The writing may be done alone, but getting published takes a lot of work after the writing is done. Below you will find communities of writers (both local and national), databases of publishers and agents, information on contests, and how to avoid getting scammed, along with many other places on the web where you can learn more about your craft and the business behind it.
Poets & Writers - The nation's largest non-profit organization supporting creative writers. They have many useful resources, including:
The Guide to Writers Conferences & Workshops - A free online directory from ShawGuides with descriptions of over 900 programs worldwide.
Writers’ Conferences & Centers (WC&C) - Provides a database of conferences worldwide.
PEN American Center - A large association of writers working to advance literature and free expression. Offers programs, support, and information. (Some features require membership.)
The Authors Guild - Advocates for writers' interests in copyright protection, fair contracts and other legal issues. They provide certain legal services for members.
Articles for Writers and Publishers - A site created by an attorney with a specialty in intellectual property collects articles on contracts, copyright, fair use and other topics of interest to writers.
Local Resources and Writers' Communities
Maryland Writers' Association - A non-profit organization committed to the craft of writing which strives to promote, encourage, and connect writers within the Maryland community.
Maryland Writers' Association - Baltimore Chapter - The local chapter of the Maryland Writer’s Association that promotes area writers by connecting them through meetings, events, writing workshops, and conferences.
CityLit Project - A non-profit organization that promotes local writers by providing workshops, conferences and networking opportunities. Their annual programs include CityLit Festival, CityLit Stage, the Baltimore Book Festival and CityLit Español.
Baltimore Book Festival - Held every September in historic Mount Vernon Place, the three day Baltimore Book Festival hosts over 150 writers giving talks, signings, and readings along with fun exhibitions and live musical performances.
Maryland State Arts Council - A state agency that promotes the arts in Maryland by providing grants, technical and advisory assistance, and creative programing.
The Writer's Center - Located in Bethesda, Maryland; offers workshops, readings, book discussions, and individual coaching and mentoring. (course fees involved).
Black Writers Guild of Maryland, Inc - Provides support and networking opportunities for African-American writers in Maryland. The Black writer's guild offers workshops, showcases, and mentoring for local writers.
Local Writers' Blogs
Maryland Writers' Association Blog - News and events of interest to Maryland writers.
Read Street - A blog for the community of readers in Baltimore and beyond. Published by the Baltimore Sun.
First Person Plural - A blog run by The Writer's Center of Bethesda that has information for local writers.
The Real Writer - Blog of a local Baltimore writer, with events and resources of interest.
Contests & Awards
Poets & Writers offers a Guide to Writing Contests containing lists of deadlines, a submission calendar and writer's conferences.
Poets & Writers also offers a searchable Grants and Awards Database.
PEN American Center offers one of the largest databases of grants and awards for American writers (requires subscription).
Beware of Scammers - Agent Query has an excellent page on avoiding "bad agents" and finding a good one.
Preditors and Editors - A guide to publishers and publishing services for serious writers.
Writer Beware - The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has a guide about avoiding scams and other schemes that target writers. Check out their Writer Beware Blogs for up-to-date news on recent scams.