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Posted on Nov 19, 2018
15 of the Best Online Writing Communities for Aspiring Authors
As enjoyable and fulfilling as writing can be, the truth is that it’s often a solitary endeavor. While we might romanticize the focused artist typing away while imaginary worlds and narratives swirl inside their minds — authors know the truth: writing can get lonely. And moreover, when you’re working on a one-person project, it can be hard to remain motivated and accountable. That’s where writing communities come in.
Writing communities are the perfect place to find answers to your writing questions and to discuss the ins and outs of the writing life with people who actually understand what you’re talking about.
So, if you are tired of listening only to the voices in your head, take a look at our list of top online writing communities. (And if you're hungry for more, check out our more exhaustive list of the very best writing websites !)
Top online writing communities
1. absolute write water cooler.
With over 68,000 members, this is a large and highly active community. Here you can find threads on every genre imaginable, as well as discussions about freelance writing , the publishing industry, pop culture, writing prompts and exercises, and much more.
Perfect for: writers who are looking for a large and active community.
2. AgentQuery Connect
While this forum will come in handy for any writer, it’s especially helpful for authors who have already completed their manuscript and are wondering what to do next. The site boasts a wealth of information on publishing topics such as querying agents, self-publishing tips, and book promotion advice.
Perfect for: writers who are looking to connect with agents and learn more about the publishing industry.
3. Camp NaNoWriMo
If you’ve ever wanted to go to a writer’s retreat but can’t afford it just yet, then this site might help scratch your itch. Holding online “camp sessions” in April and July, Camp NaNoWriMo offers a digital space to encourage and empower writers at any point of their career. Here you can work on drafts, revisions, short stories, or any other writing project that involves word-count goals.
Perfect for: writers who can’t wait until November to crack their writing goals.
4. Critique Circle
Feedback should be a vital part of any writer’s process, and this is exactly what Critique Circle offers. This members-only site allows authors to post stories in exchange for feedback on other people’s writing. You can also find storyboarding tools , writing prompts , workshops, name generators , games like hangman, and much more.
Perfect for: writers who want honest feedback on their writing.
As the world’s largest Science Fiction and Fantasy online community, Chronicles offers writers the opportunity to get together and discuss the latest books, news, and pop culture in the Sci-Fi and Fantasy world. This is an active community with thousands of threads that include genre-specific challenges, workshops, critiques, and even publishing and industry information.
Perfect for: writers interested in Science Fiction and Fantasy writing.
6. Facebook Groups
If social media is more your style, don't miss the chance to interact with your fellow writers by joining Facebook groups in your own niche. Look for groups with a strict "no self-promotion" rules so that it remains supportive and useful to your writing goals.
There are a lot of groups out there in a variety of topics that range from genre-specific writing tips to traditional and self-publishing industry news. Here are just a few of them:
The Street Team — Reedsy's own book marketing group for self-publishing authors. 10 Minute Novelists — a group for the time-crunched writer. Calls for Submissions — for writers looking for publication opportunities. Fiction Writers Global — a great resource for information about traditional and self-publishing. Writers Unite! — an active group with plenty of support and motivation for novice and experienced writers alike.
Perfect for: writers who prefer using social media.
7. Insecure Writer’s Support Group
Whether you are a debut or seasoned author, there’s no doubt that writing a book can be intimidating and rife with bouts of self-doubt. The Insecure Writer’s Support Group aims to help you overcome those insecurities by hosting a community of like-minded authors.
Perfect for: writers who have doubts about their writing and are in need of encouragement.
8. The Next Big Writer
This is an international forum where writers can receive feedback on their writing and support on every other part of the creative process from drafting to publishing and marketing. The critiques are often thorough and many come from published authors. Keep in mind that there is a monthly cost associated with the membership, but it might be worth it to be able to bend the ear of published authors.
Perfect for: writers seeking in-depth critiques from an international audience.
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.
One of the largest communities in the world, Scribophile offers workshops, tutorials, and critiques for authors in just about any genre imaginable. While it is free to join, only users who pay for a membership get access to all their features.
Perfect for: authors whowant to take part in writing workshops alongside writers of all experience levels.
11. She Writes
With over 30,000 members, this is the largest writing community exclusively for women. Here you can find articles on writing, editing, and marketing for every genre. There are forums tailored to specific needs, like travel writers, writing about trauma, NaNoWriMo, and many other topics.
Perfect for: women writers who want a place to connect and learn from fellow writers.
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.
A writing community by Penguin Random House. While any author can find helpful information on this website, it’s geared more towards younger writers. It has a well-designed platform, quizzes, genre-specific information, the latest news on book releases, Q&As with authors, and even some giveaways and excerpts as perks.
