Need writing resources? Here are some of the best story writing websites. We’ve updated these resources to include writing tips, story plotting resources, publishing and book promo help, and more.
Fiction writing websites – categories
- Writing tips and insights from authors
- Community and writing critiques
- Help creating plot and structure
- Advice on creating characters
- Worldbuilding and creating story settings
- Writing tools for planning stories
- Creativity, inspiration and writing prompts
- Editing and evaluating your writing
- Insights from and help finding agents
- Story and book publishing help
- Help promoting your writing
- Writing genres and genre-specific insight
- Further writing resources and roundups
Let’s dive in and explore some of the best writing resources on the web. Use the links on the right (if on a desktop device) to go to the section that interests you:
Writing tips and insights from authors
The websites in this section aren’t so much story writing websites as resources offering a peek into authors’ writing process, inspiration sources and advice:
The Paris Review
The Paris Review’s ‘Art of Fiction’ series includes interviews with celebrated authors and editors.
Interviewed luminaries include Toni Morrison, Ernest Hemingway, Ray Bradbury and others. See, for example, Faulkner on why believing you can rewrite better is positive motivation for an artist.
The books section of NPR offers many interesting interviews, podcasts (with transcripts) and book picks.
The New York Times By the Book
The New York Times is an excellent website for writers generally due to the caliber of its writing. The ‘By the Book’ section of this writing website offers illuminating author interviews.
Read Ocean Vuong on bringing books to lunch dates, ‘just in case’. Although the NYT is paywalled, it’s one of the more worthwhile (and cheaper) sites to subscribe to.
Writers & Artists
UK writing platform Writers & Artists has many blog articles and interviews. Their ‘advice’ section is particularly helpful for writers.
See this article by author Michèle Roberts, Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. Roberts shares how to get over writer’s block.
The Writer Magazine
Founded in 1887, The Writer magazine offers many illuminating interviews with authors.
Here, for example, author Emma Straub talks character development, writing routine, the writing process, and more.
Is there another website whose author interviews you love? Please share your favorites in the comments below. Read advice from eight Nobel-winning authors here.
Community and writing critiques
Writing groups are a fantastic way to develop your story (as our Group Coaching writing course alumni attest). Here are places to get feedback on your writing:
We’ll toot our own horn here: Now Novel’s crit groups are home to first-timers and experienced writers alike. Members who earn our ‘top critiquer’ badge frequently and consistently give thoughtful, considered writing feedback. We’ve regularly featured in Reedsy’s list of top writing communities and other best-of roundups.
Develop Your Story With Support
Finishing writing is hard – get help and stay accountable to your goals.Learn More
The writing platform Medium is described as an open platform ‘where readers find dynamic thinking’.
You’ll often find interesting thought pieces, such as Katie Lawrence’s piece on writing a bestseller here, as well as readers’ engaging comments.
Absolute Write Water Cooler
Absolute Write is a free writing forum and community. Here, writers share tips on subjects from writing software to approaching agents and editors.
See the full list of writing forums, spanning basic writing questions, how to deal with having stories turned down for publication, and much more.
The /r/writing Subreddit
Reddit is the more verbal of all the social platforms, and thus a natural fit for writers. The /r/writing subreddit currently has over two million members, and there are daily discussions about writing tools and software, and weekly critique and self-promotion threads too.
Help creating plot and structure
Creating the plot and structure for a story is hard without a framework. The fiction writing websites below offer plot frameworks, ways to understand story structure, and tips for writing page-turning stories.
To get brainstorming stories right away, start with Now Novel’s browser-based story outlining tool, the Now Novel dashboard.
The Nashville Film Institute provides a useful breakdown of Dan Harmon’s ‘Story Circle’ plot structure template, which itself is derived from Joseph Campbell’s classic The Hero’s Journey story structure concept.
UC Berkeley teaching resources
UC Berkeley has a portal with resources for teachers that includes a wonderfully clear summary of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey. The resource includes deep dives into the hero’s journey in myth and film. Explore various ways this story pattern recurs in different media.
