Resources

This page will change from time to time. Check back.

My reviews

I write book notes and reviews at “Hey, I just read this book…,” an occasional blog. If you like any of them, maybe you share my eclectic reading style. Feel free to follow them. Or just check here to see if I’ve posted anything new.

Writing aids

AP Stylebook
www.apstylebook.com/ — This is a gold standard for journalists. While I like flipping through the spiral-bound print version, there is a more traditional paperback style, and it’s available online. It’s inexpensive and useful for non-fiction writers, since so many places use it as their default stylebook.

Chicago Manual of Style
www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.html — This is a gold standard for academic writers. If you don’t want to buy it, look for it in a library near you. You can also buy a “cheat sheet” version if you only need to check a few things from time to time.

Purdue OWL
owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/ — This resource has great tips on U.S.-style grammar and usage. It’s free and available 24/7. It is designed for college students, but any writer can use it.

Poynter Institute
www.poynter.org/ — For non-fiction writers, this is a great site not just for writing tips, but also for industry chatter and for ideas that might turn into your next book.

Writing groups

The Creative Academy for Writers
https://creativeacademyforwriters.com/ — A group of Canadian writers has put together an online academy with discussion groups, a 24/7 online writing room, and much more. You can pay what you want, but they are happy to let you take part in its many activities while you explore.

Sisters in Crime
https://www.sistersincrime.org/default.aspx — This is the first national organization I joined when I decided I was going to switch my focus to serious creative writing.  I didn’t know it meant I was becoming an “adopted sibling” into a wonderful family of supportive writers. I’ve also joined the Chicagoland chapter (my “local”), the Guppy chapter (an online-only chapter for the “Great Unpublished” and many active, now published alumni, the Wisconsin chapter (because I’m only four miles south of the stateline), and the Grand Canyon Chapter (because they’ve offered such great online workshops since covid). There are also other chapters, all of which you can learn about after you join national.

Mystery Writers of America
https://mysterywriters.org/ — This is the “granddaddy” of mystery writers’ groups. I didn’t join it as soon as I did SinC. My mistake. I thought they would be way out of my league (and many members are), but they turned out to be just as welcoming as Sisters in Crime. The group assigns you to a region based on residence instead of letting you pick chapters to add. I’m part of the Midwest region and have found wonderful members who are also supportive and fun.

Writing conferences

Bouchercon – Generally in August or September at locations across North America

Killer Nashville – Generally in August in Tennessee

Left Coast Crime – Generally in early spring in various locations

Malice Domestic  – Generally in late April or early May in Bethesda, Maryland

Writers’ Police Academy – Generally in summer, most recently in Green Bay and Appleton, Wisconsin, but previously in other locations

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