Here are the best writing advice 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. The Debutante Ball*
Every year since 2007, five debut authors get together to blog weekly about their experiences as first-time authors. Get to know the Debs as they tell you everything you never knew you needed to know about writing, publishing, and promoting your first book. Tune in on weekends for guest blog posts and news about past Debs.
2. Career Authors
Career Authors articles offer expert advice on craft, marketing, publishing, and the writing life—straight from the minds of authors who have made a living from being a full-time writer, including Brian Andrews, Dana Isaacson, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Jessica Strawser, and Paula Munier. Also tune in to Career Authors for weekly writing prompts.
If you don’t get distracted by the wonderfully moving personal essays and fiction on Catapult, turn to the On Writing section for first-person pieces from seasoned book authors. But they’re not here just to talk to you about craft—they dig deep into what it means to be a writer in the world, making you think more deeply about the uplifting but often-brutal gig that writing is.
4. DIY MFA
When Gabriela Pereira earned her MFA, she realized the pillars of the degree are writing with focus, reading with purpose, and building a community. While she can’t offer writers an official degree, she offers a customizable, do-it-yourself alternative with thrice-weekly blog posts on the craft and business of writing, worksheets, and a podcast.
5. Helping Writers Become Authors
Author K.M. Weiland’s website is an annual staple on this list. Her blogs on craft are a can’t-miss. Start with her core specialties: how to outline a novel, how to structure your story, writing character arcs, how to structure scenes, the most common writing mistakes, and storytelling according to Marvel.
Hiveword has you covered, from learning to write your novel to completing it. The flagship feature is the novel organizer, which helps track characters, scenes, plotlines, and more. Upgrade a free account for more novel organizer features. For more help, search the Writer’s Knowledge Base for over 40,000 articles on writing curated and indexed by cozy mystery author Elizabeth Spann Craig.
7. Jami Gold*
If you work better when guided by a checklist or spreadsheet, then novelist Jami Gold’s Worksheets for Writers are the tool for you. Developed from the wisdom she learned from masters of the craft like Larry Brooks, Michael Hauge, and Martha Alderson, there are dozens of worksheets to choose from in the areas of story planning, story improvement, and career improvement. Gold has also written more than 900 blog articles on writing.
8. Publication Coach*
Daphne Gray-Grant went from running a weekly newspaper, to a daily newspaper, to corporate communications. The result was a crash course in writing and producing content quicker. To write better and faster, stay organized, find more writing time, be more productive, and say goodbye to writer’s block, turn to her blog and vlog. For regular updates, sign up for the weekly Power Writing newsletter.
9. Save the Cat!*
Whether you’re a novelist, screenwriter, or both, Save the Cat provides essential writing advice. Learn to write more cinematically by following Save the Cat’s formula: Write your logline, determine the genre, map out your plot with Blake Snyder’s 15 universal story beats, then outline it all in a story board.
Great Stories Don’t Write Themselves (WD Books) author Larry Brooks is a master of story structure, and Storyfix is a testament to this. Here, Brooks posts articles to guide authors in understanding every facet of storytelling, giving them the knowledge they need to elevate their plots and premise. If you’d rather listen than read, watch his 30-minute video workshop on the home page.
11. Tomi Adeyemi
Before the YA author debuted at #1 on The New York Times bestseller list with Children of Blood and Bone, she was a writing coach. Needless to say, you’re missing out if you don’t sign up to access her free library of content for writers, which includes worksheets, templates, blog posts, and training videos.
12. Writing About Writing (And Occasionally Some Writing)*
There’s a lot of differing writing advice out there—write every day, or don’t write every day, etc. This is one of many burning questions that author Chris Brecheen answers on his blog about craft and the writing life. If I were to promote this blog like a new book, I’d say “For fans of WD contributors Jeff Somers and Barbara Poelle.”
13. Writing Class Radio
Writing Class Radio writes about their podcast, “If you love stories and get inspired by hearing other people tell their stories and want to learn a little bit about how to write your own stories, then this podcast is for you.” Other writing education from WCR includes daily writing prompts, a blog, and other resources. Patreons can unlock even more resources from WCR.
14. Writers Helping Writers
The backbone of WD is helping writers, so this blog written by authors to help other authors is the perfect site to be featured on this list year after year. Check it out to hear the latest discoveries other authors have made and want you to know about—whether it’s a new writing tool or plotting technique, nothing is better advertisement than word-of-mouth (or, word-of-blog).
15. Writers in the Storm
The writers of this blog write across a variety of genres and each reveal unique perspectives about the ins and outs of writing. Whatever your genre, read this blog for regular posts on sustaining your career as an author and staying strong through the tough parts like rejection.
16. Writer Unboxed
Over 50 contributors—which includes bestselling authors and other industry professionals—write about “empowering, positive, and provocative ideas” on writing business and craft here. The site’s robust comment section furthers conversations, along with a Facebook group with over 5,000 active members.