50 writing websites and online resources

Just like any craft or task, having the right tools for the job can make writing your story or short story much easier. There are many online writing resources and websites to help with every aspect of story writing, from story title ideas and plot development to editing.

We’ve picked a few of our favorite websites to help you get started, find your community, improve your writing, develop your characters and plot, and learn how to edit and promote your work. Ultimately, we want to help you become a more confident and productive writer. But remember, besides writing tools, reading more books is the best way to improve your writing because it exposes you to a wide range of writing styles, vocabulary, and language structures.

Resources for getting started

Nothing strikes fear into the heart of an aspiring author more than the blank page—the endlessly flashing cursor. Even when your head is full to the brim with plot twists and characters, getting it all down on paper in a coherent form is another thing altogether. Luckily, this is a common first hurdle for lots of writers, so hundreds of tools and apps have sprung up dedicated to helping you gather your thoughts and start writing.

1. Writer’s Digest Creative Prompts

Writer’s Digest Creative Prompts is one of the jewels in the crown of writing resources. This goldmine of creativity offers endless prompts and ideas to push past any form of writer’s block. Whether you’re looking to spark a new story or breathe life into an existing one, these prompts can offer a new perspective or challenge that ignites your creative spirit. With categories that cater to every genre, from fiction and poetry to nonfiction and scriptwriting, this resource is an empowering tool in your writing arsenal.


For those looking for a more structured approach to their writing, DIY MFA is an online resource that offers writing workshops and courses taught by experienced authors. They also have a wealth of free resources on their website, including articles and podcasts covering character development, world-building, and balancing writing with daily life. Their community of writers is supportive and encouraging, making it a great place to connect with like-minded individuals on your writing journey.

3. The Time is Now

Check out this section of Poets & Writers Magazine online to get weekly writing prompts—poetry on Tuesdays, fiction on Wednesdays, and creative nonfiction on Thursdays. It’s a great resource to help you build a daily writing practice, get new ideas, and improve your craft. Most prompts are inspired by specific books, so you can also grow your reading list!

5. NaNoWriMo

November is a special time of year for writers. If you are struggling to write your own story, joining NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is the perfect opportunity. Confident that anyone can write a novel in just 30 days, NaNoWriMo provides tools, advice, and resources throughout November to help writers do just that. Be spurred on by the hundreds of writers worldwide who join across social media and NaNoWriMo forums to cheer each other on and share learnings from their own experiences. All you need to start is a draft title for your book.

5. The Marginalian

If you’re looking for inspiration, look no further than The Marginalian. Creator Maria Popova weaves together insights from literature, science, art, philosophy, and more. It’s a space where her reflections—much like notes in the margins of a book—chart her intellectual and creative development. Every Sunday, she curates a newsletter that dives deep into the highlights of the liberal arts world, crafted to enrich and expand her readers’ engagement with the vast landscape of creativity.

Person using a note taking writing website to plan a writing project.

Sites for notes and writing

6. Evernote

This bookmarking tool is a great way to collect moments of inspiration and ideas for your story together in one place, where they can be filed and organized, ready to be put to good use. It might be a ‘how to’ article you want to read, a quote that reminds you of one of your characters, or an image that would be the perfect setting for your next scene. Inspiration strikes in the most unexpected places, but as Evernote is available on almost every platform, you can collect notes wherever you are. You can choose to have one notebook that you throw everything into, or you can set up separate notebooks to help you organize your thoughts and ideas as you go. If you’re working on a novel, why not set up separate notebooks for each character or each chapter?

7. Scrivener

While some writers prefer to stick with the traditional pen and paper or word processor, for others, technology can be a game-changer. Scrivener is a powerful writing tool that allows you to organize your notes, research, and writing all in one place. You can create separate documents for each chapter, scene, or character and easily move them around as needed. You can also set word count goals and track your progress, making it an empowering tool for both planning and writing your work.

8. Storyist

Another popular writing app is Storyist, which offers a wide range of features for novelists, screenwriters, and playwrights. From corkboard view to character and plot development tools, Storyist helps you bring your stories to life in an organized way. It also has a distraction-free writing mode, making it easier to focus on your writing without any distractions. Plus, with its built-in formatting tools, you can easily export your work into a professional-looking manuscript when it’s time to self-publish.

