Writing Resources During Covid Virus
Facing this unique moment in time in productive and hopeful communities
February began with me typing much of my second book in the hospital with my father recovering from a difficult fall and hip surgery. I literally drove home from a week with my parents to try and find toilet paper and supplies as things worsened due to the virus. At the time of writing this, it’s more than eight weeks since Covid Virus stay-at-home began for my husband and I and our two teen boys in Northern California. We are doing okay so far, thankfully. I recently realized after several jolting roller-coaster moments how very grateful I am for writing resources and inspirations that have come across my path during this distinctive point in time.
This week I’ll be featured on a special blog called The Write Conversation (link HERE) sharing some tips for being resilient in this time as writers and how we can use difficulties to make meaningful progress, even if we don’t see it right now. As part of that effort, I thought it could be helpful to share specific websites, seminars, discounted services, and things you might only hear through the grapevine. Besides writing fantasy and helping others, my favorite thing to do is to build community. And when I discover genuine connection, well, that’s a real gem in life (take it from a Gemologist!).
So this list is for kids and parents seeking to use this unique season to sharpen writing skills, find inspiration to help with dark times, mine your own life experiences, and contribute to or dive into a project with a sense of purpose.
It helps to put our dreams and words into life. Especially now. Find some help and connectedness to bring meaning and community to your writing life.
I’m hoping people will share other ideas in the comments below, so this will be a continued growing list as I hear of new resources!
Groups and services I love or come highly recommended!
Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators – This group has been invaluable in helping my outlook and keeping up my perseverance. With your membership fee, you are able to attend weekly Zoom meetings with famous authors and communicators to help hone your craft. Last week I had “lunch” with Henry Winkler (The Fonz!) and Lin Oliver who write great middle grade, and there an many scheduled for the coming weeks. There are regional webinars for very low prices that you can also attend – so many of them! I also enjoy connecting with our local group for an informal lunch time over Zoom. We use the time to visit about our writing challenges or discuss a group read. So invaluable! Check out your area here:
Reginal resources (discounts for members but open to public):
Kidlit411 website and Facebook group is wonderful!
Novel Marketing and The Christian Publishing Show podcasts with Thomas Umstattd Jr. These are great to listen to when you’re tackling a big job and they are addressing current trends given the virus situation, so you’ll feel up-to-date with publishing trends given the dynamic situation nationally.
The Write Conversation blogspot hosted by Edie Melson is an excellent, top 100 site for writers and is really addressing changing trends and issues we are facing as writers.
Realm Makers – for speculative writers of faith – such a wonderful resource and community, I can’t say enough! Once you join, you can be active in their Facebook groups which are a wealth of information. The conferences are wonderful too! They are having a lot of webinars in light of the current situation that are encouraging.
Blue Ridge Writers Conference – just being in the Facebook has been so encouraging! They are continuing to offer webinars and short encouraging topics for writers. I hope to attend one of the conferences soon and so love Edie Melson and DiAnn Mills.
WriteOnCon – for great classes and workshops, as well as critique partner match-ups.
The Writing Excuses Podcast
Books & Such blog
Kathy Temean Writing And Illustrating blog
Mary Kole – The Good Story Company Blog
Michael Hague – audible books and online services
Tricia Goyer’s membership group, Write That Book!
The Highlights Foundation Website
The 12×12 Picture Book Challenge
Author Julie Foster Hedlund is giving free videos with mini-lessons for picture books!
The Writing Barn webinars with Bethany Hegedus, and her podcast, The Courage To Create
Agent Jennifer Laughran podcast Literaticast
The Story Biz Podcast with authors Brock Eastman and Chris Miller
For SCBWI members, but sounds wonderful for learning the work-for-hire market! With Editor Judy Dick and Author Annette Whipple
My friend author Katie Phillips helps mentor new authors with branding and marketing and has free prompts on her Instagram weekly. She’s really wonderful! Here’s her Facebook group as well: https://www.facebook.com/KatiePCreative/?hc_location=ufi
Resources for Teen Writers
I know the people who run these groups – they are WONDERFUL!
Society of Young Inklings has a super blog and classes for kids wanting to take their writing to the next level, and especially working from a creative center. Run by author Naomi Kinsman.
Go Teen Writers has so many resources and is included in Writer’s Digest’s 101 Best Websites for Writers! It’s hosted by authors Jill Williamson, Stephanie Morrill, and Shannon Dittemore.
The Young Writer has great resources for teen writers! https://www.theyoungwriter.com/
Finally, there’s a special writing contest to benefit an author we all love after falling ill from mold poisoning. Share your words and do something for the heart!