Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and reading resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Will Write For Chocolate


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« Interviewing Tips For Freelance Writers | Main | Chess Boxing (part 2) »

Useful online tools for freelance writers (Part 2)

Thanks to Rand again for this help with this week's strip (xocolatophobia) and to Joey Shoji for the gift of a special edition Valrhona 2005 Chocolat Noir De Domaine Gran Couva chocolate bar (see image below), inspired by the Will Write For Chocolate strip where Eliza offers Mimi chocolate comfort.

Thanks for the feedback about useful online tools for freelance writers, everyone! I've compiled some of the online resources suggested by Will Write For Chocolate readers below. You should also check out Sal Towse's great list of writing resource links.

From Sib:

Foreign exchange and currency info: Provides real-time currency rates, among other services.

Gran Couva
Not an online tool for writers but
inspirational, nonetheless.
See this strip.

Wikipedia: Online encyclopedia that is community-edited. Some of the info needs verifying, but it's often useful for a quick overview of a topic.

MLA: Founded in 1883 by teachers and scholars, the Modern Language Association promotes the study and teaching of language and literature. "Costs money, but it’s the database that lists articles published in journals in the last 40 years or so. Mostly humanities, but worth it if you are in that field and need to see who all has published on, say, Gender and Race in the works of Delany." "A service that makes electronic copies (for a fee) of articles you found in the MLA - it’s all German Universities listing all the journals they take, and they make you copies and email them within 2 days. Very handy."

English-German-English dictionary: "Sooo useful for non-native speakers writing most of their stuff in English. They also do lots of other stuff and the main page is at (LEO means 'Link Everything Online')."

From Lynda:

"Thanks for the links Debbie! I use Clicheé Finder to inspire me when I’m writing headlines. I also have found Factiva extremely useful for finding articles and new markets. It’s a bit expensive for private use, but you can use it at libraries. I also spend a lot of time at"

From Mari:'s collection of over three million answers is drawn from over 60 titles from brand-name publishers, as well as original content created by's own editorial team. "There’s an online dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, etc." "Useful for creating your own calendars for any date or year."

How Stuff Works: "From the people who brought us the children’s books first." This site is devoted to the origins of words and phrases, or as a linguist would put it, to etymology.

Infoplease: A world almanac. The site includes an atlas, encyclopedia, dictionary, thesaurus, white pages, various almanacs.

The Writer's Medical and Forensics Lab: "This site is still new and growing, but still some useful stuff here." From the Web site: "This site is intended as a place where writers and readers can learn, be entertained, and obtain the specialized medical and forensic knowledge they need to make their stories come to life or to better understand someone else’s story."

Podunk: "Look up any state, any town in the US."

Do you know of other useful online resources for writers? Please do post them below.

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