Websites that Work

Need to know how to write a business letter to a Japanese corporation? Want to find out whether that writing job you saw advertised is legit? Not sure where the apostrophe goes in “the Joneses’ house”?

Answers to these questions and more can be found at the touch of a mouse. Unfortunately, so can a great deal of worthless drivel and pseudoinformation.

To help you sort through the approximately nine gagillion websites for writers, I will be posting occasional lists of “Websites that Work”: sites I’ve found to be reliable and helpful. Here is the first.

Good Letters

The new blog from the editors of the fine literary quarterly Image, Good Letters presents the musings of a broad spectrum of writers reflecting on art and faith. Skillfully written, thought-provoking posts make this a perfect place to stop when you’re taking a break or need an inspirational boost. It’s also available as an RSS feed.

The Author’s Guild

The Author’s Guild has been advocating for writers for nearly a century. Their website is clean, lean, and straightforward, with abundant information on protecting yourself and your work. Although parts of the site are for Author’s Guild members only, there is plenty here to make a stop on this site worthwhile even if you don’t want to fork out the $90 to join.

Kids on the Net

Not everyone who writes is over 18. This colorful, kid-friendly website is for young creative writers. Kids can submit their own writing, practice writing techniques, play word games, learn about writing opportunites, and share their experiences with other young writers. There are also sections for teachers.

Funds for Writers

If you want to get paid to write, this is the website for you. Run by the marvelous C. Hope Clark, Funds for Writers specializes in grants, serious contests, and real markets for free lancers. It’s well organized and full of information, making it one of Writer’s Digest’s “Best Websites for Writers” for nine years running.


Need to check a grammar rule? Not sure how to cite a source? Want some straightforward advice on how to pen a white paper, do online research, or write for Chinese entrepreneurs? Try the OWL—the Online Writing Lab at Purdue University. With sections for students, writing teachers, and professional writers, the OWL does it all for the practical writer.

Preditors and Editors

Who knows what darkness lies at the heart of the writing world? This website does. The goal of Preditors and Editors is to examine the dark underbelly of writing scams and schemes. If you’ve ever submitted twenty bucks to enter a writing contest only to discover there was no contest, you’ve no doubt promised yourself you’ll never be taken for a ride again. This website can help make sure you’re not.

Writers Chatroom

Run with a sense of humor and an awareness of how unpredictable, haphazard, and downright crazy the writing life can be, the Writers Chatroom offers advice, workshops, and host of tools for writers, including weekly opportunities to chat online. Fun, informative, and immensely helpful.