60 Awesome Search Engines for Serious Writers

Finding the information you need as a writer shouldn’t be a chore. Luckily, there are plenty of search engines out there that are designed to help you at any stage of the process, from coming up with great ideas to finding a publisher to get your work into print. Both writers still in college and those on their way to professional success will appreciate this list of useful search applications that are great from making writing a little easier and more efficient.

Professional

Find other writers, publishers and ways to market your work through these searchable databases and search engines.

  1. Litscene: Use this search engine to search through thousands of writers and literary projects, and add your own as well.
  2. Thinkers.net: Get a boost in your creativity with some assistance from this site.
  3. PoeWar: Whether you need help with your career or your writing, this site is full of great searchable articles.
  4. Publisher’s Catalogues: Try out this site to search through the catalogs and names of thousands of publishers.
  5. Edit Red: Through this site you can showcase your own work and search through work by others, as well as find helpful FAQ’s on writing.
  6. Writersdock: Search through this site for help with your writing, find jobs and join other writers in discussions.
  7. PoetrySoup: If you want to find some inspirational poetry, this site is a great resource.
  8. Booksie.com: Here, you can search through a wide range of self-published books.
  9. One Stop Write Shop: Use this tool to search through the writings of hundreds of other amateur writers.
  10. Writer’s Cafe: Check out this online writer’s forum to find and share creative works.
  11. Literary Marketplace: Need to know something about the publishing industry? Use this search tool to find the information you need now.

Writing

These helpful tools will help you along in the writing process.

  1. WriteSearch: This search engine focuses exclusively on sites devoted to reading and writing to deliver its results.
  2. The Burry Man Writers Center: Find a wealth of writing resources on this searchable site.
  3. Writing.com: This fully-featured site makes it possible to find information both fun and serious about the craft of writing.
  4. Purdue OWL: Need a little instruction on your writing? This tool from Purdue University can help.
  5. Writing Forums: Search through these writing forums to find answers to your writing issues.

Research

Try out these tools to get your writing research done in a snap.

  1. Google Scholar: With this specialized search engine from Google, you’ll only get reliable, academic results for your searches.
  2. WorldCat: If you need a book from the library, try out this tool. It’ll search and find the closest location.
  3. Scirus: Find great scientific articles and publications through this search engine.
  4. OpenLibrary: If you don’t have time to run to a brick-and-mortar library, this online tool can still help you find books you can use.
  5. Online Journals Search Engine: Try out this search engine to find free online journal articles.
  6. All Academic: This search engine focuses on returning highly academic, reliable resources.
  7. LOC Ask a Librarian: Search through the questions on this site to find helpful answers about the holdings at the Library of Congress.
  8. Encylcopedia.com: This search engine can help you find basic encyclopedia articles.
  9. Clusty: If you’re searching for a topic to write on, this search engine with clustered results can help get your creative juices flowing.
  10. Intute: Here you’ll find a British search engine that delivers carefully chosen results from academia.
  11. AllExperts: Have a question? Ask the experts on this site or search through the existing answers.

Reference

Need to look up a quote or a fact? These search tools make it simple.

  1. Writer’s Web Search Engine: This search engine is a great place to find reference information on how to write well.
  2. Bloomsbury Magazine Research Centre: You’ll find numerous resources on publications, authors and more through this search engine.
  3. Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus: Make sure you’re using words correctly and can come up with alternatives with the help of this tool.
  4. References.net: Find all the reference material you could ever need through this search engine.
  5. Quotes.net: If you need a quote, try searching for one by topic or by author on this site.
  6. Literary Encyclopedia: Look up any famous book or author in this search tool.
  7. Acronym Finder: Not sure what a particular acronym means? Look it up here.
  8. Bartleby: Through Bartleby, you can find a wide range of quotes from famous thinkers, writers and celebrities.
  9. Wikipedia.com: Just about anything and everything you could want to look up is found on this site.
  10. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Find all the great philosophers you could want to reference in this online tool.

Niche Writers

If you’re focusing on writing in a particular niche, these tools can be a big help.

  1. PubGene: Those working in sci-fi or medical writing will appreciate this database of genes, biological terms and organisms.
  2. GoPubMd: You’ll find all kinds of science and medical search results here.
  3. Jayde: Looking for a business? Try out this search tool.
  4. Zibb: No matter what kind of business you need to find out more about, this tool will find the information.
  5. TechWeb: Do a little tech research using this news site and search engine.
  6. Google Trends: Try out this tool to find out what people are talking about.
  7. Godchecker: Doing a little work on ancient gods and goddesses? This tool can help you make sure you have your information straight.
  8. Healia: Find a wide range of health topics and information by using this site.
  9. Sci-Fi Search: Those working on sci-fi can search through relevant sites to make sure their ideas are original.

Books

Find your own work and inspirational tomes from others by using these search engines.

  1. Literature Classics: This search tool makes it easy to find the free and famous books you want to look through.
  2. InLibris: This search engine provides one of the largest directories of literary resources on the web.
  3. SHARP Web: Using this tool, you can search through the information on the history of reading and publishing.
  4. AllReaders: See what kind of reviews books you admire got with this search engine.
  5. BookFinder: No matter what book you’re looking for you’re bound to find it here.
  6. ReadPrint: Search through this site for access to thousands of free books.
  7. Google Book Search: Search through the content of thousands upon thousands of books here, some of which is free to use.
  8. Indie Store Finder: If you want to support the little guy, this tool makes it simple to find an independent bookseller in your neck of the woods.

Blogging

For web writing, these tools can be a big help.

  1. Technorati: This site makes it possible to search through millions of blogs for both larger topics and individual posts.
  2. Google Blog Search: Using this specialized Google search engine, you can search through the content of blogs all over the web.
  3. Domain Search: Looking for a place to start your own blog? This search tool will let you know what’s out there.
  4. OpinMind: Try out this blog search tool to find opinion focused blogs.
  5. IceRocket: Here you’ll find a real-time blog search engine so you’ll get the latest news and posts out there.
  6. PubSub: This search tool scours sites like Twitter and Friendfeed to find the topics people are talking about most every day.

paninyas:

this list has been brewing for a few weeks and now is as good a time as any to post it. although it’s by no means comprehensive and is really only the tip of the iceberg, here are (in no particular order) 30 speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy/dystopian) books written by women of color

  1. Dawn by Octavia Butler
  2. Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord
  3. Wind Follower by Carole McDonnell
  4. Mindscape by Andrea Hairston
  5. Racing the Dark by Alaya Dawn Johnson
  6. Dragon Sword and Wind Child by Noriko Ogiwara
  7. The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi
  8. Salt Fish Girl by Larissa Lai
  9. Half World by Hiromi Goto
  10. Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon
  11. Guardian of the Spirit by Nahoko Uehashi
  12. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
  13. The Iron King by Julie Kawaga
  14. Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
  15. Hammer of Witches by Shana Mlawski
  16. Ico: Castle in the Mist by Miyuki Miyabe
  17. Orleans by Sherri L. Smith
  18. Dualed by Elsie Chapman
  19. The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin
  20. What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang
  21. Filter House (short stories) by Nisi Shawl
  22. Huntress by Malinda Lo
  23. Legend by Marie Lu
  24. Signal Red by Rimi B. Chatterjee
  25. The Conch Bearer by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
  26. The Island of Eternal Love by Daína Chaviano
  27. My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due
  28. Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara
  29. Ascension by Kara Dalkey

update: kate elliot is not actually a woman of color and i’m confused as to how she ended up on this list :(

"

Boston. Fucking horrible.

I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, “Well, I’ve had it with humanity.”

But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.

But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.

But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.

"

Patton Oswalt (on Facebook)
with hair like hellfire: Last Words by Michael Symmons Roberts (trigger warning: 9/11)

asleepypuppy:

(i)

You have a new message:

Kiss the kids goodbye from me

Keep well, keep strong, you know
I’m sure, but here’s to say I love you.
I lay these voice-prints

like a set of tracks, to stop

you getting lost among the tall trees
beneath the break-less canopy,
on the long slow walk you take
from here without me.



(ii)

You have a new message:

I do not want to leave you this
magnetic print, this digit trace,
my coded and decoded voice.

I do not want to leave you.

If I had a choice, my last words
would be carried to your window
on three slips of sugar paper in
the beaks of birds of paradise.
The words would say,

I’m sure you know,

I love you.



(iii)

You have a new message:

I throw my voice across the city,

but it meets such a cacophony

we overload the network.

Countless last words divert

on to backup spools and hard drives.
Systems analyst turns archaeologist:

his fingertips, as delicate as brushes,
sift through sediment of conferences,
helpline hints, arguments and cold calls,
searching for the ones that say

You know, I’m sure, I love you.



(iv)

You have a new message:

This is the voice you hear in dreams,
this is the tape you cannot

bear to play. This is the voice-mail
you keep in a sealed silk bag

in a tin box in the attic.

But the message is out - in

the sick-beds and the darkened rooms;
in the billowing curtains

and the hush so heavy

you can hear the pulse in your wrists.
The message is out, in the ether,

in the network of digits and wires.

I know, you’re sure, I love you.



(v)

You have a new message:

Don’t remember this, don’t save

this message. Keep instead
the pictures of last Sunday

in the park when summer

leaves were turning, Rollerbladers

hand-in-hand, our boys

throwing fists of cut grass at each other.
Think of the extravagance of green,
and think especially of the sky,

its blinding cloudlessness.

You know, I’m sure, but here’s

to say I love you.



(vi)

You have a new message:

This is the still, small voice

you longed to hear among the ruins.
This is the voice you fished

with microphones on long lines,
lowered into cracks between

the rocks of this new mountain.

And your ears ache with the effort,
the sheer will to listen, to conjure
my words, your name on my lips,
out of nowhere. Here’s to say.



(vii)

You have a new message:

When a city is wounded,

before it moans, before it kneels,

it draws a breath, and keeps it,

as though all phones are on hold,
all radios de-tuned, cathedrals locked
and all parks vacant.

It becomes a windless forest.

But remember, silence is not absence.
Learn to weigh them,

one against the other.

Each room of our house contains

a different emptiness. Listen.

Then break it. Say

you know, I’m sure, I love you.



(viii)

You have a new message:

Do not forget the beauty of aeroplanes,
those long, slow pulses from the sun
which passed above our garden as

we lay out in the heat. Do not forget
their gentle night-time growl,

and how we used to picture people in them
- sleeping, talking, just as we were,
how we used to guess the destinations.

Do not forget the grace of aeroplanes,
the majesty of skyscrapers.

You know, I’m sure.



(ix)

You have a new message:

Still, a year on, you rifle through
black boxes, mail-boxes, voice-boxes,
in search of my final words.

You hunt them in the white noise
between stations on the radio, the blank
face of a TV with the aerial pulled out.
You walk in crowds, wondering

if my words were passed to him,

or her, as messenger. If I’d had time

to leave you words, you know, I’m sure,
they would have been I love you.

(x)

You have a new message:

Now, my voice stored on your mobile,

I can tell you fifty times a day

how much I love you. “Tell the kids,”

I say. I don’t know if you still do.
Sometimes, when you’re out of town,

on trains, or in the shadow of tall buildings
You lose the signal. The network breaks.
You hear vowels splinter in my throat,

as if struck by a sudden despair.



(xi)

You have a new message:

Where did my last words go?

Out and out on radio waves

into the all-engulfing emptiness,
fading to a whisper as they cross

from sky, to space, to nothing.

