Networking with fellow writers is crucial for a number of reasons. Aside from helping you to make contacts in the industry, it’s also a means of getting constructive feedback that will help you to hone your craft. Any budding author will learn a great deal about writing, editing, publishing and more by engaging with the wider writing community.
There’s now an abundance of online communities and social networks dedicated to this sort of writer interaction, so we at The Writers’ Academy have done the legwork for you and whittled down the contenders to bring you the cream of the crop. Read on for the 8 writers’ networking websites to get involved in if you’re an aspiring author looking to connect with your peers.
Fictionaut’s minimalist layout makes it easy to navigate and simple to use
“For adventurous readers and writers” – Fictionaut has a comprehensive array of community-based features. Aside from the ability to post work and critique the work of others, the site also offers the option to follow fellow writers and readers whose tastes you share, and form sub-groups related to more niche topics. It’s also very cleanly presented and intuitive to use, which gives it an edge over a multitude of similar writers’ networking sites.
Goodreads’ vast database of books makes it a great tool for research
It’s likely that those with even a passing interest in literature will have heard of Goodreads. This “social cataloguing” platform (acquired by Amazon in 2013) is one of the most widely known and popular book-related sites on the internet.
It’s this popularity that makes the site a valuable writing network: post an excerpt of your work here and you’re guaranteed a sizable audience to provide feedback. There are too many other features here to list them all, but the chance to ask questions directly to some big-name authors is just one example that budding writers are sure to find appealing.
Expert networking advice from Goodreads
“There are many places to interact with readers on Goodreads, including Ask the Author, in the news feed where readers post their reading updates, in book reviews, and in group discussions. Every interaction gets amplified and helps promote discovery of your titles, so keep in mind that all your actions are for public consumption. As with any online community, there are some things that work and some that don’t.”
A clever points-based review system makes Writers-Network a trove of valuable feedback
Writers-Network is a creative writing network that offers a variety of useful social and sharing tools. Chief among them is a nifty system whereby members earn points for reviewing others’ writing. These can then be used to purchase ad space to promote their own work. It’s a clever way of keeping the community active and engaged.
And don’t worry about your latest chapter being spammed with useless comments for easy points – Writers-Network awards more points for lengthy and helpful reviews, making this a great tool for getting quality feedback on your work.
Disclaimer: A steady supply of coffee is probably required to actually produce a book in a week
BIC HOK TAM – “butt in chair, hands on keyboard, typing away madly”. Book-in-a-Week‘s motto sums up this site’s whole philosophy: write, write, write. Their whole online community is based around producing as much writing as you can in the space of a single week. At the end of each day members share their total number of pages written with a group, with any editing or revising only carried out at the end of the week of frenzied writing.
Dates are scheduled for the whole year in advance to make it easy to plan ahead and decide when you want to commit to the challenge. Some writers apparently even finish entire books in this single week (!), while others simply choose to condense their whole month’s writing into this week-long window.
Rise to the literary challenge with one of WritersCafe’s many writing contests
Not the flashiest looking of websites, but WritersCafe has the content to make up for it. With over 700,000 users there’s a large and active community here, and one of the coolest ways in which they interact is through competing in regular “contests” with one another. Recent examples asked members to post “hard-hitting poems” or simply their “finest piece of writing”.
Such contests can rack up hundreds of entrants within days, ensuring a healthy level of competition and the chance to have your work championed in front of a large audience. Perfect for those writers with a competitive streak.
No pressure, just the director of The Godfather here to judge your screenplay…
Founded by none other than the great Francis Ford Coppola himself, Zoetrope began life as a source of content for the director’s literary magazine of the same name. Nowadays though, it’s a vibrant online studio/workshop with a litany of resources for creative writers.
With an emphasis on screenwriting (naturally), Zoetrope also accommodates specialties as wide-spread as “acting resumes, photography, song writing, short films, stories, novels, scripts, short flash fiction, poetry, music, and photos”. A site of considerable pedigree: this one’s great for making industry contacts, as well as receiving peer feedback.
Writing on ABCtales is “cherry-picked” to encourage writers and guide readers to the best material
While on the surface it’s another basic “post your work, comment on others'” community, the appeal of ABCtales lies in the attention that writers can receive from the site’s editors. Recognition for outstanding or improved work is given in the form of a “cherry-pick” – this work is then spotlighted on the home page, featured in a “Picks of the Day/Week” section and even shared by the site on Facebook and Twitter.
With a somewhat smaller community of 20,000, there’s more of a personal touch here, and a genuine effort made by the site editors to promote your writing for you. A slightly more intimate option.
Whether you’re writing Sci-Fi or Historical Fiction – you’ll find a responsive audience at Writer’s Digest
Not technically a writers’ networking website per say, but the forums over at Writer’s Digest are among the most extensive and well-maintained out there. The “Critique Central” section has dedicated threads for feedback on a variety of genres, and the forum in general is just a great hub of resources for all things writing.
Whether you’re looking for writing prompts, book discussion or just general tips and advice on how to write a book – the Writer’s Digest forums have it all, and their substantial membership means you won’t wait long to see your questions answered. No gimmicks here, just a good old-fashioned forum with a lot of knowledgeable users.
If you’re new to writing and found this blog useful, you may also want to check out our guide on editing a first draft.
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