A friend who is wanting to get back into writing asked me to point them to any recommended resources for courses, opportunities, and general writing info. I ended up making a long list of things that have helped me over the years – so I thought I’d copy to the blog in case it’s of help to anyone else! These are mostly pointers to more info on writing, courses, books about the craft, and some social media things. But there’s also a bit of local-specific info for Edinburgh and Scotland that will be most relevant for writers here. Feel free to browse and share!
Resources and Opportunities
- Based in Scotland? Scottish Book Trust have loads of resources about writing, and lists of submissions opportunities. They also run the annual New Writers Award, which I was super fortunate to get support from this year.
- Write Mentor: best for children and YA writers, with competitions and submissions calls, writing courses, and annual mentoring opportunities.
- Write like a Grrrl and For Books’ Sake: championing women and non-binary writers, these both have great resources, blogs and offer writing courses and retreats.
- Jericho Writers: for loads of information on writing, opportunities, agents and publishing, competitions, events, and they also run writing courses.
- National Centre for Writing: free resources here including podcasts, interviews, free courses, blogs etc.
- NaNoWriMo: for following along with national novel writing month in November, though they have good newsletters and tips throughout the year. Great for setting goals if you have a project in mind!
- Patreon: A lot of my favourite writers are on Patreon, where you can sign up for a monthly fee (from $1 and up) to access a range of benefits. Some offer tips on the writing process, writing prompts, and exclusive content on their work.
- Skriva Writing School (Edinburgh-based): I’ve been doing weekly critique classes with author Sophie Cooke at Skriva for three years and it’s been the biggest boost for me in terms of my writing and confidence. I also met loads of lovely people through this course!
- Sandra Ireland: I did an excellent online folklore writing course with Sandra which I would recommend, and she runs a variety of writing courses throughout the year. Sandra also teaches courses with Lifelong Dundee, which are worth a look.
- I’ve heard good things about Masterclass though it’s quite pricey – they have a range of workshops from a few big authors.
- Curtis Brown Creative offer six-week writing courses for novel writing and short stories. You can also win a course by taking part in their monthly #WriteCBC challenge by writing a twitter story to a prompt (See my earlier post about micro and tweet length fiction.)
- Free Open Learn creative writing content is available from Open University here.
Locally in Edinburgh
- Edinburgh Literary Salon – for regular events about writing, publishing and for networking (currently virtual however!)
- Edinburgh SFF Writers – Do you write sci fi and fantasy and are based in Edinburgh? We generally do bi-weekly meetings and get togethers to write/feedback on work
- Glasgow also has it’s own well established Writing Circle as Glasgow Science Fiction Writers’ Circle.
- Edinburgh Writer’s Forum – for events and networking opportunities.
Books on Writing
- About Writing by Gareth Powell – Gareth also has an excellent website, newsletter and Patreon, with a new blog too.
- Wonderbook by Jeff VanderMeer (perfect for genre fiction, but great for general writing tips too)
- Novelista – Anyone Can Write a Novel (Yes, even you) by Claire Askew (Claire also did an excellent Twitter thread of writing tips here)
- Into the Woods by John Yorke
- 52 Dates for Writers by Claire Wingfield
- On Writing by Stephen King
YouTube Videos and Podcasts
- Ted-Ed creative Writing Playlist – these are really excellent videos on specific craft and the basics!
- Brandon Sanderson on writing SFF
- Margaret Atwood Top 5 Writing Tips
- Stephen King creative writing advice
- Here’s an excellent list of writing related podcasts! I particularly like Grammar Girl and The Writer Files.
There are loads of hashtags used in the writing Twittersphere, and some can be a great source of information on writing and other opportunities:
- General: #Writing Community #amwriting #writerslife #amediting #writingprompt #WIP #WriteTip #SCBWI
- For agents and publishing info: #MSWL #AskAgent #AskAuthor #PubTip
- Some day or genre specific ones include: #1linewed #WIPWed #vss365 #SciFiSat #FolkloreThursday #FairyTaleTuesday #SciFiFri
- Twitter pitching events where you can pitch directly to agents and publishers: #PitMad (website for more details) #PitDark (books with darker themes) #XpoNorth (Scotland specific yearly – usually January – tweet pitch. More info on the website) #SFFPit (Science fiction and fantasy pitch, info here) #WMPitch (with Write Mentor)
This is by no means an exhaustive list, and I’m sure I’ve missed loads of wonderful things in Scotland and beyond. If I come across anything, I’ll try to keep this updated every so often, but until then hope it’s of some help!