Top Writing Communities You Should Consider Joining
Being a Writer Can Be Lonely
Writing is often a solitary endeavor. Maybe you spend the day in a neighborhood coffee shop to get out of the house a few times a week but still find you don’t interact with people because you’re writing. Even if you did, unless you meet others who just happen to also be writers, they would not provide you with the sense of a writing community that you likely feel you need. Similarly, friends and family may try to be supportive but can’t quite relate, and likely can’t hold a conversation about conflict, pacing, climax, tension, or resolution. They will probably smile politely but look at you oddly when you start talking about point of view and head hopping.
Writers understand other writers. To be successful as a writer, you need a way to consult and interact with others who struggle with the same difficulties you do. A sense of community can also help you combat feelings of depression and loneliness that can impact not just your writing but the rest of your life as well. Plus, if you are looking for motivation, feedback from fellow writers who are involved in projects and writing communities, have information about funding resources, and writing residencies and are actively submitting to literary magazines will help give you inspiration.
Absolute Write Water Cooler
Absolute Write is a popular active online community of writers, editors, and publishing professionals with links to a variety of resources. The site has forums on numerous areas related to writing and provides informational articles to help you build your skills, market, and sell your work. There is a board for a number of genres including:
Romance and Women's Fiction
Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Science Fiction, Fantasy
Religious and Spiritual Writing
Bio, Autobio, and Memoir
Animals and Nature
Sports and Fitness
Absolute Write welcomes anyone interested in all types of fiction, non fiction, freelance writing, screenwriting, play writing, comic book writing, graphic novels, poetry, blogs, podcasts, songwriting and even greeting cards. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a professional Absolute Write has something for you.
Some of the most useful resources that can be found on this site are book promotion, contests, calls for submissions, announcements and events, outwitting writer’s block, writing questions, beta readers, mentors and writing buddies, writing exercises and prompts, self publishing and work for hire. Additionally, the site includes a writing lab that provides help with writing poetry, flash fiction and music, as well as ESL and language help, help for participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Writing exercises and prompts are also available.
Reddit /r/write is an online community whose goal is to offer writing-related insight, feedback, skills-based help, critiques, and exposure. Writers of all types of fiction and nonfiction at all levels, from beginner to professionals in print and online publishing are welcome. The community is dedicated to everything related to writing including such popular topics as writing skills, editing, publishing, and marketing. The site also provides suggestions and advice in a variety of areas. For example, the site has a guide on how to conduct yourself when critiquing others as well as when requesting critiques from other writers.
Popular forums include those related to support, advice, and motivation to help keep you writing, how to find collaborators, freelance writing and getting hired, writing news and discussion, NaNoWriMo, writing contests, and writing prompts. The site also has a forum dedicated to new writers just starting out.
Some of the other writing-related Subreddits or Forums include:
Library of Shadows: Tales of horror
One Paragraph Stories
Creative Writing: General writing information, tips, and advice
Six Word Stories
SelfPublish: Discussion of all things related to self-publishing
A unique feature of this community is that they include a number of reading-related forums. These are subreddits related to book reviews and recommendations, discussions about topics related to Kindle, and a fine arts discussion forum on literature. The site also offers two online book clubs, a general one and one dedicated to reading and discussing fantasy novels.
Scribophile is well known for detailed critiques members conduct for each other which provide practical ways to improve your writing. It is based on the premise that learning how to analyze and critique others' writing will significantly improve your own writing. From feedback provided about the site this is exactly what writers find as members of this site.
On Scribophile, you earn karma points through writing critiques and having your critiques rated as useful by other members. Karma points are used to have your writing critiqued or to enter contests. Karma points can also be awarded as gifts to other members.
Contests are held regularly, and members can win $100 for first prize, $75 for second prize, and $50 for third prize. A blog is available with interviews, writing advice, submission announcements, free resources, and other timely posts. There is a Writing Academy that offers a collection of free writing instruction articles created by members of the Scribophile community who are writing professionals. Hot topics areas are grammar, point of view, formatting manuscripts, punctuation, copyright, and submission guidelines. Advanced topics you can learn about are character anatomy, advance haiku, and filtering in prose writing.
