Writing, Editing, and Research Resources
Click any of the sections below for quick access in the table:
Writers' GuidesDictionary & Thesaurus ResourcesStyles for Electronic Citations
MiscellaneousMarketing and Other Resources

I have found some of these references thanks to Dave Bonta, Aaron Haspel, Belea Keeney, Joanne Merriam, Melinama, Colleen Redman, and ReadMae.
More suggested links are welcome!

Writers' Guides (Grammar, Bibliographic, etc.) William Strunk, Jr.'s The Elements of Style: An excellent online version of the classic Strunk & White. You can click on Table of Contents items or use its well-designed search function.

Writers' Workshop, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Originally set up for the university's students, this site provides useful guides on grammar and bibliography styles, along with other resources.

Guide to Grammar and Writing. Provides:
1. Tutorial: arranged by structure (e.g., sentence, paragraph) and other useful parameters. This looks like an excellent resource;
2. Search function; and
3. Free answers to grammatical questions ("almost always within a day or two"), plus a log of questions already asked and answered.

Linda DeVore's "Grammar Now". Provides:
1. Search function: If you know the term you want (e.g., nonrestrictive clause), this site's search engine is excellent;
2. Free answers to grammatical questions (within 24 hours for simple questions). DeVore also provides copyediting and proofreading services for a fee; and
3. Other editing links.

Jack Lynch's Guide to Grammar and Style. Lynch is associate professor of English at Rutgers University. Provides:
1. Index: one of the more useful ones I've seen so far. For example, clicking on "i" takes you to topics such as, "i.e., versus e.g.," "imply versus infer," etc.; and
2. Online (and non-online) resources and guides.

National Punctuation Day: "A celebration of the lowly comma, correctly used quotes and other proper uses of periods, semicolons and the ever-mysterious ellipsis." Founded by Jeff Rubin, NPD includes school programs, online guides, and just plain fun in the service of teaching proper punctuation. Viewers can submit photos of incorrectly punctuated signs to the web site and receive a photo credit.
Dictionary, Encyclopedia, and Thesaurus Resources Babel Fish Translation: Provides a variety of translations for a block of text or an entire Web page. Languages include Chinese dialects, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish, all to and from English; and Dutch, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish, all to and from French.

Columbia Encyclopedia: A service of Bartleby.com: "Containing nearly 51,000 entries (marshalling six and one-half million words on a vast range of topics), and with more than 80,000 hypertext cross-references, the current Sixth Edition is among the most complete and up-to-date encyclopedias ever produced."

Hyperdictionary, containing around 150 thousand terms with examples, synonyms, antonyms, and related words.

List of Dictionaries, including non-English, technical, Internet, medical, etc., plus a thesaurus resource list.

One Look Dictionary Search: The site claims, "7,563,812 words in 931 dictionaries indexed." Includes a useful wildcard pattern to search for words, a way to then filter those words according to meaning, and a reverse dictionary function (i.e., typing in a meaning to find the word).

Online Etymology Dictionary: "Etymologies are not definitions; they're explanations of what our words meant and how they sounded 600 or 2,000 years ago."

Roget's Thesaurus Search Form. Maintained by Mark Olsen at the University of Chicago, this site lets you search the full text of Roget's Thesaurus. Has useful cross-referencing links. Note: This online thesaurus does not list acronyms, but you can find several acronym dictionaries in the List of Dictionaries, above.

Webster's Online Dictionary with Multilingual Thesaurus Translation. Compiled by Philip M. Parker of INSEAD. In addition to definitions of words (I looked up "molasses"), provides specialty definitions (e.g., dream interpretation), synonyms, crosswords (i.e., words defined by the word you're looking up), modern and commercial usage examples, photos, uses in literature and nonfiction, usage frequency, expressions, frequency of internet keywords, modern and ancient translations, derivations and misspellings, rhyming words, anagrams, and alternative orthography. This last category includes expressions of the word in Hexadecimal, Leonardo da Vinci (backwards), American Sign Language, Semaphore, Braille, Morse Code, Dancing Men, Binary Code, HTML Code, British Sign Language, and Encryption (beginner's substitution cypher). Also provides usage in art, proper noun and trade name usage, use in news and articles, and appearance in non-English dictionaries. Other words may have somewhat different categories.


Webster's Online Dictionary
with Multilingual Thesaurus Translation


  English      Non-English
Thanks to code offered at Parker's site, you can now double-click on any word on this page to get the definition.

Wikipedia: "a Web-based, multi-language, free-content encyclopedia written collaboratively by volunteers.... The status of Wikipedia as a reference work has been controversial, and it is both praised for its free distribution, free editing and wide range of topics and criticized for alleged systemic biases, preference of consensus to credentials, deficiencies in some topics, and lack of accountability and authority when compared with traditional encyclopedias."

