writers of numismatic books and other career professionals.

Our Shared Shelf - A popular Goodreads-based book club for feminists.

Reddit Book Club - Reddit-based book club that votes on monthly books to read and schedules discussions.

Wizarding World Book Club - Online book club for Harry Potter fans.

Writer’s Guild of Canada - This writing guild represents screenwriting professionals in Canada.



Book Marketing with Mary - Mary Helen Sheriff offers nuts and bolts marketing tips for building book buzz, hosts a book marketing podcast, marketing plans for authors, and consulting services.

WOW's Book Promotion Services - Do you need help promoting your book? WOW! Women on Writing offers virtual blog tours, book review tours, social media giveaways, podcast spots, PR services, and more.



Aswiebe’s Market List - Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror Markets delivered straight to your inbox on the 15th of every month.

Book Trib - A newsletter for both authors and readers including book recommendations and interviews with authors.

Funds for Writers - C. Hope Clark’s Funds for Writers e-mail newsletter contains markets and grants.

HARO (Help a Reporter Out - Peter Shankman’s e-mail newsletter, published three times a day, helps writers, reporters, and bloggers find expert sources for their articles.

The Writer Newsletter - a promotional newsletter and full stories will mainly be found in the current issue of the print magazine The Writer.

Writers Weekly - a potpourri of resources, classified ads and new job listings.

Winning Writers - Free newsletter that provides resources for writers as well as free literary contests.

WOW! Women On Writing - Our very own free email newsletter that provides craft articles, interviews, inspiration, markets, contests, calls for submissions, books on tour, events, publishing news, community/subscriber news, and much more!

Writer’s Write - A newsletter that includes daily prompts, articles on writing, and other fun resources.



Academy of American Poets - The Academy of American Poets mission is “to support American poets at all stages of their careers and to foster the appreciation of contemporary poetry.”

American Crime Writers League - American Crime Writers League: Crime Fiction & True Crime.

American Medical Writers Association - The American Medical Writers Association’s mission is to promote excellence in medical communication.

American Society of Journalists and Authors - The American Society of Journalists and Authors, the professional association of independent nonfiction writers, helps freelance writers advance their careers.

Association of Food Journalists - Association of Food Journalists is a networking system especially created for journalists who devote most of their working time to planning and writing food copy for news media worldwide.

Editorial Freelancers Association - Editorial Freelancers Association's members are editors, writers, indexers, proofreaders, desktop publishers, translators and others who offer a broad range of skills and specialties.

Education Writers Association - Education Writers Association (EWA) is the national professional organization of educational reporters.

Garden Writers Association - Garden Writers Association provides leadership and opportunities for education, recognition, career development and a forum for diverse interactions for professionals in the field of gardening communications.

Horror Writers Association - Non-profit association for horror and dark fantasy writers.

International Association of Crime Writers - International Association of Crime Writers, North American Branch, is an organization of professional writers who have formed national branches in order to encourage communication among writers of all nationalities and to promote crime writing as an influential and significant art form.

International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association - International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) is a global network of journalists who cover the hospitality and lifestyle fields, and the people who promote them.

International Women’s Writing Guild - International Women's Writing Guild is a network for the personal and professional empowerment of women through writing and open to all regardless of portfolio.

Mystery Writers of America - Mystery Writers of America (MWA) is the premier organization for mystery and crime writers, professionals allied to the crime writing field, aspiring crime writers, and folks who just love to read crime fiction.

National Association of Black Journalists - The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is an organization of journalists, students and media-related professionals that provides quality programs and services to and advocates on behalf of black journalists worldwide.

National Association of Memoir Writers - An organization of memoir writers where members receive access to monthly live member teleseminars with experts in the field of memoir writing and publishing, as well as other benefits, such as workshops and events.

Novelists, Inc. - Novelists, Inc, the only writer’s organization devoted exclusively to the needs of multi-published novelists.

Romance Writers of America - Romance Writers of America (RWA) is dedicated to advancing the professional interests of career-focused romance writers through networking and advocacy.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America - SFWA is a professional organization for authors of science fiction, fantasy and related genres.

Sisters in Crime - Sisters in Crime (SINC) offers networking, advice and support to mystery authors.

