Top 10+ Online Writing Communities For Aspiring Authors
“The truth is, writing is this: hard and boring and occasionally great but usually not. Even I have lied about writing. I have told people that writing this book has been like brushing away dirt from a fossil. What a load of shit” recounted Amy Poehler in her book Yes Please, and rightly so. Regardless of how much a person loves writing, it does get tedious and lonely. It is natural human behavior to get demotivated or feel uninspired. A writer can only write when they are motivated and inspired, two things that are highly driven by their experiences and surroundings. It is no secret that a writer needs to interact and have several discourses in order to put pen to paper. We all know that creative block or writer’s block is a legitimate thing that happens to individuals. It is especially hard when an individual is required to discipline themselves and hold themselves accountable all alone.
If you do not face any of the above-mentioned struggles then congratulations, you have cracked it! However, if you do relate to the above-mentioned problems and feel alone in your struggle, then keep reading because you are definitely not alone in this. God bless the Internet! In the current era, even without physically meeting someone, you still have the avenue to reach out for feedback and motivation. We live in the “online” culture and there several platforms that are curated specifically for writers. Especially in this pandemic environment, all of us could use a little “online community” support. Several sites allow writers to virtually interact, gain feedbacks, and attend workshops to enhance their writing skills. The following is a list of 10+ online writing communities that are diverse in nature and answer all your writer’s query:
#1 Absolute Write Water Cooler
This is one of the most famous and highly recommended online sites for writers. It hosts a large community of new and experienced writers. The website provides moderators who assist the writers concerning feedbacks and inputs. Absolute Writer Water Cooler takes its community guidelines very seriously. Another distinctive factor about the website is their system of “reputation points.” The option allows members to give or take away other member’s reputation points. This establishes trust between the writer and the person giving the feedback along with providing accountability. Everybody is thus incentivized to provide their best input. They have various topics and one can read through the material on the site without registering. However, only registered members can give and receive feedback. If you are looking for a site that is well established and trusted, checkout Absolute Write Water Cooler.
#2 Insecure Writer’s Support Group
This website was started with the intention to help writers who struggle with confidence in their writing. IWSG is a community dedicated to supporting writers to overcome their struggles. It hosts writers from beginner level to published authors. On the first Wednesday of every month, the members share their thoughts and ideas about writing their blogs. Currently, IWSG has over 170 people as part of the active blogging community that posts on the first Wednesday of every month. The site has a Facebook group, Instagram page, and a book club. The website showcases various writing materials and workshops that a writer can look into. If you are nervous about your writing skills and are looking for smaller online writing communities to interact with, try giving Insecure Writer’s Support Group a try.
This website is very famous for its fun approach to writing. The platform hosts readers, writers, and fans. Commaful claims to keep a positive and safe space for creators. They have members from the beginner level to award-winning writers. The platform allows two options: to comment and message to facilitate communication between readers and writers. Another striking feature of Commaful is that it allows the user to turn their writing into trailers that can be easily shared on social media. According to the website, the stories on the platform reach millions of people every month. The platform allows a user to explore over a thousand genres of fiction. The site caters only to fiction writers and creates a conducive environment for creativity. If you are diving into fiction writing it would be highly useful to check out Commaful.
This website functions on detailed critiquing. Every writer or creator requires valuable feedback on their work. It challenges the writer to do better. Scribophile provides detailed critiques that are exchanged amongst the members. Once you become a part of the Scribophile community, you will be required to critique other members’ work as well. According to their website, they are perfect for you if you are looking for beta readers. Furthermore, the site also offers online writing workshops. If you are looking for some valuable feedbacks from experienced writers and enjoy critiquing other people’s work, Scribophile is your site!
WritersCafe is a community that works on the simple principle of sharing and reviewing. The website provides the user with an option to post their work, get feedback along with befriending other writers. The platform promotes reviews and suggestions from over a thousand members. Another interesting feature of the platform is that it allows a user to enter several free writing contests. You can also join specific writing groups or start one of your own. Additionally, WritersCafe also provides free online writing courses. If you are looking for a platform that challenges your work and offers free services, do visit WritersCafe.
#6 She Writes
We can never have enough platforms dedicated to women and She Writes seems to agree with this. It is the largest online writing community and content site for female writers from all walks of life. The website believes in the inclusivity of every genre and age group. She Writes was founded by Kamy Wicoff in 2009 to enable and educate writers by providing a conducive environment that is both inspiring and practical. Currently, the community holds over 32,000 members with more than 350 groups. The website focuses on insights about writing and life as an author. The platform has also featured bestselling authors like Christina Baker Kline, Hope Edelman and Gretchen Rubin. If you are a female writer looking for a community that is inspiring and educational, do visit She Writes.
#7 Story A Day
This platform is a balance between fun, challenging, and accountability. The platform essentially provides its users with a challenge to write a short story every day during the month of May or September. One can choose to write every day or pick a schedule according to their comfort. The platform is driven towards inculcating creativity in its users. Additionally, the website has the concept of Serious Writers’ Accountability Group (SWAGr) where one can join and post their writing commitment for the month. Apart from the two writing challenges, the website provides regular prompts, reviews and podcasts on writing. If you are looking for a fun way to become more disciplined with your writing, do check out Story A Day.
