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How to Write and Obituary

When a loved one dies, writing their obituary is one last way that you can pay respect to them. An obituary tells the story of their life and all of the things they did — and accomplished — in their lifetime.

Getting Started

Some people write their own obituaries before they pass away, which can be nice because you know it includes everything they would like in it. If you’re in charge of writing an obituary, however, the task can seem overwhelming and you might not know where to start. You can use the space at the beginning of the obituary to announce your loved one’s passing and say when it happened and how old they were. Some people also include the way their loved one died, but it isn’t necessary. One thing to keep in mind when writing a tribute is where it will be published and in how many newspapers. These days a lot of newspapers charge a fee to run an obituary and will charge extra for each time you’d like it run. Although some newspapers have a form to fill out that can be helpful there’s really no right or wrong way to write one. It can be as formal or informal as you choose. Your funeral home will have a list of fees for the local newspapers and can find out the charges for others in advance if you’d like. It’s also possible to include a photograph with the obituary although there’s usually an extra fee for this.

Personal Information

When and where your loved one was born and the names of their parents should be included in the obituary. If you choose to talk about their life in story form, consider a chronological approach. Mention marriages and children. Towards the end you can also include surviving members of the immediate family and any members who preceded them in death.

Professional Accomplishments

In an obituary you can include professional accomplishments and talk about jobs and careers the deceased held over the years. You can also list awards they received and any causes they were involved in as well. It really is the story of their life, so you can approach it as so and mention anything else that you might think would be nice for others to know.

All in the Family

Sometimes in the case of second spouses and stepchildren, someone may get their feelings hurt because of specific wording or the order family members are mentioned or omitted. Although it may be complicated, it’s important to consider these things when writing the obituary.

Service Information

At the end of the obituary, you should include the service times, place, and any visitation planned that’s open for others to attend. Your loved one will have friends and co-workers, past or present, that you may not know that’ll want to pay their respects and they’ll be waiting for this information to be published in the obituary. You can also include where memorials should be sent if they’re preferred over gifts of money or flowers.


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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.

writing in communities

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.

writing in communities

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.

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.

writing in communities

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.

writing in communities

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!

13 responses

27/11/2018 – 22:42

Very useful post. Thanks for this. I will be linking to it on my blog.

Dr Jack Edward Effron says:

18/02/2019 – 16:40

You left out It’s truly free. They are not going to give you a rubbish service to make you join their pay site because they have no pay site. Your story can be 8,000 words. They are not going to force you into flash fiction of 3,000 words. One critique out, one critique in: no mucking about with “karma” or critiquing 5+ stories to get one critique. The great new idea whose time has come! And it’s British, not American.

marieseltenrych says:

08/05/2019 – 12:28

Reedsy, thank God you are here! I want to ask a question to other authors or self publishers here: I have been approached by OmniScriptum to publish my books (research) with them. I cannot find much about this company online, so wondered if anyone has published with them recently? Thanks Reedsy in anticipation. Marie

↪️ Reedsy replied:

08/05/2019 – 12:29

Hi Marie! Sounds potentially very shady to me. If you haven't already, check out our post on predatory companies in publishing. One of the rules of thumb is that if a publisher contacts you first, be very wary. I just did 20 seconds worth of Googling and found some people who had a bad experience.

Eunice Brownlee says:

I am a member of illuminate, which is a group designed around supporting women who want to share their stories but don't know how. The majority of us write non-fiction essays and memoirs, but we have a few poets and fiction writers in the mix as well. The overall goal is to support each other, especially through those harder moments of not wanting to write, or not knowing where to start. There are monthly themes and prompts, a weekly exercise inside the Facebook group, and cross-sharing of what we're working on. My favorite feature is the expert review, where you can submit any piece you're working on each month and you'll get quality feedback from one of the editors that manage the group. This group is perfect for anyone who is just getting started writing.

↪️ Brittani B replied:

11/02/2020 – 19:27

I tried the link multiple times both from this page and separately searched and was unable to access the site.

Harry says:

05/06/2019 – 07:51

Personally I think you missed out the best writing community: Jericho Writers is a free writing community that writers can safely share thought, make friends, swap work and get advice

Christian says:

08/08/2019 – 12:21

I only recommend Scribophile if you enjoy being coerced into groupthink. If you hope to get meaningful critique that will help you, look elsewhere. The critiques here are mostly SPAG, and it's forbidden to discuss your work on the main forums, except in the broadest, vaguest way.

Randy says:

18/08/2019 – 06:11

I have all my dads writing research and copyrights to 18 different books....all this was before the digital world .... many negatives photos ....every major story from all over the world with his .copyright . These are huge stores and his books are really well written ....what should I do with them .....incredible spy work as well

Ratih says:

27/08/2019 – 03:50

As a new writer this article is really useful for me. Thank you reedsy

Jennifer says:

02/09/2019 – 14:15

Hi guys! Great blog! Just wanted to let you know that we linked to you in a blog on the Peaceful Living Wellness Online Magazine :) It will be published on Friday, September 6th, 2019

↪️ Martin Cavannagh replied:

17/09/2019 – 09:04

Thanks! We appreciate that!

Kaylee Downey says:

14/02/2020 – 19:09

Um...what about Wattpad?

Comments are currently closed.

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How Having a Writing Community Stimulates Creativity

Mary gannon and kevin larimer on finding your people.

Whether it’s found in crowded rooms or email folders, Twitter threads or Facebook group chats, community is as deeply necessary to a writer as reading. It is a source of assistance, understanding, and camaraderie. It is an exchange of ideas, a wellspring of inspiration, and sometimes, quite literally, a lifeline. But community is also give-and-take; it’s collaborative, mutual, organic. This idea of community —and the notion of being a good literary citizen within that community—is tossed around so often that we can lose track of exactly what we mean when we use those words. So let’s take a moment.

For most of us, two opposing forces are exerting pressure within our minds as writers. Not quite seismic in strength, they nevertheless result in a paradox that each of us must resolve in our own way. We can all agree that in order to write, one must work, at least the majority of the time, in relative solitude. Editing, revising, and publishing are collaborative, no doubt, and even some kinds of writing (such as the exquisite corpse, in which a poem or story is collectively assembled) are accomplished with others, but for the most part it’s you, and you alone, using the tools of your trade: your intellect and your emotions, your eyes and your fingers. You might be writing by candlelight in a remote cabin somewhere in the Adirondacks, or behind the closed door of your pantry turned office in the middle of the night, or on the couch while the baby takes her afternoon nap.

Even if you’re writing in a crowded Starbucks, finishing the fourth tercet of your villanelle while the barista yells out the name of the person whose Triple Venti Half Sweet Non-Fat Caramel Macchiato is ready, you’re still acquiescing to the seclusion your writing requires, albeit in a very modern setting: At its core, this is between you and the words on the page or the screen, no one else, at least in the first stages of drafting a piece of writing. And of course there is something very, very exciting about that: You are the author of that world.

Writing is a solitary act, but as writers, as creative people, we also crave feedback, we want company (as long as it comes at the right time), we want validation, and we want to feel like we’re not alone in our compulsions. It is our very solitude that fuels our desire for solidarity, for community. At some point in your life, you first felt the excitement—mixed with the relief—of realizing that you were talking to someone who understands a little something about your life as a writer, with all of its demands, routines, superstitions, eccentricities, confusions, and wonders. Isn’t that a tremendous feeling? Maybe not as great as the realization or confirmation that you’ve just written a truly great poem, or the thrill of typing the final period of your novel, but still worth chasing.

First, it’s helpful to attempt a deeper understanding of why community is important to us.

One could say that by virtue of being a writer you are automatically a member of the community of writers in this country. But this loose affiliation, awesome in a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon sort of way, is pretty limited. If you’ve ever felt like a stranger walking the aisles of a huge bookfair—like the annual one organized by the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, held in a different city each year and typically attended by more than ten thousand people—you know that it can be exciting, but perhaps not as personally rewarding as we need it to be. (Are we the only ones who feel a little anxious walking into a massive crowd of people who comprise our “community” at its most general level?)

Still, it is important to recognize our community on that scale for two reasons. It affirms our commitment to writing (See, I’m not crazy, look at all these other fools blindly pursuing a dream that rarely pays dividends!) and it shows us the size and strength of the infrastructure that exists to support writers: how many resources, activities, and energies are devoted to writing and the various industries that have grown up to celebrate, support, and capitalize on it.

Just by virtue of being a published author one can join the Authors Guild, “a professional organization dedicated to supporting and protecting the writing life for all working and aspiring authors.” There is certainly a degree of validation—perhaps a sense that you’ve “arrived,” not to mention benefits such as contract reviews and legal advice—that comes from being a card-carrying member of such an organization; the Authors Guild represents community in a broad sense of the term. As does a subscription to a trade magazine or literary journal. It feels like you’re participating in—and caring about and supporting—a shared project of literary expression. It would be difficult to overestimate the power and importance of such a feeling. If you’re surrounded by family members who don’t read books for personal enjoyment, or who don’t value “clarity of thought and feeling,” as Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd put it, you know how important it is to get that magazine in the mail every two months, or to visit the website that’s devoted to the work of writers just like you, who hold it as one of life’s principal values.

But these days, when so much of our “social activity” is accomplished by tapping a heart or a thumbs-up icon (which is not to say that plenty of writers aren’t able to cultivate meaningful followings on social media, where real expressions of emotion, reasoned opinions, and constructive criticism are possible, if not common), writers are more hungry than ever for in-person interactions and a sense of community that is marked by an actual conversation or collaboration and is punctuated by a handshake or even—come on, let’s admit it, we all need one once in a while—a hug.

Whether it’s a huge industry event or a more intimate gathering of friendly writers, community is a feeling that you are among your people. Maybe it’s a group of literary essayists who grew up in the same relatively underserved area of Oklahoma talking about the geography of memory, or it’s fiction writers in Alaska who want to address the issue of climate change through their work, or it’s essayists who gather to discuss markets for their writing, or poets who meet to talk about prison writing and the language of incarceration. Or it’s an open mic held in the back room of a hotel bar every other Tuesday evening. Or a writing group that shares work online every week and meets in person every month for a submission party. From community you can get a sense of belonging, but you can also clarify your sense of self. You can get motivation from community, accountability, support. You can feel recognized, and you can feel a part of something larger than yourself.

Community is also an important part of the creative process because it stimulates us and our thinking, sometimes pushing us further and deeper into our projects. In his book Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation , Steven Johnson explains how everything that happens in your brain is, technically speaking, a network, and that good ideas have signature patterns in the networks that make them:

“To make your mind more innovative, you have to place it inside environments that share that same network signature: networks of ideas or people that mimic the neural networks of a mind exploring the boundaries of the adjacent possible. Certain environments enhance the brain’s natural capacity to make new links of association.”

We would argue that a healthy, stimulating community is the perfect example of an environment that promotes creative thinking. Like an organic, flesh-and-blood version of the commonplace book, a community allows for connections among writers and their ideas and observations. To say nothing of the emotional support, educational exploration, and camaraderie that community can provide.

For some writers, that feeling of validation, of support and community, can fill a void created by generations of marginalization, by institutional racism and the failure of social, political, and literary institutions to acknowledge and extend their missions and services to underserved communities. In recent decades there have been a number of literary organizations that have been formed with the express goal or mission of providing support and a sense of community for specific, historically underrepresented groups of writers such as African American poets (Cave Canem), Asian American writers (Kundiman and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop), Latinx writers (CantoMundo), Arab American writers (Radius of Arab American Writers, or RAWI), queer writers (Lambda Literary Foundation), and disabled writers (Zoeglossia). These organizations and many more like them—see the list of 15 National Organizations Serving Writers and Writing at the back of this book—host readings and organize retreats, sponsor literary prizes, maintain websites that offer valuable information, and/or offer other literary activities that can be life-changing.

Poet and attorney Reginald Dwayne Betts saw the retreat sponsored by Cave Canem, a nonprofit organization founded in 1996 “to remedy the under-representation and isolation of African American poets in the literary landscape,” as a kind of home. “Cave Canem opened up the space to think about who I was, and for me that meant it gave me permission to chase the thing that might make me weep. And what is writing, if not this?” he writes. The retreats organized by Kundiman, a nonprofit founded in 2004 to provide “a safe yet rigorous space where Asian American poets can explore, through art, the unique challenges that face the new and ever changing diaspora,” fostered a similar feeling of belonging in Duy Doan, winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets prize for We Play a Game . “I would never be able to overemphasize the positive impact that the Kundiman retreats have had on me—writing, musing, connecting with other Asian–Pacific Islander American writers, being taken in by a richly talented and generous community,” he writes.

The point is, community means different things to different people, but for everyone it’s a vital source of some key ingredients of the writing life. It’s easy enough to say that writing is all about placing yourself in a chair and grinding it out, you and the words, applying pressure to the rock until diamonds appear in the dust. Solitary seduction, suffering, and success. And it is that—until it isn’t. Then there is a need to share, commiserate, question, discover, inspire, and be inspired with others. When you find the right people, it’s a beautiful, necessary miracle: Your world opens up, the universe expands, and guess what? You’re no longer alone.


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From The Poets & Writers Complete Guide to Being a Writer by Kevin Larimer and Mary Gannon. Copyright © April 7th, 2020. Reprinted by permission of Avid Reader Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Kevin Larimer and Mary Gannon

Kevin Larimer and Mary Gannon

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Your No. 1 Secret Weapon: Writing Communities


Today’s guest post is from Katrin Schumann  ( @katrinschumann ) author of  The Forgotten Hours and numerous nonfiction titles.

I’ve always found people who make movies to be awe-inspiring—in order to evoke a world and a story on screen, they need to work together with dozens of other professionals, from front-end people like actors and directors, to back-end people like sound editors. For introverted writers like me, this seems challenging and complex, and I’m grateful that during the creative process I’m the one in charge as I sit alone in front of my computer.

And yet, you really can’t do this writing thing alone.

With my debut novel coming out, I know that getting attention for my story is a little easier because I’ve already spent years learning to get more comfortable with reaching out and making connections. This doesn’t happen overnight. What’s even more valuable to me is that because of the various writing communities I’m part of, my creative life is far richer and more interesting (and fun) than it would otherwise be.

But I won’t lie, building community was often hard.

Many a night I sat alone in my car, half blind while navigating slick roads, driving to some far-off book event. Many an afternoon, I lingered at the edge of room full of chattering professionals at a book festival, unsure of where to go or whom to talk to. And many a morning, I stood in front of a classroom full of eager writers looking to me for answers I wasn’t confident I had. I even went into prisons, heart pounding, hair scraped back, unsure if I could help inmates find their voices but determined to try.

You may be the lucky writer who excels at making connections and has no problem asking for favors or pitching your work. But lots of writers struggle with being articulate and gracious in person—after all, most of us are in this field because writing is how we best wrestle with the perplexing ideas that obsess us. Social media allows us to interact at arm’s length and to respond in our own time, using our writing skills; it’s not challenging in the same way that in-real-life communities can be.

Many of us find it hard to be put on the spot or to be the center of attention. Becoming part of a broad variety of writing communities helps with this. Here are the six of the communities I’ve tapped into over the years—all of which have supported me in significant ways on the road to publication.

Critique Groups

This is by far the most obvious one; these groups help you stay accountable and sustain you through the hard times. They can provide you with valuable feedback and help you avoid veering off track in terms of plot or character development on a long project. They can be casual or well-organized.

Nicole Bross , author of Past Presence , says of her group, “We started off doing a self-directed writing intensive, critiquing each other’s work and now we’ve moved into more of a mastermind format to brainstorm each other’s challenges and goals. The most invaluable part for me has been accountability; on the days I don’t think I can meet my goals, knowing that they’re counting on me gives me that extra push.”

Many in-person or online writing groups start after people take a class together, through social media or by searching sites like this .

I don’t think a writer’s group is enough, though, especially if it’s not a face-to-face proposition. Over time, these groups can become too supportive and comfortable, when what you really need is something that both gets you out of the house and takes you out of your comfort zone.

Professional Programs

A more organized (and costly) approach than a critique group, MFAs or innovative programs like GrubStreet’s novel incubator are mostly about prioritizing time to write and being guided by a professional.

“[S]hared experience and having an invested instructor is a huge difference between a program and an informal writing group,” explains Susan Bernhard, author of Winter Loon . Also, the sense of immersion is key. Louise Baker, author of The Late Bloomer’s Club , says, “It’s a powerful thing to give yourself a year to devote to your creative self.” And if you eventually want to supplement your income by teaching, it helps to have this credential.

After getting a graduate degree in journalism, I earned money by doing collaborative nonfiction writing and teaching, while working on novels on the side. To this day I’m still learning from and leaning on the far-flung friends I made, and vice versa. If you have the time, money, and opportunity, do some deep research and go for it. For many, it’s the turning point that allows them to begin thinking of themselves as real writers.

“Seeing one’s self as a professional artist is an achievement that compares to entering other elite status groups,” say sociologists studying the question: who is an artist? (One caveat: consider your finances carefully since a graduate degree doesn’t guarantee finding a job in the arts that pays a living wage.)  

Writers Residencies

In the thick of parenting chaos about ten years ago, I thought:  Why the hell not ? I can make this work! and I started applying for writing residencies, retreats and fellowships. Each time I went off to a new spot for weeks of intense time working away from home, I learned something truly invaluable about myself.

Spending extended time with other creatives can help you figure out the values you want to embody professionally. By meeting some appallingly snobby, self-involved authors, I discovered the kind of writer I wanted to become: rigorous, generous and open. This principle has since guided all of my interactions. I also learned to accept my doubts and stop hiding behind being busy. This led to many small moments that had long-lasting impact: for example, two miserably blocked writers commiserating over a flickering bonfire in Vermont has, years later, lead to an upcoming interview on First Draft , Aspen Public Radio. (And I encourage you to tune into Mitzi Rapkin’s interviews—you’ll learn so much about writing and publishing.)

There’s lots of information online about retreats and fellowships (like here and here ), including ones that are free. There’s also considerable cachet to attending certain residencies or being awarded certain fellowships; it never hurts to show you’re a striver.

