Summer is a great time to attend one of the many writing conferences. You get great tips, rub shoulders with agents and other writers, and leave feeling empowered. The only problem is the cost often approaches $500 and that doesn’t include travel expenses. Yikes.
For those on a budget the Internet is a great first resource. Just type in a few key words in the search box (Recent ones for me: Close Third Person; MG humor; and Making great chapter endings). I usually take a quick glance at the results and bookmark those I want to spend more time with.
If you’re not into endless searches, Rosi over at THE WRITE STUFF does some of this work for you. Every Monday as a part of her MMGM review, she posts links for her writer friends. I’ve always found them helpful and spot on.
Here are three other favorite cheap sources (under $20) for improving my craft:
- READ I love to read a great line, chapter, or book that leaves me in awe of the writing. I take note of what worked and why. MG hardback books frequently retail for $16.99. Kindle versions are cheaper and the library is free. Keep an eye out for sales at Barnes and Noble. Sign up for their email specials and you can save significantly. I get a ton of books sent my way by authors and publishers, but every month or two I purchase one on my own. The recent online special was any item at $20% off with free shipping. Since they had already reduced the MG book I had my eye on from its original cost, my final bill came to $8.85.
- Purchase a good book on writing. My Favorite? WRITING IRRESISTIBLE KIDLIT by Mary Kole. My copy has many bookmarks, highlights, and notes proving how much I’ve used this guide (used copies usually available from $3-4).
- Lastly, I keep an eye out for the focus on each of the six yearly issues of Writer’s Digest. Currently they have one that hit the bulls eye for me. Most of the issue is directed at Creating a Standout Chapter One. Great advice from authors and industry professionals. I downloaded a copy ‘write’ away ($7.54 with tax) and have read it twice. Super stuff.
I hope you can use some of these cheap resources. Make sure to return next week for a very special summer kickoff with National Geographic. Here is what’s in store for a lucky winner: