Books, writing, reading, words and images. I love them; do you?


Blue Autumn

This page is a developing resource. At present, it contains:

  • A frequently updated Creative Writing Contests Table.
  • Two lists of 6,500+ first names,  one Females, the other Males, both including Non-Gender names, from many countries. 
  • Items of Interest to Writers (with links)Duotrope, The Society of Authors, Book Review Yellow Pages, Writers Reign (UK), Twitter group #WritingCommunity.
  • A link to a comprehensive article with full instructions and guidance on setting up your own website. 
  • A link to a series of posts on the Write Word, providing an index to the different words examined, as a way of helping improve writing.
  • Items of Interest to Readers (with links): Reader’s Review Form, Goodreads, Daily Cheap Reads,

The small image above, to entertain, is one of over 700 posted to a site where some of my best images are posted for sale as digital downloads for all uses and as printed pictures to hang on your walls. You can access the full version of this one here. I include it here as inspiration.

Creative Writing Contests:

I keep a table of basic details for creative writing competitions and post it here. Click the link and you’ll get the current Word document, which you can copy and use: Table of Contests.

All entries carry an active link.

I update this list frequently. To be reminded of updates once a month, go to the sidebar on the ‘blog’ tab, and follow by email. I won’t scam or spam you. It’s just that this is the most efficient way of informing readers of changes to the site. WordPress won’t share your email with anyone else.

It costs money and precious time to run this free service for you. If you’d like to help keep it going, please click the Green ‘Buy me a Coffee’ box in the right hand column. It’ll cost you around £3.00 ($4.00), or the price of a coffee.

First Names From the World Over:

Do you struggle to find names for your characters? Or maybe you’re seeking a name for your newborn? Over the years, I’ve collected over 13,000 first names and now offer the list for your use. Names are listed alphabetically, in two separate lists. The males are in blue and the females in red, and in each document non-gender names are shown in black. Where possible, I’ve included the language (or languages) of origin. Download and enjoy. Use them as you will. But, if you share the document, please link back to my website. Thank you. And, if you’d like to help me keep this site going with its resources, please consider clicking the green ‘Buy me a coffee’ link at the right of any tabbbed page. It costs you around £3 ($4.00) and helps me fund this site. Thank you. Click here for the Female Names. And here for the Male Names.

For Writers:

Short fiction submissions;


Duotrope is a site that provides links to over 5,400 journals, online, print, or both. They also provide a story tracker so that you know exactly where each of your stories is and what stage in the submission/publication process it has reached. Current costs are $50 or £35.00 per year, and this is good value for money. You can try out the site with a free trial for 7 days. It’ll give you time to understand how it works and whether it’s for you.

Society of Authors (UK)

The Society of Authors is a site for members of this professional society that supports, advises and helps authors in many different areas of their craft. If you’re published, and British, you may be eligible to join.

Book Review Yellow Pages

This site offers a couple of books writers may find of interest, but it’s best attribute is the readily accessed list of book review websites, which is free. If you’re looking for a site that reviews books, this is a great resource.

Writers Reign (UK)

A site full of information, help and guidance for writers. You’ll find a great deal of useful stuff here and, although there are associated links to sites selling wares of interest to writers, there’s definitely no hard sell here: it’s very much a friendly site. Try it.


If you write, and you use Twitter, you’ll find a great and supportive group on there using the tag #WritingCommunity. Give it a go.

How to Start a Blog

Click here to find a really comprehensive and detailed set of instructions and guidance on setting up your own blog/website. It’s aimed at writers, so is tailored for our needs. Definitely worht exploring this one, even if you already have a website, but especially if you don’t (you should, you know!).

Using this link, you can access the full series of the Write Word posts created over a year to help writers improve their writing.

For Readers:

help another reader social media image

Most readers (as many as 84%) find new books to enjoy through reviews posted by other readers on various sites. When these readers share their views and opinions, it helps other book-lovers to decide whether they’d also like to give that work a look. As a reader, you can be helped, and help others, by penning a few words about the way a story has made you feel.

Many readers want to do this but a lack of confidence, or uncertainty about what to write and how to produce a review, stops them.

Worry no more. If you pop to the Contact tab, send me your details, and ask for The Reader Book Review Form, I’ll send you one. (I promise neither I nor WordPress will spam you!)  The form is a fillable .PDF document with simple guidelines to help you through the process.

You can either fill in the form on your PC/tablet and then copy and paste to any site where you want the review to appear (Amazon and Goodreads are best for the author, and to reach the maximum number of readers). Or you can print it out, fill it in with a pen, and then copy that information onto any of the sites that host reviews.

Thank you.

Goodreads is a community website entirely devoted to books. Both readers and writers have their place in this community and there’s a lot of interaction. It’s a great place to discover new books, to find like-minded readers, and join discussions about everything to do with books. And there are thousands of reviews written by people who actually read books. I’ve been a member since August 2010, when I joined as a reader. Once I realised authors could develop a page for their works, I produced one that allows me to involve readers in my writing.

I also belong to many of the groups that exist. Most of these I contribute to only rarely, as I’m generally too busy writing, but they can be valuable as a source of information, opinion, news and discussion.

This link will take you direct to my author page. From there you can easily investigate the rest of the site and decide whether it’s for you. I recommend it.

Daily Cheap Reads

This is a site offering exactly what it says; books that are on offer, often for a limited period. There are many different genres represented and it appears to be an Amazon associate account and looks legitimate.

6 Responses to “Resources”

  1. Michael Holmes

    Stuart, thanks so much for what you’re doing. Much appreciated. (Can’t enter my site below; I’m looking to have it redone)

    Liked by 1 person


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