Community Events

I didn’t have much time to hang with other writers and it was a Herculean effort to make myself head into the city to attend readings and events. But I did it enough to learn some important things about marketing, bookstores, and what makes for a fun book-related gathering. Now I’m trying to put that into play with the launch of my novel, The Forgotten Hours .

Tap into your nearest city’s creative community. There’s always some event going on locally—in the last few years I’ve seen Patti Smith read from The M Train (and sing), heard Ghanaian drummers play ecstatically, watched improv comedy, and on and on. It’s inspiring. These experiences enrich my imagination and keep me connected with the real world in ways that affect my writing. Sign up for the local arts newsletter, keep an eye out for visiting writers, attend book launches, go to museums—support other creative efforts. Which brings me to…


For the past seven years I’ve been writing a monthly blog for GrubStreet, and I sometimes wondered why. I labored over these posts for far too long (unremunerated) and had no idea if anyone was even reading them. All that work, for what? Yet eventually, I realized that strangers were acting like they knew me, and I was getting more and more writing consultation requests. I was connecting . Not in some crazy, viral way but incrementally. I was helping people, and living out my principle of trying to be a generous writer.

Many of these writerly pursuits are labors of love—tutoring, teaching in retirement communities/prisons/hospitals, volunteering at festivals, running literary magazines, writing for free—all with the goal of contributing positively to the literary community.

Henriette Lazaridis, author of The Clover House , founded the literary magazine The Drum . “Sure, I don’t make a dime off all the hours I spend,” she says. “But I do believe that collaboration around and with and through writing helps my own work. There’s an energy that comes at an angle sometimes, sideways to the work you’re actually doing. And that energy helps me in my own writing and in my teaching, too.”

An occasionally, something super sweet can happen when you volunteer: I got my current job as Program Coordinator for a literary organization this way. Give back, it feels good.  

Writers Conferences

This is my top recommendation: attend writers festivals and conferences. Meet your favorite authors, watch how emerging writers engage, pitch your book to strangers, learn to navigate the hordes.

For me, this was tough—I disliked the crowds, and the glad-handing and palpable desperation (mainly mine) made me anxious. Interacting was so awkward!

“It was intimidating to introduce myself to strangers at first,” says Marjan Kamali, author of Together Tea , who has been attending the Muse and the Marketplace in Boston for years. “But the most rewarding aspect of attending these conferences for me has ended up being building friendships and relationships with fellow writers.”

As for me, I listened and learned, and eventually I chilled out and started enjoying myself. After a few years, I was able to participate more actively by running a session or two, being on a panel, and volunteering to help out, and I developed a comforting sense of purpose other than hawking my own wares. Now I honestly love these events, and I find myself reaching out surprisingly often to writers, agents, and editors I’ve met in this way.

Whether you’re developing your craft, building your platform, pitching agents, asking for endorsements, seeking publicity, or simply getting quotes for a blogpost on communities, you’ll find yourself returning again and again to the deep well of these kinds of connections. If you want to find readers— and who doesn’t?— you’ll eventually have to learn to sell yourself and your work. Spending years reaching out in various ways will make this easier. You’ll learn to be more professional, while also staying personable and authentic. Your confidence and voice will grow, while at the same time you’ll develop an accurate sense of what you can offer in the existing marketplace.

Building a supportive network takes time and courage. It’s worth starting to cultivate community early on, even if your instinct or your preference is to work alone. Eventually, you’ll find these experiences will help you become more fully rounded, and give you a place in the writing world where you feel comfortable and can be yourself. Good luck!

Katrin Schumann

Katrin Schumann is the author of novel The Forgotten Hours (Feb 1, 2019) and numerous nonfiction titles. For the past decade, Katrin has been teaching writing, most recently at GrubStreet and in the MA prison system through PEN New England. She is the incoming program coordinator for the Key West Literary Seminar . Subscribe to her newsletter.


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writing in communities

Top Online Writing Communities – The Ultimate List for 2023

Are you a writer grappling with character development or an idea that you want to convey it is time that you connect with like-minded groups of people and discuss your craft. throughout history, to encourage writing, writers, critics, and serious readers of all walks of life gathered and formed circles, with some attaining timeless fame – the socrates school, the bloomsbury group, stratford-on-odeon, the dill pickle club, and the inklings, to name a few.  , the digital era has revamped these support systems to online writing communities meeting the diverse needs of promising and established writers alike. read on to get yourself familiarised with some of these online groups for writers and the support and services which these provide..

List of the top online writing communities

So, what are online communities for writing? Which are the different platforms for such communities? How do they work and what forms of assistance would you receive from these online writing groups? Let’s take a look.

Written words, despite being passive, hold more power for transformation than most other devices. If you are a writer, you have the grave responsibility to use your faculty judiciously. But with great responsibilities comes the demand for great sacrifices.

When it comes to writing, one has to often isolate oneself and concentrate completely on the flow of thoughts and write down the words as a story unravels in one’s mind. But at the end of the day, you would exhaust your thoughts and ideas if you are in want of some social interaction. You would also encounter a lack of constructive feedback for your work.

It would take only a minute on your mobile or laptop for you to search for online writing communities which are suitable for you. These are virtual communities or groups, monitored either by a single person or a group of persons and where writers, editors, critics, and readers connect. They function on different social media platforms or as websites and serve a slew of services to their members.

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The following are some of the reasons why writers would want to choose such writing communities for help in the progress of their writing career:, ➔  critiques and reviews.

So, you have spent hours arduously typing words and have finally finished your dream book or an article. Asking your near and dear ones their opinions wouldn’t suffice. You, as a writer, need a detailed review of your work from a critic who can dedicate a good amount of time to the same.

Joining a reliable online community for writers would help you find a critic who has expertise in your field of writing. You can also review other writers’ works thereby honing your critical skills.

➔  Beta Readers

Now that you have polished up your manuscript, it’s time for you to seek feedback for your writing from a representative of an average reader. Though you could ask your friends and family to read your work, it is best to opt for beta readers with whom you are not acquainted.

You can invite beta readers who would read and suggest improvements that would help in effectively engaging your readers. You can opt to choose more than one beta reader for an all-rounded opinion. Writers often swap beta reading for each other’s works in these communities.

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➔  Call for Submission

Another advantage that comes with joining one of these writing communities is the ease of access to information regarding calls of submissions. This opens a vast opportunity for finding the right publishers for your writing.

➔  Marketing

After getting your book reviewed and edited, you are all set to publish it. But another aspect that has to go hand in hand with publication is marketing. You have to increase the recognition for your work.

Most of the writing communities provide designated space where writers write a word of publicity for their work. This also helps you to get acquainted with the works of your peers.

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➔  Support and Encouragement

Many writing communities provide an emotional boost to writers in their writing careers. Being in a community of writers helps you to share the problems you face as a writer with people who have been through the same and can suggest practical solutions. Online groups also motivate and aid writers with writing contests and free or paid resources.

The following are some of the best online writing communities you should consider joining in 2023:

1.   academic writing club.

Academic Writing Club is an initiative for supporting professors and students to overcome writer’s block . There are three joining plans from which you can choose to fulfill your writing goal. This online group for academics works on the principles of self-accountability.

There is a progress page where you can log your daily work to develop a habit of writing regularly . Writers write in marked time blocks to make steady progress.   There are also daily coaching sessions where you answer questions on a hurdle you face, to get more insight on the same.

You can also make use of helpful comments from your coaches and colleagues. Academic Writing Club is the online writing group for academics to derive motivation for completing dissertations and other academic writings .

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2. is a creative writing community with a free membership. It holds one of the most elaborate databases on literary agents. It is the go-to website for writers of fiction, nonfiction, and short stories, whose works are completely ready to be published.

Writers of these genres can go through the website to learn how to write an appealing query letter to receive invitations for chapters of their manuscript. You can also go through the portfolio of these literary agents before deciding to contact them. At, you also get useful information regarding the intricacies involved in the publishing process of both traditional hard copies and e-books.

3.   BookRix

BookRix is a creative writing community where writers can go for free self-publishing and for assistance in marketing their e-books on popular e-book shopping sites. Its online editor makes your work ready for sale.

This is one of the most suitable online writing groups for beginners who want greater freedom with their published books while earning from the monthly royalty. You will also get feedback for your work from its large community of other writers and readers.

4.   Commaful

Commaful is also another creative writing community where you can give more life to your work of creativity with the help of custom images. Flash fiction and poetry conveyed in page-by-page format with meaningful images is what makes this site different from other support platforms for creativity.

Commaful is the online writing group for beginners who want to try their craft in short pieces of writing or for anyone interested in engaging stories told in brevity.

5.   Critique Circle

Formed in 2003, Critique Circle is one of the oldest writing communities which is relied on by both top writers and beginners alike for genuine critiques for their works. Among online critique writing groups, Critique Circle boasts the services of acclaimed writers.

There is also an opportunity to rate feedback. Writers can sign up on this platform for critique writing and later if they wish, they can upgrade as premium members to enjoy more features.

6.   CritiqueMatch

Critiquematch is one of the online critique writing groups that bring out the best critic in you. In this creative writing community, you can either swap reviews with a free partner or can choose to get a detailed analysis of your writing from a paid freelance editor. High ratings for your critique on this online writing community bring the opportunity for you to be recognized as a pro critique to earn for your services.

