Thursday, November 13, 2014

writing & publishing news: Scout Report


The Scout Report

November 7, 2014

Volume 20, Number 43



A Publication of Internet Scout

Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison


If you know of other great resources fitting this special edition theme, please let us know on our Facebook page ( ), by Tweeting @IntScout, or by emailing us at


1. National Novel Writing Month


Freelance writer Chris Baty declared November as National Novel Writing Month in the fall of 2000. Since then, the number of participants has grown from 21 aspiring authors hacking away at manuscripts to over 300,000. The project's "No Plot? No problem" slogan tells it all. No perfectionistic haute culture here. Participants are simply encouraged to put at least

50,000 words on paper between 12:00 am on November 1 and 11:59:59 on November 30. Scout readers can explore this official website via section subheadings such as, About, How It Works, Press Information, and Testimonials to find out all about the process. Signing up to participate in the challenge is easy and free, and the website will help track your progress, link you to support in your geographical area, and provide platforms to meet fellow writers in person and online. NaNoWriMo, as it's called, is a great resource for encouraging novice and veteran writers alike to work through their writer's block and delve into their creativity.




2. Writing and Publishing Solutions


Anyone who has ever tried to write a novel will agree on at least one basic

fact: it's deceptively difficult. This site, from novelist Harvey Chapman, provides beginners with helpful step-by-step advice. He lays it all out in simple, digestible categories including, The Writing Process, Becoming a Writer, Elements of Fiction, and How to Write. Each category includes helpful, targeted articles designed to take some of the sting out of putting words on screen or paper. For instance, How to Write a Novel Step-by-Step breaks down the novel writing process into eleven linear stages. Prose Writing 101, found under How to Write, is another great feature of the site that details the importance of writing with a clear, concise, and uncluttered style. [CNH]



3. How Writers Write Fiction


The International Writing Program at the University of Iowa is often considered the best fiction writing program in the United States. Not everyone can dedicate the blood, sweat, and two years it takes to complete the program, but this new MOOC series allows fiction writers to engages with the material over a few short weeks. The course is free and the teachers are extremely well known literary novelists. After signing up, access to videos, transcripts, assignments, and tools will be at your fingertips. Through video lectures and various writing assignments, the series is a great way to learn about the writing process and interact with other students/writers working on their craft. [CNH]



4. Fiction Writers Review


If you want to write, read. And if you want to read about fiction writing, a good place to start is the Fiction Writers Review. Completely free and jam packed with writers writing about writing, this continually updated online periodical will fill you up with ideas and images. Start with the homepage, where you can explore numerous Features, ranging from interviews to essays. Then explore Popular Posts to see what other visitors have found valuable. There is a lot of fantastic stuff on this site, and author Philip Graham's praise is quite illuminating: "I no longer much bother reading The New York Times Book Review, and your site is one of the reasons- what great work you're doing for literature." [CNH]



5. The Official SCBWI Blog


There are many great resources for those who want to write stories for adults. But what if your market is more in the seven to twelve range? Well, then this site, the official blog of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), is for you. Continually updated, blog entries offer a variety of topics ranging from interviews with award winning children's book authors, editors, and publishers to advice on innovative marketing techniques, writing, and networking in children's literature. It is a must for anyone looking to engage in the wide world of writing and publishing for kids. [CNH]


7. The Purdue OWL: Conducting Research


Good research and good writing go hand in hand. This site from the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) introduces students to the principles of conducting good research. The clear and helpful information on the site is divided into six digestible categories: Research Overview, Conducting Primary Research, Evaluating Sources of Information, Searching the World Wide Web, Internet References, and Archival Research. Within each of these categories are numerous informative subcategories, such as Research Ethics and Searching with a Search Engine. This last area is a great tool for students learning how to conduct better searches, including information on Boolean operators. [CNH]


18. Merriam-Webster


Every writer needs a dictionary. The Merriam-Webster app provides "America's most useful and respected dictionary," plus synonyms, antonyms, example sentences, and many other bonus functions. It's free, it's easy, and it's available for iPhone and iPad (iOS 7.0+) as well as Android (2.3.3+). [CNH]



    From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2014.



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