For the last two decades, we’ve scoured the web for sites to include in our annual roundup of the 101 Best Websites for Writers, a comprehensive collection of online resources for writers which you can find in full in the May/June 2018 issue of Writer's Digest.
Year after year, we review dozens of reader nominations, revisit sites from past lists, consider staff favorites, and search the far-flung corners of the web for new additions—aiming for a varied compilation that will prove an asset to any writer, of any genre, at any experience level.
This selection represents this year's creativity-centric websites for writers. These websites fuel out-of-the-box thinking and help writers awaken their imaginations.
1. Creative Thinking
Here, “creativity expert” Michael Michalko shares creative exercises, thought experiments, and explanations of the workings of your brain. Be sure to check out the archives for references to innovative techniques and processes from famous thinkers like Einstein and Darwin.
2. Creativity Portal
The countless prompts, how-tos on guided imagery and creative habits, mixed-media masterpieces, and more at Creativity Portal have sparked imaginations for more than 18 years.
To get your ideas flowing, start with the Imagination Prompt Generator or photos from the Old West Birdcage Theatre.
3. Language Is a Virus
Next time you’re faced with writer’s block, head to Language is a Virus for a multitude of writing prompts, exercises, text generators, and more. The site also features writing techniques and experiments from various avant-garde creatives and writing movements—including surrealist Salvador Dalí, modernist Ezra Pound, asemic writing, dub fiction, and more.
4. The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest
Boost your literary credentials by submitting your best caption for the stand-alone cartoon to this weekly contest from The New Yorker. The top three captions advance to a public vote, and the winners will be included in a future issue of the magazine.
5. Six-Word Memoirs
Inspired by the famed six-word story oft attributed to Hemingway—“For sale: baby shoes, never worn”—Six-Word Memoirs challenges you to tell a powerful story at this ultra-concise clip. Add yours to a collection of more than 1 million, including “celebrity sixes” from Lin-Manuel Miranda, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Julianne Moore, and others.
Bring your story or poem to life using the extensive collection of templates and illustrations available on Storybird, and explore the creations from others. Find inspiration by participating in the monthly challenge prompts—and if your submission is chosen, it will be featured on the Storybird blog.
7. Writing Prompts Tumblr
Writing Prompts Tumblr houses hundreds of image-based story kickstarters, curated by a ninth-grade English teacher. Search through the 180-prompt collection he uses in his class, hit the Random Prompt Button, or start with the site’s latest to instigate a tale.