9. Calmly Writer

For those who prefer a clean and minimalist interface, Calmly Writer is a great option. This writing app allows you to focus on your writing without any clutter or interruptions. You can also save your work as you go, making it easy to come back to where you left off. And with its auto-save feature, you don’t have to worry about losing your work in case of any technical issues. It’s available on both desktop and mobile devices.

10. Ommwriter

For writers who need a tranquil and calming environment to get their creative juices flowing, Ommwriter is the perfect writing app. With soothing background music, minimalistic design, and customizable backgrounds, this app offers a meditative experience for writers. It also has a “focus mode” that allows you to hide everything on your screen except for your writing, helping you stay in the flow and avoid distractions. Ommwriter also has a mindfulness timer that reminds you to take breaks and practice self-care while writing.

Two writers helping each other, who found each other from writing community resources online!

Writing community resources

In the realm of writing, the adage “It takes a village” is extremely true. Having a community as a writer isn’t just important—it’s essential. While writing is often seen as a solitary endeavor, there’s nothing like the support, inspiration, and feedback from fellow wordsmiths. It’s about belonging to a group that gets the highs and lows of the creative process and turns struggles into shared successes.

Here are a few of our favorite sites to find your village.

11. Catapult’s Don’t Write Alone

The blog Don’t Write Alone was created by the team at Catapult, a publisher and magazine dedicated to nurturing and enhancing writers’ talents. Founded in 2005, Catapult showcases a diverse range of literary works and is now sharing its vast knowledge. The platform offers a huge collection of content, including insightful interviews, detailed essays on the craft of writing, and explorations of the writer’s life. Its mission is to offer comprehensive support and inspiration to writers at any stage of their journey.

12. Gutsy Great Novelists

Are you a novelist seeking motivation, accountability, and encouragement? Look no further than Gutsy Great Novelists, a free online community just for you. With the tagline “where serious creative writers gather to finish their novels,” you can’t really go wrong. Award-winning novelist Joan Dempsey founded this platform to help writers feel less isolated. Members get access to critique groups, lots of online resources, and events and classes that will keep you on track until your novel is complete.

13. Lambda Literary

For writers and readers alike, Lambda Literary is a community-driven organization that champions LGBTQ+ literature. With a mission to elevate voices and stories that have been historically marginalized, this platform offers various resources for writers, including workshops, literary events, and publishing opportunities. It also hosts an annual writing retreat for emerging queer writers, providing a safe and supportive space for creative expression. Sign us up!

15. Writing.com

Writing.com is one of the largest online writing communities out there. It’s a super supportive environment for writers of all levels—and you have a portfolio to store and share your writing. You can also join various groups based on your interests or genres, providing opportunities for networking and collaboration with other writers. Plus, Writing.com regularly hosts contests and challenges to help improve your writing skills and gain recognition for your work. Whether you’re seeking support or looking to expand your audience, this community has something for everyone.

16. Reddit’s r/WritersGroup

If you’re a Reddit fan, you probably already know about r/WritersGroup. This subreddit serves as a testament to the strength of community in the writing process, offering a space where writers from all walks of life can share their drafts, seek advice, and provide constructive criticism. Whether you’re battling writer’s block, seeking feedback on a new chapter, or just in need of inspiration, this is your go-to sanctuary.

17. She Writes

Created by women, for women, She Writes is a supportive community that celebrates their diverse voices and experiences. With more than 32,000 members and 350 groups, it’s the largest online community of women writers in the world! With forums and tons of articles, this platform provides a safe space for women to share their work and receive feedback from other writers. 

18. SFF Chronicles

For science fiction and fantasy writers, SFF Chronicles is a valuable resource for learning, connecting, and honing your craft. With forums dedicated to discussing the latest trends and tropes in the genre, as well as sections for feedback and critique, this is your virtual writing workshop. It also hosts contests and interviews with established authors, if you’re seeking insight and inspiration.

19. The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Imposter syndrome is hard to battle alone. Step into the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, where those whispers are drowned out by the resounding voices of support, encouragement, and understanding. This haven is dedicated to writers at any stage of their journey, providing you with resources, advice, and, most importantly, a community that gets it. Conquer your insecurities by reading their blogs and monthly newsletters, joining their social media groups, and joining their pitch event to find an agent or publisher (every January).