Scribophile has groups for almost every genre such as:
The basic membership is free. For a fee of $65 a year, you can upgrade to the Premium Account which unlocks a number of additional features such as detailed reader stats, free contest entries, and unlimited posting.
The Hatrack River Writers Workshop
The Hatrack River Writers Workshop is an active writers community with a number of different forums and links to many resources. There is an area for you to introduce yourself and inform other members about the types of writing you enjoy, and the projects you are working on or thinking of working on in the future. The Open Discussions on Writing section is for any questions you may have about writing. In the Hatrack River Writers Workshop Writing Class area, there are assignments that might help you get a story started or practice skills you’d like to improve.
The Fragments and Feedback section is where you can post the first 13 lines a work in progress. Others then post feedback as to what works, what doesn’t work, and if they would be likely to keep reading. Members can volunteer to read the rest of the work and provide feedback, which you would send in an email.
Other areas include Hatrack Writers in Print, where you can let members know about your publications, Markets for Our Writing, Writing Challenges, and Ways to Critique among others. Although the workshop is for writers 18 years of age and older, readers of all ages are welcome. You also have the opportunity to start your own group on something that interests you.
Begun in 2003, Critique Circle is one of the oldest online communities for writers which has an extensive range of features. All types of authors are welcome, and members include writers of literary fiction, genre fiction, articles, short stories, novels, poetry, and other types of written works. The site was created to offer a place for authors to give and receive feedback on their writing. Critique Circle is appropriate for writers of all genres, including science-fiction, fantasy, romance, mystery, children's novels, horror, and suspense.
Similar to Scribophile, Critique Circle operates based on a credit system. You earn credits for writing critiques of other members' stories and use them to submit a story for feedback. The credits you receive range from 1/2 to 2 for each critique, which is determined by the length of the story and the length of the critique.
The Circle includes a number of forums, practical writing tools to help with manuscript progress, a submission tracker, outlining workshop, writing prompts, character development help, notebook, and storyboarding template. Those who are active critiquing other members have the opportunity to form their own private critique groups. A blog provides practical information about writing and community and external writing announcements. Also included with the free membership is publishing information, a complete member list, classifieds, and a comprehensive glossary of writing terms.
Additionally, Critique Circle serves as a social outlet for writers to interact with each other. This occurs around areas of writing and through informal activities such as games, classifieds, general discussion. One of the most popular features is a world map of member locations that can be used to identify writers near you.
Founded in 2000, Writing.Com is a long-established online community for writers. It is also one of the largest boasting almost a million and a half users. The site prides itself on being a place for all ages and interests. They strive to offer a creative atmosphere for writers, providing hundreds of tools and opportunities for motivation, inspiration, and creation. The site is equally friendly to active writers wanting to expand their knowledge and skills, authors seeking a place to store and display their work, casual readers looking for a good story, and everyone in between. There is a free membership as well as four levels of paid memberships that cost from $20 to $420 a year, which provides for a number of additional features from extra storage space to web hosting and unlimited use of community features
The organizers state that hundreds of new members join each day, which provides a large pool of fellow writers with whom you can interact with. The site is extremely diverse in writing topics and styles, as well as member opinions. There are over 100 genres and topics listed that writers concentrate on providing variety that is rare elsewhere. Writers.com offers a mechanism for peer-to-peer reviews, and a high degree of social interaction.
The most unique component of the site is the portfolio, providing over twenty different types of elements that can be created, shared, and used to supplement other writings. These include single-page items for poetry, essays and short stories and multipage options for books or other projects, as well as options to create collaborative groups, photos and other images, web pages, surveys, and folders. Polls can be created for feedback or to obtain statistics. Options to create leisure time activities are even provided in the form of madlibs, crossword puzzles and word searches. As in the rest of the site, the portfolio system is explained in an easy to understand descriptive tutorial.