Screenwriting tricks for authors
Author and screenwriter Alexandra Sokoloff’s blog offers many tips on plot and story structure. See a plot structure series Sokoloff wrote for NaNoWriMo on three-act story structure, beginning with the inciting incident.
The Plot Whisperer
Author Martha Alderson offers plenty of advice on how to plot and structure stories on her Plot Whisperer blog.
See, for example, ‘15 tips to create a compelling plot for your story‘.
Aerogramme Writers’ Studio
Although Aerogramme Writers’ Studio has been taking a hiatus since around 2020 from posting new content, there is still a trove of useful story plotting and structure info on this story writing website.
See teacher and author Kenn Adams’ breakdown of the ‘story spine’, a simple, eight-step ‘fill-in-the-blank’ process to find the core focus of a story.
This plot generator tool churns out some pretty wild plot ideas (‘Bernadette is a killer fuelled by homophobia, who watches teachers and shaves them’.) You may find useful plot tidbits in the midst of the absurdity.
The Learning Network on the NYT
Another helpful part of the New York Times (apart from the author interview section linked above) is its learning network.
See for example 1000 writing prompts for students in this article. These could be interesting questions to ask your fictional characters, too.
The secrets of story structure by K.M. Weiland
Author K.M. Weiland’s blog has many helpful articles on story craft. Her fiction writing website includes multi-article guides such as ‘The Secrets of Story Structure’ here.
Advice on creating characters
Learning how to create characters in an ongoing process of writing, learning more about the psychology of goals, motivations, desires and conflicts, and reading great character studies. Read our best articles on creating characters, and find useful character creation resources below:
Writers Write, originally founded by Amanda Patterson, has many articles on character development. Read this blog post for 350 ideas for character traits.
Ian Irvine’s character how-to’s
Random motive generator
Random generators are hit and miss, but this character motive generator can give you some ideas for the motive part of goal, motivation and conflict.
See more tips on creating clear goal, motivation and conflict for your characters in this extract from our monthly writing craft webinars with Now Novel coach and HarperCollins-published author, Romy Sommer:
This person does not exist
This AI-driven image creation tool composites a massive sample of images to create images of humans who do not (in theory) exist, generating characterful new people from visual data. Try refreshing the page a few times, then write a paragraph of description imagining who the person in front of you is.
Live Write Breathe
Author Janalyn Voigt offers plenty of writing advice on her blog, including this characte-building worksheet.
Worldbuilding and creating story settings
Worldbuilding is vital for creating believable settings that feel lived in and plausible. Read our best articles on creating settings and find worldbuilding resources for stories below:
Azgaar’s fantasy map generator
Countless fantasy novels begin with front pages showing fictional maps. Create your own with Azgaar’s fun, free browser-based fantasy map generator.
TED-Ed is the American media organization TED’s (of TED Talks – ‘ideas worth spreading’) platform for educational materials. Among the resources shared, you’ll find this rap from YouTube creator Flocabulary on why setting in stories matters.
TV Tropes offers many succinct wiki-style pages on film, TV and book tropes (motifs or devices that recur in popular culture and literature). See a post on the ‘standard fantasy setting’ that also links to TV Tropes’ page on urban fantasy.
The British national archives
If you are setting your story in England in a specific historical period, the national archives are a great resource for finding information. The collection spans 1000 years plus, including subjects such as the military, census records, famous wills, photographs of famous prisoners and more.
Writing a story set in another non-fictive country? Google for digital archives that may supply texture and detail for your setting.
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has many useful worldbuilding resources. See, for example, Patricia C. Wrede’s comprehensive list of fantasy worldbuilding questions.
Writing tools for planning stories
Planning stories and creating outlines in advance is one way to ensure that you stay on track and don’t get stuck while drafting. Read ways to use Now Novel’s story outlining tools and find more tools for planning stories below:
Several Now Novel members have mentioned that they use this well-known desktop-based writing software in tandem with Now Novel’s own online story brainstorming tools, as each compliments the others set of features. Read more about Scrivener’s features.
Although exclusive to Apple devices, this is a popular writing app that includes features such as word count tracking, as well as folders where you can organize writing project snippets by material integrated into your manuscript, material in review and process work or scrapped ideas.