Society of American Travel Writers - Society of American Travel Writers works to raise the standards of the profession, guard the right of freedom to travel, and encourage conservation and preservation of historic sites and natural wonders.

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, SCBWI - If you’re serious about children’s writing or art, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators is a must.



100+ Creative Writing Exercises for Fiction Authors - WOW! Women On Writing and WOW instructor Melanie Faith contributed to this excellent list of writing prompts.

Creative Writing Prompts - Over 300 writing prompts to fuel your stories and blog posts.

Creative Writing Ink Writing Prompts - A photo or illustration is posted every Thursday as a writing prompt. Write in any genre based on the image, link back to the page, and you're automatically entered to win an Amazon gift card. Free to enter.

NY Times Writing Prompts - A list of over 1000 writing prompts that you can use for journaling, blog posts, and other writings.

One Word - You are given one word and sixty seconds to write about it.

Online plot generator - Generate anything you need to build a story from an opening line to an unexpected twist.

Scholastic Story Starters - Story starter generator perfect for kids who love to write.

Story a Day - Provides weekly writing prompts every Wednesday.

Teacher’s Corner - Writing prompts for students organized by month.

Think Written - Over 365 writing prompts meant to inspire you to write every day.

Writer’s Digest Weekly Writing Prompts - Free weekly writing prompts.

Writer Igniter - A writing prompt generator. Click “shuffle” and write!

Writing Prompts and Journal Topics - Journal writing prompts.

Writing Prompts on Reddit - Suggested prompts submitted by reddit users.

PUBLISHING HOUSES (Women’s Presses and Publishers)


13th Moon Press - small nonprofit press.

Ash Tree Publishing - Women’s health & spirituality publisher.

Aunt Lute - Publisher dedicated to publishing underrepresented women.

Bedazzled Ink Publishing - Publishes books that celebrate the unique and underrepresented books of women and about women.

Bella Donna - Promotes the work of women writers.

Black Rose Writing - An independent publishing house that strongly believes in developing a personal relationship with their authors. Highly recommended!

Brandylane Publishers - A small, independent press that publishes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and children's books.

Dorothy Project - Publishes books by women.

Feminist Press - An educational nonprofit organization founded to advance women’s rights and amplify feminist perspectives.

Inkitt - Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.

Mother’s Milk Books - A publisher that celebrates femininity.

Paris Press - Publishes often overlooked literature created by women.

Press 53 - Although not exclusively a women’s publisher, they tend to a publish a large majority of women writers.

Seal Press - Women’s press—“Our authors are radical and original thinkers, professionals with a distinct point of view, gutsy explorers, truth-tellers, and writers who engender laughter, tears, inspiration, and transformation.”

She Writes Press - Fantastic women’s hybrid press founded by our friend, Brooke Warner.

Third Woman Press - Focuses on women of color publishing.

WiDo Publishing - WOW has worked with many of WiDo’s authors, including some of our staff. They publish run everything from childhood memoir and historical fiction to middle-grade fantasy, YA paranormal, women’s contemporary fiction, mystery and suspense.

W.W. Norton & Company - Independent Publishers since 1923.



100 Covers - Book cover design.

1106 Design - Provides a variety of services including web design, book covers, marketing, print and distribution, and more.

Adirondack Editing - Editing services.

The Author Site - Author website design.

Book Launchers - Provides step by step support from the writing process to publishing and marketing.

Draft2Digital - Helps with formatting and distribution.

Dart Frogs Books - Resource for authors seeking to independently publish their books and get them in bookstores.

Ebook Launch - Cover design, formatting help and book editing services.

Fiction Feedback - Provides extensive critique and feedback on manuscripts.

Girl Friday Productions - Helps with everything in the writing process, including ghostwriting, production, and branding and marketing.

Happy Self Publishing - Writing coaching services and publishing services.

Jessica Bell’s Independent Publishing Assistance - Jessica creates gorgeous book covers! She also offers a variety of other book production services—everything from editing and ebook formatting to printer/distributor set up and book trailers. Her work is excellent and her prices are fair.



Calmly Writer - Distraction free writing web app.

Evernote - Capture notes, ideas, photos and more.