7. is the online writing workshop for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Critters is also the community to go for a review of your whole novel. A membership would improve you not only as a writer but also as a critic.

Unlike the other online critique writing groups, on Critters, writers do not directly mail their critiques to the requesters but submit them for approval. Thus, they are held more accountable for what they write. Critters also come with a wide range of writing resources designed for improving the art of literary criticism.

This online group has a queue system for getting your manuscript critiqued after you submitted. With non-pro members required to write one critique per week, and pro members having to submit one critique per month, Critters is one of the best online critique writing groups where you can learn to do a detailed scrutiny of your fiction.

8.   Facebook Groups

If you are someone who prefers social media to connect with your peers then you can choose from among a group of Facebook pages like The Street Team, Ten Minute Novelists, Calls for Submission, and Writers Unite!

These Facebook groups mostly work as morale boosters and as communities for creative writers. Their stern attitude against self-promotion except for on selected days and uncompromised monitoring of posts and comments ensures that you are joining an affable community.

9.   Holly’s Writing Classes

Holly’s Writing Classes is an online writing community started by American writer Holly Lisle where members can join by creating an account for free. The group boasts a membership of 7000 members.

This is the perfect online writing community for beginners who would like to get well-structured guidance as they take baby steps in creative writing. Pro writers too, benefit from Holly’s specially designed classes while learning ways to improve their literary works.

10.                 Insecure Writer’s Support Group

This is one of the most appreciated online writing communities where writers write about their struggles.  A writer gets a therapeutic experience from this blogging platform. The members are presented with a question on writing struggles every month.

A blogger can either use the question as a prompt for his post or can write on another subject that holds personal significance to him. If you are writing a blog post on this platform, make sure that it is regarding the worries of writers. You can make a blog post on the first Wednesdays of every month which is observed as the insecure writer’s Support Group Day.

11.                 Mythic Scribes

Mythic Scribes is an online community that privileges fantasy fiction writers. It is one of the best online writing communities for beginners and it also facilitates the discussions between writers and fans in its Fantasy writing forums.

Writers can get their articles on fantasy writing featured on the homepage weekly. There is also a Showcase forum where you can post your stories or excerpts of your book for other members to read and give feedback when requested.

12.                 NaNoWriMo

Started in 1999 and later becoming a nonprofit organization, NaNoWriMo is one of the most popular online writing communities that encourages creativity and empowers writers. It has to its credit a worldwide network of members.

NaNoWriMo is famous, particularly for its intimidating dare to complete 50,000 worded novels in the 30 days of November which is known as the National Novel Writing Month. Young Writers Programme is another initiative of NaNoWriMo that encourages writers under the age of 18 to write in a goal-oriented manner.

At Camp NaNoWriMo held every year in April and July you can make progress in any of your creative writings while being guided by published authors. As a writer, you shouldn’t overlook the free membership of this reputed creative writing community.

13.                 Reddit Groups

Reddit, with its numerous subreddits, is best suited for writers who want to join online writing communities that focus on niche threads. On Reddit, you can also find subreddits that provide writing prompts and useful information related to writing.

Writing, Writing Prompts, DestructiveReaders, Worldbuilding, Fantasy Writers, Character Forge, Writerchat, Self Publish, Logophilia, FreelanceWriters, Books, etc are some of the major subreddits on writing.

14.                 Scribophile

Critiques, beta readers, free writing resources, and lifelong friendships with other members are all promised in this creative writing community. Scribophile is one of the most acclaimed online writing communities in which you can join to work along with writers of all levels of experience.

Their vast collection of free lessons to perfect writing and to familiarise you with different literary jargon would be invaluable. Scribophile also aids you in publishing your works.

15.                 She Writes

She Writes claims to be the biggest online community of women writers irrespective of their expertise, genre, and generation. At She Writes, you can also read articles on the life and experiences of writers which are contributed by bestselling female authors, reputed bloggers, and publishers. She Writes Press is also an initiative to publish deserving manuscripts of female writers.

16.                 SFFChronicles

SFFChronicles is a  creative writing community that focuses on science fiction and fantasy.  If you are a die-hard fan of Science fiction or fantasy you can find a lot of engaging discussions on popular works as well as new books of these genres. This online writing community provides dedicated areas for writers who have attained high recognition.

You can also submit your fiction for detailed reviews and editing on this site. But SFFChronicles is not confined just to literature as it has distinct forums and subforums to discuss films, series, and history which either pertains to or contributes to science fiction and fantasy writings.


StoryADay is the online group for short story writers who want to motivate themselves by taking Julie Duffy’s challenge of writing a short story a day in May and September.

Like, in many other online writing communities, here writing prompts act as a fillip to your writing. At StoryADay you can choose from different challenges mapped out to encourage you in your creative endeavor. StoryADay also publishes blog posts and podcasts.

18.                 Talentville

Among a slew of online writing communities, Talentville stands out as the most indispensable creative writing community for storytellers and screenwriters. At Talentville you get valuable feedback for your storytelling and you can return the favor and support to other writers.

This is also the right place for you to make connections with publishers and media persons who might contact you directly if they are impressed by your work showcased in Talentville’s script library.

19.                 The Next Big Writer

The Next Big Writer has its niche among the best online writing communities for its critique-driven support to its members. Writers can choose from monthly, quarterly, or yearly plans to join. As a premium member, you can participate in the writing contests for free.

20.                 WRAC

An acronym for WRiter ACcountability, WRAC is one of the best goal-oriented online writing communities where writers are encouraged to be accountable for their progress.

As a member of this creative writing community, you can publicize three realistic goals a year to write and finish a work in the most presentable form. Best works would be featured in the annual WRACList.

21.                 Wattpad

Wattpad is one of the most favored online storytelling platforms for writers all over the world. With ninety million members, Wattpad is the writing community that allows you to publish chapters of your unfinished work to gradually grow a fanbase. This is also one of the best online writing communities where publishers and media persons go searching for new talents in storytelling.

Wattpad also encourages its members through Wattpad picks where their works get the spotlight if they get cherry-picked by Wattpad staff. The annual Watty Award is also an opportunity for writers to get more recognition on this online writing platform for creative writing.

22.                 Writer’s Cafe

Writer’s Cafe is the writing community where online writers can post their creative writings and get critiques and reviews for the same. This is one of the best online writing communities to make friends with other writers, subscribe to their writings, and showcase your work to them.

On this site, you can either join existing groups or can create a new one. Free online writing courses and writing contests are other attractions of this community.

23.        is the online community of writers who enjoy writing in the comfort of anonymity by choosing a nickname. Among the online writing communities, allows a free member to showcase up to ten creative works in their portfolio.

In you use your proprietary points called gift points to purchase memberships, other resources and products, and also services of other members.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1.    How do I become a member of a writing community?

You can begin by searching for writing groups in your locality. Often you get such information from local libraries or coffee shops which host writer’s retreats.

You can also make use of websites like which facilitates people who share similar interests to get to know one another and form support groups. If you are not particular about being a part of a physical group you can opt for online writing groups, many of which have a free membership.

2.    Can writing skills be improved?

Yes, writing skills can be improved and for that, you have to keep writing. Journaling which involves a free flow of thoughts helps you to practice writing without much intimidation. You can attend writing workshops to familiarise yourself with specific methods to polish your writing.

Reading a good piece of literature, trying to understand sentence construction, tone, and style of the writer, and later explaining it in your vocabulary too would help you to improve your writing skills.

3.    What is meant by a workshop for writing?

A workshop for writing is meant to improve your writing. It mostly consists of four parts – minilesson, writing, conferring, and sharing time. Minilesson is when an instructor introduces a specific skill in writing.

In the next step, students try to master the skill by using it in their writings. After that, the instructor takes a look at the individual works and determines the following action to be taken in the workshop. Share time is when students share their works with others.

4.    Can a fresher be a freelance writer?

You can become a freelancer with no experience if you can still produce enough sample writings to showcase to any potential employers willing to hire freshers. These writing samples could build an impressive and credible portfolio for you.

You can start by creating a blog of your own and posting regularly. Medium, Quora, Goodreads, etc are other platforms where you can write to increase your digital presence.

Now, it’s time for you to stop worrying about writer’s block. Join one of these dedicated virtual groups for writers and notice your steady progress in writing. You might also earn reliable friends for a lifetime.

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11 Top Writing Communities You Should Join and Why

The life of a writer is pretty solitary, both by design and necessity. While you may find yourself in the neighborhood coffee shop a few days a week just for a change of pace, being a writer can be lonely and quiet.

Well-meaning as they are, your friends and family don’t understand the nuance between conflict and crisis. Try as they might, they can’t relate to the complexity of creating a consistent voice . And, heaven help them, they’ll never get the agony of choosing between traditional and self-publishing .

It’s no wonder that writing and alcohol are familiar companions.

But it’s not happy hour yet. Here’s the good news: you’re not alone. In fact, right this moment, writers just like you are actively participating in writing communities all over the web. It’s time that you meet.