Milanote is note creation tool pitched to story-boarders working in film, advertising and novel-writing as well. Like Evernote, it has a web clipper for saving snippets of articles you read to notes.
One stop for writers – timelines
In addition to offering helpful writing advice on their blog at Writers Helping Writers, Angela Ackerman and co provide a story tool with a timeline-creation tool that you may find useful if the sequence of events in your story is important.
Trello is a flexible browser-based project-management tool with a board-based interface (similar to Milanote) that you can use to organize scene summaries (much like our own Scene Builder, which is more story-oriented). Here’s an article from Trello’s blog on ways to use it to organize your story or story research.
Creativity, inspiration and writing prompts
How do you find a story idea? The resources below include writing prompts, resources for finding story inspiration and more:
The Write Practice blog
The Write Practice has many helpful articles for writers on their blog, including this selection of writing prompts.
The Marginalian (formerly Brain Pickings) is Maria Popova’s fantastic blog about writers, inspiration, creativity and more. See for example how she unpacks complex ideas about inspiration from Ursula K. Le Guin.
Bryan Hutchinson offers helpful personal accounts relating to writing and inspiration, such as how creative journaling helped his writing process.
Advice to Writers
Jon Winokur’s writing website offers ‘writerly wisdom of the ages’ in daily quotes, such as this one:
I’ve tried to figure out what good writing is. I know it when I read it in other people’s work or my own. The closest I’ve come is that there’s a rhythm to the writing, in the sentence and the paragraph. When the rhythm’s off, it’s hard to read the thing.Sebastian Junger, quoted by Jon Winokur.
Myths, legends and fables have always been fantastic sources of inspiration for new stories. Encyclopedia Mythica is a helpful wiki all about mythology and famous mythic figures.
Reedsy Plot Generator
Reedsy has a fun tool for generating plot ideas by genre that may help you find initial inspiration for something you can alter and make your own further.
This is another idea generator tool that churns out absurd sentences. More silly than serious, you might find an image that strikes you all the same. Example generated: ‘Two-finger John set a treehouse on fire’.
Bookfox (formerly The John Fox) has many articles with writing prompts and inspiration. Here’s a list of how 50 authors prepare to write and get inspired.
Editing and evaluating your writing
Resources for editing stories will be more important to you perhaps if you are nearer the end of your manuscript. Find out about Now Novel’s editing services here and keep reading for helpful editing tools and resources:
Chicago Manual of Style’s shop talk blog
The Chicago Manual of Style is a trusted style and editing manual. Their ‘shop talk’ blog has helpful tips on grammar, style and punctuation. Also find articles such as this on using Word vs Docs to edit your manuscript.
ProWritingAid is ‘an AI-powered writing assistant’ that checks writing for style and grammar issues. See their article on why they’re a good choice of editing plugin to use with Now Novel.
Hemingway is a simple, browser-based editing tool for checking paragraphs for issues such as sentence structure, reading level, and grammar.
Grammarly is another style and spelling checker that is widely used.
Oxford grammar practice resources
Practice your grammar online with these basic, intermediate and advanced lessons from Oxford University Press.
Grammar Girl is a resource that’s part of Mignon Fogarty’s ‘Quick and Dirty Tips’ network. It’s a useful resource for brushing up on grammar. Read about the different types of nouns and their uses, for example.
Insights from and help finding agents
Once you’ve finished writing a book and edited a draft so it is good enough to send off, where do you find help writing synopses or lists of agents open to submissions? Here are some helpful resources around representation and querying your manuscript:
Writer’s Market guides
Writer’s Market publishes useful annual guides on the publishing industry. You’ll find query letter templates as well as guides to getting agency representation packed with actionable advice.
The Query Shark
Janet Reid’s blog Query Shark provides excellent insight into the parts of query letters that work and pique interest.
Association of Authors’ Representatives
Many agents belong to associations such as the AAR. These agent listing platforms provide a useful way to search for agents interested in your genre and whether they are open to unsolicited submissions or require referrals.
This platform provides a useful list of agents as well as individual agent profiles where querying authors comment their experiences and whether or not they received full or partial manuscript requests. It’s helpful to determine which agents are active and which tend to be more responsive to queries in a specific niche.