Google Docs - Save documents and files to the Google cloud, easy to use and free.

Grammarly - A grammar editing service with a free and premium version (Nicole Pyles, Blog Tour Manager & Contributor) - Although an imperfect tool, it’s extremely helpful with quick editing and an extra pair of “eyes” when editing writing.

Hemingway App - Editing app that provides free feedback and editing suggestions.

IA Writer - Distraction free writing app.

OneLook - You can describe a concept and get a list of words and phrases that match that concept.

Scrivener - (Shelia Bender, online instructor): A wonderful program for writers in any genre—as a poet and essayist, I am so happy to be able to input all of my work in one place and arrange and re-arrange the order of my collections and keep track of where the individual pieces have been published; so my acknowledgment page in a prepared manuscript will be accurate with very little searching of my files and email.

WriteItNow - Similar to Scrivener but has a standout character development section that makes it unique.



Anam Carare Retreat - A tranquil spot set apart to nurture and to provide sanctuary for those who create.

Caldera Residency in Sisters, Oregon - Provides residence to artists and writers every winter from January to March.

Himalayan Writing Week - A writing retreat in the Himalayas including 4-day learning events and 10 day long events.

Kundiman Retreat in partnership with Fordham University - A writing retreat for Asian American poets and writers.

Monterey Writer Retreat - A writing retreat in Monterey Bay, California.

Moroccan Caravan - A creative adventure in the Moroccan desert including daily workshops and readings.

Oregon Writers Colony - Has been educating and supporting writers for over 25 years. We put out a bi-monthly newsletter, maintain a comprehensive website, and own a log house on the Oregon Coast that is used for a writers retreat.

The Porches: A Writing Retreat on the James River - Their mission is to provide writers and artists uninterrupted time in a beautiful environment.

Sacred Expression Women’s Retreat - A women’s writing retreat to gain inspiration and empowerment.

Sheila Bender’s Writing It Real Conference in Port Townsend - Writing retreat led by WOW instructor, Sheila Bender, that provides personalized workshops every year.

Wellspring House Retreat - Considered to be an affordable writing retreat with a support, and peaceful atmosphere.

Writers Retreat to Greece - Writing retreat in Greece with workshops, as well as time to experience the locale.

Women's Writers’ Retreat through Cataract Canyon - River Rafting Journey with time to create.

Writing With Care - Writing retreat that provides individualized attention located in Conception Bay, Newfoundland..

WRITING SITES (Staff Recommendations in Random Order)


Victoria Strauss’s Writer Beware Blog - (Angela Mackintosh, executive editor and publisher of WOW): If you’re unsure if you should sign with a publisher or agent, check out this blog first to see if they’re listed here. This is the best place to find out about publishing industry scams.

Agent Query - (Margo Dill, editor, online instructor, and blogger): A user-friendly site to start your search for an agent.

Janice Hardy’s Fiction University - (Cathy C. Hall, blogger): It’s a blog, but it’s like going to school every day. Janice Hardy’s Fiction University will do exactly what it promises: it will take your writing to the next level.

Books and Such Literary Management - (Karen Cioffi-Ventrice, online instructor): Their blog gives insightful tips on writing, submissions, and working with agents and publishers.

CLMP - (Angela Mackintosh, executive editor and publisher of WOW!): An extensive list of literary magazines and indie publishers to submit to.

Shay’s Word Garden - (Sioux Roslawski, blogger): Shay Caroline Simmons is a poet. Just about every day a new poem appears, and they vary in style and tone. Sometimes, I just need to read something short to help fill the well once more.

Grammar Girl - (Jodi Webb, blog tour manager and blogger): Sometimes, you just need to know: “Is this subject plural or singular? Or is it affect or effect?” I feel like she’s never steered me wrong.

Interrobangs - (Sue Bradford Edwards, blogger and online instructor): Heather doesn’t post often, but her topics are wide ranging and insightful. I like dropping by and seeing what this former editor turned agent has to say about various industry topics.

Jane Friedman - (Shelia Bender, online instructor and Karen Cioffi-Ventrice, online instructor): Shelia says: “Publishing consultant Jane Friedman’s blog and newsletter are essential for writers.” Karen says: “Her blog and ‘resources for writer’ are great tools for writing and book publishing advice. Excellent information can be found here.”

