FREE Writing Resources ~ BBC Skillswise

September 2019

It’s not last weeks post as I am not following my old post schedule. I am just working all over the place and this week will be lots of writing resources. Hope you enjoy anyway!

December 2014

In last week’s post, I came out with my trouble with comma’s.

When I have been using grammar checks, which were good with spotting my writing issues, it was usually a missing comma. Funnily, I have the same problem in German.

Last week I suggested to you to try out Reverso which has many helpful language tools but I could not find anything helping me with my comma problem. Therefore, I have gone on a little expedition in the World Wide Web and stumbled over the BBC’s Skillwise page, which is designed to help adults learn English and Maths.

On the homepage, you can choose to go to the Maths or the English area. It is easy to understand no matter your English ability as they work with pictures and it also gives you the opportunity to go to other useful pages. Once arrived at the English page you are offered six topics: reading, writing, spelling, word grammar, sentence grammar and listening and speaking. Everything is kept in blue shades and in a clear design, which makes it really easy to find your way around.

I have chosen “Sentence Grammar” and am not only offered the four parts as pictures but also as links in a toolbar on the upper end of the page. Here I can decide to learn about punctuation, sentence structure, varieties of English, tenses and getting and giving clear instructions. This last topic sounds a little funny at first but the page is aimed at adults, who need English in a job environment. Therefore, “instructions” are very important.

Of course, I dragged myself down the punctuation lane and again was greeted with a clean cut page that offers a little video on why punctuation is important, three entry levels for punctuation explanations and games & videos. This last part interested me the most, as I know the use of punctuation marks in theory, it is actually using them, that gives me trouble.

Ah, there is a little child in all of us and so nothing can help you better to learn your comma’s than a game. An “adult” game after all as it is “Going to work with comma’s game” where you have to figure out where to set comma’s in a different sentence. The setting is: you starting a new job and having to write down what you have done on the first day. “And” is connecting your tasks and you are asked to erase the not necessary “and”, which ends in the game setting commas instead.

This is a fun little game which helps you to understand the basic use of comma’s in lists but unfortunately not the way to use them to mark out less important parts of sentences. No matter what: this is a great page to double check your English language ability and if you are a non-native English speaker, it can certainly enlighten you about one or the other trick the language has to offer.

BBC Skillwise


FREE Writing Resources ~ Mslexia

September 2019

That is a really great magazine and I am gifting myself with another subscription when I got a new job! Their homepage has changed a little, that is why the links don’t work anymore but this post gives you an insight on how it was. It’s definitely a great resource for women writers.

November 2014

I spend a lot of time in the World Wide Web. I love to scour Twitter, Facebook and Google for resources for writers and there is not a lot that makes me really excited. Today’s FREE resource though is different:


Mslexia is a magazine for women writers which offers information about writing in general, publishing, on- and off-line resources as well as agents. Their homepage is a well of information if you want to publish in the UK.

The Magazine amazed me

They have amazed me so much, that I allowed myself an early Christmas present (or late birthday present πŸ™‚ ): I signed up for a one-year digital subscription on the magazine. If you have an iPhone or Android phone you can even read the magazine on your phone. The subscription gives you the opportunity to browse older editions as well.

Great resources for writers

But I digress: Why is it such a great resource for writers (and yes men will find useful information too!)?

Mslexia’s resources page is one of the most comprehensive I have ever seen. First on the list is the writer’s tip: Right now, it offers insight on how to write non-fiction and is aimed at poets and/or prose writers.

Spotlight on

Next, they put the spotlight on literary magazines, publishers and more interesting discoveries on the web: Both the literary magazine page and the publisher pages gives you a broad list of UK-based you-need-know-if-you-write publishing opportunities. A short explanation tells you what the organisation exactly does which ends with the link to their page.

On the web

“On the web” gives you anything from an app to block your internet connection to get you writing instead of browsing; over dating for book lovers to communities for writers. This is a well of miscellaneous pages that can make your writing life more intense and fun.

There is more

But there is more: Look at the left-hand side to the “Key resources” area which offers you links to agents, reference books and societies/organsiations. All three links are the same layout as the publishers and magazines pages: a short description to each book, organisation and agent and after that the link to their homepages.

A must

Mslexia resources page is a must for writers who want to publish and work in the UK. But not only for those who are already in the business. They offer you great advice and help if you are just starting to get into the publishing world of the UK.

What do you think?

Are you a subscriber to Mslexia? Did you have a look at their resources page? Then please let me know what you think about the magazine and the resources page. Thanks!