Perfect for: younger writers who are looking for genre-specific information and bookish perks.
14. Writers Helping Writers
This is a free-to-register community where you can find resources for writers, teachers, and editors alike. They offer a vast array of tools to perfect your craft, no matter your level. Their extensive creative library includes webinars, free writing and marketing tools, a thesaurus collection, story maps, idea generators, and more.
Perfect for: writers, editors, and teachers who are looking to build up their writing toolbox.
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!
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 taylz.com. 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.
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.
05/06/2019 – 07:51
Personally I think you missed out the best writing community: https://community.jerichowriters.com/ Jericho Writers is a free writing community that writers can safely share thought, make friends, swap work and get advice
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.
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
27/08/2019 – 03:50
As a new writer this article is really useful for me. Thank you reedsy
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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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 – https://nanowrimo.org/about-nano
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 – https://www.sffchronicles.com/
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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 – https://www.critiquecircle.com/forums.asp
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 – https://www.getunderlined.com/
Another amazing writing hub, Writing.com 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, Writing.com 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 Writing.com – https://www.writing.com/main/newsfeed
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 – https://www.reddit.com/r/writing
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 – https://www.scribophile.com/
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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The 4 Hidden Dangers of Writing Groups
Note from Jane : Last week, I ran a comprehensive guest post on how to find the right critique group . To help add to the nuance and complexity of that issue, I’m happy to feature the following guest post by Jennie Nash ( @jennienash ), the Chief Creative Officer of Author Accelerator .
Writers love the idea of writing groups. Writing is, after all, a very lonely pursuit. You sit alone in a room wrestling your ideas onto the page, struggling to fend off the constant attacks of doubt. Your regular friends probably don’t quite get what you are doing and can’t help. So it makes perfect sense to join other writers who can help you navigate the joys and sorrows of the creative process.
Unfortunately, the reality of writing groups is far more complicated than that. Underneath the good intentions there are serious dangers lurking.
In my work as a book coach I often see the damage that writing groups do, and it is not benign. Writing groups can cause fatal frustration, deep self-doubt, and sometimes years of wasted effort. In this post I’m going to outline the most common dangers of writing groups, and will also propose some ways you could improve your group to give you more of what you need—and less of what you don’t.
1. No one tells the truth and no one really wants to hear it.
Most writing groups tiptoe around glaring weaknesses in the work being shared and sometimes tell outright lies about it, because they don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. All the writer hears is praise or vague criticism that isn’t very actionable, and so they assume that what they are writing is solid (if not awesome) and they plow on creating fundamentally flawed work.
Praise is wonderful—it feels good to hear it—but it is not very helpful for the writer committed to writing a book that engages the reader. Writers must find a way to welcome criticism, even harsh criticism, but writer’s groups tend not to foster this skill, and as a result, no one grows, no one learns, and people become deluded about their work—believing it to be better than it is.
At Pixar, truth-telling is a central part of the creative process. As Catmull writes:
In the very early days of Pixar, John, Andrew, Pete, Lee, and Joe made a promise to one another. No matter what happened, they would always tell each other the truth. They did this because they recognized how important and rare candid feedback is and how, without it, our films would suffer. Then and now, the term we use to describe this kind of constructive criticism is “good notes.”
Before we get to the good notes part, let’s look at the promise to tell the truth. That’s the critical thing a good writers group needs—not an implicit promise, but an actual commitment. Every single member of your group needs to understand the promise about telling the truth, believe in it, commit to it, and welcome it when it is their turn in the hot seat. This starts with a shift in mindset, which Catmull describes beautifully:
Naturally, every director would prefer to be told that his film is a masterpiece. But, because of the way [our group] is structured, the pain of being told that flaws are apparent or revisions are needed is minimized. Rarely does a director get defensive, because no one is pulling rank or telling the filmmaker what to do. The film itself—not the filmmaker—is under the microscope. This principle eludes most people, but it is crucial: You are not your idea, and if you identify too closely with your idea, you will take offense when they are challenged. To set up a healthy feedback system, you must remove power dynamics from the equation—you must enable yourself, in other words, to focus on the problem, not the person.
Try the following fixes for your writing group:
- Every writer in your group needs to agree to speak the truth and to accept the truth. It helps enormously if the writers in the group have a similar level of expertise and experience, and if they share the same clearly stated goals. Someone writing a book because it’s cathartic and fun is in a very different place from someone writing a book for publication, and it could be that you need to shake up the composition of the group in order to be able to make a commitment to the truth. Making these changes can be heartbreaking—but that’s part of truth telling, too.