Agent and publishing coach Rachelle Gardner
Agent and publishing coach Rachelle Gardner offers plenty of useful advice on writing and publishing, such as this article on whether or not you should write to market.
Curtis Brown Creative’s blog
Curtis Brown Creative, a London-based literary agency established in 2011, offers plenty of advice from agents and agent-represented authors on their blog. Founder and director Anna Davis offers some excellent advice on preparing to submit to agents.
Guide to literary agents
Writer’s Digest’s ‘Guide to Literary Agents’ blog section touches on querying, the importance of perseverance in getting published, and more.
NY Book Editors
NY Book Editors have an excellent blog – the linked article on writing query letters gives plenty of good tips as well as helpful examples of strong openings and more.
Poets & Writers agent database
Poets & Writers magazine has a helpful database of literary agents where you can find agents’ contact details, the genres they’re interested in representing, and further details such as their respective agencies’ websites.
Nathan Bransford’s blog
Nathan Bransford, an author and former agent at Curtis Brown, writes a blog where he offers tips such as how to write a query letter.
Evil Editor breaks down synopses and explains pitfalls writers should avoid.
Story and book publishing help
Publishing is a vast subject area, from choosing between indie and traditional publishing to understanding market, Kindle store categories, what the publishing process is like, and more.
Watch a video extract from our monthly webinars below where Romy Sommer explores paths to publishing. Then keep reading for useful publishing websites:
Publishers Weekly is a great resource for all things publishing-related, including weekly information on recent book deals that will help you abreast of what’s happening in publishing.
Writer Beware (the SFWA)
Writer Beware, a subcommunity of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, offers a great resource on dubious publishing tactics and would-be agents and other pitfalls to keep aware of.
Publishers Marketplace is another useful publishing resource (particularly for US-based writers), including information on agents, their commission rates, recent book deals and more.
Jane Friedman’s blog focuses on the publishing industry and helping authors navigate processes such as starting out as an unpublished author. See her beginner’s guide to getting published.
The Creative Penn
Joanna Penn’s blog includes podcasts and interviews with specialists in a range of niches, including book publishing and promo. See for example this podcast interview on going wide with publishing consultant Mark Leslie Lefebvre.
This publishing portal offers news on recent writing prize winners, news round-ups about events in the book industry, and more.
This useful internet resource keeps an updated list of brief plot summaries (loglines) describing popular releases, a two-sentence plot summary or blurb. Reading over succinct summaries could help you tighten your own elevator pitch or logline.
Writing Cooperative is home to many useful resources for writers, such as this list by Austin Hackney of 128 publications that pay for short stories.
BookBub’s blog often features helpful articles on publishing matters, such as this article ‘50+ Publishing Resources You Should Know About‘ by Diana Urban.
Reedsy offers a comprehensive directory of publishers that have been vetted, including data such as location, size, what genres they publish, and whether or not they are indie and open to submissions.
Kindle Publishing Guidelines
If you’re planning to indie publish a book on Kindle, Kindle Direct Publishing has a handy knowledge base with information on everything from cover image guidelines to enhanced typesetting tips.
Help promoting your writing
Book marketing is something many authors find challenging. Reading the right resources and putting time into promoting your work (or rather, building relationships with future readers) is key to selling. Find useful resources for book promo below:
Penguin UK’s blog
Penguin’s blog has many articles offering succinct tips, such as this post on ways to promote your book (including video on what a book publicist does).
NetGalley is a book promo platform devoted to helping build your ‘street team’ – readers who may receive advance copies in exchange for honest reviews.
Smith Publicity is a book publicity agency that offers helpful guides to doing book promo. See these 110 tips for marketing your book.
Whitefox, a company offering publishing consultancy and other services relating to publishing and distribution, offers helpful tips on book promo on their blog. See this round-up, where nine book industry insiders give advice for creating pre-publication buzz.
Scribe Media offer, among other services, book launch preparation and assistance getting media exposure. Read their helpful post on thirteen ways to get more exposure for your book.
Dave Chesson at Kindlepreneur
Dave Chesson provides useful introductions to book promo (pertaining to selling via Amazon’s Kindle store), such as this guide to choosing the right categories for giving your books maximum visibility.