20. Underlined

Formerly known as Figment, Underlined is a website that provides story starters, writing inspiration, and advice from published authors. You can also join a community of aspiring writers, share excerpts of your work, and provide feedback to each other—all valuable parts of the creative life.

Writer using 750 Words to practice writing.

Sites for improving your writing

Now that you’re equipped with a plethora of platforms to connect and expand your creative horizons, it’s time to take your writing to the next level. Improving your craft is a continuous, evolving process—whether you’ve just penned your first poem or are on your tenth novel.

Here are the resources you need to refine your skills, find your unique voice, and perfect the art of storytelling. From grammar guides to story structure tips, these sites offer the tools you need to elevate your writing.

21. 750 Words

As with any skill, the best way to improve your writing is to practice, practice, practice. The website 750 Words provides a daily nudge to get your creative juices flowing. Based on The Artist Way‘s morning pages, the goal is to write 750 words (roughly three pages) every day, without any distractions. By just writing without an agenda and without judgment, you’ll make writing every day a regular productive habit and steadily build your confidence.

22. Helping Writers Become Authors

The Helping Writers Become Authors site, created by award-winning author K.M. Weiland, offers practical tips and advice on story writing, from structure and plot to character identity and dialogue. It’s a great, regularly updated resource to take you from writer to professional.

23. Grammar Girl

Get a grip on the quirks of language and the rules of good grammar with this entertaining and useful podcast based on the hugely popular blog by the same name. Top listened-to Grammar Girl episodes include “Affect Versus Effect” and “Active Voice & Passive Voice.”

24. Coursera

Looking for a more structured approach to learning? Coursera offers online courses on writing, from writing your first novel to academic writing. With options from top universities such as Stanford and Wesleyan, you’ll have access to expert instruction and peer feedback to hone your skills.

25. Masterclass

Masterclass brings together some of the biggest names in writing, like David Sedaris, Margaret Atwood and Neil Gaiman, for online video courses on pretty much any aspect of writing you’re looking to learn. With a subscription, you’ll have access to their wisdom and techniques for crafting powerful stories that captivate your readers.

26. Critique Circle

Join a community of writers, both published and aspiring, on Critique Circle to get feedback on your writing and provide critiques for others. With tools for tracking your progress, finding beta readers, and connecting with fellow writers, this platform offers valuable resources for improving your craft. Plus, the supportive atmosphere encourages growth and development as a writer.

27. Now Novel

For those looking for a more structured approach to writing, Now Novel offers personalized coaching and guidance throughout the writing process. From outlining and character development to editing and publishing, their team of experts will provide valuable feedback and support to help you bring your story to life. Whether you’re just starting or need help revising, Now Novel offers a community and resources tailored to your specific needs as a writer.

Resources for characters and plot

We’re betting you have more than one favorite character from more than one book. Characters like Elizabeth Bennett, Albus Dumbledore, and Bilbo Baggins live on in our minds long after we’ve turned the final page. Your characters should become like old friends that you know inside and out to add depth and humanity to your story. These are the resources you need to make it happen.

28. Writer’s Digest’s Character Development Sheets

Subscribing to the Writer’s Digest mailing list gets you access to this free worksheet designed to flesh out each of your characters. Working through a series of questions, you’ll develop their key hopes, fears, and skills, their personality quirks, how they might act in different situations, and how all of this will be revealed to the reader throughout your story.

29. The Write Practice’s Characterization 101

This free course from The Write Practice guides you through seven key steps to creating memorable characters, covering important character archetypes, character motivations, how not to introduce a character to your story, and much more.

30. The Novel Factory’s 150+ Character Questions

Building on the idea of character development sheets, The Novel Factory offers a comprehensive list of over 150 questions to help you fully flesh out each character in your story. From physical appearance and background to their biggest secrets and flaws, this resource will help you create well-rounded and dynamic characters that readers will connect with.

31. TV Tropes

Ever come across a character or plot twist that seems oddly familiar? That’s because many writers use common tropes and archetypes in their stories. TV Tropes is a user-edited wiki page that outlines these common patterns and themes found in media, providing examples and analysis for each one. It’s a helpful resource for understanding how to effectively use, subvert, or avoid these tropes in your writing.

