Writing is a pretty solitary act. As I write this, I’m sitting at my desk, alone in my room. I’m not talking to or texting anyone. In fact, I haven’t even changed out of my pajamas.
So it’s easy to think that writers can complete their repertoire of published work without the help of anyone else. That is, however, incorrect.
The truth is that although we’re often alone when we put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), it takes a village to continually nurture, encourage, and teach a strong writer.
For the quality of your work, further inspiration and education, and your own sanity, it is crucial to find a community of fellow writers.
This community will understand your frustrations, your concerns, and your victories (no matter how small). They will have endless advice for you, from the technical steps of self-publishing to the emotional toil that often comes with writing. And, perhaps most importantly, they will provide a listening ear for when you just need to get something off your chest.
Too often, when you’re sitting alone in a room with only your own thoughts, you can get overwhelmed with the feeling that you’re writing to a brick wall. No one’s listening.
That’s when you need your community the most. They will remind you why you write and help you push past your self-doubt and excuses so you can produce the work you’ve been dreaming about.
Below are 23 blogs, online forums, and events where you can find your writing community and make your writing just a little less solitary.
23 Places to Find Your Community of Fellow Writers
The following blogs (and their comments sections) offer tons of actionable advice—from people with personal experience—on everything from strategy to the technical execution of your written work.
- The Dusty Quill
- Sorry, had to. 🙂
- Goins, Writer
- He’s one of the most popular writing bloggers in the game. If you don’t know him already, check him out, and you’ll see why.
- The Write Life
- Freelance writers can learn a ton here about marketing themselves, booking new clients, and earning more moo-lah.
- Kristen Lamb
- Author of 3 best-selling books herself, Kristen Lamb offers fellow authors advice they can trust on writing and story structure.
- The Creative Penn
- From author Joanna Penn, this blog provides advice taken from personal experience regarding writing, publishing, and marketing your book.
- Poets & Writers
- This site provides comprehensive lists of writing programs/retreats, events, job listings, and of course, articles on publishing and promoting your work.
- The Book Designer
- You may already know how you want to write your book, but this blog will help you design your book from concept to creation so that it sells.
- For all you bloggers, this industry leader is a go-to for professional blogging best practices.
Online groups and forums
These online forums provide a digital space for writers to ask all of their pressing questions to people who have been there before. Depending on the forum, they sometimes also provide opportunities for peer review.
- This site has a collection of forums where you can share your work for critiques and chime in on discussions among fellow writers.
- Absolute Write Water Cooler
- A digital water cooler for writers everywhere, this is a place to ask all the questions you’ve been pondering to seasoned writers.
- AgentQuery Connect
- This online goldmine provides authors with peer reviews of their agent queries so they can get their work into the right person’s hands with fewer headaches.
- Critique Circle
- Just as the name would suggest, this online membership community offers peer critiques of your written work.
- You’ve probably seen ambitious authors use this acronym for National Novel Writing Month as a hashtag all over your Twitter feed in November. If you’re inclined to take on the challenge of writing a novel in just one month, this forum will make sure you don’t have to do it alone.
- The self-proclaimed “friendliest and most successful writing workshop online”, this community provides critiques, advice, and the camaraderie of fellow writers.
- Call for Submissions
- In case you couldn’t tell from the name, this Facebook group advertises calls for submissions from a variety of magazines, anthologies, contests, and the like, so you can easily find the perfect publication for your work.
- Nomadtopia Community
- Another Facebook group, this one focuses less on the craft of writing and more on how to create a location-independent life as a writer.
If you’re ready to invest some time and money into building your writing community, attending one of these events will give you invaluable lessons from industry experts as well as the opportunity to network with not just fellow writers, but also editors and agents, in a face-to-face setting.
- Story Expo (LA)
- This conference brings together storytellers of every genre and industry and “covers all aspects of story and writing — from craft to business to pitching to career.”
- BookExpo (NYC)
- This event strives to discover up-and-coming authors and provide access to influential publishing industry leaders. Its culminating gathering, BookCon, brings writers and fans together to celebrate some of the year’s most popular books.
- The Muse and the Marketplace (Boston)
- This author expo offers over 100 sessions on fiction and nonfiction writing, agent seeking, and book promotion, among other topics.
- Literary Writers Conference (NYC)
- From the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses, this conference brings together serious authors, literary agents, and publishing professionals to help writers form lasting and lucrative partnerships.
- San Miguel Writers’ Conference (San Miguel de Allende, Mexico)
- With several masterclasses, keynote speeches, workshops, and expert panels, this multicultural conference gives authors “an inspiring week of intellectual exchange, networking, community building, and cultural celebration.”
- AWP Conference (location changes each year)
- Brought to you by the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, this annual conference attracts over 12,000 attendees for “unrivaled access to the organizations and opinion-makers that matter most in contemporary literature.”
- Writer’s Digest Annual Conference (NYC)
- No matter what stage your work or your career is in, this conference has sessions to teach you about the business and craft of writing, book promotion, and publishing strategies.
Where else do you go to bond/learn/commiserate with other authors? Let the rest of us know in the comments section below, so we can build up that community too!
And if you try out any of the places above, let us know what you think!
And then get to writing!
P.S. I’m serious about The Dusty Quill being a community for writers (a creative playground, if you will). To get the most out of it, sign up for The Dusty Quill updates below! You’ll receive weekly resources, pro tips, and opportunities to vent with fellow writers. 🙂