Wiktionary: A companion to Wikipedia, Wiktionary is "a collaborative project to produce a free, multilingual dictionary with definitions, etymologies, pronunciations, sample quotations, synonyms, antonyms and translations.... In this English edition, started on December 12, 2002, we currently have 322,792 entries in 389 languages."

Wordreference.com: Online French, Italian and Spanish Dictionaries. Also includes Spanish monolingual, Spanish synonyms, Spanish-French, and Spanish-Portuguese dictionaries. On its language forums, "more than 20,000 registered members help one another with questions about grammar, style, linguistics, slang, etymology, pronunciation and translation of words and phrases."

Wordsmyth Educational Dictionary-Thesaurus: Includes pronunciation, inflected forms, definition, synonyms and cross-referenced synonyms(with links), and similar and related words (with links). Has a handy "spelled-like" feature in its search engine if you don't know how to spell the word you want.

Styles for Electronic Citations Library and Information Science: Citation Guides for Electronic Documents, provided by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
Miscellaneous Bartleby.com: Find a poem on the Web

Bookfinder.com: The Open Marketplace for Books Online

Bugguide.Net: "We are an online community of naturalists who enjoy learning about and sharing our observations of insects, spiders, and other related creatures....More than just a clearinghouse for information, this site helps expand on the natural histories of our subjects. By capturing the place and time that submitted images were taken, we are creating a virtual collection that helps define where and when things might be found." Troy Bartlett has put together this resource for bug identification, including full taxonomy.

The Electric Eclectic: Includes many different types of slang from different decades and regions; dialects; and collections like amateur radio glossary, ancient scripts, British car terms, chat abbreviations, dictionary of military and associated terms, hieroglyphs, and much, much more.

Fact Monster: Covers and regularly updates a broad range of topics, including but not limited to almanacs, history, math, money, people, politics, science, and sports.

Find a Grave: Search by name, location, and/or claim to fame.

History Sourcebooks: Paul Halsall, Editor. "The Internet History Sourcebooks are collections of public domain and copy-permitted historical texts presented cleanly (without advertising or excessive layout) for educational use."
Ancient History Sourcebook
Medieval Sourcebook
Modern History Sourcebook
and by subset:
African History Sourcebook
East Asian History Sourcebook
Indian History Sourcebook
Islamic History Sourcebook
Jewish History Sourcebook
LGBT History Sourcebook
Women's History Sourcebook
Global History Sourcebook
History of Science Sourcebook

How Stuff Works: A seemingly exhaustive list. Examples that I've chosen randomly include, "How becoming a lawyer works," "How credit cards work," "How alcohol works," "How house construction works," "How lethal injection works," and "How a continuously variable transmission works."

The Lexiconophilist: Logolepsy, maintained by Open Diarist James Ensor, who writes, "This diary started as a Word of the Day feature on my diary, but I feel that it has grown to deserve its own space with which to flourish and evolve. The basic idea here is to introduce the populace at large to new words, old words, and just plain words that you might not know."

MadSci Network: "MadSci Network represents a collective cranium of scientists providing answers to your questions." Includes a library of Web resources, Ask-A-Scientist, "Instant Brain Gratification" with some of the neatest Q&As I've seen, an archive of questions and answers, etc. More than 700 scientists have signed up to answer questions.

Mythology and Religion References
Biblegateway.com: a free service for reading and researching scripture online, in the language or translation of your choice. Advanced tools allow for searching the Bible by keywords or verse.
Encyclopedia Mythica: an award-winning internet encyclopedia of mythology, folklore, and religion.
Godchecker.com: Your Guide to the Gods: "Godchecker's Mythology Encyclopedia currently features almost 2,500 deities."
Internet Sacred Text Archive
The Koran: an electronically scanned version of M. H. Shakir's translation of the Holy Qur'an. You can search for a word or phrase, or browse chapter by chapter.

Name Meanings
Behind the Name: The Etymology and History of First Names
Last Name Meanings

National Geographic: Find online maps

Open books at random: "Stichomancy is one of the oldest forms of divination (at least 3000 years old in fact), in which the querant opens to a random page of randomly selected book in a library, to find an excerpt that applies to the situation at hand." This site also allows you to choose among different genres. In addition to divination, the process can help spark ideas.

Patricia C. Wrede's Worldbuilder: Contains just about every conceivable question to consider when you're worldbuilding (i.e., determining the details of the environment in which your characters exist). The site is geared toward fantasy worlds but is applicable to real worlds as well.

Perseus Digital Library: A project of Tufts University, Perseus includes classical Greco-Roman materials; non-literary papyri, Greek and Latin, from the Ptolemaic and Roman periods; primary and secondary sources from the English Renaissance; and more. "Our primary goal is to bring a wide range of source materials to as large an audience as possible."

The Phrase Finder: Includes the meanings and origins of over 2,000 English sayings, phrases and idioms; and a discussion forum.