Take five

dainty flowers
all in a row
so pretty
as I sit
Waiting for my dog
To finish his 5 minute run
around the garden
Dainty flowers
Smell so good
As I breathe
In their sweet aroma
Now it is time
To take 5
Go get a coffee
And then
Relax with my book


My favourite dress

A prompt from bee which I got, and am going to write on today is, my favourite dress. So here is a little poem about that very thing!

light, and very summery
long and flowy
oh how I love it
cool breeze whips it
making it spread outwards
making me blush
because there are others around me
do they really need to see me flushed?
still though
Oh how I love that dress
Summer sun
Summer fun
Me in that long flowy dress
Happy as can be.


Bee’s poetry prompt for Carol anne…

Bee has very kindly given me some new poetry prompts to work with. So here is the first one and my attempt at a poem for this week!

The prompt is, the wizard of poetry ponders…
A fine prompt that is! Now to think of something to write! Well here goes!

Magic spells
Oh how I like
To create them
1, 2, 3
Pondering, wondering
What is the best way
To make a splash
How to make myself known
Get recognised
For the wizard that I am
I shall create
Magic tricks
With a click
Of my fingers
The wizard of poetry ponders
Just how
To make this happen?

Maybe I am a reader not a writer/ Vielleicht bin ich ein Leser und kein Autor

I posted this first in June 2017

This is a question I asked myself a lot since April when I stopped blogging every day.

Besides bringing the garden up to date and making a home out of our new house, I have spent a lot of time reading.

Philosophy and translated fiction mainly. Philosophy because I want to make up my own mind about the topic and translated fiction because I think its important.

And I am astonished how much I enjoy myself. I missed reading on a “grand” scale”. However, blogging is part of my life too no matter how much I change and the world changes around me. And there is, of course, the little problem of unfinished writing projects too.

So I am going to learn to juggle and allow myself to blog and write when I want and about what I want and not follow the plans I made for myself at the beginning of the year. Do it my way so to speak.

One thing I have reactivated though is my reading group on Goodreads called “#supporttranslatedbooks“. We read a book a month (this month it is Carlos Luis Zafon’s brilliant ” The Shadow of the Wind”) and there I think I got my answer: I most certainly am a reader not a writer :-).

Portrait of Bee Halton

description for visually impaired readers: photo of The Bee with open ginger hair wearing a white cardigan and brown and black shirt. Background a white wooden door, bowl with oranges and printer on a wooden table

Ich habe diesen Post zum ersten Mal im Juni 2017 veroeffentlicht

Das ist eine Frage, die ich mir seit April als ich aufhoerte jeden Tag zu bloggen, oft gestellt habe.

Neben den Garten auf Fordermann bringen und aus unserem neuen Haus ein Zuhause zu machen, lese ich viel.

Zumeist Philosophie und uebersetzte Literatur. Philosophie, weil ich mir meinen eigenen Kopf ueber das Thema machen moechte und ueberstezte Literatur, weil ich sie wichtig finde. *

Und ich bin erstaunt, wie sehr ich das geniesse. Ich habe es vermisst, wirklich viel zu lesen. Allerdings ist bloggen auch Teil meines Lebens egal wie sehr ich mich veraendere und wieviel sich die Welt um mich aendert. Und da ist ja auch noch das kleine Problem von nicht fertig geschriebenen Schreibprojekten.

Deshalb werde ich jonglieren lernen und es mir erlauben, nur ueber das zu bloggen und zu schreiben, das ich will und wann ich will und ich were nicht den Plaenennfolgen, die ich mir fuer dieses Jahr gemacht habe. Sozusagen: ” do it my way”.

Ich habe allerdings eine Sache wieder angefangen und zwar meine Buchgruppe auf Goodreads, die “#supporttranslatedbooks” heisst. Wir lesen ein Buch pro Monat (Diesen Monat ist es Carlos Luis Zafon’s brilliantes ” Der Schatten does Windes”) und da habe ich meine Antwort gefunden: Ich bin ganz gewiss ein Leser und kein Autor :-).

* Viele Briten denken, dass uebersetzte Literatur nicht so gut ist, weil ihrer Meinung nach Wichtiges eines Buches in der Uebersetzung verloren geht. Zudem werden so viele Buecher in English geschrieben, dass es unnoetig scheint Uebersetzungen zu lesen.Β 


Sing me a song of longing?

