My Favourite Resources

If I was to recommend one video to writers at any stage of their writing careers,  it would be a speech delivered at the 2010 Ontario Writer’s Conference by Canadian science fiction writer Robert J. Sawyer. The speech can be found on http://www.youtube.com in three parts and it takes about a half-hour to watch. It’s also useful to visit his website, http://www.sfwriter.com as an example of how you can build a successful writing career.

A website which I visit at the beginning of every month is http://www.placesforwriters.com. Many of the listing are for literary journals inviting writers to submit short stories. Writing and submitting short stories is a good way to begin the process of establishing yourself as a writer and I’ve submitted several short stories to journals listed on the website.

The BBC Writersroom http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom has it all. The website content includes interviews with screenwriters, articles on how to improve your writing, scripts for radio and television that you can read, and a listing of opportunities for writers. Make sure you pay attention to submission criteria in the Opportunities section, because sometimes only  writers living in the United Kingdom are qualified to participate. There are, however, open calls for international writers as well

I often visit the website for Overdrive http://www.overdrive.com, which supplies eBooks to libraries in several countries. The website allows me to check the progress of my eBook, What If? A Collection of Short Fiction by J. Paul Cooper. I enter the title in the search box, and then in the section Find In A Library, I type “Canada” or “United States.” The results list the libraries where it’s available, and whether or not it’s being borrowed. If you’d like to check where a print book is available, you can use http://www.worldcat.org.

When you’re watching the credits scroll at the end of a Hollywood movie, you’ll often see the symbol for the Writers Guild of America. If you’re curious about how screenwriters join the union and how much members earn, visit http://www.wga.org. Many countries have similar organizations representing screenwriters; in Canada, it’s the Writers Guild of Canada http://www.wgc.ca. Keep in mind that a screenwriter’s earning potential, whether or not she belong to a union, is also influenced by how much her work is in demand, and how good her agent’s negotiating skills are.

I hope that this week you write, because the world needs your voice, your passion.

 

 

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