The Book Designer
The Book Designer, in the same stable as Self Publishing School, has several helpful articles related to book promo, such as this one on how to get reviews for indie-published books.
Self-Publishing School offers various tips on book publishing and promo, and this is a helpful round-up of free and paid sites where you can promote your latest publication.
Writing genres and genre-specific insight
There are many internet resources that provide insight and help specific to different writing genres. Find resources for romance, fantasy, mystery, crime, sci-fi, historical and more below:
Find our best romance articles here and extra romance writing websites below:
Write for Harlequin
Harlequin has long been a big name in romance publishing. On the ‘Write for Harlequin’ blog, the publisher frequently shares editors’ wish lists such as this summary of stories sought in the historical romance subgenre.
The Mills & Boon blog
Mills & Boon is another big name in romance publishing, and their blog features many interesting romance subgenre and trope discussions, such as authors on why they love writing the ‘enemies to lovers’ trope.
Diana Gabaldon’s blog
Diana Gabaldon, author of the successful romantic historical Outlander series, has an active blog where she shares interviews from the archives, news and more. Here’s an interview where Gabaldon speaks on writing an honest romance book that will ring true regardless of setting, time period, and how much (or little) autobiography it contains.
She Reads Romance Books
Review communities dedicated to specific genres are a great way to delve into the minds of readers in your target market and see what makes readers love the books they do. This romance-focused site offers round ups of the best romance books over the years and more.
Nicholas Sparks’ blog
Some of the tips on romance author Nicholas Sparks’ blog may read a little pat, but in the ‘advice to writers’ section of the author’s website there is this good advice:
Over time, quality work will lead to an audience for your work. In the end, readers always choose.Nicholas Sparks, author’s website.
Romance Writers of Australia
This Australian romance writers’ organization offers a fun ‘three things I learned writing …’ series where romance authors discuss three things they learned while writing their published books. It’s full of motivating lessons from romance writing such as ‘anything is fixable’.
Romance Writers of America
The RWA likewise has an archive of helpful articles on romance writing. Articles range from industry news to tips for building your newsletter.
Read all our most popular fantasy-writing articles here, and more on the genre below:
The SWFA’s blog
This has been mentioned already above in a different context, but in addition to its excellent guides and resources, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America also offers articles by guest contributors on topics such as walking the line between good style and too much fantasy jargon and slang.
Ursula K. Le Guin archives
The ‘about writing’ archives on Ursula K. Le Guin’s website are a great selection of the late fantasy and science fiction author’s musings on fantasy-related and more general writing topics. Here’s a good open letter on plausibility in fantasy with interesting discussion of the way Tolkien uses settings.
Neil Gaiman’s blog
Author Neil Gaiman’s career has spanned an eclectic range of genres and formats, from dark fantasy to sci fi, graphic novels and screenplays. The author’s blog is full of interesting insights into fantasy, such as an appreciation post for Sir Terry Pratchett or this essay on where Gaiman gets his ideas.
The Speculative Literature Foundation
The Speculative Literature Foundation is ‘a global nonprofit dedicating to promoting literary quality in speculative fiction’. Resources the organization offers include lists of grants for fantasy and sci-fi writers as well as interviews with speculative fiction writers and deep dives into writing matters.
Fantasy author Brent Weeks
The fantasy author Brent Weeks offers plenty of excellent advice on fantasy worldbuilding, magic systems, writing fight scenes and more on his personal blog.
Writing science fiction
Another complex speculative genre, science fiction has many fantastic writing organizations and story writing websites dedicated to the genre:
Neal Stephenson’s writing advice
Although not a separate story writing website, speculative fiction titan Neal Stephenson’s writing advice on the TED-Ed blog is simple and golden.
Galaxy science fiction magazine archives
Galaxy was a science fiction magazine published from 1950 to 1980 and is thus an interesting time capsule for SF writers. You can read stories by Ray Bradbury in its pages (including his story ‘The Fireman’ which later became his cult novel, Fahrenheit 451).
