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Writing aids

AP Stylebook — 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 — This is a gold standard for academic writers. If you don’t want to buy it, look for it in a library near you.

Purdue OWL — This resource has great tips on U.S.-style grammar and usage. (There are no Oxford commas here.) It’s free and available 24/7. It is designed for academics, but any writer can use it.

Poynter Instute — 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.

Regional Conferences

Chicago: LIM CON — Traditionally this conference has focused on mystery and thriller writing (and reading), but organizers say they plan to expand their reach in 2016.

Madison, Wis.: Madison Writers Institute — There’s something for every writer at this conference. The organizers also have several other regular offerings, including Weekend with Your Novel and Write by the Lake.

Muncie, Ind.: Midwest Writers Workshop — This is another something-for-every-writer conference. Everyone who attends  gets plenty of chances to meet and mingle with the maximum number of presenters, right through its “Buttonhole the Experts” wrap-up session.

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