All of these links relate in some way to a recent topic of discussion in the Writing Practicum -- a group of talented writers that I facilitate on Tuesday nights. Each of the first four is a sort of C.S. Lewis-like "Wood Between the Worlds" that serves as a jumping-off place to other, related sites that merit additional exploring...
For those who are outlining a story, organizing thoughts, brainstorming, or heavily involved in plot or character development, mind-mapping is a useful exercise. For highly rated and reviewed (free) mind-mapping software, try FreeMind.
If you are considering signing with a literary agent or manager to further your career, first read this excellent blog post on Questions to Ask before signing with an agent. The comments at the end are also enlightening.
If you are interested in finding ways to harness and direct your creative impulses, this blog post by the author of the bestselling "The 4-Hour Work Week" is a great introduction to the particulars of Lucid Dreaming.
And this blog post contains a very good primer on Personal Branding – important for authors interested in developing and establishing a platform. Pay special attention to the presentation embedded within the post. It's a whole mini-seminar in itself.
Writing Contests of Note
Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards (For poems less than 32 lines.) Deadline Dec. 1, 2009.
Genre Wars Short Story contest. For stories up to 2,000 words. Free to enter. Small cash prizes. Publication in anthology for winners.
And the Big One...
Writer’s Cruise with Cynthia Whitcomb
Depart April 10, 2010 for a 14 day cruise from Miami trans-Atlantic, to the Canary Islands, Barcelona, Spain; Villefranche, France; Florence or Pisa, Italy; ending in Rome on April 24 on the Royal Carribbean cruise line. Prices begin at less than $100 per day (not including airfare). Includes the Writer's Workshop, all meals, great networking, and being treated like royalty.
Find out about what happened during the 2009 cruise. Then, set your sights on the seas!