- Each member needs to speak with deep kindness and a sense of hope when it’s their turn to offer a critique. Mean-spirited attacks that leave you gasping for breath and feeling small are among the most damaging realities of all. There is a difference between telling the truth and being mean. Don’t allow mean.
- Each member needs to take a deep breath and welcome the truth when it’s their turn to hear it. Remember that when someone is criticizing your work, they are not criticizing you.
- Finally, the group needs to make a commitment to understanding what giving good notes is all about. Which brings us to No. 2 below.
2. Struggling writers are not often the best judges of struggling writing.
At Pixar, giving good notes happens in a meeting of what’s known as the Braintrust. “The Braintrust,” Catmull writes, “is made up of people with a deep understanding of storytelling and, usually, people who have been through the process themselves.” This is a critical concept that most writing groups don’t adhere to, because they can’t adhere to it. They’re often comprised of writers who are struggling to find their way for the first time, and it’s one of the main dangers of being in a writing group.
There is not one single thing wrong with struggle. Struggle is part of the creative process for everyone at every level, but why would you think that being in a room with other people who are also struggling with the same things you are, and who have no experience with that struggle, would be a good way to nurture your work? Yes, you might get camaraderie and community, which is nice, but by design, the odds of getting specific, focused, useful help with your story are low. Why is that? As Catmull writes:
While problems in a film are fairly easy to identify, the sources of those problems are often extraordinarily difficult to assess. … Think of it like a patient complaining of a knee pain that stems from his fallen arches. If you operate on the knee, it wouldn’t just fail to alleviate the pain, it could compound it. To alleviate the pain, you have to find and deal with the root of the problem.
A group of writers who are not trained to assess problems with a story or argument often get it wrong, or get it partially right, or demand specific remedies—not necessarily on purpose, but by a sort of unconscious group-think approach of what they like or don’t like. It’s not good. It comes without any assistance in how to move forward. You get the “it’s not working” feedback, but not the nurturing and patience you need to fix your problem, and certainly not the editorial understanding you need to prevent it from happening again. People may offer ideas for how they would fix things, or how they see your story or what they would do, but this is a sure path for crushing fragile new projects and wavering confidence.
So what exactly IS a good note? Here is the principle as Catmull describes it on his website:
Truly candid feedback is the only way to ensure excellence. When giving notes, be sure to include: What is Wrong What is Missing What Isn’t Clear What Doesn’t Make Sense A good note is specific. A good note does not make demands. Most of all, a good note inspires.
Copy that principle down and laminate it so you can look at it during your writing group critiques. It is so smart. It’s not about praise of any kind whatsoever (although Catmull does say that most Braintrust meetings start with the members praising the director.) And it is not about ways the writer should fix the problem. It’s about identifying weakness in a very specific way, articulating them, and helping the writer to see them, and to sort out how to go about fixing them.
- Use Catmull’s criteria for giving good notes—and I mean literally . Make each note follow his format, and don’t allow any other commentary. That means never saying, “Ohh, what if your character is from another planet instead?” or “I think you should start at Chapter 5,” or “You’re the best writer, I’m so jealous, I wish I could write like you.”
- Hone your story analysis skills by learning the craft of self-editing —I highly recommend The Artful Edit by Susan Bell (principles of editing), Handling the Truth by Beth Kephart (the critical importance of truth in memoir) and Wired for Story by Lisa Cron (how to write fiction designed to give the reader what the brain craves.) Read these books in your writing group and discuss them and evaluate your own work according to their principles. This will be a powerful learning tool. You may also like my guide, How to Edit A Complete Manuscript . It teaches you how to put down your writer’s hat and put on an editing hat.
3. Struggling writers are not often the best judges of struggling writing, Part 2.
This point is so important that I’m making it again, in a different way.
Let’s assume that neither you nor your writing group members can hone their story analysis skills overnight. This is, in fact, often the reality. Many writers think they understand story and narrative because they love to read, and they are great readers, and they recognize a great story when it’s on the page. But that is very different from knowing how a dramatic narrative (for fiction) or a narrative argument (for non fiction) is constructed, or knowing how to get the emotion on the page, or knowing how to hold the readers’ expectation in your mind as you write. These are very different skills. Some writers are native geniuses at it, but those people are very rare. Most writers are honing their story analysis and narrative design skills in terms of their own writing, not in terms of being able to articulate it to other writers.
So how can you help each other with your work? If the people in your group don’t have the knowledge and expertise to diagnose problems, don’t do it . Seriously. Don’t. Consider skipping the editorial analysis completely and make the group be about accountability, camaraderie, support, and information-sharing instead of about the words on the page.
