Productive (and Sometimes Hilarious) Procrastination: 10 Websites for Writers

Our May/June issue hit newsstands last week, and in it, we have our annual list of the Top 101 Websites for Writers. From among those 101, here are 10 digital venues—and their blurbs from the magazine—where I tend to procrastinate best. (And concerning some of the subject matter, I find laughter to be a curiously effective poultice for writer’s block.) A regular Promptly writing prompt follows.

What are your favorite Web hubs? Post them in the comments section below, and they’ll be nominated for the 101 list next year.

1. Fake AP Stylebook  
“While this is strictly a Twitter account rather than a website per se,
its hilarious tweets are a guaranteed (and much-needed) dose of humor
for any overworked journalist.”

2. Six-Word Memoirs
“Write about a significant time of your life in just six words. It might
sound hard at first, but once you decide to give it a try, it’s
strangely addictive.”

3. Agent Query   
“Need an agent? Find the right one for you by searching this free database.”

4. Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest
“Not often are you rewarded for being the worst, but craft a terrible opening line to a novel and you could win the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. It may not be a résumé builder, but it’s definitely a fun challenge.”

5. SlushPile Hell
“We can’t explain this entertaining literary agent website any better than its tag line: ‘One grumpy literary agent, a sea of query fails, and other publishing nonsense.’ ”

6. Ed 2010     
“These young magazine editors offer excellent writing advice, along with opportunities to meet other magazine pros in your area (if there isn’t a regional chapter by you, they’ll tell you how to start one). Plus, the WhisperJobs section is a great resource for both freelance and full-time magazine jobs.”

7. Absolute Write ?
“With more than 30,000 members, the popular Absolute Write forum (known as the Water Cooler) is filled with chatter and advice on most types of writing, including fiction, nonfiction, freelancing, writing for the Web, poetry and more.”

8. Backspace  
“This writing organization boasts more than 1,100 members, including several New York Times bestselling authors. Check out Steven Hendlin’s ‘Your Write Mind’ columns, along with the video book trailers. (Note: All the information here is free except for the forum, which costs $40 annually to subscribe.)”

9. The Chicago Manual of Style Online
“The editors of longtime resource The Chicago Manual of Style give amusing answers to writers’ questions.”

10. Shakespeare’s Den
so the stuff on this site isn’t technically free, but it’s still filled
with eye candy for writers of all types. The literary ducks are a WD
staff favorite.”


WRITING PROMPT: Viral Video Vengeance
free to take the following prompt home or post a
response (500 words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring) in the Comments
section below.
By posting, you’ll be automatically entered in our
occasional around-the-office swag drawings.
you’re having trouble with the
captcha code sticking, e-mail your piece and the prompt to me at, with “Promptly” in the subject line, and I’ll
make sure it gets up.

You decide you’re going to get revenge for a certain YouTube video that was posted of (or about) you.

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