Useful web sites for authors

These are websites that I have found helpful. I will add more from time-to-time.


Adding Fun & Interest

The Onomatopoeia Dictionary at – Great for finding how to express a sound in written American English.

Power Thesaurus – This is my favorite site for finding just the right word.  Recently, I used to find “yearned.”

Behind the – Provides meanings of names plus lots of other useful tools for writing, such as anagrams. – Provides meanings of names plus forums for discussion.  When you click the Search Name or Phrase, the search box includes a field that allows search by the meaning of a name. – Interesting insights into names including numerology.  For example follow this link to learn about the name Cactus and the name Jade.


Point of View (POV)


Utilities – An aggregator of dictionaries that I use to locate the exact definition I’m seeking.

Grammar Notes and Games – An interesting site, with many helpful graphics. – – A superb (and mostly free) resource for alerting you when a web page has changed. Use it follow the pages of an editor or agent. When they say they are open or closed for queries, you’ll be advised.  Also, you may use it to follow pages on this website. – Allows you to upload a file and produce a high-quality .pdf that will not reduce the resolution of images like Microsoft Word does when you use Word 2016’s “Save As .pdf” feature. (The site also has many other conversion options.) This site may be helpful to you if you’re not concerned that placing the file on another server will result in plagiarism.

Rhyming – A useful resource for finding rhyming words. – Another useful resource for finding rhyming words. – If you’re not sure how many syllables are in a word, or which syllable is stressed, check your dictionary or this site.  Here you can enter a sentence or phrase too.


Proofreading – I use this regularly. It unintrusively helps me to find mistakes, including those that I habitually make such as misspellings, forgetting to add a comma, and passive writing. – This is a free service.  I’m still working on how to use it, but my first impressions are excellent. If you use it extensively, I suggest donating to them. – This is a useful, affordable, somewhat limited tool.  I have a problem using it with systems that have implemented in Windows 7.  The add-in sometimes causes an attachment to be deleted. I also find it tedious to use as it makes me wait as it scans a document. On subsequent scans, it may not remember to ignore items that I have told it to ignore.  Sometimes, particularly with poetry, it suggests changes that I do not want.

The Business of Writing


If you’re interested in selling more books to libraries, check out these sites:


Query writing

Picture Books

I have come to the conclusion that query for a children’s picture book should be the equivalent what I would say to an agent or publisher at a cocktail party or a pitch session. Short, and interesting enough to make the editor or agent feel compelled to read it. If my current strategy works well, I will write out a checklist and link to it here.



Query Letter Check List – Per Janet Reid.  This is a useful checklist for a novel.

Query Shark – This collection of critiqued queries by Literary Agent Janet Reid lends quite a bit of insight into how to construct a query for a novel. I like this resource so much, I’d love to submit to Janet. Unfortunately, at this point in my career, I’m not interested in writing the material she is excited about representing.