But first, you may be wondering, what’s the point of joining a writing community? I’m glad you asked, because there’s a lot of compelling reasons to join. Let’s break it down:

Have you ever gotten to a point in your story where something just doesn’t sound right, but you can’t figure it out? You don’t want to ask your friends and family for their opinion because, let’s be honest, they’ll just say it sounds great to avoid hurting your feelings (even when you know it doesn’t).

Submitting a difficult piece to your writing community allows you to get honest, actionable feedback while you’re still working on your manuscript.

+Support & Encouragement

Writers understand other writers. They understand what it’s like to fall in love with a character, to struggle with dialogue, and to build entire worlds from scratch. These are your people. You need an environment where you can talk to fellow writers who struggle in the same areas you do. Those people can also help pull you from the mire of despair when the going gets tough, and they’ll motivate you to write those last thousand words.

After you’ve written and edited your book, you can ask your writing community to review your book. Swapping reviews is a popular practice. It’s free and easy to do, and a win-win for both writers.

+Beta Readers

So, what is a beta reader? Beta readers can help catch common, easy to fix mistakes such as detail inconsistencies, that you'll most likely miss after having read over the manuscript 300 times. Often the most important thing beta readers can offer is the indication that something is wrong. They may not know how to fix it or may not offer the right suggestion, but they'll alert you to the fact that X isn't working.

If you’re self-publishing, you’ll need to get marketing savvy quickly. In addition to subscribing to our blog , get thee involved in a writing community where you can learn a lot of interesting marketing tricks and techniques from seasoned pros.

Also, most online writing communities have a dedicated space for writers to promote their books. Share your book with a wider audience.

Here are five easy steps for getting involved in an online writing community. Subscribe to receive this extra resource.

Download your bonus content:

Now that you’re fully convinced on the benefits of becoming an active member in an online writing community, let’s look at the very best ones to join (in alphabetical order) :

1. Absolute Write Water Cooler


Absolute Writer is a popular and passionate writer’s forum on everything from politics to science fiction (which may in fact be the same thing). It welcomes writers of all genres, including novels, non fiction, screenwriting, and greeting cards.

Why Join? This community is well moderated and extremely popular. You’ll find kindred spirits here.

Popular boards include Ask the Agent , Self-Publishing , and Young Adult .

2. AgentQuery

AgentQuery is a great place to go for critiques and feedback. If you’re further along in the writing process and would love to know how to get an agent, for example, this is the go-to writing community. Check out successful query letters and learn about marketing your book after it’s published.

Why Join? There’s plenty of advice for after you’ve completed your manuscript and are interested in shopping it around. Find out what needs to be done by those who’ve been there/ done that.

Popular boards include Spectulative Fiction , Author and Book Promotion Tips , Agent Submission Process


BookRix is a community for independent writers who are interested in self-publishing. While the site BookRix does provide writers with self-publishing help, its community is full of diverse topics that can help any writer improve and commiserate (or both!).

Why Join? You’ll enter an established book community with lots of activity.

Popular boards include Serious Writers , Book Promotion , The Reading List

4. Critique Circle

Established in 2003, Critique Circle is one of the oldest writing communities online. The majority of members are young adults between 21 to 30. As the name implies, members take advantage of critique help, but there’s also a chill vibe for this site. For example, a popular thread at the time of this post is word association.

Why Join? Join for critique help and camaraderie. You may lose hours interacting with other writers in this community, and that’s a good thing every now and then.

Popular boards include Publishing , The Procrastination Lounge (no surprise), Publishing

5. Critters Writers Workshop


For all you sci-fi, fantasy, or horror writers out there, here’s the group for you. While it’s not the most active community out there, there’s a lot of genre specific nuggets you’ll love to read.

Why Join? This board is a must-join for the sci-fi, fantasy, or horror crowd.

Popular boards include Critique Discussions , Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Writing , Help!


Scribophile is one of the largest writing communities online. Writers of any genre join to post their writing for critique, give each other feedback on how to improve their writing, and help each other on their journey to publication. Their forums are busy, with over 5.1 million posts at the time of writing, and their members have gone on to be published by the likes of HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, Simon and Schuster, and more.

Why Join? This community is one of the top places to get professional feedback on your writing, and to meet other writers working in your genre.

Popular boards include

[Writing]( )

[Publishing] ( )

[General discussion: Cool Hang-Out Chill Zone ( ).

7. Hatrack River Writers Workshop


While the Hatrack River Writers Workshop forum has an old school look and feel, there’s plenty of fresh ideas and energetic discussions.

Why Join? Get involved in vibrant discussions about developing character and plot. Learn more about improving your writing from fellow writers.

Popular boards include Open Discussions About Writing , Fragments and Feedback for Short Works , Writing Class

Mibba skews young, but it’s welcoming to any age group. Mibba users create blogs and write narrative posts or stories that can then be critiqued by other members. It’s a great community for young writers who need extra support.

Why Join? This community nurtures young authors by providing an active community, opportunities for collaboration, and peer feedback.

Popular boards include Role-Playing , General , Tips

9. NaNoWriMo


Short for National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo is something of a revolution that challenges writers everywhere to write an entire novel in one month. Crazy, but scores of dedicated fanatics have proven it’s possible.

Why Join? This is a wildly popular community that provides tons of support and writing strategies.

Popular boards include Plot Doctoring , Reference Desk , Writing 101

10. The Next Big Writer

In this community, you’ll find writers who offer professional, no-fluff feedback. There’s not a lot of random activity here, but rather a more somber discourse on writing.

Why Join? Join for professional critique from established writers.

Popular boards include The TheNextBigWriter Basic Group , The Writing Tips & Advice Group , The Fantasy World Builders Group

11. The Reddit Writer's Group

Last but certainly not least is Reddit. Reddit features a subreddit dedicated to write and another to writing . Confusing, right? Just join both. Both subreddits are active and popular, and great for a quick hit of inspiration.


Why Join? Where else can you see this treat: Knowing your character rules and boundaries is essential; here's Chuck Jones' cheat sheet for the Coyote and Roadrunner ?

Popular boards include Write , Writing

Final Thoughts

Joining a writing community is one of the best things you can do to improve your morale and hone your skills. While these communities are completely free, you’ll be amazed at how much value they add to your life.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on November 2015 and has been updated for accuracy.

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7 Online Writing Communities For Authors

Writing is, and has always been, a solitary endeavor. Still, any accomplished or novice writer will tell you that a writing community is just as important as their keyboard or notebook. Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to find online writing groups to connect with other authors and grow your craft.

We write alone, but what we write is for a broader audience. And unless you’re ‌1) a literary genius or 2) extremely lucky, you won’t be able to transition from solitary creation to popular adoption without an intermediary step. That step is your writing community.

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Why Online Writing Communities Matter

Because we are social animals. Plain and simple. Even the most introverted of our fellow writers need some interaction. Having a community of writers is more than just a way to discuss writing with your peers. And it’s more than just a means to improve your writing. Taking part in writing communities is beneficial for your writing and your mental health.

We don’t just need to socialize because it’s good for our psyche ; we also need the advice, encouragement, and criticism of other writers. Published authors, who may seem like some of the least social creatures, need a community as much or more than anyone. 

Thankfully, we have more options and opportunities to connect than ever before. Online writing groups for beginners, novices, and seasoned professionals exist and thrive all across the web. It’s important that you look for an online writing community frequented by writers like you who can lend support, empathize with your struggle, and ultimately help you become a better writer.

Today, I’ve got seven of the top online writing communities you can consider. Even if none of these examples are a good fit for you, I’m sure there is a community of writers out there. 

1. NaNoWriMo Forums

NaNoWriMo (the official name for National Novel Writing Month) has long been an annual challenge for me . Basically, authors commit to writing 50,000 words (about the length of a short novel) in ‌November. For anyone that writes regularly, this is both ambitious and exciting. 

But what about the other eleven months? Over the years, the staff at NaNoWriMo have spun out the idea, with many virtual writing groups called ‘Camps’ during the year to help keep the inspiration flowing. Their writing forums are some of the best on the web for authors. From simply chatting in the Coffee House to finding genre-specific advice, NaNo’s forums are rich with authors like you.

Note that accessing their forums requires you to sign up for a free account.

Who It’s For : Authors at all levels, but specifically great for authors in the first/second draft stage.

Check Out The NaNo Forums –  

2. Chronicles

The Chronicles is another writing forum, this time focusing specifically on science fiction and fantasy genres. If that’s you, then you’ll probably find something to love on the Chronicles!

In contrast to the NaNo forums, the Chronicles are not as active a community. You’ll notice threads have new posts and comments, but not a lot of them. So, if you’re looking for a bustling place, the Chronicle may not be for you. But if you want something highly specialized, focusing on sci-fi and fantasy, you’ll find good advice, delightful conversation, and lots of classic author spotlights.

Who It’s For : Science fiction and fantasy authors who want to connect and find inspiration.

Go To Chronicles –  

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3. Critique Circle

Don’t let the drab layout and colors of the Critique Circle fool you. The CC is a very active community, featuring both a user forum and a peer-to-peer critique section. They also offer some really nice free resources—from listing useful websites to guides on using metaphor, magic systems, and character development.