This week, Bee challenged me to write a poem using the prompt sing me a song of longing. So I shall try, not sure how good it will be, not really feeling the creative streak at the moment.

sing me a song
a song
as I long
for warmer days
brighter times
peaceful nights
I long in my heart
for all that is calm
sing me a song of longing
a song which brings joy
to my heart and mind
just sing, sing
sing me a song of longing…


Poetry. Scared stiff

Scared stiff
to go to sleep
To move an inch
Scared stiff
To make a sound
To walk around
This house feels
So uninviting
Scared stiff
To be me
To just be free
Why do I
Feel so terrified?
Just scared stiff?To go to bed


March 2019

Can you believe it? “Four Weddings and a Funeral” is 25 years old and the cast has a reunion for Comic Relief this evening. When I found this old blog post I had to post it today and probably will watch Comic Relief tonight even though I usually don’t. This post talks about how certain words are connected with emotions and you probably guessed which word I am talking about πŸ˜‰

November 2014

I have to admit I love the word: procrastinating. For me as a non-native English speaker, it sounds kind of sophisticated and posh. Of course, it is none of these just another way of wasting time with fun things. I never realised how much language is connected to emotions though and how much you learn when growing up which emotions to connect with which words until I came to Great Britain.

Take the f-word: Even though it is not as offensive nowadays as it used to be, it is still quite bad to use it. If you are German and my age (mid-forties) you connect “fu..” with the film “Four Weddings and a funeral”. Even though the film was dubbed into German they kept the f-word un-translated and it was just hilarious (Hugh Grant being late to several weddings). For me that gave the f-word a kind of humorous by-feeling, that of course, used in English, does not really exist.

It somehow feels the same with “procrastinating”: There is nothing “funny” about not doing what you should be doing and getting yourself in a muddle with deadlines, but for me, it just does not feel that bad when I use the word “procrastinating”. I just can’t help it.

What’s that got to do with writing, life and everything? Nothing really. I have not been procrastinating today at all. In fact, even though I am on holiday, I have been extremely busy writing several blog posts and researching some great resources for writers for my other blog.

I just felt like writing about “procrastinating” and the “f-word” πŸ™‚

Description for visually impaired readers: Head and neck of black greyhound Sherky. She wears a green colar, has a white spot on her neck and wears a red coat. She is on the left side of the picture Bee beside her on the right. She wears a green coat and a grey hat and smiles. Blue sky behind both.

FREE Writing Resources ~ Freelance Folder

March 2019

This is an awesome resource for writers and bloggers even though they have stopped creating new content in 2015. Check it out anyway. It’s worth it!

November 2014

Here we are, bloggers and authors, all interested in improving our craft as well as making our writing life easier.

Freelance Folder a good source

How great is it, that there is lots of information out there on the World Wide Web to help you grow your writing. One great source of information not only for freelance writers is: “Freelance Folder”.

What is Freelance Folder?

Freelance Folder is a homepage and blog dedicated to showing writers how to write better, blog better and save some time and money. This is what they say about themselves: “FreelanceFolder is a community for freelancers, entrepreneurs, work-at-home business owners, and web-workers. We strive to bring you the articles, information, and community you need to succeed. If there’s anything specific you’re looking for, please contact us to let us know!” (source: on the bottom of page)

Freelance Folder gives what is promised

They promise articles, information and community for (freelance) writers but I think they are great for authors too: Many writers today chose to have a blog to advertise for their books, showcase their new projects and just stay in contact with their readers. However, to do that successfully, you need to gain some blogging (i.e. freelance writing) know-how. And that is where Freelance Folder gives you valuable information.

Valuable information on Freelance Folder

There are posts about free writing courses, apps for project management, how to improve your homepage/blog, accounting tools and many more. Even if you have a day job you need to start thinking about your book as a business unless you do not want to sell it… but well, who wants that?

Even more information in the comment area

Do not miss to read the comment area of each post as it often gives you even more information and tips like in “7 Can’t-Miss Ways To Kick-Start The Writing Habit” which gives you clues how to get over writer’s block and into the habit of writing no matter what. The 330 something comments add their inspirations and writing tips as well as ping-backs to other blogs with valuable information.

Authors are freelance writers

In my opinion authors are freelance writers who work for their readers. They might not produce copywritten articles to potential clients but their readers or publishers are their clients and what counts for a freelance journalists helps authors too to get the “business” of writing going and the “clients” happy.

So do not miss to go and check out Freelance Folder.

Your best free resource on the net?

I love to find new and inspiring resources for writing. Therefore give me clue: what is your favourite free writing resource?

Resource: Freelance Folder