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Writer’s Digest Best Writing Community Websites 2020

Here are the top writing community websites as identified in the 22nd Annual 101 Best Websites from the May/June 2020 issue of Writer’s Digest.

Here are the best writing community websites as identified in the 22nd Annual 101 Best Websites from the May/June 2020 issue of Writer’s Digest.

* Denotes the website’s first appearance on our list.

1. Critique Match*

Find your next critique partner by searching Critique Match’s database by genre, publishing experience, and rating, or create a public posting about what your work-in-progress is about and the critique you are looking for. If you feel generous, search the postings for projects by other authors to offer your own critique. Earn a five-star rating to become eligible to be paid for your critiques.

2. Holly’s Writing Classes*

Novelist Holly Lisle has created a community of nearly 7,000 writers. Create a free account to join the member form, where writers can chat and ask each other questions. You’ll get a free “How to Write Flash Fiction That Doesn’t Suck” course with your membership. Lisle also writes a blog on writing craft and inspiration and offers online writing courses for purchase.

3. National Novel Writing Month

Sign up for the annual challenge to write 50,000 words of a novel during the month of November. The website has tools to track your progress during the challenge, set milestones, and connect with other writers. The nonprofit also offers NaNoWriMo prep handbooks, a blog, pep talks from prolific authors, and a Young Writers Program.

4. Scribophile

With discussion forums, a craft blog, free writing tutorials, and contests, Scribophile is one of the largest online communities for writers to improve their work. But it doesn’t stop there; Scribophile’s main feature is earning the ability to post your writing for critique through racking up Karma Points, which are gained by critiquing the writing of other community members. With over one million critiques served, there’s a lot of Karma Points going around.

5. She Writes*

With more than 36,000 pieces of original content written by She Writes community members, there’s a lot to discover in this network. Start by browsing articles by women in every different phase of their writing journey—from newbies to debut authors to bestsellers like Tayari Jones—for inspiration and advice on craft, marking, promotion, and more. Become a member to connect with writers in your genre, join groups, post your own articles, and follow your favorite members.

6. Story A Day

Writing a short story a day is an ambitious goal. Julie Duffy posts daily writing prompts during May and September to help writers achieve this. Story a Day also publishes a blog, 15-minute pep talk podcast, and Wednesday writing prompts year-round to encourage your daily writing habit. Join the Serious Writer Accountability group to announce your commitments for the upcoming month.

7. Wattpad

There are dozens of platforms that allow authors to upload their work-in-progress chapter by chapter to find new readers and get feedback on their work. With a global community of 80 million readers, Wattpad is simply the best to join. In addition to Wattpad’s reach, authors who upload their work also have the opportunity to enter contests; be chosen for spotlight by Wattpad staff; and be seen by publishing, film, and TV professionals searching for new talent.

8. The WRAC Group*

Stay accountable to the goals you set for yourself by joining this community. Choose up to three goals per year you’d like to meet, set deadlines for yourself, and you’ll receive reminders and encouragement from the WRAC group. For success stories, view lists of projects completed by WRAC Group members in years past.

9. WritersCafe

Find your community here: Post your writing for critique, where thousands of other writers convene and exchange reviews and advice. Enter free writing contests; join or start a writing group; search for agents, journals, publishers, and self-publishing services; and enroll in online writing courses.

For more of our best website selections for 2020, check out the following.

Learn how to craft a query letter that will catch the attention of agents in this Writer’s Digest University boot camp.

10+ Best Writing Websites, Forums & Writing Groups for Aspiring Authors

Calling all aspiring authors! If you’re looking for writing websites, clubs, forums, authors’ communities, and online writing groups to join, this guide is for you.

If you’ve ever wanted to become a writer, now is the time. The writing sector is expected to grow a whopping 9% in the next decade!

But writing comes with its own set of challenges. Writers need fresh ideas, excellent grammar skills, and a way with words. Sometimes, the dreaded writer’s block hits, and inspiration refuses to strike.

And that’s where online writing communities come in! If you dream of becoming a writer, consider joining one of the many valuable online writing groups and forums for authors.

Below, we’ve rated our best picks in various categories. So, whether you’re an amateur or professional, sci-fi writer or romance novelist, we’ve got the best writing websites for you to join.

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Science Fiction Lovers: Chronicles

With over 20,000 members and a very active forum, the Chronicles writing community is an immense space for sci-fi lovers. Registration is always free, and the members are very welcoming!

The site features a massive forum that regularly posts writing challenges and contests. Movie, book, and art discussions often pop up as well. And when you want to be a reader rather than an author, you can check out the book review page.

