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Online Communities for Writers
Why join a writing community? Support, encouragement, connecting with readers and fellow writers, and learning are my top reasons. When I first started writing I thought it would be fun and something I could do alone. Nope. Well, it was fun, but I'd isolated myself and therefore stunted my growth as a writer. I didn't know where to look for people to read my work and had to wade through the endless Google searches and decipher who meant business and who didn't. The persistent question of "who on earth will read my book and how do I find that person?" weighed on my mind. After I found people to read the darn thing, I found myself asking "how do I overcome these problems I didn't know I had?"
In order to learn and be encouraged in our writing journey, we have to surround ourselves with people who are interested in the same things. There will be a few people who are discouraging, but that is the risk we take when we exist in this world. The fear that somebody might steal an idea is usually a concern for newbies. Just be judicious about how you share your work. When you do find somebody to share with, there are a few things you should know about the process. Read some of them here.
I wish somebody had handed me a list of writer communities when I first started, so here is a list of places I've discovered and a few I want to research before hoping in head first.
Oh, Facebook, how you consume my time! Yet, here I am promoting all your groups! I've been lurking in the shadows for many groups and have seen a few issues.
Limit yourself to a specific amount of time or nothing will get done.
Searching the group for answers before asking questions helps A LOT.
Read the rules and group description before requesting to join a group. There are often questions that must be answered when you make the request, and those questions are based on information in the rules and description. Plus, you don't want to get banned for advertising right off the bat.
Try your best to be concise about what it is you are looking to get/see/know. This will help you get a response.
This page is full of over 700 people who are pretty easy going. The group admins post tips and categorize them under topics, making the content easier to find. You are also welcome to post bits of writing for feedback, or ask for a beta reader/critique partner/alpha reader.
A wonderful resource for finding those tips about grammar, plotting, motivation, etc. that beginners are often too shy to ask about. In fact, people are encouraged to ask any question, no matter how silly they think it is.
This group is massive. There are over 85,000 members from all over the world, and they have a wide range of skills and expertise. It's not a place to ask just any question. Search the group with your question terms before posting. Example: "How much should I expect to pay in order to publish my book?" You will soon be buried in no less than 133 comments on how you should never pay to publish a book, etc. etc., combined with a few sarcastic comments that may sting a little. So, learn from the other unfortunates and search the group first. That said, they are a fantastic resource for getting readers and advice. The admins are active and they regularly post tips and answers to the most commonly asked questions.
It is what it sounds like. You can post to this group asking for a reader and or critique. In groups like this, be aware that most people are asking and not everyone is reading. That's fine! Maybe trade with somebody.
Finally, a resource just for me, haha! This group is a lifesaver. When I really need feedback from my intended audience, this is where I go. If you write fantasy, best head over to a group just for that. Genre-specific groups help because they are already interested in your genre and have a better chance of being interested in your story.
Want to know how long it takes to drain a body of blood? Perhaps your character needs to have a leg injury and survive long enough to slash her way through battle. This page is a great place to do a search for your topic. If you don't find the answer, go ahead and ask.
This group is pretty supportive and positive. I like asking questions here after a quick search because people are willing to help. They also help each other with marketing tips.
With almost 138,000 people from all walks of life, you're bound to find something you need here. That said, please do read the group description and the rules. It can be fast-paced and reading ahead of time helps you gear up.
Yes, there's a group for that. It's OK to have anxiety. The members here support one another in their personal and professional growth. Very nice place.
I lurk in this place often. People are always coming up with cool stuff about history! Here's what they have to say about the group: "Our group is set up as a forum for the discussion of HNS-related activities, historical fiction, history, and closely related issues such as writing, reading and publishing historical fiction. General writing and off-topic posts will be deleted. Author announcements about new releases are acceptable once on the day of publication of first format."
Another Writers Helping Writers group! This time it's for something specific. This is a great place to get that advice on editing, or get yourself out into the community.
Let's say you are researching how to sell more books before you even have a book. Good! Go here. Maybe you have a book and want to sell more. Also good. Have twenty books and want to make $50,000 a year? Go here. The idea is that people go here to learn how to properly market their brand and their books. READ THE RULES and search the group before posting.
I only heard about this site recently and am excited to find out more about it. They have a ton of free writing resources and a community of people who give detailed feedback. As with most communities, you'll have to participate in order to gain the full benefit of membership, but it looks worth the effort to this introvert!
This site a place for people to share their work and to read other's work. The idea is that you can grow a fanbase and get noticed by publishers and TV networks, etc. The trick is to actually make this a big part of your life, or it will gather dust. I have not tried this, so be aware I know little about it, and read the terms and conditions carefully.
A great place to discuss, read, review, and put your writing out for the world to see. There are discussion boards for genres, topics, seeking readers, just about anything you can think of related to writing.
I hope you've enjoyed this exhausting list of writing communities! I know there are at least five more things I will want to add as soon as I publish this post, but I'll never hit that "publish" button if I keep distracting myself. What online communities have you discovered? Share in the comments.