Alice in Wonderland and Other Free Resources for Writers

Ready to write.
Near the end of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, White Rabbit is about to read a convoluted indictment of the Prince of Hearts.

“But, Majesty, where shall I begin?” asks White Rabbit.

“Begin at the beginning,” replies the Queen. “And, when you come to the end, stop.”

Unknown to Carroll and his characters, the Queen came up with two excellent tips for writers; at least we can look back and make of it as we will.

I begin with a thank-you to Sharon Lippincott for the term life writing. She took the genres of biography, autobiography, memoir, life story, and family history and bundled them into one super-genre. I like it.

Another amalgam is creative nonfiction, which uses fiction writing techniques to tell nonfiction stories. See my post of January 3, 2011 for certified genealogist Sharon DeBartolo Carmack’s take on creative nonfiction in writing your family history. Examples of creative nonfiction in memoir include Ira Wagler’s Growing Up Amish  and Marry Karr’s The Liars Club: A Memoir. The magazine Creative Nonfiction is devoted to this type of writing.

The list below covers fiction and nonfiction resources for writers of all genres, with special applications for life writing. I hope you find them useful.

In this guest post by Linda Formichelli at Write to Done, she writes, “So when someone starts reading your article, you have just a few seconds to draw her in and convince her to keep going." That principle applies to any type of writing.

If you are in the business of helping others write their life stories, or would like to be, you can't beat this list by Dan Curtis.  

100 Resources for Writers 
Emily Suess's list includes writing prompts, networking, and blogging.

National Public Radio audio interview of Marion Roach Smith, an NPR contributor and author of The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing & Life. To hear her interview, stay with the NPR audio link as it takes a while for her part to begin.

Ian Kath shows how to “record, edit and publish an audio life story of someone.”

By Kimberly Powell at You may also want to subscribe to her free newsletter.

Excellent tips to get you started right by Linda Joy Myers, founder of National Association of Memoir Writers.

Bobbie Christmas through her Zebra Communications offers the reports on topics including creativity, manuscript format, finding a publisher, and showing rather than telling.

Memory Joggers
MemoryList Question Book by Denis Ledoux, founder of Soleil Lifestory Network.

A History of Me by David L. Burton, University of Missouri Extension, Greene County.

Oral History Interview, Questions and Topics at

Writer Beware
Free newsletter on “Warnings About the Schemes, Scams, and Pitfalls That Threaten Writers.” Don't be put off by the science fiction relationship at this site. The newsletter covers all genres.

I stop.

Photo courtesy Niklas Nordblad.

What is your favorite website of tips for writers?


  1. Great resources, Wayne! I'll have to check into the ones new to me.


  2. Thanks for this list, Wayne! I'll refer to it for guidance and encouragement as I work through my "life writing" first draft.