Chronicles provide helpful guides focused on publishing, grammar, and critiques. So whether you’re just starting out, or you’re a pro who needs a little push, you’ll find what you need here.

Romantic Storytellers: Wattpad

Wattpad is one of the best writers communities online. At over 15 years old, it has more than 300,000 writers from around the world and is available in 50 languages. This sizable community accepts any genre of storytelling, but romance is at its core.

Known for its notoriously relaxed moderators, Wattpad is full of romance stories of all kinds. Historical, aliens, horror – whatever your niche, Wattpad has it.

The community also provides access to writing resources, forums, and contests. Wattpad Books, the in-house publishing division, often selects writers for book deals. There are even opportunities for tv and movie contracts!

Poets and Short Story Writers: Fictionaut

While it’s not strictly for poets, a good chunk of Fictionaut revolves around poetry. Short stories and other creative writing are also popular on this poetry and writing club website.

Fictionaut is a small writers community, with only around 5,000 members, but it’s very active. The layout is simple: a forum, groups, and user profiles. Anyone can join and publish their writing, free of charge.

No contests, publishing deals, or resources here. Just a lot of heartfelt, funny, real stories. If you enjoy various types of journaling in your spare time, you might feel like you’re reading a private journal as you browse. Exhilarating, but familiar!

Fantasy Fans: Mythic Scribes

Fantasy writing can be one of those cliquey writing clubs that’s impossible to break into. But Mythic Scribes makes it simple to join a community of like-minded people.

The site features a very active forum that includes general discussion, publishing, and fantasy worlds. But the most valuable aspect of Mythic Scribes is the portfolio section. Members can create online portfolios for potential agents, employers, and fans to see.

As a writer, having a well-built portfolio is essential to your success. The portfolio section takes all the guesswork out of building a website, giving you the tools to succeed.

Aspiring Screenwriters: Talentville

Do you have Hollywood dreams? Aspiring screenwriters need to join Talentville, a community focused on scripts and stories. It boasts over 11,000 incredibly active members.

You can upload one drama, sitcom, or screenplay script for free. You’ll receive feedback from members and get access to all the forums and groups. But there are upgraded memberships if you want to upload extra scripts.

Memberships cost $39 and $99 a year, depending on the tier you choose. But regardless of which option you land on, you will have access to that critical reader base to review your script.

Horror Fanatics: Critters Writers Workshop

Stephen King lovers, rejoice! Critters Writers Workshop is here to produce the next generation of horror writers. This legendary, 25-year old writing community welcomes all horror lovers, new or old.

They offer online workshops on all topics related to writing horror. The workshops feature member critiques and feedback on your submitted manuscripts. The downside is that there are no forums or discussion groups available.

But if you’re serious about publishing the next great horror novel, Critters is a valuable resource. Use their free workshops, feedbacks, and publishing lists to your advantage!

Female Writers: She Writes

She Writes is a publishing platform for women writing in any genre. Besides publishing, the site also offers marketing, editing, and promotion services.

One of the only online writing groups for women, it maintains over 34,000 members! The site is packed with helpful guides and tips, interviews with writers, and personal stories. You can also join one of the 500 groups to connect with like-minded women.

She Writes Press, an independent publisher, can help get your story out into the world! With a $35 submission fee, you can send in your manuscript for consideration.

Teens and Young Adults: Young Writers Society

For teens looking to break into the writing world, the Young Writers Society is a good place to start. As one of the most prominent youth writing groups online, everyone can find their place here!

From poetry to short stories to novels, you can post any type and genre of writing you want. Members can review others’ work and join clubs and forums. A unique roleplay forum allows writers to work on character development.

Moderators do an excellent job of mentoring young writers and keeping the site clean. Membership is free and open to anyone!

The Adventurous: NaNoWriMo

If you’re looking for a challenge and some adventure, you need to join NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month is a crazy concept where you set out to write a whole novel in one month.

Although that’s the basis of the project, members can also work at their own pace. The website is excellent at motivating and keeping writers on track. It helps them set and achieve milestones, track progress, and connect with other writers.

Are you in the middle of your novel and just stumbled upon writer’s block? This might be the push you need! Membership is free for everyone, and they also have a Young Writers Program.

For Help and Advice: Insecure Writer’s Support Group

The name says it all. Every writer has moments of doubt and insecurity, and no one is exempt from feeling not good enough. The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is a safe place to air your thoughts.

Members can post about their struggles and receive advice, feedback, and encouragement. The website also offers a vast amount of free writing resources to get you back on track.