Kid Lit - (Karen Cioffi-Ventrice, online instructor): Mary Kole is a former literary agent and gives very helpful advice on writing for children.

Live Binders - (Sioux Roslawski, blogger): This is a free, digital three-ring binder. It’s become quite valuable to keep resources together when writing a historical fiction piece.

Manuscript Wish List - (Sue Bradford Edwards, blogger and online instructor): This is a great resource on who is looking for what. It is especially useful because you can search by manuscript type (picture book), look up an individual agent, or check out new listings. Also includes a feature that lets you read an individual's latest #MSWL tweets.

New Pages - (Angela Mackintosh, executive editor and publisher of WOW!): Great resource for finding writing contests, calls for submissions, and information on literary publications.

Poetry Foundation Website - (Melanie Faith, online instructor): A thematic and searchable database of some of the best poems ever published by the magazine I’ve been reading and finding inspiring as a poet since college.

Poets & Writers Classifieds - (Melanie Faith, online instructor): A free series of markets that are updated every-other month. Great and varied markets.

Poets & Writers Theater - (Shelia Bender, online instructor): They share videos of writers reading from their work.

Query Shark - (Bethany Harar, blogger): Spend time reading through the query letters and responses. Then work up the courage to submit your own.

Publisher’s Weekly - (Angela Mackintosh, executive editor and publisher of WOW!): The latest news, book deals, jobs, and more in the publishing industry.

The Write Practice - (Nicole Pyles, blog tour manager and contributor): One of my favorite websites on writing, which provides regular posts on how to write better with actionable tips in each post.

Red Fez - (Angela Mackintosh, executive editor and publisher of WOW!): Red Fez publishes a monthly online literary journal of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and artwork. They have a vibrant, supportive community of writers, as well as an in-depth resource section to help you find a home for your creative work.

YA Interrobang - (Sue Bradford Edwards, blogger and online instructor): This is a great resource for anyone who is interested in YA. Contains information on trends as well as things that are coming out soon. My favorite posts are often about “what we need more of” in YA literature and always very specific what type of YA lit needs more X, Y, or Z.

NaNoWriMo - (Angela Mackintosh, executive editor and publisher of WOW!): Join in on the craziness of National Novel Writing Month during November and write your first draft in 30 days. The forums are great, and you’ll find tons of inspiration and pep talks on the site to keep you motivated.


