Written by A Guest Author

Writers’ Forums: How to Connect with a Writing Community Online

By Alex J. Coyne

Keeping in touch with other writers, readers and editors is a great way to be exposed to new fiction, find writing gigs, get critique, promote your work and generally get to know the market. Here’s a list of the best forums, communities and message boards for writers.

Writers’ Digest Forums

Writers’ Digest has been providing authors with practical writing advice and markets for more than 90 years; among other things, they provide authors with the famed annual Writers’ Market Guide. Pros: It’s one of the top professional writers’ forums out there with thousands of members from all genres. Cons: It can be hard for an entirely unpublished author to break into the ranks.

Absolute Write

Absolute Write is absolutely huge, with some boards having posts going up into the millions. It’s split up into categories and every writer is sure to find something useful, whether it’s beating writer’s block, writing for different markets, as well as authors experiences with different publishers. Pros: Well, as i’ve just said, it’s huge! Cons: Honestly? Hard to find any with this one – join up.


National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) was started in 1999 as a project between a bunch of writers. Since, it has officially become recognized as a nonprofit organization and hosts other events, too. Interact with other authors and finally find the inspiration to get your novel on paper. Pros:  For many, NaNoWriMo is exactly what they need to kick their writing process into gear. Cons: For others, speed writing according to a set schedule just doesn’t feel right, and other authors just prefer short fiction or poetry.

Creative Writing Forums

Creative Writing Forums has just over 50, 000 active members and their message boards cover almost any writing topic you could possibly think of. They also run some writing contests, or you can go over to their Writing Workshop boards and post your work for criticism from the other members, many of whom are seasoned authors and industry professionals. Pros: A very comprehensive message board with plenty of avenues for every level of author, published or not. Cons: Browse around – depending on where you look, some of the threads are a little outdated.

Writer’s Beat

Writer’s Beat hosts contests and their own e-zine where you can find opportunities and more submission markets for writers. There are subsections for poetry, writing prompts, shorter fiction, nonfiction and “free writing” and more. Pros: It is pretty comprehensive and happened to have 567 guests and 7 members online at the time of writing. Cons: With 17, 000 members, it’s not the largest forum on this list by any means.

FictionFactor Horror

Looking for genre specific writing? Try FictionFactor’s section for horror and the subsequent forums for authors. Pros: Offers many resources for writers, including a market list of magazines and e-zines accepting submissions. Cons: Genre-specific fiction just might not be your thing – if so, head to the rest of FictionFactor and find your niche.


For more genre-specific writing, there’s the Fantasy Writers’ Organization – including, we’d assume, weird fiction and not just straight fantasy writing. Pros: Join up for some of the benefits that come with joining a writers’ association or group – including exposure to other authors and editors. Cons: The only possible con here is that this forum might not fall within your niche.

Gay Authors.org 

Not quite genre-specific, but worth joining if you happen to be an LGBTQ author – again, thousands of members and various boards for almost every writing topic you could think of. Pro: A huge writers’ community with many tips, links and advice to share. Cons: Most of the forums are closed to non-members, though this isn’t necessarily a con as much as it is a “join up and see”.

Bio: Alex J. Coyne is a journalist and author. He has written features for international publications including Moneyweb, The Dollar Stretcher, Funds for Writers, Great Bridge Links and more. You can visit his website here.



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