32 Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions

Need some guidance in creating a fictional world for your story? This list of 123 questions from Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America can help you think through all aspects of your world, from its physical laws to its social structure and cultural customs. By taking the time to fully develop your world, you’ll make it feel more immersive and believable for readers.

33 Reedsy’s Plot Generator

When you’re stuck on where to take your story next, Reedsy’s plot generator can help spark new ideas. Simply select a genre and hit “generate” to receive a random plot outline that you can use as a starting point for your own story. It’s a fun tool for getting unstuck and exploring new directions for your plot.

Writer editing a script on paper after using online writing resources.

Resources for editing and reviewing

In addition to proofreading for spelling, language, and grammar errors, two other forms of editing should form part of your review process. Developmental editing, which is editing for the structure, flow, and consistency of your story, and substantive editing, which is concerned with clarity, accuracy, and reader comprehension.

When your manuscript or first draft is complete, let it sit a while before reviewing. It also helps to have a second and third set of eyes on your work. Even better, if your budget allows, hiring a professional editor can give your story the polished finish it deserves.

34. Grammarly

Available as a Google Chrome extension or device app, Grammarly works across your web pages and documents as you write to help you catch common writing errors. It highlights and fixes grammar, punctuation, and contextual spelling mistakes. The premium version can also suggest alternative vocabulary choices.

Remember not to rely on online spell checks alone to proofread your work. Always give your text a thorough check yourself, too.

35. ProWriting Aid

ProWriting Aid takes your writing beyond mere spell checks, offering a holistic approach to improve your writing style, tone, and clarity. What sets it apart from Grammarly is its in-depth focus on your writing’s overall readability and engagement level. It provides detailed reports on style, overused words, sentence length variation, and even readability scores, making it invaluable for writers looking to polish their manuscripts to perfection. While Grammarly excels at real-time grammar and spelling corrections, ProWriting Aid is the go-to tool if you’re looking for comprehensive feedback on your structure and style.

36. Hemingway Editor

As the name suggests, Hemingway Editor is an online editing tool and website that will help make your writing clearer, bolder, and more direct—just like the author it’s named after. Simply copy and paste your text into the tool to check for overly complex sentences, overuse of adverbs, and the passive voice. It will also highlight instances where a shorter word could serve the same purpose.

37. Reedsy

Every writer needs a good editor, and Reedsy only works with the best. Their hand-picked, experienced, professional editors can review your story development, structure, consistency, and style, helping to perfect and polish your manuscript. Reedsy also offers a tool to easily write and format a book, the same way a professional typesetter would. (You can print from their tool with Blurb, too!)

Code, showing the backend of AI tools for writers.

Artificial Intelligence for writers 

AI gets a bad rap, but in our digital age, its emergence is nothing short of a revolution in creativity. Whether you’re battling writer’s block, seeking the perfect synonym to elevate your prose, or plotting a novel, AI-powered writing assistants can offer a wealth of resources at your fingertips. These innovative tools are not doing the writing for you—they’re about enhancing your creativity and offering insights and suggestions that might not have crossed your mind.

38. Sudowrite

Using artificial intelligence, Sudowrite offers suggestions and ideas to help you improve your writing. It can generate plot twists, character names, and even entire paragraphs based on the information you provide. While it’s not meant to replace human creativity and imagination, Sudowrite can be a helpful tool for sparking new ideas and breaking through writer’s block.

39. Claude

Claude has emerged as a dynamic counterpart to ChatGPT, due to its ethical and safer approach to AI. What sets Claude apart is its focus on nuanced, open-minded text generation—working to understand context and intent before replying. It can help you with brainstorming, research, structural analysis, line edits, critique, and even productivity—with writing sprints, prompts, word count, and positive reinforcement. It’s not replacing creativity, but supporting you from blank page to final polish.

40. Jasper.ai

Jasper is another AI-powered writing tool that can assist with plot development, character creation, and even research for your story. Jasper also has a feature that allows you to collaborate with other writers in real time, making it a useful tool for team projects or brainstorming sessions. What’s great about Jasper is that it has a document feature, so you can write, edit, and save your work like you would in Word or Google Docs, rather than chatting back and forth with AI.

