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Websites for writers
If you love writing - whether you're a student, blogger, copywriter, journalist or even an aspiring novelist - then read on for a list of websites that you need to bookmark. These wonderful resources not only promise ways to improve your skills, but also tips and advice from quill wielders who've been there and done that.
>> The Economist Style Guide
The Economist is one of the best news weeklies for international politics, business and opinion. And this, in no small measure, is due to the precise language of its stories.
Its writers and columnists do not get bylines and the entire magazine reads as if it has been written by a single author. Of course, such a feat could not have been possible without its brilliant copy editors and an exhaustive language style sheet that The Economist has shared on its website.
The resource is full of sage advice like 'never use a long word where a short one will do', 'never use a foreign phrase, jargon if you can think of an everyday English equivalent', and 'use the language of everyday speech'. So if you're looking for a tried-and-tested style guide and writing tips from people who know, this is a very good place to start. www. economist. com/ styleguide/introduction
>> Daily Writing Tips
This site is a treasure trove of over 1, 500 articles written for writers by writers. Divided into more than 25 categories, its pieces span the length and breadth of writing do's and don'ts. So if you're seeking guidance on how to spruce up your resume, when to 'which' and when to use 'that', whether you should end your letters with 'Yours Faithfully' or 'Yours Sincerely', or even tips on how to churn out great pieces of fiction, you're sure to find it here. www. dailywritingtips. com
Figment is a vibrant online community where you can share your writing and connect with an audience. Importantly, as a writer, you retain the copyright of all the work that you've posted onto the site.
After creating an account, you can also comment on and review the works of other authors and poets. And it has a Features section where you can find excerpts of books, interviews and contests. Besides, just like any other social network, you can 'follow' another writer, which means you will be informed whenever they update a story or add a new piece.
Of course, other members can 'follow' you too, so build up a steady portfolio;you never know who'll notice. www. figment. com
Zopler is yet another social network for writers, but with a difference: It allows them to collaborate with one another to plot stories as a group. As a member, you can help others - and similarly, they can help you. The site's unique features allow members to append new paragraphs to stories and even insert blocks of text within the storyline. They can also upload pictures and illustrations.
Now while your collaborative efforts will not qualify you for a Booker prize or even earn you a publishing contract, they can definitely help you flex your creative muscle while you indulge in this fun exercise. www. zopler. com
>> The Bulwer-Lytton Contest
This one is not about writing a full novel or story. It's a "whimsical literary competition" run by the English Department at the San Jose State University that awards writers who "compose the opening sentence to the worst of possible novels". For instance, the 2012 honours went to a certain Cathy Bryant for: "As he told her that he loved her she gazed into his eyes, wondering, as she noted the infestation of eyelash mites, the tiny deodicids burrowing into his follicles to eat the greasy sebum therein, each female laying up to 25 eggs in a single follicle, causing inflammation, whether the eyes are truly the windows of the soul;and, if so, his soul needed regrouting. " The contest is open all year, with an official deadline of April 15. Each entry must consist of a single sentence;contestants, however, are allowed to submit as many entries as they wish. www. bulwer-lytton. com
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