A huge number of tools are also provided which is another unique feature of this community. While many of the tools are available only to paid members, some are available for free. These include a cover maker, database of stock covers, item statistics, notepad, scratchpad, and posting to the newsfeed. The free membership comes with a personal @Writing.Com email address with full email service, including 2 folders and 5 MB of space and 500 messages. There is also an instant messenger function. The resources tab provides links to publishers, literary agents, newsletter, editors, writing classes, classifieds, and information on copyright, self-publishing, marketing, and web hosting, among other useful services and content. Free members can enter member-held contests and participate in groups.
Joining a writing community is one of the best things you can do not just to improve your writing skills, but to gain valuable feedback, support, and advice. Interacting with other writers online will also serve as a source of inspiration, boosting your mood and motivation to keep writing. While the writing communities discussed here are absolutely free, you’ll be impressed by how much you will benefit from becoming a member as well as how much value they will add to your writing life.
Questions & Answers
Are there other sites on Reddit for writers? Maybe critique groups or ones that provide some sort of tutorials?
Individual groups on Reddit are called subreddits. There are in fact some other writing subreddits that exist as well as reading and book club type subreddits (these last two I don't discuss here). At this point, I’ve checked most of them out. They have different rules and resources that are available with some degree of overlap among them. The writing subreddits I have become involved in are:
r/Write - This one is described in the main article. It is described as the central hub for writing on Reddit, it has 11,983 subscribers and has been a community for nine years.
r/Writers - This subreddit has 18,531 subscribers and has been a community for nine years. The description states that this subreddit is, “a community of writers here to discuss and support each other. Open discussion is encouraged. Covering topics, discussion, and resources centering around the love of writing.” You are welcome to share your work and ask for critiques to help improve your writing & and your writing career.
r/Writing - There are 515,370 subscribers to this subreddit and it has been a community for ten years. The blurb for this subreddit states that it is the “home for writers.” It also says: “We talk about important matters for writers, news affecting writers, and the finer aspects of the writing craft.” It includes a weekly critique thread for getting feedback on your writing. You can post external links that share quality news/information from quality sources. Some of the things you are encouraged to do are:
1) Post questions/discussion starters on writing related subjects.
2) Post calls for upcoming submissions
3) Celebrate your success in the weekly check-in sticky.
Newbwriters - Newbwriter has 3,493 subscribers and has been a community for six years. This subreddit is for new and aspiring writers, and it has a very active community. The members tend to be very supportive of each other and go out of their way to help each other out. There is not a lot of criticism compared to some other subreddits I have posted on. Their description says, “A place for beginning writers and aspiring authors. Find basic information to start and build your craft. Links and helpful information on editing and publishing. A community to support and help one another accomplish our writing goals.”
Keep Writing - This subreddit has 19,849 subscribers and has been a community for six years. This is one of my favorite writing subreddits. It tends to be very positive and supportive, and the discussions are interesting and practical. According to their description: "We are a subreddit dedicated to helping writers improve their craft and fuel their creativity. Whether you're looking to get feedback on an idea, hear a critique, or get unstuck in a story, this is the right place.” They have great writing, and image prompts and encourage critique requests state you should critique others work before asking for someone to critique yours. There are links to contests and upcoming submissions, and they provide links to other resources outside of Reddit. The moderators keep the community on topic but aren’t crazy about the rules like some other subreddits that ban you for the least little infraction.
Here is a list of writing subreddits by topics. This list isn’t exhaustive, and you can often find others listed as related subreddits on specific group pages.
Critique and Workshops
Contests and Events
Each writing community differs regarding how active they are and how many people subscribe to them, but in general, I have found them to have a decent amount of activity that is pretty constant. The members of these subreddits are generally supportive and positive, and moderators work hard to maintain this atmosphere.
As with all subreddits and a general rule of Reddit you shouldn’t use any of these groups to self-promote your blog/website/service. The rule is that 10% or less of your posting and conversation should link to your content. They keep to this rule and will delete or even ban you if you break it. That being said it is okay to post links to your work once in a while if it is appropriate to the specific subreddit and it adds something to that community instead of just being empty content you are trying to promote. Most of them also have a formal or informal mechanism for critiquing.Helpful 3
© 2018 Natalie Frank