Writer's Digest Best General Resource Websites 2020

Here are the top general resource websites as identified in the 22nd Annual 101 Best Websites from the May/June 2020 issue of Writer's Digest.
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5 Best general resources

Here are the best general resource websites as identified in the 22nd Annual 101 Best Websites from the May/June 2020 issue of Writer's Digest.

* Denotes the website's first appearance on our list.

1. Behind the Name


Layer on the symbolism in your story by giving your characters names that hold meaning. Search for a name by theme, or use the database to look up the origin and meaning of a name. If you can’t think of the perfect name, use the random name generator.

2. Canva


No need to hire a graphic designer— make professional-looking logos, flyers, business cards, social media graphics, book covers, and more with this free site. Upload the elements you’d like to use or choose from their stock library, then simply drag and drop to complete your creations.

3. Create If Writing


Whether you’re an author, blogger, freelance journalist, or any other type of creative, Create If Writing helps you build an online platform without being spammy. Read the blog, listen to the podcast, and sign up to receive weekly tips and resources in your inbox.

4. Copyright Office of the United States


What can you copyright? What rights do you have when your copyright is infringed upon? How do you proceed if this happens? It’s important to know your rights as an author. Get your questions about copyright laws answered straight from the source.

5. Get It Write*


Get It Write publishes articles answering the most common questions about grammar and usage that founder Nancy Tuten receives as a writing seminar instructor and former English professor. So if you’re unsure of something grammatical, consulting her expertise may make your draft a bit smarter.

6. Mailchimp*


An author newsletter is one of the best tools available to build your platform and keep readers up-to-date. Build one using Mailchimp—a free account includes basic newsletter templates, one-click automation, and audience engagement data. Mailchimp also recently released a free website builder.

7. OneLook


OneLook is like a thesaurus on steroids. If you’re struggling to find the perfect word for your work-in-progress and don’t want to go with something basic, type your basic choice into OneLook for hundreds of other options. It works in reverse, too, if you’re looking for antonyms.

8. TV Tropes


Want to avoid plotlines that have already been done before? Or, you may be inspired by popular story tropes and want to make sure you hit all the beats by researching your predecessors. Either way, you’ll find a large library of helpful content here, which catalogs common story tropes across all forms of media, including books, TV, movies, video games, and more. 

For more of our best website selections for 2020, check out the following.

Learn the best ways to sell more books on Amazon with this Writer's Digest University online course.

Learn the best ways to sell more books on Amazon with this Writer's Digest University online course.


Jane K. Cleland: On Writing the Successful Long-Running Series

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Carla Malden: Writing With Optimism and Innocence

Screenwriter and author Carla Malden explains why young adult fiction and the '60s go hand-in-hand and how she connected with her main character's voice.


Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Talking About the Work-in-Progress

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Greta K. Kelly: Publishing Is a Marathon

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On Writing to Give Grief Meaning and Write Out of Challenging Situations

Author Lily Dulan explains why writers have to be willing to go to difficult places inside themselves for their writing to make a positive impact on ourselves, others, and the world.