- Give each writer time to talk about the weaknesses they see in their work and the solutions they are contemplating. Let them try to sort those things out in a supportive space. Often, simply having to articulate your problem goes a long way towards solving it. I find that writers frequently know what’s wrong with their own work if you give them the time and space to confront those truths, and this is far better than asking people who are not trained to weigh in on what’s wrong with the work.
- Give everyone half an hour to talk about the problems they are having making time to write —or the doubt they are feeling about the point of their story, or their lack of faith in their worthiness as a writer. These are experiences every human is indeed an expert on (managing time, facing doubt, being brave) and experiences that can be fundamental to writing success.
- Assign members research projects. Spend time sharing what you have read about changes in the industry, trends in pricing, what readers are doing and saying and thinking, and how writers are reaching readers. Look at newsletters such as The Hot Sheet about the business of writing, or at Shelf Awareness , about the business of bookselling. Identify useful writing blogs ( Save the Cat , Shawn Coyne ) and push yourself to include sites that focus on social media and entrepreneurial skills ( Alexis Grant , Joanna Penn , and Dan Blank ). All of this is just as important to being a successful writer than the words on the page. I do not believe that excellent writing can come from writers whose only goal is to sell, but I also believe that writers who ignore the realities of how books are bought and sold, and ignore the demands of their readers and their competitors, are writing with their heads in the sand. Publishing success is often deemed to be mostly a matter of luck and timing—and while luck and timing certainly play a role, knowledge about the demands of readers and the realities of publishing is almost always a factor, as well.
- Save up your pennies to find an actual expert to help you with the words on the page. This could be an online group workshop from somewhere like Gotham Writers Workshop , UCLA Extension Writer’s Program or Writer’s Digest ; a class at a nearby college; or hiring an editor or book coach. (Jane has a fabulous list of resources on her site here .)
4. Failure is not an option in a writer’s group, but failure is a part of the writing process.
Writing is a creative undertaking, and all creative undertakings are messy. Things sometimes get worse before they get better. Things can take a long time to come into focus, as you ping back and forth between what you thought you were doing and what you are actually doing, between the start of the story and the finish, between one narrative thread and another. Failure is part of the territory—a big part of it. Writing groups, however, tend to exclusively celebrate forward progress, and clean, linear thinking.
This happens because writing groups focus on only on one tiny slice of work at a time. If that slice happens to be logical, chronological, clear and well written, you get a thumbs up. Problems related to how that slice fits into the whole sweep of the story, or how it supports the premise, or how it aligns with the overall structure are largely ignored—and yet many of the most common problems I see are the result of flaws in these areas. When seen through a micro lens, a chapter can be beautiful and moving and polished yet be an utter failure at doing what it needs to do on a macro level—which is to drive the story or the argument forward towards a clear and resonant resolution.
Some of the best passages in Catmull’s book chronicle the early, messy stages of beloved stories like Toy Story . Can you imagine Woody ever being a character who was fuzzy and unformed? He was, and as you can imagine, that impacted every element of the story. The writers and producers wrestled with his character for a long time before hitting on the slightly neurotic little toy cowboy who adores his owner Andy and is nervous about the newcomer, Buzz. Catmull’s point in letting us inside Woody’s transformation is to show us that the creative process is never linear and straightforward, and that you must make room for failure:
Pixar films are not good at first, and our job is to make them so—to go, as I say, “from suck to not-suck.” This idea—that all movies we now think of as brilliant were, at one time, terrible—is a hard concept for many to grasp. … Creativity has to start somewhere, and we are true believers in the power of bracing, candid feedback and the iterative process—reworking, reworking, and reworking again, until a flawed story finds its throughline or a hollow character finds its soul.
Try the following fixes for your writing group—which are all reiterations of the points we’ve outlined, above.
- Tell the truth. If someone is not working—if it has a fatal flaw, if it’s ill conceived, if it has an underlying problem of logic—say so, in as specific way as possible. Don’t hold back for the sake of being nice. Nice is saving a writer from years of writing in the wrong direction.
- Be open to criticism. If you get deep criticism on something you have written, consider that you might need to scratch it, start again, go back to Go. Allow that reality a place at the table. Many writers say that they know something is working when they start throwing out a lot of pages. They can see their vision clearly—and they can see what doesn’t fit.
- Give good notes—and ask for them. Encourage the members of your group to ask for the help they think they need. Rather than reading a passage of text and waiting for generic feedback, urge the writer to say, “I’m having trouble with the passage where I explain my system for writing a resume. I’d like you guys to listen to see what I am missing.” This is, in effect, asking for a “good note.”