I’ve never used the critique functions from Critique Circle (I’ll talk about one I have used later), but the idea is one of the most useful I’ve found to date for writers. If you’ve ever taken part in a writer’s workshop (and if not, you should!) you’ll be familiar with the form. Basically, you post some work you’ve done, usually within a word count limit. Other authors read it and chime in with thoughts, criticisms, and encouragement. 

Who It’s For : Serious authors looking for valuable critiques and resources.

Get In The Circle –  

4. Underlined

Underlined, it must be noted, is part of Penguin Random House. I hesitated to even add them for that reason alone. But after spending some time checking out the site, I would be remiss not to mention Underlined.

Underlined is more of an aggregated set of user-generated blogs than a forum, so it differs from the other communities I’ve mentioned. The upside of this is that there are a lot of active members and with the backing of PRH, the site is well-designed and easy to navigate. 

I suggest thinking about Underlined like a mini-Medium; rich in content to read and discuss, with a focus on reading, creating, and creative lifestyles. But it’s not a true creative writing group online, nor is it a place for critiques or beta readers. Underlined really is for authors who write and share long-form content.

Who It’s For : Readers and writers who want to learn and connect over long-form content.

Get Underlined –  

5. Writing.Com

Another amazing writing hub, is part forum, part resource center, and part industry news site. They really do it all for fostering an online community for authors. 

The forums are very active and they host several really great writing prompts (which is one of my favorite ways to overcome writer’s block). With so much content, offers fiction and nonfiction writers lots of resources and opportunities to connect. The Shameless Plug Page is also really cool, giving authors a space to share a short story or segment from a longer work with like-minded and interested readers. 

Who It’s For : Anyone looking for feedback, writing tips, and connections with other authors.

Check Out –  

Reddit is a massive forum community, hosting groups that focus on literally everything and anything. Their thread for writing, writers, and publishers, r/writing , is a writing forum for beginners and veterans. If you’re looking for a space with a lot (1 million-plus) members, Reddit’s writing thread is for you.

It’s also a bit more open to ‘off-topic’ content like industry news, book promotions, and general writing-related content. 

Still, if you’re into the writing life and want to stay in the loop or just chat with others who are likewise interested, Reddit is a wonderful place to pass some time. You’ll also find lots of posts boosting writing courses, new books from indie authors, and similar self-promoted content. Not all of it will be worth your time, but Reddit’s writing thread has some gems from time to time.

Who It’s For : Authors who want to connect with other authors on a variety of levels.

Become A Redditor –  

7. Scribophile

I saved the best for last! I enjoy using Scribophile regularly. The site has two primary offerings; writing critiques and general author forums. While Scribophile does many of the same things Critique Circle does, I’ve found the users to be more responsive and the site just easier to navigate.

You can offer and ask for critiques, giving authors feedback and requesting your own work be critiqued. Again, we have that writing workshop feeling, but with a bit more emphasis on being an uplifting, positive community. The critiques are honest and pointed, but rarely unkind or disparaging–something I’m sure we’ve all experienced in the past. I’ve ‌used Scribophile to give and receive critiques and I’ve never been disappointed.

Who It’s For : Serious and novice authors looking to improve and connect.

Check Out Scribophile –  

Building Your Writing Skills

There’s a lot that goes into writing. And there are a lot of writing groups to support every aspect of the process. I didn’t even touch on social media (unless you count Reddit), but Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all have active writer groups you could join. I personally like to shy away from crossing over my writing and social media for fear of distraction. Keep social media for the marketing step , I say.

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Paul is the Content Marketing Manager at Lulu. When he's not entrenched in the publishing and print-on-demand world, he likes to hike the scenic North Carolina landscape, read, sample the fanciest micro-brewed beer, and collect fountain pens. Paul is a dog person but considers himself cat tolerant.

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Top 10 Online Writing Communities to Perfect Your Craft

Top 10 Online Writing Communities to Perfect Your Craft

Whatever type of writer you are, you could use some company. Personally, I only sit with a group of wordsmiths and get letters onto paper a couple of times during the year. In a bid to hone my craft, I’ve been participating in text conversations all over the web in online writing communities. These dedicated forums for writers enrich my content and daily life in many ways, whether it’s finding motivation to keep prose flowing, getting help to build characters, or simply improving my style.

I also found that these online writing groups are among the best places for getting ideas out there. To begin, introduce yourself in the forums, respond to comments and suggest new ideas. You’ll quickly link with people who will push your vocab, views and verbal reasoning. Most importantly of all, use discussion to escape from the mundane while making your writing exquisite.

Keep in mind that these writing forums have different target audiences. From this article, you’ll get an inkling of the main characteristics of each community. The next thing you should do is go and participate in the discussions, to see which one is right for you.

So, stick with me as I narrate you through the top online writing communities for authors of all levels, genres and styles:

Writing Forums

Mythic Scribes

Writing about Writing

Writing Prompts

Writers Anonymous

Critique Circle

Bonus: Start your own writing community

01. Writing Forums

Best for: Writers who want to improve their skills.

This is one of the best places to connect with other writers. 22,551 (and counting) literati of all abilities exchange tips and engage in discussions about writing techniques. If you’re in the mood for a natter, simply jump into the various topics up for debate, suggest your original ideas and respond to copy concepts. If you’re more of the emulous type, you’ll find it exciting to join contests that motivate and build your skill levels.

But the most glorious aspect of Writing Forums really is the palpable sense of solidarity. Swapping reviews is popular practice between members. You’ll get lots of actionable feedback from word-loving comrades. What’s more, this community is supported by mentors who have an important responsibility in the social hierarchy. To see who your own private group of helpers could be, check out the people in the Mentor Directory - a golden resource for finding the right person to appraise your words.

02. Mythic Scribes

Best for: Fantasy authors and rambling Game of Thrones fans.

Ready to bring folkloric elements to your writing life? If you’re a fantasy author, or remotely interested in anything magical, I strongly recommend joining the Mythic Scribes forum. You’ll get to discuss all aspects of building your legendary world, from the intricacies of ergot mixed with mead, to the detailed origins of dragons. There’s an open-minded forum atmosphere, where people freely roam imaginary realms and discuss historical research.

On signup, you’re prompted to create five posts - an engagement trick that worked well for me, because moderators quickly replied to my initial messages and got me talking. The mods are working hard to make writing easier and more enjoyable. Seriously, you’ll be improving your writing every time you post. As an added bonus, the website has a fairly quiet chat room, meaning you can have a coherent chin-wag, without getting swamped with a bombardment of banter or annoying notifications.

03. She Writes

She Writes online writing community

Best for: Self-published female authors looking for business tips.

Joining She Writes is an indispensable career move for female authors who want to develop a professional network or get advice. Even though the organisation’s aim is to support women writers, you don’t have to be a lady to sign up. In fact, anyone can make the most of the science shared within the chats.

To get deeper into discussions about different writing styles , start joining the groups. You’ll find that disseminating practical writing knowledge is this community’s strength. Perhaps you need some pointers on how to get an agent? Tips regarding marketing your work? Or guidance whilst writing a memoir? This is the place to ask your questions and link up with successful fictionistas, inspired poetesses and freelancing ghostwriters. Take a look at the site members for a who’s who and you will see a clan of women who can help you along your writing journey.

04. NaNoWriMo

Best for : Procrastinating novelists needing a bit of motivation.

This community is based around the annual challenge of writing a 50,000 word novel during the month of November - hence NaNoWriMo , which is not the name of a waggish Star Wars droid, but the abbreviation of “National Novel Writing Month”. However, chats in this forum are not limited to one month. All year round, you can plan your next novel and make notes, with help from other members. It became so popular that many of the other writing communities have multiple threads devoted to NaNoWriMo .

When November arrives and you start to pour out a novel, just keep writing and don’t give up! If you feel like you’re slacking at any time, you can get a surge of literary productivity from your digital mates. On completing the challenge, you’ll finally have the first version of a book you can go on to edit and improve.

05. Wattpad

Best for: Chick-lit fans who love using emojis.

As an online self-publishing platform, with a booming forum to go with it, this site embodies the digital reformation of the writing industry. Netflix’s hit movie The Kissing Booth is based on a story published via Wattpad that got super famous, demonstrating that, in the 2020s, it’s all about getting your drafts out into the universe.

Half of the Wattpad site is devoted to digital books, the other half to the bustling forum community. The forum functions for readers to hang out, discuss characters and their daily lives too. It’s also the place for authors to create some hype and interact with their audience. If you publish a story on Wattpad , follow up by generating social buzz in the community. To quote Ken Blanchard, “feedback is the breakfast of champions.” Be brave enough to ask for opinions. It’s scary at first, but it’s a great way to boost your confidence as a writer.

06. Writing about Writing

Best for: Humorous writers whose phones are extensions of their arms.

This group is the place to go when you should be writing but you’re on social media instead. (Writing comments on Facebook counts, right?) Apparently loving a good meme, the page admin posts conversation starters and is thoroughly fluent in the language of sarcasm.

This community is less about posting written work and more about what’s going on in the replies. Sometimes crude yet often refreshing points of view are strewn in amongst the pun madness, alongside sprinklings of useful links. Keep in mind that you might need to learn a few new words to understand the punchlines of the community’s wordplay jokes. And, if you’re not attuned to the participants’ humor, it’s possible to think some people in this digital-ecosystem are a bit grumpy.

