Top Writing Communities You Should Consider Joining

Updated on March 19, 2018
Natalie Frank profile image

Natalie Frank, a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology & editor, publishes short stories, novellas, prose poetry & essays on literature and writing.


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

  • Westerns

  • Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

  • Science Fiction, Fantasy

  • Religious and Spiritual Writing

  • Humor

  • Bio, Autobio, and Memoir

  • Erotica

  • Horror

  • Animals and Nature

  • Contemporary Literature

  • Historical Writing

  • Sports and Fitness

  • Young Adult

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

Reddit /r/write is an online community whose goal is to offer writing related insight, feedback, skills based help, critiques, and exposure. Writer 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:

  • Comedy Writing

  • Erotica

  • Fantasy Writing

  • Library of Shadows - Tales of horror.

  • One Paragraph Stories

  • Creative Writing - General writing information, tips and advice

  • Poetry

  • SciFi Writing

  • Screen Writing

  • 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

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:

  • Action

  • Biography

  • Childrens

  • Drama

  • Erotica

  • Fan Fiction

  • Fantasy

  • Fiction

  • History

  • Horror

  • Humor

  • Literary

  • Memoir

  • Mystery

  • Non-Fiction

  • Paranormal

  • Romance

  • Science Fiction

  • Spiritual

  • Thriller

  • Young Adult

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 interest you.

Critique Circle

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 which can be used to identify writers near you.

Writers.com

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 for 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. 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 is 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.

Concluding Thoughts

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 become a member as well as how much value they will add to your writing life.

© 2018 Natalie Frank

Comments

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    • Natalie Frank profile imageAUTHOR

      Natalie Frank 

      4 days ago from Chicago, IL

      You can join Hubpages and write your story there. Good luck.

    • Heba33 profile image

      Heba seifeddine 

      4 weeks ago from Lebanon

      I want to share my volunteering story

      What is the steps of adding my story

    • Natalie Frank profile imageAUTHOR

      Natalie Frank 

      2 months ago from Chicago, IL

      They are really great for keeping motivated, learning new things and getting support. Hopefully I'll be able to update it with others soon. Thanks for stopping by and for the comment.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      3 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you for posting these communities. I kept telling myself to doresearch on this but I just have not done it so this is great. Now, I can check these out. I find it helpful to learn writing points and read about comments on how to improve writing.

    • Natalie Frank profile imageAUTHOR

      Natalie Frank 

      4 months ago from Chicago, IL

      Venkatachari M - I'm happy I've been able to provide some new information for you. That's always something that pleases me and I'm always glad to receive such feedback. Stay tuned- I'm starting another related article with more resources for writers! Thanks for the comment.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      4 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      This article is a very enlightening and useful one. I have heard of only the writers.com but not of those other interesting communities.

      Thanks, Natalie, for sharing this rich information.

    • Natalie Frank profile imageAUTHOR

      Natalie Frank 

      4 months ago from Chicago, IL

      Hope you find one or more of the group's to be up your alley Linda. Thanks for the comment.

    • Natalie Frank profile imageAUTHOR

      Natalie Frank 

      4 months ago from Chicago, IL

      Glad I could help Darla. Enjoy!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      4 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very useful ariticle. Thank you for sharing all the information, Natalie. I'll explore the sites that you've described.

    • profile image

      Darla Sue Dollman 

      4 months ago

      Excellent article with great advice. To be honest, I've never heard of any of these groups and I've been looking for a group to join, so this is perfect timing! Thank you!

    • Natalie Frank profile imageAUTHOR

      Natalie Frank 

      4 months ago from Chicago, IL

      Richard - glad you enjoyed the article and that there are sites you would like to check out. Thanks for the comment.

    • Dunbar Green profile image

      Richard Green 

      4 months ago from New Mexico

      Thank you for writing this article. I appreciate all information about writing better. I, also, did not know about these sites and will be checking them out.

    • Natalie Frank profile imageAUTHOR

      Natalie Frank 

      4 months ago from Chicago, IL

      Hope you find one to be useful for you Dora. Thanks for the comment and for stopping by.

    • Natalie Frank profile imageAUTHOR

      Natalie Frank 

      4 months ago from Chicago, IL

      True, Heidi, Hubpages is a great community and hopefully only getting better by the day! Thanks for stopping by.

    • Natalie Frank profile imageAUTHOR

      Natalie Frank 

      4 months ago from Chicago, IL

      Hi Kathy- I'm glad the article was helpful for you. I know I definitely need others online and off to help me stay on course with my writing. Thanks for the comment and good luck in your endeavors.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you for sharing information on these writing communities. I'm interested and will check them out.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      4 months ago from Chicago Area

      Thanks for sharing these! I'll have to look into them one day. Also, HubPages has been a great writer community (as I'm sure you've also found). Happy Monday!

    • KatWin profile image

      Kathy Burton 

      4 months ago from Florida

      What a valuable article. I did not know of any of these places and they sound just like what I need now. Thank you for posting this article.

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