The Phrontistery: English Word Lists & Language Resources: Back online in December 2006 after a much-missed absence! Includes words fallen into disuse, rare words, 2- and 3-letter Scrabble words, and a plethora of dictionaries and language resources, etc.

Shakespeare search engine: Searches for the text of the Bard's plays and poetry. Does not include stage directions or critical essays.

Symbols.com: The histories, uses, and meanings of more than 2,500 Western signs, ranging from ideograms carved in mammoth teeth by Cro-Magnon men, to hobo signs and subway graffiti.
Marketing and Other Resources The AA Independent Press Guide and other resources: Includes online guide to 2000+ literary magazines and publishers.

Duotrope's Digest: This database numbered over 1,825 current markets for short fiction, poetry, and novels/collections as of June 25, 2007. "We update about once a day, and we check all the listings at least once a week to ensure the most up-to-date database possible." Free services offered to writers and editors include a free online submissions tracker for registered users. Genres listed include Literary, Mainstream, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Erotica, Romance, Horror, Magic Realism, Mystery, Action/Adventure, Suspense, Experimental, Cross-Genre, Historical, and Western. The database is also arranged by length of work, pay scale, and media.

Dustbooks: Dustbooks is the leading international supplier of small press information since 1964. Its publications include but are not limited to International Directory of Little Magazines and Small Presses, Directory of Poetry Publishers, Directory of Small Press/Magazine Editors & Publishers, and Small Press Review.

Lary Crews' tips for overcoming writer's block: A series of posts and great advice by Lary (one 'r') Crews on Flickr's "Writer's block" discussion forum. Flickr is a photography site that includes a Writers group.

Memoir Writers: Includes helpful articles and links.

National Federation of State Poetry Societies: Includes links to state poetry organizations, plus competitions and publications.

Poetry Links: Submission guidelines and other information about poetry publishers, with an emphasis on print journals and university publications.

Poets & Writers Inc.: Founded in 1970, Poets & Writers is the nation's largest nonprofit literary organization. Includes but is not limited to: (a) Poets & Writers Magazine (essays in the literary life; interviews with contemporary writers of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction; articles with practical applications for both emerging and established writers; and the most comprehensive listing of literary grants and awards, deadlines, and prize winners available in print); (b) A Directory of American Poets and Fiction Writers (names, addresses, and publication credits for more than 7,300 authors); (c) Poets & Writers Online (searchable database of over 4,800 listings from A Directory of American Poets and Fiction Writers; advice on topics such as copyright, publishing, and finding a writers conference; links to over 1,000 Web sites of interest to writers; Speakeasy Message Forum); (d) P&W's Publishing Seminars offered via e-mail and on audiotape and have been successful in teaching both emerging and published writers how to critically examine the potential market for their work, pitch their books to agents and publishers, and promote them once they've been published.

Preditors and Editors: Hosted by Anotherrealm: The Magazine of Speculative Fiction. In addition to its other resources, this site compiles information about publishing scams on its Warnings page. "Preditors & Editors provides a service to writers. As such, it has a right to publish recommendations and make comments about those businesses servicing writers for which it has received complaints....P&E's recommendations are based on behavior toward writers rather than content."

The Writer: Publishes The Writer. The website includes articles, resources, and forums.

Writers' BBS: "Meet other writers for critique, workshops, challenges, fiction, non-fiction, Memoir Writing, Mystery writing, poetry, Romance, Mystery, Science Fiction, Young Adult, Children's Writing, Flash Fiction, politics, gardening, cooking, and much more. Writer's BBS is about writers and lending a helping hand up the publishing ladder. Or just to chat and enjoy the company of our writers in our more than 50 active forums."

Writer's Digest Books: Publishes Writer's Market, Writer's Digest Magazine, and other resources for writers. The website contains articles, contests, and other useful info.

WritersNet: An Internet directory of writers, editors, publishers, and literary agents. Includes various writers' forums.

Resources with a special emphasis on science fiction, fantasy, and horror markets:

Dark Markets: The Online Market Guide for Horror Writers: A December 22, 2007 check of the site shows it last updated in May 2007, with 101 markets that include anthologies, book publishers, contests, magazines, and online zines.

Piers Anthony's Internet Publishing: Although weighted toward science fiction and fantasy, Anthony's list covers many genres and includes his own experience and cautionary tales.

Ralan.com: Emphasizes markets for speculative and science fiction but includes those for a variety of genres and forms, along with contests and writing/marketing tips.

SpecFicWorld: This is a subscription service, but the site also includes many resource links.

Speculations.com: Includes online forum "The Rumor Mill."

StoryPilot's Science Fiction & Fantasy Market Engine: Search markets by genre, length, pay, and other variables.

Spicy Green Iguana: Markets for science fiction, fantasy, and horror.


Horror Writers Association
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
Science Fiction Poetry Association

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