- Talk about the failure. Talk about the doubt and the agony of it all. Let the pain be part of the mix, because creating something out of nothing is not easy. It’s highly emotional work, no matter what the genre. Writers need support—real support, not just surface level support—and they need a place where they can fail. Let your writing group be that place, and you will be providing an invaluable service.
Jennie Nash is an author and book coach, and the Chief Creative Officer of Author Accelerator . Sign up for her weekly coaching lessons at JennieNash.com.
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Take writing classes, meet beta readers, and become a better writer in our online writing group
Scribophile is one of the largest and most award-winning online writing communities.
Make your writing shine with feedback from other writers
You’ve spent a lot of time writing your story. But how can you make it perfect before you start thinking about publishing?
Scribophile is a writing group focused on getting you feedback on your manuscript. Our points-based peer critique system guarantees you’ll get feedback from writers from all walks of life. You can then use that feedback to polish your writing before you take the next step in your publishing journey.
How Scribophile works
1 earn points by giving feedback.
Earn karma points by critiquing writing. Giving feedback to other writers is fast, easy, fun, and helps improve your own writing, too!
2 Get feedback on your own writing
Spend karma points to post your own writing for critique—anything from flash fiction to novels. Our busy community of writers from all over the world will give you detailed feedback on how to improve it.
3 Make friends and meet beta readers
As you participate in our writing group, you’ll meet and form relationships with other writers. These friends will be your beta readers, ready to help with your current manuscript, and your next ones too!
Scribophile was the first place I stopped when I went from being an I-wanna-be-a-writer to I-am-an-author. Now I have four international bestselling novels with major publishers, and when authors come to me I always send them to Scribophile. Genevieve Graham Tides of Honour and others published with Simon & Schuster
Take writing classes and level up your writing
Our writing classes are taught by bestselling authors, expert teachers, and industry insiders. We have workshops for writers of any skill level, where we cover everything from beginning topics to advanced techniques.
Our writing classes are designed to be both comprehensive and transformational— they’re your fast track to becoming an unforgettable writer.
Improve your writing, at any skill level
Our writing group welcomes writers of all skill levels —from beginners to published authors, and every writer in between.
Each critique you receive on your manuscript is a fresh perspective for you to incorporate. Our bustling writing forums feature writers discussing the craft twenty-four hours a day. And our extensive Writing Academy is full of insightful articles on the art—and business—of writing.
Scribophile played a major part in helping me polish my novel for submission. I learnt a huge amount from critiquing other people’s work, as well as from reading critiques of mine. I now have a wonderful agent and have signed a three-book deal in the UK, a two-book deal in Germany, and a TV option. The book was also shortlisted for The Debut Dagger! Roz Watkins The Devil’s Dice and others published with HarperCollins
Giving and receiving critiques on Scribophile made a big difference to the quality of my writing. I learned how to write a query letter here and that led to an agent and a book deal. Ruth Lauren Prisoner of Ice and Snow and others published with Bloomsbury
No more writing alone— meet your new writer friends
Sometimes, the hardest part of being a writer is how lonely it can get.
That’s why the most important part of Scribophile is our community of hundreds of thousands of writers from all over the world. No matter what genre you write in, or how far along you are in your manuscript, the friends you make at Scribophile will finally take the loneliness out of our solitary craft.
My years on Scribophile have given me a master’s level education in writing. The critiques are great, but I’ve learned as much from reading and analyzing other writers on Scribophile. I don’t think I could have polished my novel to a publishable level without this site. I’m an addict. Laura Creedle The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily published with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Welcome to Poets & Writers Groups! Ready to connect, communicate, and collaborate with a new community of writers? Browse the list or use the filters below to find a writers group that is the perfect fit for you and your work. If you see one you’d like to join, click on the vertical ellipses menu to the right of the group name to request membership. To see groups to which you already belong, click on the “My Groups” button in the menu bar above. Or, if you’d like to create your own group, click on the “Create a Group” button.
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23 Facebook Groups for Writers You Don’t Want to Miss
by Carson Kohler | Mar 29, 2021
Whether you’re a freelancer, a blogger, a fiction writer or anything in between, we could all use a little company on the sometimes lonely road known as the writing life .
Maybe you just got your first offer to ghostwrite a book and have no idea what to charge. Maybe your characters refuse to do what you want them to do (isn’t that just like them?), and you could use someone to commiserate with. Maybe it’s after midnight and you’re still up trying to wrestle the words into submission, and you find yourself searching for “writing groups near me” just to find a few writer friends.