Writer signing books at a book promotion event.

Resources for promoting and marketing

Once your masterpiece is polished and ready to shine, the next thrilling chapter of your author’s journey begins: promoting and marketing your book. This can seem like a Herculean task, especially in a world flooded with content. But with the right tools and strategies, you can cut through the noise and get your book into the hands of eager readers.

We’ve lined up the best resources to transform you from a writer into a savvy marketer!

41. Wattpad

Use this storytelling platform to connect with writers and readers around the world, build an audience, and even get discovered. On Wattpad, you start by sharing a story, and then if you build a big enough fan base, you may have a chance to work with entertainment companies and publishers looking to feature your work. Just remember, some publishers won’t print work that appears online, so be sure to do your research before uploading your entire novel!

42. Medium

On this writing and reading hub, you’ll find stories, articles, and inspiration that are curated to your taste and written by people like us. Want to share your own writing, photos, or videos? You can do that on Medium—and potentially earn money. The platform lets you see how your stories are performing and what kinds of readers like your writing. It also offers tips for starting a newsletter, submitting to publications, and curating your work.

43. Kindlepreneur

Kindlepreneur is a treasure trove of resources for authors, especially those venturing into self-publishing. From book marketing and advertising strategies to optimizing your Amazon sales page, author Dave Chesson has got you covered with his helpful blog posts, videos, and courses. He also offers free downloadable templates and worksheets to help you plan and execute your book marketing strategy.

44. NY Book Editors

Need help proofreading your manuscript or marketing your book? NY Book Editors provides editing and proofreading services, as well as an extensive blog full of helpful advice for writers. They also offer a free guide to writing the perfect query letter to help you attract agents or publishers—and plenty of other useful publishing and marketing information.

45. Agency Query

If you want to get an agent or a publisher, use Agency Query to build your list of potential agents and publishers. The website also provides features like tracking the status of pitches sent out to agencies, keeping notes on each agency’s submission requirements, and more.

46. The Creative Penn

The Creative Penn is a website run by bestselling author Joanna Penn. It offers a wealth of information on how to, “write, publish and market your book—and make a living with your writing.” Penn also has a vibrant YouTube channel and podcast where she shares advice for authors, helpful if you are a visual or auditory learner.

47. Publishers Weekly

Stay up to date on the publishing industry and get insider tips from publishers, editors, and literary agents with Publishers Weekly. This website offers news, reviews, job postings, and other helpful resources for writers. They also have a dedicated section for independent authors if that’s you.

48. Storiad

Storiad is a tool designed to help you promote and market your book through social media, website creation, book trailers, and more. They offer various packages for authors at different stages of their careers, from beginners to established writers. Storiad can also help you create a professional author website with built-in marketing tools.

49. BookBub

BookBub is a popular platform that lets you promote your book to millions of readers through daily email newsletters, targeted ads, and featured deals. You can submit your book for consideration or use their blog for free marketing advice and trends in publishing. BookBub also offers webinars, courses, and other resources for writers.

50. Author Marketing Club

Author Marketing Club is a community of authors helping each other promote their work through free and paid book promotion tools, tutorials, webinars, and more. They also offer a powerful search engine that allows you to find relevant blogs, websites, and book promotion sites to submit your work for exposure. Joining this club can help you reach a wider audience and get more readers interested in your writing.

How Blurb can help

From collecting inspiration to the final finishing touches, there’s a whole world of tools, websites, support, and advice out there to help you with every stage of writing your own story and making your own book. You have all the tools you need. Now write!

And when you’re ready to publish and share your work with the world, Blurb can help. Our self-publishing platform allows you to turn your manuscript into a professional-quality book, whether it’s a novel, memoir, poetry collection, or any other genre. With customizable book formats and design tools, as well as tons of options for distribution, we make it easy to bring your writing to your fans.

So what are you waiting for? Start creating and sharing your stories with the world today. We believe in you!


Blurb is your platform designed to turn the dream of publishing your book into reality. Whether you’re crafting a photo book, a novel, or a poetry collection, we’ve got the tools and support to help you professionally design, self-publish, promote, and sell your work.


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