In the May/June 2019 issue of Writer's Digest, you'll find our annual roundup of the 101 Best Websites for Writers! This year's collection is supplemented by online addendums, including this guide to navigating Reddit's offerings for writers, along with a set of mobile apps for writers.
To the uninitiated, Reddit can seem like the Wild West of the web—and that's not entirely inaccurate. But "the front page of the internet" is also a wealth of information, knowledge, resources, inspiration and so much more. Part anonymous message board platform, part social news and media aggregator, Reddit has more than 520 million regular monthly visitors and more than 1.2 million active subreddits, or categorized message boards that you can subscribe to in order to make popular submissions appear on your "front page" when you visit Reddit.com or the mobile app. The most common subreddits include /r/aww for cute critters, /r/pics for neat photos, and /r/askreddit for posing social questions to the community—but really, there's one for everything. And I mean everything, including one dedicated entirely to photos of bread stapled to trees, but also including several excellent writing subreddits that provide critiques, craft and publishing advice, ideas and prompts, and more.
I've been participating on the site for more than six years, including maintaining a fairly active presence on several of these writing subreddits while lurking on others, so I thought I'd supplement my 101 Best Websites for Writers feature in the May/June 2019 issue with a guide to the many Reddit destinations where writers can find useful information and resources.
First thing to know: Reddit is anonymous and very, very public. Don't post personal details unless you want the whole world knowing them. Plus it's usually against the rules.
Speaking of, be sure to read and follow the rules of the subreddits you visit, or you'll risk your post being deleted—or even having your account banned.
Also, especially in the writing subs, Redditors don't pull any punches with criticism, and the communities include basically every demographic in the world (with a tilt in favor of millennial men), so steel your heart and mind before engaging or posting questions, images or written work. Upvote content you enjoy and engage with other users' posts to encourage activity and community in each sub.
Reddit for Writers: 44 Writing Subreddits to Explore
Below are the two general writing subreddits—the differences lie in the size, personality, and attitudes you'll encounter in each one. The first is the largest subreddit and community dedicated to writing, but the latter is more typically open to critiques and has more flexible rules around what you're allowed to post.
Critique & Community
- DestructiveReaders (/r/destructivereaders): "DestructiveReaders isn't about writers being nice to writers; it's about readers being honest with writers. We deconstruct writing to construct better writers." Remember when I said that Reddit isn't for the faint of heart? That's especially accurate in this writing critique subreddit.
- WritersGroup (/r/writersgroup): Visit this community for constructive and thoughtful peer-review of your written work. While this group is helpful and has a decent amount of subscribers, it's not terribly active.
- NaNoWriMo (/r/nanowrimo): A community dedicated to support and advice during National Novel Writing Month.
- PubTips (/r/pubtips): Started by user MNBrian, who works for a literary agency and also runs the Habits & Traits newsletter, this polished subreddit features wisdom from a variety of publishing experts and allows you to post your query letter for easy community critique.
- SelfPublish (/r/selfpublish): This extremely helpful subreddit is a place "for writers to discuss the process of self-publishing, share experiences in the 'industry,' and read up on self-publishing news."
- Publishing (/r/publishing): This reasonably active community is great for "talking about publishing—the industry, the future, trends, and ideas."
Genres, Forms, and Age Categories
- Poetry (/r/poetry): This supportive community of over 300,000 writers is dedicated to all things poetry, including advice on submitting poetry for publication, discussing poetic devices and forms, and appreciating great poetry. Its sister subreddit PoetryOC (/r/poetryoc) is a great place to share your original poetry and also has a sizeable following.
- Screenwriting (/r/screenwriting): This large and versatile community offers excellent resources and a sense of community for screenwriters—and writers of all kinds, for that matter—including advice from flagged experts who participate regularly.
- Fiction (/r/fiction): This group is for writers and readers and can be a great place to look for ideas and casual feedback. It's accessible to a broad range of writers, from those who casually pen short online fiction to traditionally published work.
- Fantasy (/r/fantasy): With almost 600,000 subscribers currently, this subreddit is "the internet’s largest discussion forum for the greater Speculative Fiction genre," featuring "respectful dialogue related to speculative fiction in literature, games, film, and the wider world." Great for writers and readers.
- Mystery (/r/mystery): This sub is for readers and writers, but it's a great place to discuss the genre across the board, and the community provides writing help as well.
- EroticAuthors (/r/eroticauthors): Do your tales get steamy? This subreddit—which, in case it wasn't obvious, can be NSFW topically—encourages discussion of the craft and business of publishing erotic works. It's especially valuable for self-publishing advice.
- WritersOfHorror (/r/writersofhorror): In this active community, submit your horror-genre stories and scenes for critique, ask for advice from the community, or share interesting finds related to the genre.
- NoSleep (/r/nosleep): I'm not a horror writer and, generally speaking, it's not my favorite genre, but NoSleep is one of my favorite subreddits in general. The content, short horror stories, is created by amateur and professional horror writers, and readers who enjoy the content populate the comment sections and upvote their favorite stories (with trophies for the best stories awarded monthly and annually). Here's the fun part, though: The community comments and responds to stories as if they are 100% real. The immersion is thrilling.
- Songwriting (/r/songwriting): This sub is a helpful place for songwriters to find feedback, offering advice, and generally discussing the songwriting process.
- SciFiWriters (/r/scifiwriting): This community of speculative fiction and science fiction writers is a wealth of discussion, critique, and inspiration for those whose work falls under these genres.
