A writer's life can be joyful and exhilirating, but is by nature a solitary journey. Connecting with other writers through writers' organizations, critique groups, and online resources can help you establish valuable relationships and tap into the tremendous amount of information available on the web. Here are some of my favorite online resources for and by writers:

SCBWI (the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) is a wonderful resource, with local groups in each state: http://www.scbwi.org/

The Verla Kay message boards (the "Blue Boards") is now the official message board of the SCBWI. Lots of published authors, illustrators, and agents post regularly, and it is a great support group for the childrens/young adult writing community: http://www.scbwi.org/boards/

Absolute Write is another great (free!) site for writers of all genres. Check out the forums: 

Harold Underdown is an experienced children’s editor who generously shares his knowledge and experience: http://www.underdown.org/

Rhyme Zone is one of my favorite writing sites--you can look up rhymes, definitions, famous quotes, synonyms, antonyms, etc. for any word: http://www.rhymezone.com/

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) takes place every November.  Check out their website: www.nanowrimo.org

Literary Rambles is a website that has a huge list of literary agents specializing in children's literature. Every agent in the business is not listed, but new profiles are added regularly: http://caseylmccormick.blogspot.com/

Query Tracker is a great site for tracking submissions to agents and editors.  A basic membership is free, but you can pay a small fee for expanded services:  http://www.querytracker.net/

Publishers Marketplace costs $20/month, but can be worth it if you are looking for an agent: www.publishersmarketplace.com. PM also has a free weekly children's publishing newsletter called PW Children's Bookshelf. Go to: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/index.html and click "subscribe" if you are interested. 

This is a great list serve for the Guide to Literary Agents publication: http://www.guidetoliteraryagents.com/blog.  

AgentQuery is another good agent-hunting site.  Click on "Blog Roll" in the left-hand column for a good list of agent, editor, and author blogs:  www.agentquery.com