This Facebook page deserves a humongous shout-out for being proactive regarding accessibility . It’s glorious that all text in pictures is transcribed, so software can read it out loud.

07. Commaful

Commaful online writing community

Best for: Snapchatters in tune with their feelings.

The format of the Commaful community’s super short stories is what makes this site unique. Thriving on succinct multimedia writing, members are doing more than just using written words to communicate. They illustrate their stories, chunked line by line, with pictures, resulting in interactive digital picture books. Because there’s less text on a screen at one time, it makes reading more manageable. Instead of leafing through pages of a book, the interactive tapping is equally as tactile.

Commaful is home to a community of nicely spoken, emerging writers who enjoy inspiring and sensitive poetry. They use writing as catharsis, so you can sense emotions running high. Holistically a great space for creative expression and therapeutic writing.

08. /r/Writing Prompts

Best for: Newsfeed scrollers looking for inspiration.

Encompassing a gigantic amount of activity, it may be hard to initially find your feet in the Reddit social sphere because of the intense multi-layered landscape. But if you invest enough time to surf through Reddit , you’ll find the right spot to write. Writing Prompts is a good place to start. With over 14.2 million promptians signed up, it’s one of the most visited online meeting places for scribes on the net right now.

Kickstart your writing by creating short stories inspired by any of the prompts. Be warned though, the Reddit community does not hold back in their reviews. Just try not to blub. You’ll get a thicker skin and you’ll become a tougher writer. You could even discover someone to collab’ with.

09. Writers Anonymous

Best for: Technologically savvy creative writers.

Writers Anonymous is good for meshing with people from many backgrounds, with different mindsets, who can read your work with fresh eyes. Consequently, this makes writing even more inspiring for you. As usual, share cool links, but avoid major self-promotion. There’s definitely more opportunity to use chatspeak compared to forementioned communities.

Getting used to the Discord platform initially takes lots of clicking around, because of its hashtag-based user interface . The platform was initially created for gamers to chat via their microphone headsets, so it’s the perfect setting for role-play writing. No wonder the stylish dark-mode interface is silky sleek, as gamers are some of the most tech-trendy peeps I know. Check out Disboard , an index for all the Discord subcommunities and search for writing keywords that take your fancy.

10. Critique Circle

Critique Circle online writing community

Best for: Writers searching for beta readers.

Fab’ for scouting beta readers, it’s no wonder Critique Circle is one of the Internet’s most popular writing forums. Running on a credit system, you “pay” credits to submit your story and score credits for writing a critique on someone else's stuff. The amount you earn depends on the word count of the story and the review. Note that the quality of critiques can vary and some critters may not pay attention to your overarching plotline. You don’t have to write for critiques though. Just write because you enjoy it, in a similar fashion to the heaps of passionate writers that congregate there.

The sign up and browsing experience is easy-going. You can bookmark interesting reads for later and even personalize your front page. As an added bonus, you can access all sorts of statistical information about the members. According to the figures, most users are 26-30 years old who prefer to post critiques on Wednesdays! There’s awesome word association amusements and it’s a great place to chat about the books that you’ve been reading.

11. Bonus: Start your own writing community

Hopefully, this article has inspired you to join one of these digi-communities. Alternatively, it’s completely possible to build your very own writers’ community today. Ready to start? Then create your forum with Wix. It’s literally as straightforward as writing a couple of posts and inviting members to join the conversation. If you’re an author, you’ll find that bringing together the right contacts to chat about writing on your very own individual website will set you apart from the rest of the crowd. Or, simply create some excellent written content and be confident enough to share it with the world.

Looking to create a blog ? Wix has got your covered with thousands of design features, built-in SEO and marketing tools, that will allow you to scale your content, your brand and your business.

writing in communities

Ffion Quick, UX Writer at Wix

Eat, sleep, write, repeat.

writing in communities




Life of a Grad Jag

The importance of a writing community.

Posted on August 16, 2021 by grademis

by: Nathan Marquam, University Writing Center, Graduate Consultant

Graduate school in the best of times can feel isolating. Graduate students are left to figure out how to make the jump from being someone who consumes knowledge to someone who produces it (Aitchison 52). Especially with the added weight of a thesis or dissertation, a lot of this transition hinges on a student’s relationship with writing. Because everyone’s relationship with writing is unique, graduate students often feel unsure if they’re on the right track and if they are correctly performing their often newfound identities as both students and writers (Brooks-Gillies et al. 7).

But the fact that everyone’s relationship with writing is unique doesn’t mean that the path to growing as a writer is a solitary one. Writing is, at its core, a social act. Everything we write happens in conversation with the things people have written before. Citations can sometimes feel tedious and isolating, but in reality, citations are a way of joining the conversation—adding our voices to the great tapestry of things that have been written. The actual practice of writing inherently resists the individualistic expectations that academia places around it; scholar Cathy Davidson points out that “The ideal of individual authorship and genius… contributes to ineffective models of intellectual innovation” (qtd. in Duffy 9). But as William Duffy points out,  simply noting that writing inherently relies on perspectives outside of our own doesn’t necessarily give us the tools that we need to receive support and open our writing practices up to become a collaborative and social space (22). 

The work that I do in the Writing Center is about recontextualizing people’s perspectives on writing, encouraging them to understand not just writing itself but the writing process as something constructed from more perspectives than just their own. One of my most foundational moments in becoming a Writing Center consultant was when, in the class that we take in order to work in the Center, I was asked to draw a map of my writing process. I looked at the table full of construction paper, colored pencils, and crayons and wondered what part of this exercise could possibly have a meaningful impact on my development as a scholar. I make myself sit down and write the paper, I thought. Wasn’t it as simple as that? 

Once I actually started my writing process map, however, I discovered that my own writing process was far more complex—and far less isolated—than I had initially realized. “Make coffee” and “pace around the kitchen” were some of my first additions to the map. Shortly after this, I added “Get stuck and go bug my roommate to talk through it.” How often, I wondered, did I bounce ideas off of people without even thinking about it? How much of my writing process relied on other people?  Bringing my writing off of the page and into a conversational page had always been a strategy I’d used, but I’d never given it much thought.  In the following weeks, I became more intentional in thinking about when and why I reached out to others to talk through my writing. I started going to the Writing Center as a writer, not just a consultant-in-training. And through doing this, I found that not only did my writing improve, but I also found it to be far more enjoyable. 

I feel incredibly lucky that I was able to enter my graduate school experience with a preexisting understanding of when and how to bring my writing off the page and into conversation. This is a unique privilege enjoyed by many current and former Writing Center consultants, as Hughes et. al points out (25). The Writing Center community provided unique support as I began my first semester of graduate school in the midst of a global pandemic, and ensured that even as I worked from home and embarked on new and uniquely demanding writing project, I never felt alone or isolated. It seems incredibly fitting that my work now centers on facilitating writing communities and peer-based support for graduate writers. 

With the support of the Graduate Office, the Writing Center now offers three kinds of support to graduate writers. The first is our bread and butter—one-on-one sessions with a Consultant (you can make an appointment on our website ). The second is the Write-on-Site , where writers of all disciplines come together to get some writing done. The third is Graduate Writing Groups , which consist of weekly, focused, peer-led writing feedback and support. We have some groups that are facilitated by graduate Consultants, but we are also to provide resources to anyone interested in starting a group of their own. 

We have Graduate Write-on-Sites running through the summer, and you can register to receive email reminders about them here. 

Works Cited 

Aitchison, Claire. “Learning from Multiple Voices: Feedback and Authority in Doctoral Writing 

Groups.” Writing Groups for Doctoral Education and Beyond: Innovations in Practice and Theory, edited by Claire Aitchison and Cally Guerin, Routledge, 2014, pp. 51-64. 

Brooks-Gillies, Marilee, et al., editors. Graduate Writing Across the Disciplines Identifying, Teaching, and Supporting. The WAC Clearinghouse and University Press of Colorado, 2020. 

Duffy, William.  Beyond Conversation: Collaboration and the Production of Writing . Utah State University Press, 2021.

Hughes, Bradley, et al. “What They Take with Them: Findings from the Peer Writing Tutor 

Alumni Research Project.” The Writing Center Journal , vol. 30, no. 2, 2010, pp. 12-46.

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writing in communities

Writing community: 10 ways to connect and share

The best writing communities foster growth, accountability, and provide companionship throughout the sometimes lonely writing process. Read ten ways to build community and find your own tribe.

writing in communities

Joining a writing community is good for your writing craft. Whether you meet other writers online or in person, it’s great for swapping ideas, critiques, and cementing your writing process while staying accountable. It adds a social side to what can otherwise feel a lonely process. Try these ten ways to meet other authors who share your love of words:

Build your writing community and:

Join an online crit circle, connect in live webinars, contribute to #writingcommunity threads, take a guided, coached writing program, join a closed, moderated group, find the best online writing community for you, volunteer for a beta reader community, haunt local bookstores and readings.

Start or join a book club

Keep reading for guidelines for contributing meaningfully to a writing group, tips for making the most of social media writing communities and more.

Coretta Scott King community quote

Critique or crit circles are excellent spaces to hone your story craft and build connections.