Whatever the reason, online writing groups can be a fantastic way for writers to connect, trade advice, swap war stories and find new opportunities. Knowing there are other people out there who “get” what it’s like to be a writer can be a huge comfort, and the chance to share experience and tips with people on all stages of the writing journey is invaluable.
These online writing groups are supportive and helpful
We polled writers to find out which online writing groups they personally could not live without — and many of them relied heavily on Facebook groups.
Note: Even if a Facebook group isn’t currently super active with members posting, you can still find a ton of great resources. We suggest searching groups to find topics you’re interested in. For example, search “rate,” “pay” or “compensation” to find topics on money.
So here are some of the best Facebook groups for writers.
1. The Write Life Community
Before we dig in deep about what’s out there, we hope you’ve joined The Write Life Facebook group! Writers of all experience levels share their struggles and wins, ask each other questions, and generally support and encourage one another. Recent topics of discussion include how to beat procrastination and the best ways to find remote writing opportunities.
Size: 28,100 members (as of March 2021)
2. Author Success Collective
This group for aspiring and current authors was created by Self-Publishing School to allow a place for authors to come together, talk about what’s working and not, along with a place to connect with like-minded people with a single goal—to write and publish high-quality books that sell. They also host challenges with unique, themed-based content to help you along your journey.
Size: 4,000 members and growing
3. The Freelance Content Marketing Writer
Created by Jennifer Goforth Gregory, who has a book by the same name as the group, this space is for writers who work in content marketing. Most have a background in digital marketing, journalism or freelance writing, and they discuss topics like how much to charge for specific services, where to look for a virtual assistant, and alternatives to getting paid with PayPal. Plus, each week a jobs thread is created, so you can check out new opportunities.
Size: 6,300 members (as of March 2021)
4. Writers Helping Writers
Whether you’re a newbie looking for advice or an established pro who’d like to pay it forward, this community is a great place to support and learn from other writers, as well as editors, publishers, agents and more. Posts include writers asking for feedback on cover designs, sharing motivational quotes and comics about writing, and sharing writing wins.
Size: 286,000 members (as of March 2021)
5. What’s Your Plan B?
This group is for journalists who have left the industry, are preparing to leave the industry, or fear they might be forced into leaving the industry… and what they’ve gone on to do with their careers. It’s full of ideas from writers and editors who have used their skills to make an income in new ways and requests from journalists who are struggling with the change. It’s a supportive space!
Size: 16,200 members (as of March 2021)
6. Pat’s First Kindle Book (From Start to Finish)
Ever wanted to write a Kindle book or wondered how the process works? Join this group to get a behind-the-scenes look at popular blogger Pat Flynn’s own journey to publish a Kindle book from start to finish. In addition to watching Pat’s journey, readers have a chance to ask questions, share their own advice and experiences and get feedback on similar projects they’re working on.
Size: 16,700 members (as of March 2021)
7. Inner Circle Writers’ Group
Created by Grant Hudson of independent publisher Clarendon House Publications, this group is for new and established writers who are interested in the craft and practice of writing. Many of the posts are writers cheering each other on as submissions are accepted and published, so if that’s something you’re working toward, you’ll be in good company here.
Size: 9,000 members (as of March 2021)
8. Ask a Book Editor
This group is all about asking questions you have about the writing process and getting answers from editors. Admins prefer participants ask specific questions, rather than posting excerpts and asking for feedback. This is a great place to lurk and learn even if you don’t have a reason to participate! There’s also a Help Wanted section for writers looking to hire an editor.
Size: 7,600 members (as of March 2021)
9. 10 Minute Novelists Group
For novelists looking to improve their craft, especially those who are crunched for time to write. As one member told us, “10-Minute Novelists is my all time favorite…the group is so supportive, the admins are very active in discussions and post regularly…It’s helped me so much!” Look for inspiring features like Tuesday #BuddyDay (when you can find critique partners and beta readers) and Wednesday #AuthorHappiness chats (where members celebrate their weekly successes).
Size: 15,900 members (as of March 2020)
10. Beta Readers and Critique Partners
If you’re willing to become a beta reader or critique partner, or you want to find one for your work, this is the place to connect with other writers. You’ll see calls for reads of poetry, action, drama, historical fiction, personal essays, non-fiction…pretty much every type of writing.
Size: 18,700 members (as of March 2021)
11. Word Nerds Unite
Run by Gabriela Pereira at DIY MFA, a do-it-yourself alternative to a master’s in writing, this group focuses on all things writing. Topics have included how to beat writer’s block, call-outs for beta readers and grammar questions. Pereira herself interacts regularly, sharing Word Nerd Wins and hosting weekend writing sprints, which she says are like virtual writing retreats. This is a fun and motivated crowd!
