At Sanitarium, we know writing is hard. But it can be even harder for individuals who lack the know-how, or resources, needed to get involved in the literary community. Here you’ll find a list of our favourite resources that can help new writers and seasoned professionals with everything from finding inspiration to selling their work.
Know a good resource we haven’t listed? Send us an email and tell us about it at firstname.lastname@example.org!
The Submission Grinder is a free market database and submission tracker. Use the Advanced Search option to find open submission calls based on genre, story length, rate of pay, and even a publication’s average response time. Creating a free account allows you access to all the site’s features and to contribute data to the community. While you’re there, sign up for their free newsletter as well.
Submittable is another submission tracker that is very popular with many editors and markets—some will only take submissions sent through Submittable. Thanks to their new Discover tab you can also use Submittable to find open submission calls. The account and features are all free.
Dark Markets is an online market database that lists submission calls for speculative fiction from publishers looking to release anthologies, magazines, and other literary projects.
Horror Tree is a great resource for authors looking to get advice on their writing, and the horror literary community at large. Additionally, it’s dedicated to posting submissions calls for horror and speculative fiction, and lets you search for specific calls (like ongoing magazine submissions, or single anthology projects).
This online database is great for writers looking to submit works in any genre. They have a great index of places to send work to, as well as tips and writing guides to help polish your work before submitting it to publishers.
Tips, market information, and critique services all under one roof.
If you haven’t already heard of the HWA—the association responsible for the annual Bram Stoker Award—it’s about time you get acquainted with them. This organization is dedicated to helping horror authors from around the world, with membership options for writers at any stage of their career. Additionally they provide writing opportunities, workshops, residencies, funding, submission calls, and so much more to their members and the horror community at large.
This visual guide is the perfect tool for anyone who’s unaccustomed to formatting work in proper manuscript format, and for anyone needing a refresher course.
Although this grammar and citation resources is usually used for academic writing, it’s a great resource to anyone with grammar questions, formatting issues, or curious about how to reference other work in something they’ve created.
Writing is hard. Editing can be even harder, especially if you’re new to the game. But it’s important to always put your best foot forward when submitting our work. The Center for Writing Studies at the University of Illinois allows free access to this grammar guide. Unsure if you’re writing in an active or passive voice? This guide will help you.
You might have a brilliant story, but no one’s going to publish it if your grammar isn’t up to speed. Grammarly is a free web browser extension that will detect grammar and spelling mistakes as well as plagiarism.
These 8 rules from a master novelist will guide you in your creative endeavours. They never fail to remind us why we are writing, and who we are writing for. Print them out and display them in your writing space.
Accessible from any device with internet, Google Docs saves everything in real time and allows others to edit, comment on, and view work created by other users. It’s a free, live word processor that—unlike a USB key—guarantees you won’t lose your work.
If you don’t want to shell out the dough for a word processor, but you can’t do all your writing while connected to the internet either, then Open Office is worth a download. This free word processor is a great alternative to Microsoft Word (despite some of its limitations) or cloud based software.
If you haven’t read Stephen King’s essay “The Horror Writer And The 10 Bears” then be sure to read it now, and when you’re done go check out this list of phobias to help torture your story’s protagonists.
This site lists, and breaks down, common tropes in fiction. While all of these cliches are found on TV, most of them can be found in popular fiction. It’s a great resources to use if you’re wondering if your story is unoriginal or contrived.
If you’re interested in self-publishing, then Riot Forge is a great site to check out, despite the site not having been maintained in a while. It has pre-made templates and video tutorials on formatting for CreateSpace, dealing with OpenOffice, and other tips for authors.
When used correctly, this is one of the most powerful writing resources available. Here, you’re able to grow your circle of writing friends and contacts (who can beta read your work, give feedback on works in progress, and support your writing ambitions), promote your work for free, and gives you access to market information. Better still, there are tons of groups on Facebook for open submission calls. A simple search for “open submission call” will give you dozens of results for plenty of markets, and you can find everything from horror and the paranormal to sci-fi pulp markets, and then some. This is particularly useful for finding submission calls from small and upcoming presses, as well as weird and niche markets.
An excellent platform that allows you to ask and answer questions to writers, publishers, and just about anyone with an interest in the industry from around the globe.
A video library of useful advice for everything from formatting to getting published. Plus, with the rise of narrated stories and creepypastas, YouTube is a great way to find horror inspiration and submission calls: many of these channels will openly ask for story submissions.