Or in, and in, as litany repeated

in your heart until all tape is obsolete.

Each cadence, every tongue-tick,
every breath is perfect, as you say
my words: You know, I’m sure.



(xii)

You have a new message:

There is nothing new in this.

My voice has printed like a bruise,

like a kiss, like a kiss so strong

it leaves a bruise. I love you.

You know it, I’m sure.

Beyond the smoking ruins,

smoking planes, and empty rooms,
above and beyond is a network.

A matrix of souls,

as fragile as lace,

but endless and unbreakable.

To save the message, press.

"

Don’t worry. The acne will go away, sort of.

You will stop fighting with your sisters when they go
to college. This will be because of two things: your inability

to steal their clothing and the realization
that they are older, cooler versions of you. Your bully
will end up shaving her head and going to jail

or she will become a lawyer and have a nice car
and six babies. You will have no idea. You will forget
what she looks like, remember her the way

one remembers a splinter. You will stop
loving sharp things. You will learn how to make
your bed without being forced or threatened.

You will break up with your high school
sweetheart. I know, this is a surprise
but trust me. It is the right thing.

Yes, he loves you but it is a smothering love,
the way a dog nurses an open wound, all bared teeth
and tongues. When you leave him,

it will not feel like crushing a light bulb
in your hand — more like slowly, so slowly,
removing glass from inside your palm.

For years after him, you will let your heart
hang open like a soup kitchen. This is not
a bad thing, more a lesson in proportions.

After graduation, you will change a hundred
times over, like a revolving door, a waterfall.
One day, you will learn how to give

and receive love like an open window
and it will feel like summer every day.
One day, everything will make sense.

"

Sierra DeMulder, “Reassurance to Sierra in High School” (via fleurishes)
"

You should date an illiterate girl.

Date a girl who doesn’t read. Find her in the weary squalor of a Midwestern bar. Find her in the smoke, drunken sweat, and varicolored light of an upscale nightclub. Wherever you find her, find her smiling. Make sure that it lingers when the people that are talking to her look away. Engage her with unsentimental trivialities. Use pick-up lines and laugh inwardly. Take her outside when the night overstays its welcome. Ignore the palpable weight of fatigue. Kiss her in the rain under the weak glow of a streetlamp because you’ve seen it in a film. Remark at its lack of significance. Take her to your apartment. Dispatch with making love. Fuck her.

Let the anxious contract you’ve unwittingly written evolve slowly and uncomfortably into a relationship. Find shared interests and common ground like sushi and folk music. Build an impenetrable bastion upon that ground. Make it sacred. Retreat into it every time the air gets stale or the evenings too long. Talk about nothing of significance. Do little thinking. Let the months pass unnoticed. Ask her to move in. Let her decorate. Get into fights about inconsequential things like how the fucking shower curtain needs to be closed so that it doesn’t fucking collect mold. Let a year pass unnoticed. Begin to notice.

Figure that you should probably get married because you will have wasted a lot of time otherwise. Take her to dinner on the forty-fifth floor at a restaurant far beyond your means. Make sure there is a beautiful view of the city. Sheepishly ask a waiter to bring her a glass of champagne with a modest ring in it. When she notices, propose to her with all of the enthusiasm and sincerity you can muster. Do not be overly concerned if you feel your heart leap through a pane of sheet glass. For that matter, do not be overly concerned if you cannot feel it at all. If there is applause, let it stagnate. If she cries, smile as if you’ve never been happier. If she doesn’t, smile all the same.

Let the years pass unnoticed. Get a career, not a job. Buy a house. Have two striking children. Try to raise them well. Fail frequently. Lapse into a bored indifference. Lapse into an indifferent sadness. Have a mid-life crisis. Grow old. Wonder at your lack of achievement. Feel sometimes contented, but mostly vacant and ethereal. Feel, during walks, as if you might never return or as if you might blow away on the wind. Contract a terminal illness. Die, but only after you observe that the girl who didn’t read never made your heart oscillate with any significant passion, that no one will write the story of your lives, and that she will die, too, with only a mild and tempered regret that nothing ever came of her capacity to love.

