Here are the top genre and niche websites as identified in the 23rd Annual 101 Best Websites from the May/June 2021 issue of Writer's Digest.
Go Teen Writers
Go Teen Writers is on a mission to deliver quality advice, free resources, and a community to teens who are passionate about writing. They feature a newsletter, private Facebook group, YouTube channel, and blog that cover everything from insights to traditional publishing to world-building tips and tricks.
Mary Kole, the face behind KidLit.com, is a former literary agent, editor, and author of the WD book Writing Irresistible KidLit, whose blog breaks down children’s literature by age (picture book, middle grade, YA) or info type (writing, queries, agents, revision, etc.) so you can easily sort through years of information for exactly what you need.
Sign up for the Weekly 411, a roundup all new articles across the internet related to writing picture books, middle grade, and young adult literature. These resources are archived on the KidLit411 website so you can search based on your area of interest, such as craft articles, contests, submissions, school visits, courses, author spotlights, and more.
The Open Books Blog
A great resource for writers, publishing professionals, and educators, The Open Books Blog is dedicated to exploring topics on race, diversity, education, and children’s/young adult books.
Find and connect with your local chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and read the SCBWI blog for all news related to writing and publishing literature for children and young adults. Additional resources are available for members.
A literary magazine dedicated to featuring brief literary nonfiction, craft essays, and book reviews, Brevity is proud to publish the work of both emerging and well-known writers. The Brevity Blog also features conversations about the craft and business of literary nonfiction.
Hippocampus is an online magazine for everything in the fourth genre: new essays, flash nonfiction, and memoir excerpts; interviews with authors and publishing professionals; articles on the writing life and craft of creative nonfiction; book reviews; and an annual Remember in November writing contest.
All Freelance Writing
All Freelance Writing offers a host of free resources for writers, including a freelance rate calculator, word count tracker, keyword density analyzer, and job board. Browse blog articles for advice on growing and organizing your writing business, or make use of their templates and worksheets to guide in goal setting and tracking, writing business plans, SWOT analysis, marketing plans, and more.
Whatever your questions are about working as a freelancer, this site has the answers. Search Freelancer FAQs for blog articles that answer everything about starting your business, managing money, marketing, staying motivated, tools for the job, and much more.
Freelancers Union is a nonprofit dedicated to supporting freelancers through advocacy, education, and services. Membership is free, and they offer a range of services from access to insurance to community meetups with fellow freelancers to a blog that discusses important freelancing-focused topics.
Historical Novel Society
A community of writers, editors, and readers, the Historical Novel Society brings fans of history together to celebrate the past, hold conferences (often featuring some of the biggest names in historical fiction), swap book reviews, and manuscript critiques, for a yearly fee of $50.
The History Quill
While this site offers paid editing services for historical fiction writers, it’s their free blog and downloadable resources that caught our attention. Blog topics range from in-depth articles about historical bathroom habits to humor, swearing, and much more. Be prepared to get lost in this rabbit hole of unexpected information.
Search this database to find anthologies, book publishers, magazines, and zines open to submissions of horror fiction. The not-so-scary part? The site only lists markets that pay writers.
A reference for all writers of genre and speculative fiction, Horror Tree is a free resource to discover open calls for submissions, a blog about the craft and business of genre writing, and interviews with publishing professionals.
The Nieman Storyboard is dedicated to showcasing exceptional narrative journalism and the future of nonfiction storytelling. Read interviews with writers of these exceptional pieces, personal essays about the writing life, and deep analyses of recent narrative pieces that answer the question of why the storytelling is so great.
Quill, A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists
A magazine dedicated to the challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities of American journalism, Quill is published quarterly with free articles featured on their blog. A yearly subscription to the print magazine is $75.
Crime Writers of Color
Crime Writers of Color is a group of more than 170 crime and mystery writers from “traditionally underrepresented racial, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds.” At the website, you can find new book releases from members, which members are available for speaking gigs (and what topics they like to speak about), and, if you’re a crime writer of color, learn how to become a member.
