For 19 years now, we’ve been doing the hard work of scouring the web for you: sorting through the hundreds of reader-nominated sites that pour in year-round, reviewing honorees from past lists, considering staff favorites and devoting countless browsing hours to the hunt for excellent websites for writers.
The result: our annual list of 101 first-class free resources to assist every level and genre of writer on every stage of the Writing journey. Whether you’re looking for inspiration or motivation, tutorials on craft, assistance with platform building, or insight into seeking agents or self-publishing, you’ll find it among these websites for writers—and much, much more besides. Here, you’ll find our top resources for writing advice from the May/June 2017 issue of Writer’s Digest.
Got recommendations for the 2018 issue? Let us know in the comments below!
19 Excellent Websites for Writers
1. APRIL DÁVILA, STORYTELLER
Dávila has been documenting her efforts toward becoming a published novelist for eight years running, and her blog is full of advice for bettering your craft, creating community, staying committed and more. Based in Los Angeles, the full-time freelancer also compiles a weekly roundup
(#LitLife) of West Coast writer events.
2. BETTER NOVEL PROJECT
“Deconstructing bestselling novels, one doodle at a time” is the mantra of Better Novel Project’s Christine Frazier, who uses digital index “cards”—coupled with hand-drawn illustrations—to break down the common elements (from word count to character archetypes and more) of popular novels such as The Hunger Games and Twilight. The result is a succinct and comprehensive Master Outline you might find helpful in structuring your own work-in-progress.
3. DAILY WRITING TIPS
Find your daily dose of grammar and freelance know-how here: From punctuation and word usage tutorials to freelance writing advice, this site will demystify just about any nitty-gritty mechanical question you have. The tips are free, but for $5/month you can also get access to writing courses, exercises and hundreds of regularly updated job listings.
4. DAVID VILLALVA, LUCID STORYTELLER
Learn the intricacies of creative storytelling—whether in short fi ction, novel or screenplay form— and apply them to your own work with David Villalva’s insightful visual guides. Check out the Create a Villain infographic or The Storytelling Blueprint for examples of his lucidity in action.
5. DIY MFA
Offering a do-it-yourself alternative to a master’s degree in writing, DIY MFA provides all the tools you need to “write with focus, read with purpose and build your community”— led by prolifi c teacher, speaker and writer Gabriela Pereira (author of the companion book DIY MFA, from WD Books) via articles, classes and a podcast. The e-newsletter brings regular updates to your inbox with the friendly greeting “Hey there, Word Nerds!”
6. FICTION UNIVERSITY
Spearheaded by award-winning novelist Janice Hardy, Fiction University will school you in the hows of writing. A rigorous weekly schedule—from Writing Tip Monday to Writing Prompt Sunday—makes the site ideal for those trying to develop discipline. The cumulative result is more than 1,000 articles on all aspects of the fiction writing process, from mapping a novel to editing, submitting and more.
Helmed by a group of 28 authors and editors, and running thousands of posts deep, this blog neatly organizes its all-encompassing advice into helpful categories such as Business, Craft & Skill and The Writing Life—all with easy-to-peruse subcategories that make fi nding what you’re looking for a cinch.
The brainchild of the author behind The New York Times–bestselling grammar title Woe Is I, Grammarphobia busts language myths and deciphers tricky usage rules while answering literary questions you didn’t even know you had, such as “Is red beautiful?” and “Does a doorway need a door?”
9. HELPING WRITERS BECOME AUTHORS
Internationally published historical novelist and writing mentor K.M. Weiland boasts an extensive repertoire of advice on story structure, scenes, characters and more, presented via articles, a podcast, an e-newsletter, workshops and videos.
10. NATHAN BRANSFORD
A former literary agent and professional social media manager turned novelist, Nathan Bransford brings a diverse breadth of knowledge to his blog. He posts less frequently these days, but you’ll still fi nd plenty of candid advice on building a platform, querying agents, targeting genres, and more in his Publishing Essentials archive, along with robust forums.
Nine years ago, 13 Christian novelists started a blog documenting their writing journeys as not-yet-published authors with the goal of inspiring other writers along the way. Today, all of the “Seekers” are published—many of them to critical acclaim—and their commitment to providing thoughtful advice, encouragement and inspiration remains unwavering.
12. SEPTEMBER C. FAWKES
An avid reader and aspiring speculative fiction writer, September C. Fawkes seeks and shares storytelling takeaways by dissecting popular books and movies: Think Les Miserables, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Interstellar and Th e Hunger Games. Adding to her perspective, she also happens to be the assistant of The New York Times bestselling novelist David Farland.
To help viewers better understand the elements of successful storytelling and compelling characters, StoryBrain breaks down popular movies, iconic personalities and TV series with insightful commentary via weekly YouTube videos.
As a novelist, screenwriter and game designer who’s both self- and traditionally published, Chuck Wendig stockpiles knowledge about fiction writing, revision tactics, publishing in various arenas, and more—which he shares conversationally on his blog in engaging and colorful (read: NSFW) prose.
14. TOMI ADEYEMI
Writing coach Tomi Adeyemi offers free video courses on mastering plot, along with a library of downloadable writing tools: structure and character worksheets, backstory templates and planners, writing prompts, and more. Her accompanying blog is full of advice on plotting and revising.
15. WRITE NONFICTION NOW!
Who says November is just for novelists? Th is site challenges nonfi ction writers to pen a 50,000-word manuscript in 30 days while their fi ction-writing counterparts are tackling NaNoWriMo. Founded by bestselling author, blogger and book coach Nina Amir, the site off ers communal support and writing advice year-round. For $30/month you can enroll in the Nonfi ction Writers’ University and gain special access to educational teleseminars, webinars and more.
16. WRITE THE BOOK
Pick up writing tips during your commute via this Vermont–based radio show’s “Write the Book” podcast, which features more than 400 episodes of interviews with authors, editors, agents, poets and illustrators.
17. WRITER UNBOXED
A stable of contributing authors and industry experts (nonfi ction and fi ction, aspiring and bestselling) provides some of the best craft advice out there, in addition to fostering a thriving writing community thousands of members strong. (Looking for offl ine inspiration and encouragement? Th e site’s accompanying title, Author in Progress, edited by WU founder Th erese Walsh, was recently published by WD Books.)
18. WRITERS IN THE STORM
Four seasoned writers—and a steady stream of talented guest bloggers—provide craft tips and inspiration to help writers “weather the storm” and deal with the selfdoubt, deadlines, rejection, and inevitable encroachment of daily life that can threaten to hinder our writing goals.
19. WRITING EXCUSES
Hosted by Mary Robinette Kowal, Brandon Sanderson and other acclaimed authors, the Writing Excuses podcast is in its 12th season. Episodes are a bite-sized 15 minutes each: “Because you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart.”
Next, we’re hunting for our top 101 websites for writers in 2018! Hit us with your best recommenations in the comments below.
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