As a member of Now Novel’s own online community says, an effective writing group:

…fosters literary growth and offers motivation and support. – Margriet, Now Novel review via TrustSpot

Choosing between online critique circles

There are many writing communities online to choose between. You may be familiar with:

Which is the best writing community for you? It depends whether you want:

Some of the writing communities (including our own) offer story outlining tools , courses and other resources, too.

Others are private international Facebook groups (like Writers Helping Writers’ group started by Mike Geffner) that have specific rules for what you can and can’t post.

How to be an asset to your creative writing community

Any community is as effective as its members are willing to participate and help one another. Giving critique is a fantastic way to grow your craft (just ask top critiquers on Now Novel). To be an asset to your community:

Communicating in forum posts is asynchronous. Some writers prefer this, but if you want live connection, writing webinars are often insightful and a great way to meet other wordsmiths.

Many authors host webinars to connect with fans, and our own novel writing coaches run webinars for premium members (and occasional free writing webinars, too).

To make the most of the next writing webinar you attend:

Each social media platform has hashtags social writing communities use to share things such as questions, publishing news, or simply the joys and frustrations of storytelling.

The hashtag #writingcommunity on Instagram, for example, has 12.7 million posts at time of writing (trending at time of writing are posts such as ‘Tips for Writing Fight Scenes’, ‘The Importance of Character Arcs’ and similar).

Follow the hashtags on social that feature the kind of information or community you’re interested in.

For example, if you are nearing publication, then #bookpromo and similar hashtags combining ‘books’ and ‘promotion’ (and their abbreviations and synonyms) would be worth following.

See how other authors are promoting their work (and jump in on conversations meaningfully where possible).

Tips for getting more out of social writing communities

To build your writing community on social media meaningfully, remember:

Infographic on 10 ways to build writing community

A peer-led writing community is one option, but if you want something more moderated, a coach-led writing program or course is helpful for structure and extra pro guidance.

When a group is helmed by a professional writing educator your community experience will typically include:

One of the advantages of paid writing communities over free ones is that you’ll meet other authors who are willing to invest in their craft because they take writing seriously – it’s a passion, but also a process with an end-goal in mind.

Many of Now Novel’s Group Coaching members have already completed prior manuscripts or have specific publishing goals in mind and many alumni go on to query agents and join our extended program for further writing support at their own, preferred pace.

Now Novel writer

Prepare to launch your book

Join a course led by multi-published authors and learn how to publish and promote your book.

Many authors considering joining online writing groups ask us a combination of the following questions:

Idea theft at the draft stage is extremely uncommon. You will find most cases of plagiarism are between writers whose work is already published . If you think about all the stories a person could plunder from, why wouldn’t they pilfer ideas from a story that has already proven marketability?

If you are worried about sharing in a writing community, a closed community such as a Facebook group or the members-only groups for Now Novel’s courses offers a more intimate, vetted and monitored space to meet other writers.

Be wary, too, of any writing community or publishing platform that makes you sign publishing rights over or demands exclusivity.

In proper publishing, money flows from the reader to the author, not their writing community. Writing services may assist you in getting to the point of publication, but no writing service company should require total or lasting creative rights to your work.

If you have once been bitten by hostile writing communities before and are twice shy, it may simply have been the wrong fit. A good community will uphold standards regarding communication and an ethics of care and caution or remove members who do not uphold the writing community’s standards of conduct.

Writing community quote by Seamus Heaney

What is the best online writing community? It depends on what you need. Is it rigorous critique? Discussion and guidance relevant to your genre or subgenre? A platform for co-promoting forthcoming publications?

Many of the best writing websites on the web also have robust comment sections and other resources where you’ll find extra writing advice and rapport.

Reading is such a crucial part of the writing process – that includes finding first readers to give you honest, detailed feedback on your final draft to help you revise.

There are many places to meet fellow writers and swap reading services, including:

You may be wary of giving just anyone your manuscript to read, understandably. You could share a read-only version (if you are fine with this disallowing in-line comments). Alternatively, spend some time in the community. You’ll get a sense over a month or two of who all seems trustworthy, honest, kind and fair.

Since the digital shift, brick-and-mortar bookstores – the ones that have not closed down already – need your support more than ever.

Attending local readings and other events hosted by your local bookstores is a good way to get to meet other writers in person, and network, too.

You never know what doors might open in the process, plus it’s great to support your local writing and author-benefitting community.

Volunteer at local book cons in your area

Book conferences and other industry events are fantastic opportunities not only to connect with others in the writing community but also to get valuable insights from professional authors, editors, agents and others.

Although many conferences moved online during the Covid-19 pandemic, in-person events have been able to continue more recently. A Now Novel coaching alumna shared her positive experience of volunteering at a book con and the encouragement and support the experience provided – as experiences go, a win.

Holding monthly writing crit groups with friends who are passionate about storytelling is a valuable commitment to create and keep. It will help you to stay accountable and motivated .

Even a book club where you pool owned books with trusted friends is a great way to build community around writing and storytelling and inspire yourself to keep dreaming and imagining (and maybe get more adventurous in your reading, too). [ Ed’s note: As a kid and teen, I read everything I could lay my hands on from literary to women’s fic thanks to the cardboard boxes that did the rounds in my parents’ book club].

Book clubs are also a great way to build an accessible, niche library and share your favorite books with your friends (and many smaller book stores and even larger chains offer book clubs special discounts).

Ready to connect? Join Now Novel for a constructive critique community and get pro feedback, webinars with coach Q&As and more when you upgrade.

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Jordan is a writer, editor, community manager and product developer. He received his BA Honours in English Literature and his undergraduate in English Literature and Music from the University of Cape Town.

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Author Learning Center

6 Reasons Why Writers Need Community

When we picture successful writers, we often imagine them holed up in an office, typing away at a keyboard for hours on end with the door shut and the blinds drawn. Sure, writing a book can be a solitary venture. It requires a lot of time to sit by yourself and just write. But in reality, the process of writing, editing, publishing, and marketing a book isn’t done in a vacuum. Pick up any book, look at the ‘Acknowledgements’ section, and you’ll see what we mean.

Despite this fact, many aspiring writers forget or ignore this critical component of the process. They never ask for help or seek out other writers for support. Instead, they try to go it alone, which is where many writers go wrong. Without people around to encourage you, support you, and hold you accountable, it’s easy to give up on your goals.

Here are six reasons why you should start joining or building your writing communities today. 

Many people want to write a book, but only a select few are able to do it. Why is that? More often than not, it’s because people want to write books, but they don’t need to. This means aspiring writers have to hold themselves accountable and see the project through—without any guarantee of success at the end.

There are moments at every stage of the writing, editing, and publishing process where writers can give up. Maybe they don’t have enough time. Maybe more important things come up. Or perhaps they give up because they get lost or confused during the process. This is why support and encouragement are so vital for writers determined to succeed. Having others around—whether it’s family, friends, other writers, or readers interested in your book—to support and encourage you can be the difference between an unfinished draft and a published book.

2. Feedback

No matter how great a writer you are, it’s tough to look at your own work with an objective eye. That’s where feedback comes in. As you’re editing your book and preparing to publish, or even after you’ve published a book and are getting ready to start your next one, hearing from others can be crucial to ensure your book is the best it can be. Unsure which publishing path is right for you? Need help developing your characters? Want to know what makes you stand out as an author? All of these are questions others could help you answer.

Many authors shy away from feedback because they’re afraid of criticism of rejection. But feedback is necessary if you want to become a better writer. Remember: great writers are not great writers because they can write without errors; they’re great because they are able to listen to others, take feedback, and fix their mistakes in order to get better.

Think about any time you’ve started a new job or venture. Did you have someone around to show you the ropes? To answer your questions? If not, you probably felt pretty lost, and possibly even made a few mistakes as you tried to figure things out on your own.

Although many writers don’t consider this, it can be extremely helpful to enlist an established author (or authors) to help mentor you through the writing and publishing process. That way, you always have someone around to share tips, answer your questions, and help you navigate what is often a complicated and confusing process for new authors.

Writing communities don’t have to be exclusive to just other writers—they can include potential readers as well! Having communities of dedicated readers or your target audience can be extremely beneficial to you as a writer, particularly during the marketing phase of your book.

Building and growing communities of readers online and in-person allows you to engage in real-time with the people who will read and enjoy your book. In doing so, you’ll be able to get to know them and understand them better, thus be able to write to them better. Not to mention, fostering his relationship will go far in ensuring your success as an author and growing your reach for even more success in the future.

5. Inspiration

Every aspiring author knows how important inspiration can be to the writing process. Just like reading your favorite books or work from your favorite authors can inspire you to work on your book, watching other writers just like you learn, grow, and succeed as published authors may be one of the best ways to gain inspiration for your own writing endeavors.

6. Help Others

Once you become the expert, you can then start helping and lifting up other authors to reach their writing goals, as well. Maybe you found great success with a specific editor, learned a lot of helpful tips about publishing on Amazon, or know the best ways to market a book on Instagram. All of the things you learn along your writing journey can be passed onto other aspiring writers who are hoping to find success just like you have. So spread the wealth! Reach out to other writers and see how you can support them on their paths to becoming published authors.


© Copyright 2018 Author Learning Center. All Rights Reserved


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