For some real-time discussion, join the Facebook group and connect with almost 5,000 members. Chances are they’ll understand your struggles and help you find some creative solutions!

For Feedback: Critique Circle

Feedback is a critical step in the writing process. You might think you have the greatest novel on Earth, but if people can’t connect with it, it’s not going to sell.

The Critique Circle deals exclusively with providing this valuable service. Every genre, style, and format is welcome, and the whole thing works on a reciprocity system. Get critiqued and critique right back!

There’s no membership fee, but you can pay for the premium access, which gives you some perks. The website has been up and running since 2003, with almost one million critiques in their books!

Best Overall: Scribophile

In the best writing website overall category is Scribophile, an extensive community that really has everything! This huge digital space contains:

  • Approximately 160,000 writing forum threads
  • Over 5 million posts
  • More than 240,000 submitted works
  • Almost 1.5 million critiques

Joining Scribophile gives you access to an audience, feedback, and publishing information. The friendly writing community and active forums are a big bonus!

The community is consistently voted one of the best writing websites. It was also chosen as the Top Critique Circle in 2020, according to Reedsy. And if earning money is one of your goals of being an author, Scribophile holds cash writing contests!

Benefits of Joining a Writers Community

Now that we covered the best communities for every type of writer, let’s take a quick look at the benefits of joining. When you become part of one or more online writing groups, you often get:

  • Access to contests and challenges
  • Encouragement and advice from members
  • An audience or beta readers
  • A library of writing resources and guides
  • Opportunities for workshops and classes
  • A place to post your work for the public
  • Free promotion and marketing for your writing

People often say that writing is a solitary job, but it actually takes a village. Without the feedback, motivation, and help of a community, it can be tough to reach your goals.

Online Writing Communities to Help You Grow!

Romance, horror, and poetry – there are online writing communities for everyone, no matter your writing level, style, genre, or tribe! There are even inclusive writers forums that welcome every genre, for those with a varied taste.

Finding the right community is essential to success in every aspect of your life.

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15 of the Best Online Writing Communities for Aspiring Authors

As enjoyable and fulfilling as writing can be, the truth is that it’s often a solitary endeavor. While we might romanticize the focused artist typing away while imaginary worlds and narratives swirl inside their minds — authors know the truth: writing can get lonely. And moreover, when you’re working on a one-person project, it can be hard to remain motivated and accountable. That’s where writing communities come in.

Writing communities are the perfect place to find answers to your writing questions and to discuss the ins and outs of the writing life with people who actually understand what you’re talking about.

So, if you are tired of listening only to the voices in your head, take a look at our list of top online writing communities. (And if you’re hungry for more, check out our more exhaustive list of the very best writing websites!)

Top online writing communities

1. Absolute Write Water Cooler

With over 68,000 members, this is a large and highly active community. Here you can find threads on every genre imaginable, as well as discussions about freelance writing, the publishing industry, pop culture, writing prompts and exercises, and much more.

Perfect for: writers who are looking for a large and active community.

2. AgentQuery Connect

While this forum will come in handy for any writer, it’s especially helpful for authors who have already completed their manuscript and are wondering what to do next. The site boasts a wealth of information on publishing topics such as querying agents, self-publishing tips, and book promotion advice.

Perfect for: writers who are looking to connect with agents and learn more about the publishing industry.

3. Camp NaNoWriMo

If you’ve ever wanted to go to a writer’s retreat but can’t afford it just yet, then this site might help scratch your itch. Holding online “camp sessions” in April and July, Camp NaNoWriMo offers a digital space to encourage and empower writers at any point of their career. Here you can work on drafts, revisions, short stories, or any other writing project that involves word-count goals.

Perfect for: writers who can’t wait until November to crack their writing goals.

4. Critique Circle

Feedback should be a vital part of any writer’s process, and this is exactly what Critique Circle offers. This members-only site allows authors to post stories in exchange for feedback on other people’s writing. You can also find storyboarding tools, writing prompts, workshops, name generators, games like hangman, and much more.

Perfect for: writers who want honest feedback on their writing.

5. Chronicles

As the world’s largest Science Fiction and Fantasy online community, Chronicles offers writers the opportunity to get together and discuss the latest books, news, and pop culture in the Sci-Fi and Fantasy world. This is an active community with thousands of threads that include genre-specific challenges, workshops, critiques, and even publishing and industry information.

Perfect for: writers interested in Science Fiction and Fantasy writing.

6. Facebook Groups

If social media is more your style, don’t miss the chance to interact with your fellow writers by joining Facebook groups in your own niche. Look for groups with a strict “no self-promotion” rules so that it remains supportive and useful to your writing goals.