Lessons from a Self-Taught Writer: Interview with NYT Bestselling Author Mary Monroe
Switch it up! Literary Magazines Seeking Unusual and Uncommon Stories
Lyric Essays and the Power of Language to Tranform: An interview with Chauna Craig, editor of Atticus Review
Historical Fiction in Verse: Marilyn Nelson, Stephanie Hemphill, Melanie Crowder
Elena M. Stiehler, Editor of The Sonder Review
To Submit or Not Submit? Interview with Becky Tuch, Founder of The Review Review
On Lyric Essaying and Casting On
Utilizing the Media with Marybeth Niederkorn
Three Types of Lyric Poetry to Fire Up Your Writing Practice
How to Write an Effective Nonfiction Book Proposal
How to Build Your Author Platform
Facebook Ads: Interview with Skye Warren
How Podcasting Can Help Increase Your Presence for Your Writing Career
How to Write Blurbs that Sell!
Book Marketing with SEO: Interview with Heather Lloyd Martin
The Lazy Guide to Twitter (and My 5-5-5 Rule)
How to Use Instagram to Build Your Audience
What I Learned from My Second Book Launch
Write Your Draft in 4 Weeks
How to Write for Magazines That Aren’t In Your Demographics
Speculative Memoir: Interview with Sofia Samatar
How to Find the Right Markets for Your Ideas
Dipping Your Toe in the Freelance Writing Pool
Pitch this Exceptional Breed to Get the Best Freelance Clients
My Writing Coach in the Looking Glass: Overzealous Mentor or Moneymaker?
Self-Publishing Mistakes I Made (And How I’m Fixing Them
Pay-to-Publish Companies: Are They All Out to Get You?
How to Increase Your Writing Productivity
Writing Humor for Children: Making Young Readers Laugh
My Writing Coach in the Looking Glass: Overzealous Mentor or Moneymaker?
What Does a Literary Agent Do?
Carving Out a Community by Ann Kathryn Kelly
What to Expect When Expecting to Work with an Editor
The Intersection of Creativity & Motherhood
Why Weird Writing Rituals Work
10 Ways to Play the Waiting Game and Win It!
How to Manage the Evil Three - Rejection, Depression and Procrastination
Workout with a Writing Coach and See Career Results - Alice B. McGinty, Christina Katz
Why Women Crime Writers Are Killing It
How to Write Fiction That Keeps Readers Up at Night
D.M. Pulley, Thriller Novelist and Master Storyteller
Mystery Markets that Pay Writers
How to Twist Like Agatha Christie
Frankie Y. Bailey: Straddling Two Worlds of Crime and Mystery Writing
Tension and Twists by Karen S. Wiesner
We Speak for the Dead: The Creation of a Writing Conference All About Crime
Analyzing the Twist Ending in Se7en and The Sixth Sense
This Writer’s Favorite Thriller Twists: From Gone Girl to The Partner
The Layered Edit
Shedding Light on the Beta Reader - Joanna Penn, Stephen Leather, Chuck Sambuchino, Jody Hedlund
Revision Rework Rewrite - A Rejection is Not the End
Match Your Query to Your Manuscript
So, What Does a Literary Agent Do? Elizabeth Evans, Kristina Holmes, Jessica Regel
Impressing the Gatekeepers: Jessica Faust, Heather Osborn, Stephany Evans
How to Sell Your Manuscript Without and Agent - Rachel Eddey, Christine Clifford, Janice Booth, Erin Lale
Interview with Brevity's Managing Editor Kelly Sundberg
Telling the Story in Captions
Making Short Work of Your Digital Platform
Huge Benefits of Writing Miniature Stories
How to Write and Publish Listicles
Making Short Writing Gigs Sweet
Your Book's Tagline: Make It Snappy
8 Time Savers for Article Writing
The Moral of the Mini Skirt!
How To Write a Devotional in 300 Words or Less
Your First Article: Using Your Fiction to Sell Nonfiction
Two Productivity Hacks for Writers
How Five International Freelance Writers Got Their First Break
Q&A with The Sub(mission) Columnist
Raise Your Income Writing About Agricutlure
Writing About Sensitive Topics for Young Adults: Interviews with YA Authors Ellen Hopkins, Cheryl Rainfield, and Jay Asher
How to Make Sure Your Book PR Pays Off
Literary Agent to Indie Authors: Stephanie Phillips of SBR Media
Danica Davidson: From Rejection to 17 Book Contracts
Your Writing 
niche is More Than a Topic
Muse and Meaning by Ann Kathryn Kelly
Millionaire Daydreams
Just Say No, or Being a Bitch for My Art
Just Say No, or Being a Bitch for My Art
Finger Gone Rogue, Writing Gone Mute
Building a Community: An Interview with Becky Tuch, Founding Editor of The Review Review
What to Expect When Expecting to Work with an Editor
Fight Like a Writer
Writing Contests
How to Submit the Hard Stuff
How to Hold Your Horses
Caring About Cover Letters (because nothing says
Find or Fling? Figuring Out Where to Submit by Chelsey Clammer
Rejection Acceptance: Interview with Jac Jemc by Chelsey Clammer
Hard-Working Writer Seeks Widely-Read Journal by Chelsey Clammer
What My Submissions Spreadsheet Teaches Me by Chelsey Clammer
Submit 'Til You Make It by Chelsey Clammer
Jessica Bell: Peeking Behind the Curtain of Indie and Self-Publishing
How to Plan a Fiction Series by Karen S. Wiesner
How to Finance Your Self-Publishing Efforts Through Crowdsourcing
6 Programs that Authors Should Start Using Today
Viki Winterton: Self-Publishing in Today’s Publishing Environment
How to Use Small Amazon Categories for Big Sales
From Grief and Rejection to Success with Writer/Editor Patricia A. Nugent
An Author’s Guide to Book Bloggers
Michelle Dim-St. Pierre Helps Us Explore Hybrid Publishing
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