Size: 8,400 members (as of March 2021)
12 . Calls for Submissions (Poetry, Fiction Art)
This group collects submission calls for poetry, fiction and art and presents them all in one easy-to-follow place. If you’re looking for publication opportunities, it’s worth checking out.
Size: 66,300 (as of March 2021)
13. Indie Author Group
This group of indie authors and self-publishers focuses mainly on fiction. It’s a great place to get advice, air your grievances and discover new authors.
Size: 12,100 members (as of March 2021)
14. Indie Writers Unite!
Open to indie writers of all kinds, this group allows self-promotion only in admin-created threads, and has a fair but firm panel of moderators who keep spammers and trolls at bay.
Size: 8,200 members (as of March 2021)
15. Journey Feed Blogging Community
Founded by blogger Edwin Covarrubias, this is a place for bloggers to connect and share ideas. You’ll also find opportunities to promote your blog if you’re a new blogger looking to find readers.
Size: 4,900 members (as of March 2021)
16. Blogging Boost
Another group chock full of advice, resources and support for bloggers, this group limits self-promotion to Mondays only, which helps save your feed from over-saturation.
Size: 33,000 members (as of March 2021)
17. Write On! Online
An extension of a live group that started at a Barnes & Noble in California in 2002, this group aims at helping writers set goals, troubleshoot and network. It’s hosted by hosted by Debra Eckerling of The D*E*B Method. As one member told us, “They have a supportive environment…to provide that much needed ‘kick in the pants’ without the guilt.”
Size: 2,500 members (as of March 2021)
18. Writers Write
If you’re looking for less of a participatory experience and more of a compendium of all things writing, this group is a fun news source of recent doings in the writing world. Notable posts include reaction to Bob Dylan’s nomination for (and subsequent radio silence towards) the Nobel Prize for Literature and Kanye West penning a poem on McDonald’s french fries for Frank Ocean’s new art mag. Dare we say it’s a great way to kill a little “writer’s block” time?
Size: 19,800 members (as of March 2021)
19. Writers World
As one of the phrases on this group’s logo image indicates, you need “lizard skin” to be an active member in this critique-only group. You’ll find no pep talks or ego-fluffing here, simply polite, but pull-no-punches assessments of any pieces members offer up for critique. (One of the admins has edited for Disney and NBC, if you wonder how useful those critiques are.) If you want to get serious about your work, and you can handle bold honesty, this group can help you hone your skills.
Have you ever participated in National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo) ? This group can help you through the challenge by offering support, tips and empathy as you type, type, type your way to 50,000 words in 30 days. It continues to stay active outside of November, too.
Size: 22,600 members (as of March 2021)
21. Women Writers, Women’s Books
Ladies, this one’s for you. Connect with women writers of all genres and experience levels, from indie scribes to traditionally published and self-published authors. Member Suzanne Brazil said of the group, “They have an active Twitter presence, publish helpful essays, support each other’s blogs and author pages and are generally just a great place for technical questions, writing advice, and encouragement! Can’t recommend them highly enough.”
Size: 19,200 members (as of March 2021)
22. The Aspiring Travel Writer
Run by blogger and podcaster Alexa Williams Meisler of Break Into Travel Writing, this group’s goal is to provide “ a page to ask questions, share ideas and support each other in the travel blogging world. ” Self-promotion is limited to “Friday Free for Alls” to allow members to focus more on supporting and learning from each other.
Size: 8,300 members (as of March 2021)
23. Writing Bad
Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned author with several published titles to your name, this group welcomes you. The whole concept is they don’t believe in bad writing — just undeveloped writing that needs some TLC. The members of the group are there to offer you support.
Size: 13,700 members (as of March 2021)
Want more Facebook groups for writers to choose from? Writer Elna Cain offers more ideas here .
This is an updated version of a story that was previously published. We update our posts as often as possible to ensure they’re useful for our readers.
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The resources below make up the Writing Center packet on writing groups.