There are a lot of groups out there in a variety of topics that range from genre-specific writing tips to traditional and self-publishing industry news. Here are just a few of them:

The Street Team — Reedsy’s own book marketing group for self-publishing authors.
10 Minute Novelists — a group for the time-crunched writer.
Calls for Submissions — for writers looking for publication opportunities.
Fiction Writers Global — a great resource for information about traditional and self-publishing.
Writers Unite! — an active group with plenty of support and motivation for novice and experienced writers alike.

Perfect for: writers who prefer using social media.

7. Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Whether you are a debut or seasoned author, there’s no doubt that writing a book can be intimidating and rife with bouts of self-doubt. The Insecure Writer’s Support Group aims to help you overcome those insecurities by hosting a community of like-minded authors.

Perfect for: writers who have doubts about their writing and are in need of encouragement.

8. The Next Big Writer

This is an international forum where writers can receive feedback on their writing and support on every other part of the creative process from drafting to publishing and marketing. The critiques are often thorough and many come from published authors. Keep in mind that there is a monthly cost associated with the membership, but it might be worth it to be able to bend the ear of published authors.

Perfect for: writers seeking in-depth critiques from an international audience.

9. Reddit

More than just a single writing community, Reddit has countless ‘subreddits’ where writers of all genres, interests, and levels of experience flock. While it may not offer workshops or tools, members can find niche threads that relate to their interests, critique other people’s work, and discover helpful sources of information.

There are so many different subreddits that you can get lost browsing them, but here are a few of the most popular ones:

r/writing — for general writing purposes.
r/writingprompts — for user-submitted writing prompts.
r/destructivereaders — beware, if you don’t like harsh criticism this may not be the best fit. But if you are willing to endure it, you will come out a better writer at the end.
r/worldbuilding — user submitted fiction worlds.
r/fantasywriters — for anybody interested in the fantasy genre.
r/characterforge — the place to be for character building.
r/writerchat — for those interested in talking with fellow writers.
r/selfpublish — for anybody interested in self-publishing.
r/logophilia — “the love of words and word games,” and that’s exactly what you’ll find here.
r/freelanceWriters — for anybody interested in a career in freelance writing.
r/books — because reading is just as important as writing if you want to be a successful author.

Perfect for: writers who want niche threads based on a particular interest or need.

10. Scribophile

One of the largest communities in the world, Scribophile offers workshops, tutorials, and critiques for authors in just about any genre imaginable. While it is free to join, only users who pay for a membership get access to all their features.

Perfect for: authors whowant to take part in writing workshops alongside writers of all experience levels.

11. She Writes

With over 30,000 members, this is the largest writing community exclusively for women. Here you can find articles on writing, editing, and marketing for every genre. There are forums tailored to specific needs, like travel writers, writing about trauma, NaNoWriMo, and many other topics.

Perfect for: women writers who want a place to connect and learn from fellow writers.

12. Talentville

If your passion lies in screenwriting, then you’ll want to book a one-way ticket to Talentville. Here you can get feedback on your writing and learn the skills necessary to perfect your screencraft. Plus, you can work on and build your network of contacts: the site is also a frequent stop for industry professionals (like agents, managers, and producers) on the lookout for new talent.

Perfect for: writers whoare interested in screenwriting and networking.

13. Underlined

A writing community by Penguin Random House. While any author can find helpful information on this website, it’s geared more towards younger writers. It has a well-designed platform, quizzes, genre-specific information, the latest news on book releases, Q&As with authors, and even some giveaways and excerpts as perks.

Perfect for: younger writers who are looking for genre-specific information and bookish perks.

14. Writers Helping Writers

This is a free-to-register community where you can find resources for writers, teachers, and editors alike. They offer a vast array of tools to perfect your craft, no matter your level. Their extensive creative library includes webinars, free writing and marketing tools, a thesaurus collection, story maps, idea generators, and more.

Perfect for: writers, editors, and teachers who are looking to build up their writing toolbox.

15. #WritingCommunity

Sometimes, all you need is a hashtag. And indeed, Twitter’s own #WritingCommunity is one of the most robust writing collectives on the web. Ask a question, and it’ll almost certainly get answered (without a lot of Twitter’s trademark snark). The key here is to keep your questions concise, reply often to others, and don’t go crazy with other hashtags. The community can tell if you’re just thirsty for RTs. Perfect for: writers who are finally ready to use Twitter for good — and not just for procrastinating.

Do you belong to a writing community? Which one is your favorite one? Add yours in the comments below!