Pencil publishing is the world’s first incubated & accelerated publishing module. The Pencil writing platform is a free platform that enables authors to create, publish, and distribute their books worldwide in paperback and eBook format. Pencil provides a writer with everything they need to become a published author with ease. Something that it does differently is that Pencil provides the author with real-time analytics on how their book is being read. Staying true to the name, whatever is written with a Pencil can always be corrected and updated. Similarly, Pencil allows its users to write, publish, understand, republish, and distribute globally. Pencil strives towards being a safe medium that fosters creativity. Pencil also has an active team that reviews all content posted and takes the necessary action as quickly as possible if the content violates their community guidelines of making Pencil a safe, inclusive space. The platform also allows the user to resolve issues with fellow members directly. If you are a writer working towards becoming an author, Pencil is the platform for you.
#9 Communities on Social Media
It is no surprise that social media is thriving and so are the communities under their umbrella.
Several Facebook groups provide an online community for writers such as 10 Minute Novelists Group and 20BooksTo50K. Every group is made with a different set of incentives. Facebook fundamentally provides writers a place where they can discuss their inhibitions regarding their projects amongst other things. The Write Life Community, for instance, is a Facebook page with over 26,000 members that facilitate conversations amongst writers about their journeys. The group also offers various discussions on topics ranging from procrastination to the choice of paper for books. Writers Helping Writers is another such group with over 272K members. The group runs on the idea of providing writers with feedback in terms of (not limited to) editing, publishing, and cover designs. Facebook groups are ideal for people who want to instantly connect with fellow writers and editors. It is recommended to browse through the “about” section before joining a group. The above-mentioned groups target writing time and money-making for authors.
Another great platform to follow for some valuable writing insights on niche topics is Reddit. The striking feature of this platform are the discussions that takes place. There is also an option for anonymity which caters unbiased discussions. The platform is common ground for renowned authors like Stephen King and novice writers. A lot of prolific writers conduct question-answer sessions under AMA (Reddit feature) where they give inputs about their own writing processes. Even though the content on Reddit is heavily layered, a little time browsing will take you a long way. An example of the same is this subreddit.
Twitter is a great platform that acts as a gateway for writers to find exclusive communities. A great example of the same would be Who Pays Writers? page on Twitter. It is an anonymous crowd-sourced information on publication rates for writers. They also have their own website where users can check the accurate market price of their literary works. The page has over 31K members. Another Twitter page that is doing a remarkable job with respect to inclusivity is Disabled Writers. The group mainly focuses on “increasing disability diversity in journalism.” The group also retweets hiring posts and other important publication information by established writers. Similarly, one can also take the help of Twitter by simply searching for hashtags such as #Writing or #Author to follow trending threads. It will help you to stay up to date with content.
Some other social media pages worth checking out are:- Weekly Critique and Self-Promotion Thread (Reddit), Writing Groups (Quora), ProWritingAid Writer’s Community(Facebook), writersnetwork(Instagram), and Writer’s Relief(Twitter).
Bound is an Indian online platform for writers. The website provides several features and services. A writer has the option to explore various online workshops and mentoring classes. Bound also provides various services such as manuscript review, writing coaching and line edit. The site also informs the writer about various retreats and webinars. Additionally, they also have their own podcast. If you are a writer looking for a platform that is specific to India, do visit Bound.
#11 Communities Exclusively For LGBTQIA+
Out on the Page: Out on the Page started in 2018 with a vision to bring together emerging LGBTQIA+ writers to support each other in their writing process while sharing their expertise and experiences. The platform currently offers numerous free ‘social/networking’ events and paid writing workshops. If you are looking for a space that is inclusive and provides networking, check out Out on the Page.
WritersCafe Groups: WritersCafe is already mentioned on the list above, but it is imperative to point out that the platform has a subgroup called LGBT authors. This group is for the members of the community to come together and share their ideas. According to the group, “the writing expectations in this group are MOSTLY any kind of Gay or Lesbian stories, books, poems, or songs.”
LGBT Writers (Facebook Group): This group is dedicated towards writers that belong to the LGBT community or write about the same. The group also welcomes people who are interested in LGBT-related books. LGBT Writers require members to strictly post about things under the topic. Currently, the group harbors 4.3K members. If you are looking for a Facebook group/page to connect with like-minded individuals, check out LGBT Writers.
#12 Black, Indigenous, POC (BIPOC) Writing Community & Writers Of Colour
As the name suggests, BIPOC Writing Community is a platform open to all people of color. Faith Adiele, professor at California College of the Arts and author of Meeting Faith, and Serena W. Lin, writer, attorney, and starship pilot, host a weekly online session for members of the community. The members write 2 prompts for 20 minutes, with a 10-minute break in-between. The first online event was hosted on March 24, 2020. If you want to be involved in future sessions, check out Black, Indigenous, POC (BIPOC) Writing Community. Similarly, another community that needs to be mentioned while talking about BIPOC is Writers of Color on Twitter. The pages were started for better representation by Durga Chew-Bose, Jazmine Hughes, Vijith Assar, and Buster Bylander. The page updates job openings and other opportunities on its portal. Even the creators of the page like Durga and Jazmine hold a substantial following on twitter. The page strives towards presenting substantial opportunities for people of colour and has a following of almost 59K members.
The above mentioned are some of the online writing communities out there facilitating the interests of readers and writers across the world. All of them fulfill a particular need. As a writer, you need to know what is lacking in your writing before you chose a community. Look for online writing communities that are curated to your needs as a writer. It is advisable to read through the “about” section of each website before you sign up or buy a premium. All in all, the dedication needs to come from within, however, the online writing communities will definitely help you with keeping up the drive.