- YAwriters (/r/yawriters): Discuss your young adult WIP, including "titles, characters, plots, themes, settings, critiques, and any information pertinent to authors and genre."
- Journaling (/r/journaling): This is more of a hobbyist's subreddit, but its visual theme is aesthetically polished, it's active, and it offers a fantastic place to work on mindful journaling that can help you improve your writing habits and apply them to other projects. Plus, some of the art here provides great eye candy for those of us whose writing notebooks are equal part doodles.
- Comicbooks (/r/comicbooks): For comic book writers, readers, artists, and appreciators.
- Nonfiction (/r/nonfiction): "A place for non-fiction writers, agents, publishers and editors to discuss their craft and industry." (Note: This subreddit is very small and not very active.)
Freelance & Article Writing
- FreelanceWriters (/r/freelancewriters): This laid-back subreddit invites participants to share experiences, ask questions and seek feedback—plus all the fun of complaining about clients and the freelance life.
- Journalism (/r/journalism): This active sub is a great resource for keeping tabs on the world of professional journalism.
- TechnicalWriting (/r/technicalwriting): Ever wanted to get into technical writing? Fun fact: It pays a lot better than many other writing practices if you have the right certifications and experience. Learn about it in this sub, from breaking into deep info for pros.
- WritingPrompts (/r/writingprompts): With over 13.3 million subscribers, this subreddit—which was featured in our 101 Best Websites for Writers roundup in 2019—is the place to flex your creative writing muscles. Find years worth of prompts, respond to the latest ones and get feedback on your work from eager readers.
- ScreenwritingPrompts (/r/screenwritingprompts): This small community allows screenwriters to find prompts tailored to their craft.
Inspiration, Motivation, Commiseration, and Fun
- JustWriterThings (/r/justwriterthings): The best place to post and read your favorite crappy but relatable memes about the writing life.
- KeepWriting (/r/keepwriting): Pure writing motivation from an active group. "A subreddit dedicated to helping writers improve their craft and fuel their creativity. Whether you're looking to get feedback on an idea, hear a critique, or get unstuck in a story, this is the right place."
- Comics (/r/comics): This one is mostly just for fun, but find relatable webcomics to keep you going—or, you know, distract yourself from writing. Or, if you're a comic writer yourself, post your own!
- GetMotivated (/r/getmotivated): Motivational memes. Think Shia Laboeuf yelling at you or Terry Crews reminding you to eat your yogurt.
Tools & Information
- Worldbuilding (/r/worldbuilding): Even if I weren't a writer, I would subscribe to this subreddit. A lot of what you find is artwork, but some of the participants are extremely talented and can teach you more than a thing or two about bringing your imaginary world to life on the page.
- Etymology (/r/etymology): I'm extremely active on the subreddit (sharing some of the Useless Etymology insights), so this is a bit of a plug for one of my favorite internet diversions. But seriously, learning about word histories and how languages are developed can not only help you polish your writing in general—it can also help you apply the same principles to naming characters and locations, developing fictional languages, and more.
- ConLangs (/r/conlangs): This subreddit just generally fascinating, but it's quite active and incredible for writers who need to build languages for their stories. It's "focused on the discussion of constructed languages (conlangs), tools and activities to aid you in the construction of your own conlang, and creating a community environment where we can all enjoy conlanging together."
- TodayILearned (/r/todayilearned): This sub is interesting for anyone, but personally I find it to be a great mine for story starters and detail building. You can find facts about history, science, language and so much more.
- Psychology (/r/psychology): Get to know your brain—and everyone else's, including your characters'! This active subreddit will help you dive into the inner workings of any mind.
- AskMeAnything (/r/iama): Can't interview a famous person for an article or book? Not to worry—odds are they've done an AMA before. Search the archives of the subreddit for interesting community Q&As with figures including Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Edward Snowden, Dr. Jane Goodall, Buzz Aldrin, and even the Cookie Monster.
Research & Experts
- AskHistorians (/r/askhistorians): Got a question about the time period your book is set in? Look no further. AskHistorians has verified experts waiting to respond to your every query. Plus, check the archives for some seriously fascinating inspiration.
- AskScience (/r/askscientists): Same idea—use this resource to get all your science facts straight. The community's experts include physicists, astronomers, mathematicians, medical doctors, biologists, neuroscientists, and more. Both this sub and AskHistorians have strict rules about sourcing information, so you can be sure you're getting correct details.
- AskScienceFiction (/r/asksciencefiction): So maybe AskScience can't answer your oddly specific question about what happens when you transport Jello to a fictional planet ruled by bees who breathe helium. AskScienceFiction has your back.
- NoStupidQuestions (/r/nostupidquestions): Like Mastercard, for everything else there's NoStupidQuestions. Also the archives are a wealth of story ideas. (See "How do you repair relations with crows?")
Books & Reading
- SuggestMeABook (/r/suggestmeabook) and Book Suggestions (/r/booksuggestions) — These are both great if you're looking for your next read, but they can also be a clever tool for coming up with comp titles. Hint: Describe your book as if it's one you're looking for and the community will recommend similar ones. Instant comp title recs!
- Books (/r/books): Reddit's book club. (No seriously, they have their own book club you can join. And it's huge.) Talk about books you've read!
- Literature (/r/literature): Like Books but with a focus on "deeper discussions of plays, poetry, short stories, and novels." Especially great if you're into literary criticism, history and theory.
This is far from a comprehensive list of subreddits for writers, but it'll certainly get you started. If you didn't see your genre or form here, try searching for it—you'll likely discover a subreddit full of your tribe waiting to engage with you and help you succeed.