The Kill Zone
The Kill Zone is a blog that features daily posts from industry professionals on the publishing, marketing, and craft of writing suspense fiction. They also offer a free first-page critique service in which an author submits the first page of their work-in-progress and the critique will be posted anonymously to the website alongside the first page. This way, both the author and blog readers can benefit from the critique without the author’s name appearing on the work.
Subscribe to this digital magazine to get full issues in your email or visit the website for a collection of free interviews with bestselling suspense writers, excerpts from upcoming books, and writing advice specific to suspense writers (including a whole section on forensics).
New Play Exchange
New Play Exchange boasts the largest library of digital scripts by living writers, who can upload their scripts and connect with other users—such as script readers and theaters looking to produce new work—for $12 per year.
Jacket2 is an online publication of all forms of discussion related to modern and contemporary poetry, including book reviews, interviews with poets, feature articles, and commentaries between multiple poets.
Power Poetry is an online community for teen writers that features guides and tips for writing, a platform for poetry slams, and a lookup of local poetry groups. Their site also features a Poetry Genome, where poets can compare their work side-by-side with modern and classical poets to see whose work is most similar to theirs.
Visit the poet Trish Hopkinson’s blog for an almost-daily dose of new poetry-related information, including writing prompts, publication and submission resources, poetry group and event listings, and “self-taught MFA” articles.
The VS Podcast
While we can’t fully endorse The Poetry Foundation right now, we also can’t ignore the work done by the poets without whom the foundation wouldn’t survive. In this bi-weekly podcast series, Dark Noise Collective members Franny Choi and Danez Smith talk to today’s greatest poets about their writing processes and the ideas that move them.
A site dedicated to the romance genre, Romance Rehab features book recommendations and reviews, as well as an extensive blog that focuses on everything a romance writer needs to write a believable (and successful!) love story. For a fee, the site also offers assistance with writing book blurbs, creating animated social media graphics, and more.
WOC in Romance
Romance novelist Rebekah Weatherspoon founded this website in 2015 as a place to “promote women of color in romance fiction. This blog/movement is trans inclusive and open to gender fluid and nonbinary authors as well.” Visit the site to submit your book and learn about the services available for authors.
Dan Koboldt’s Putting the Science in Fiction
The Putting the Science in Fiction portion of this site has been featured on this list for a few years now, but did you know there’s a Putting Fact in Fantasy blog as well? Learn the parts of the horse to make sure your unicorns look right, learn about woodlands to know how your fairy forests can stray from reality, and much more.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
The hub for all things science fiction and fantasy writing, you can enjoy multiple free blogs about the craft and business of the genres, including the helpful Writer Beware blog which deserves its own spot on the list. Or, purchase a full membership to receive additional benefits.
World Anvil is an all-in-one tool that allows writers to keep their world-building in one easily searchable location. Hosting everything from maps to timelines to family trees, this site will ensure that you never miss a beat while writing. Join for free or upgrade to a paid subscription for access to more features.
Lucy V. Hay aims to ensure that screenwriters, novelists, and freelance writers have the tools necessary to make informed decisions about their work and how they present it to the industry. She does this through blogging on Bang2Write about genre, submissions, characterization, social media, and mistakes writers make.
Go Into the Story
Scott Meyers has written more than 28,000 blog posts covering nearly every subject related to screenwriting during the 12 years he has hosted Go Into the Story. Browse through more than 100 subjects for help with your script, or send Scott a question if it’s not answered already.
Save the Cat
Based on a series of bestselling books by Blake Snyder, Save the Cat offers free beat sheets, tips and tactics, informative blogs, podcasts, and guidance for novelists and screenwriters of all genres. For a fee, they also offer writing coaching and classes.
Steve Laube Agency
Get writing inspiration and everything you need to know about book proposals, the business side of writing, rejections, and more from one of the top literary agencies focused on the Christian marketplace.
The Write Conversation
Author, editor, and blogger Edie Melson shares craft and business advice for Christian writers. She also offers a collection of classes from how to engage with an audience on social media to how to improve dialogue and beyond. Inspiration always included.
Pitch Travel Write
Travel writers have had to find new and creative ways of working during the past year and Pitch Travel Write is an example of that—by offering advice to other travel writers for pivoting while still staying true to what they love.