This is an industry website that costs $20/month, but if you want to find news about agents (who represents whom), publishers (who publishes what), and authors, this is a site you want to at least give a trial run.
A database of literary agents that’s free to use, though not super easy to navigate—and has too many ads.
A site that allows you to browse publishers by state or city.
Sign up for a class, learn exactly what publishers look for in a book proposal, figure out your target readership, and oh so much more. This site has more content than you can ever hope to get through, and it’s an amazing resource.
Small Publishers Association of North America (SPAN)
I love small publishers, no matter how far I keep moving away from them in my professional life. This site is a helpful resource for marketing your work, complete with lots of industry resources.
This is a Yahoo! group open to the public that posts calls for submissions and contest information for writers of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Just click the JOIN THIS GROUP button and you’ll get regular emails announcing all kinds of contests and calls for submissions.
Guide to Writers Conferences & Writing Workshops
A comprehensive list of workshops, creative career writing programs, and literary retreats.
A social networking site for women writers and authors, complete with class offerings and specialized groups dedicated to particular writing and publishing interests.
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, by Anne Lamott
An old favorite and highly recommended book about starting small. “Just take it bird by bird.”
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print, by Renni Browne and Dave King
A helpful manual for fiction writers that focuses on writing/editing techniques (the mechanics of dialogue, characterization, point of view, etc.).
Booklife: Strategies and Survival Tips for the 21st-Century Writer, by Jeff VanderMeer
One of the best books I’ve ever read for writers who are trying to figure out the balance between being a writer and being a self-promoter.
How to Write Attention-Grabbing Query & Cover Letters, by John Wood
A great resource to see what a good query and cover letter should look like.
How to Write a Book Proposal, by Michael Larsen
Written by a well-known Bay Area agent who’s got a lot of insider knowledge and tips for doing it right.
The Fast-Track Course on How to Write a Nonfiction Book Proposal, by Stephen Blake Mettee
Written by a small-press publisher who’s seen his share of proposals, too.
Architecture of the Novel: A Writer’s Handbook, by Jane Vandenburgh
From a Bay Area novelist and memoirist, this book helps writers understand the underlying machinery that propels a plot forward.
National Association of Memoir Writers
An organization that offers teleclasses, telesummits, and tons of professional advice and offerings for memoirists and aspiring memoirists.
November is National Novel Writing Month, and this organization will propel you along with your writing—whether you’re writing fiction or not.
Feel the Fear … and Do It Anyway, by Susan Jeffers
Jeffers offers a clear-cut plan to help you overcome your fears and embrace your strength and conviction. A great book for creative types.
Learn more about the process of SoulCollage on their website. It’s an involved process that can be used for inspiration, but also to get in touch with your psyche and to better understand your own internal processes.
David Whyte books
All of David Whyte’s books of prose and poetry are amazing. He’s been an inspiration and a mentor, and I highly recommend his work.
The Artist’s Way
The book alone has sold over 2 million copies, but Julia Cameron’s work goes beyond her books. She’s turned hundreds of writers on to “Morning Pages,” the practice of writing just a little bit every morning.