Do those things, god damnit, because nothing sucks worse than a girl who reads. Do it, I say, because a life in purgatory is better than a life in hell. Do it, because a girl who reads possesses a vocabulary that can describe that amorphous discontent of a life unfulfilled—a vocabulary that parses the innate beauty of the world and makes it an accessible necessity instead of an alien wonder. A girl who reads lays claim to a vocabulary that distinguishes between the specious and soulless rhetoric of someone who cannot love her, and the inarticulate desperation of someone who loves her too much. A vocabulary, goddamnit, that makes my vacuous sophistry a cheap trick.

Do it, because a girl who reads understands syntax. Literature has taught her that moments of tenderness come in sporadic but knowable intervals. A girl who reads knows that life is not planar; she knows, and rightly demands, that the ebb comes along with the flow of disappointment. A girl who has read up on her syntax senses the irregular pauses—the hesitation of breath—endemic to a lie. A girl who reads perceives the difference between a parenthetical moment of anger and the entrenched habits of someone whose bitter cynicism will run on, run on well past any point of reason, or purpose, run on far after she has packed a suitcase and said a reluctant goodbye and she has decided that I am an ellipsis and not a period and run on and run on. Syntax that knows the rhythm and cadence of a life well lived.

Date a girl who doesn’t read because the girl who reads knows the importance of plot. She can trace out the demarcations of a prologue and the sharp ridges of a climax. She feels them in her skin. The girl who reads will be patient with an intermission and expedite a denouement. But of all things, the girl who reads knows most the ineluctable significance of an end. She is comfortable with them. She has bid farewell to a thousand heroes with only a twinge of sadness.

Don’t date a girl who reads because girls who read are storytellers. You with the Joyce, you with the Nabokov, you with the Woolf. You there in the library, on the platform of the metro, you in the corner of the café, you in the window of your room. You, who make my life so goddamned difficult. The girl who reads has spun out the account of her life and it is bursting with meaning. She insists that her narratives are rich, her supporting cast colorful, and her typeface bold. You, the girl who reads, make me want to be everything that I am not. But I am weak and I will fail you, because you have dreamed, properly, of someone who is better than I am. You will not accept the life of which I spoke at the beginning of this piece. You will accept nothing less than passion, and perfection, and a life worthy of being told. So out with you, girl who reads. Take the next southbound train and take your Hemingway with you. Or, perhaps, stay and save my life.

"

Charles Warnke (via scarletqueen)
right down to the last bullet: tywinning asked you: 2012-08-09 03:37 As a professor, may I ask you...

downtothelastbullet:

As a professor, may I ask you what you think about fanfiction?

I think fanfiction is literature and literature, for the most part, is fanfiction, and that anyone that dismisses it simply on the grounds that it’s derivative knows fuck-all about…

"Perhaps we don’t like what we see: our hips, our loss of hair, our shoe size, our dimples, our knuckles too big, our eating habits, our disposition. We have disclosed these things in secret, likes and dislikes, behind doors with locks, our lonely rooms, our messy desks, our empty hearts, our sudden bursts of energy, our sudden bouts of depression. Don’t worry. Put away your mirrors and your beauty magazines and your books on tape. There is someone right here who knows you more than you do, who is making room on the couch, who is fixing a meal, who is putting on your favorite record, who is listening intently to what you have to say, who is standing there with you, face to face, hand to hand, eye to eye, mouth to mouth. There is no space left uncovered. This is where you belong."

Sufjan StevensMichigan Essay (via planetickets)
aseaofquotes:


Carson McCullers, “Look Homeward, Americans”

aseaofquotes:

Carson McCullers, “Look Homeward, Americans”

chels:

That third one gives me the shivers.

chels:

That third one gives me the shivers.

theme