One of the best things about being a writer is how much support there is out there on the internet. Whether you’re new to writing, or been at it a while, there are many different types of communities to suit every type of writer. Not everyone has access to local writing groups or can afford writing classes, therefore finding an online home can be beneficial.
What are the advantages of joining an online writing community?
- Make friends with people who are going through the same process as you.
- Network new connections – the people you meet could be editors, artists, agents, or publishers!
- Find critique partners and beta readers.
- Get help and advice on writing topics.
- Brain storm with other writers and bounce ideas off each other.
- Collaborate with other writers if that’s your thing.
- Support and promote each other’s projects.
- Keep up to date with the publishing industry.
- Find awesome new books to read!
Have I convinced you yet? If so, here just a small handful of the writing communities online and some ideas on how you can get involved!
Facebook have a whole host of writing groups that you can join, often separated by genre for whatever you need. You can find many groups that focus on promotion and marketing each other’s books as well. My main problem with Facebook groups is that they can be quite active and not every post will receive attention. Plus, a lot of Facebook groups can be full of spammers who are just trying to market their book rather than engage with other writers. If you join a group that isn’t working for you, then don’t let it drag you down – leave and find a better one.
That said, I’m a member of some large and popular reader groups for my target audience (YA fantasy) because I find it useful to see what the audience is saying, what opinions they have, what they’re currently reading and enjoying. I’d recommend joining these types of groups as a reader, not a writer, so you can engage with the people who will one day read your book!
I tend to follow the YA fantasy ones, so here’s a shout to those:
- Authors of Indie Fantasy Addicts
- Indie Fantasy Addicts
- Writers Unite
- YA Book Club and Book Talk
- YA Fantasy Addicts
Unlike Facebook, Twitter doesn’t have centralised groups and the pace of messages are definitely more real-time. But, if you can get online and latch on to the many community #hashtags out there, you’ll find quite a warm and welcoming group of writers. Simply put, writers LOVE Twitter and you’ll find a massive mix of writers to follow, and that’s not including the famous authors!
Here are a few writer-themed Twitter accounts to follow to get you started:
- Delilah S. Dawson
- Free Writing Events
- Just Publishing Advice
- K. M. Weiland
- Writer’s Digest
- Writers of Horror, Sci-fi, and Fantasy
- Writers Write
It’s worth following/looking at some of the more popular writing hashtags as well. Some of these hashtags are used to communicate with the community, whereas others are for specific communities or events. You can also find weekly/monthly chats, events and hashtag games hosted on Twitter which involve the community for daily questions or discussions. Here are some of them and what they mean:
- #AestheticAdventure = Weekly fun aesthetic image prompts hosted by @AestheAdventure
- #AuthorConfession = Scheduled daily/monthly writing topics hosted by @jmsullivanbooks and @jjulienauthor
- #BookishTues = A hashtag game to post lines based on a prompt on Thursdays. A new theme is posted each week. Hosted by @_NicolaNoble_
- #Chance2Connect = Monthly chat where writers can find new critique partners and friends. Hosted by @_KimChance
- #FF = Stands for “Follow Friday” – use this to highlight your favourite writing accounts and followers for others to follow.
- #MSWL = Used by agents to post their Manuscript Wishlist i.e. what stories they wish to see. Don’t use this hashtag to post your own ideas (unless you’re an agent!) but use it to see what trends agents are looking for.
- #MuseMon = A hashtag game to post lines based on a prompt on Thursdays. A new theme is posted each week. Not sure who hosts this, sorry!
- #PitMad = Agent pit events hosted by @PitchWars – check them for the rules! PitMad is held a few times a year for writers to pitch their books to potential agents. During this, they’ll be lots of pitches thrown around and it’s important to not “like” tweets during this time!
- #StoryDam = Weekly writing check-in each Thursday hosted by @StoryDam
- #Thurds = A hashtag game to post lines based on a prompt on Thursdays. A new theme is posted each week. Hosted by @ThurdsWords
- #WIPitWed = A hashtag game to post lines based on a prompt on Wednesdays. A new theme is posted each week. Hosted by @WritersUnify
- #WritingCommunity = One of the main hashtags that writers use to communicate over Twitter.
- #UKYAChat = Regular YA chat in the UK hosted by @LucyTheReader
Don’t forget hashtags like #amwriting #amreading #amediting #wip #wipjoy #writingtips #nanowordsprints #5amwritersclub #writerslife #writeon #writelgbtq and many more…
Instagram has a growing writing community, and is especially popular with book bloggers, turning Instagram into Bookstagram! Instagram is a bit different from Twitter and Facebook as it focusses specifically on images. Instagram can be used to connect with writers and readers by sharing personal photos of your writing journey, colourful images of the books you’re currently reading, and aesthetics or lines related to your work. Like Twitter, there are #hashtags you can piggy-back on and hashtag games to take part in, but these tend to change every month.
Here are some Instagram accounts to get you started:
Follow these popular hashtags to find some you may be interested in:
#writersofinstagram #writersofig #writersofinsta #writerscommunity #writerslife #writer #writinganovel #amwriting #amwritingfantasy #writersnetwork #creativewriting #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #amwriting #amwritingfantasy #writerscorner #writerlythings #wordnerd #writerscircle #writers_den_ #writershelpingwriters #write
Don’t forget to include hashtags when posting your images! Do you follow any great writing accounts? Let me know as I’m always looking to follow more.
Reddit is an online community of message board-like discussions. Things are a bit more slow paced compared to social media groups like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can find some great communities here to discuss books and writing, and there are many subreddits (as they’re called) for particular genres, books, and authors. Here are some of the best ones to get you started:
- r/books = Large book and reading community.
- r/destructivereaders = A critique community which focuses on blunt criticism and exchanging critiques.
- r/fantasy = Large fantasy fiction and writing community.
- r/pubtips = Get help and advice on publishing and querying.
- r/writing = Large writing community.
- r/writingprompts = Popular community of writing prompts where people can respond to each prompt with a short story.
Whilst primarily a gaming chat room and service, Discord has grown to become popular with writers as well who have formed their own Discord servers. These are effectively chat rooms, and thus a more fast paced and interactive experience compared to social media and message boards. However, they can be great for sharing ideas, getting advice, and networking with like mined folk. Here are some of the best writing servers you can join:
- Elysium = A small tight-knit community of serious writers.
- Inkblood Writers’ Guild = A small community that focusses on developing individual writing projects.
- Screenwriters Network = A community for screenwriting.
- Worldbuilding = A large world building community from reddit.
- Writer’s Block = A large writing server for all your creative fiction needs.
- Indie Authors Community = A place for indie and self-published authors to find support.
If social media and chat rooms aren’t your thing, then here are some other writing communities and message boards that may interest you:
- Absolute Write = One of the largest writing message boards and a great place to get professional advice.
- Medium = A writing platform geared more towards articles and non-fiction, but the fiction community is growing.
- NaNoWriMo = AKA National Novel Writing Month, the NaNo website is usually only active when CampNaNo or the main NaNo is on, but the forums and community there are vast and well worth joining.
- Scribophile = A critique writing group where people read and swap critiques with each other.
There are many more great communities out there, and don’t forget places like YouTube. Are you a member of any great communities? Please share them as I’d love to join more!