Writing Group Starter Kit
Course-Based Writing Groups
What to Expect from a Faculty Mentor
Guidance for Faculty Mentors
What to do in your group
Activities for Writing Groups
When you hand out writing
Writing Feedback Request Worksheet
Reacting to Other People’s Responses to Your Writing
When you respond
Responding to Other People’s Writing
Make a Gift
Jul 9, 2020
Connect With Other Writers Through These Online Writing Groups
As a writer, you probably spend many hours alone, hunched over a keyboard or a notebook and immersed in your latest first (or second) draft. But sometimes, all that alone time can get…lonely. Never interacting with other writers can also get you stuck in a creative rut and lacking motivation. Meeting with other writers can help kick-start your inspiration, give you new insights into…
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Famous Writing Groups
The idea of writing groups goes back centuries—thousands of years, if you count the Socrates School. Plenty of people, including famous writers like Virginia Woolf, EM Forster, and C.S. Lewis have had writers groups.
Why? Because even in an activity as individual as writing, sometimes we need to get out of our own heads. With groups, we can talk shop, encourage one another and share objective feedback. We see new paths and feel inspired to try new things. And sometimes, we all need a gentle kick in the pants.
This is true for many creative pursuits, from writing, philosophy to art and even science, as this TED talk illustrates.
The Socrates School
The Socrates School was a group of thinkers around 400 BC including Socrates and his students Plato and Xenophon who asked big questions about life and made important contributions to Western philosophy and ethics. Socrates dedicated his life to teaching. Read More
The Bloomsbury Group
The Bloomsbury Group included Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster and John Maynard Keynes. They were a group of writers, artists and intellectuals who lived or worked near Bloomsbury, London and met informally to share and discuss ideas. Read More
The Dymock Poets
The Dymock Poets were a group of poets including Robert Frost and Rupert Brooke who lived in the English village of Dymock. These poets met in the early 1900’s and even published their own quarterly called ‘New Numbers’. Read More
The Algonquin Roundtable
The Algonquin Roundtable was a group of New York City playwrights, actors, critics and comedians including Harpo Marx, George Kaufman and Dorothy Parker who met for lunch at the Algonquin Hotel from 1919 to 1929. Read More
The Inklings were a literary group in England that especially encouraged fantasy writing. J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were notable members. I loved these two as a child and still do. Read More
Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein and F. Scott Fitzgerald were among the famous writers who comprised Stratford-on-Odeon. The group was so named after the bookshop they frequented called Shakespeare and Company and which James Joyce coined “Stratford-on-Odeon”. Their meeting place was destroyed during World War II. Read More
The Factory was so named for Andy Warhol’s studio space in New York City. It was a meeting place of artists, writers and musicians, including Truman Capote, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger and Salvador Dali. It became famous for its raucous parties. Read More
El Floridita was a bar outside Havana so often frequented by Ernest Hemingway in his post-Paris life that the owners gave him his own stool. Reportedly, the stool remains empty in his honor to this day. Check out this article to learn more about some of the famed literary bars.
Things that come in groups of nine include the squares on a tic-tac-toe grid, the balls in a nine-ball pool game and the players on a baseball team. The fruits of the Holy Spirit number nine as well.
Things that come in groups of seven include the days of the week, the cervical vertebrae of most mammals and the seven deadly sins. The number is frequently used for groups in religious contexts, such as in the number of levels of heaven in...
Historically, hot dog buns are available in eight-count packages. Spiders and octopuses also have eight limbs. The number of hot dog buns in a pack is attributable to the fact that buns are usually baked in pans that can hold eight buns. Th...
1. Absolute Write Water Cooler · 2. AgentQuery Connect · 3. Camp NaNoWriMo · 4. Critique Circle · 5. Chronicles · 6. Facebook Groups · 7. Insecure
Reddit is a massive forum community, hosting groups that focus on literally everything and anything. Their thread for writing, writers, and
Writing groups can cause frustration, self-doubt, and sometimes years of wasted effort. Learn the common dangers of writing groups and how
A writing group is a circle of people who meet regularly to read, discuss, and critique one another's work. Group members offer constructive
The online writing group, writing workshop, and writing community where writers exchange critiques and feedback on their writing.
Poetry submitting and writing club · Poetry Fanatics · Caesura: A Contemplative Writing Circle for Mothers of Color · Advanced Prose Workshop Group · Deus ex
These online writing groups are supportive and helpful · 1. The Write Life Community · 2. Author Success Collective · 3. The Freelance Content
The resources below make up the Writing Center packet on writing groups.
15 Online Writing Groups And Communities · Camp NaNoWriMo. An online writing event that takes place every April and July to help writers meet
Largest Writing groups · 1. Free Comedy and New Friends NYC! 29,982 Comedy Lovers | New York, USA · 2. Chicago Meetup. 25,862 Members | Chicago, USA · 3. Free and
Famous Writing Groups · The Socrates School · The Bloomsbury Group · The Dymock Poets · The Algonquin Roundtable · The Inklings · Stratford-on-Odeon · The Factory · El