Philip K. Dick on androids and humans
One of the most influential sci-fi authors of all time gave a speech titled ‘The Android and the Human’ at the Vancouver Science Fiction Convention in 1972, available to read here.
Isaac Asimov, one of the so-called ‘big three’ science fiction authors, is the subject of this internet archive of sci-fi resources, essays and more.
Arthur C. Clarke at 100
On the centenary of Arthur C. Clarke’s birth, Adam Roberts reflects on this ‘big three’ sci-fi author’s legacy and works such as Rendezvous with Rama (1973) and 2001: A Space Odyssey for The Guardian.
Tor, a speculative fiction publishing company, runs a blog featuring interesting science fiction reads such as this article by author Adam Oyebanji on how science ‘nudges fiction towards new frontiers’.
Billed as ‘the magazine of the science fiction and fantasy field’, Locus’ fiction writing website has speculative fiction publishing news, reviews, interviews, lists of sci-fi and fantasy conventions, and more.
Writing crime and mystery
The crime and mystery fiction writing websites below include writing organizations, useful crime-writing and mystery resources, and more:
Mystery Writers of America
The Mystery Writers of America writing organization describes itself as ‘the premier organization for mystery and crime writers, professionals allied to the crime-writing field, aspiring crime writers, and folks who just love to read crime fiction’. See their list of vetted publishers of crime and mystery.
The Crime Writers’ Association
Another crime-writing organization based in the UK, member benefits include co-promotion of new crime novel releases, monthly crime fiction -devoted newsletters, and more.
International Thriller Writers
The International Thriller Writers organization like the CWA has a debut authors program, whereby you get extra help with launching and promoting your debut in return for membership.
Agatha Christie archives
This website devoted to the seminal mystery author’s life and work includes interesting information such as this article on how Christie wrote, along with bibliographies, reading lists and more.
Louise Penny’s author site
Mystery author Louise Penny offers tips and encouragement for getting published on her personal author site.
A crime and mystery-writing website, Crime Reads offers blogs on mystery topics such as the ‘fine art’ of writing riveting plot twists.
Sisters in Crime
Founded in 1986 to advocate for women crime writers, Sisters in Crime offers writing webinars, resources for justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, and more.
Jungle Red Writers
This blog helmed by seven women who write crime has many interesting reads, such as Hannah Mary Mckinnon’s article on embracing research.
Elizabeth Spann Craig
Cozy mystery author Elizabeth Spann Craig blogs about writing mysteries and also has an well-curated writing guide roundup she shares via Twitter called ‘Twitterific Writing Links’.
Criminal Minds blog
The premise of this story writing website is simple: ‘Each week, we respond to provocative questions about crime fiction, writing, publishing and life.’ Read crime and mystery Q&As.
Crime by the Book blog
Crime by the Book is ‘the result of one girl’s ongoing exploration of crime fiction from around the world’. You’ll find crime book reviews, recommended reading lists and more on this portal dedicated to the crime genre.
Crime Fiction Lover
This crime-focused writing site offers crime novel reviews, author spotlights and interviews, a virtual book club and more.
Author Bryn Donovan’s blog
Author Bryn Donovan offers helpful tips for mystery and crime writers, such as this list of 25 case-solving clues you could use in a story.
The unsolved mysteries subreddit
Reddit is full of interesting topic threads with deep dives and articles shares. A good subreddit or community for mystery authors is the Unsolved Mysteries subreddit.
Here, members discuss unsolved cases and their theories about what happened. [Note that stories may share disturbing elements relating to unsolved police cases].
Writing children’s and YA fiction
Writing for younger readers entails writing to specific reading age norms, knowing what is age-appropriate and more. Find useful writing websites for YA and kids’ lit below:
The Atlantic is not dedicated to YA and kids’ lit, but has a helpful article here where YA authors share their best tips on writing for and about teens.
The YA Bookshelf
The YA Bookshelf is a useful website for YA book reviews and resources. See their roundup of YA book blogs, for example.
Hannah Holt’s blog
Children’s writer Hannah Holt has an interesting deep dive into YA author stats (though published in 2017, it has all kinds of insights into YA author advances, average submissions until being published and more).
So You Want to Write
So You Want to Write has a comprehensive guide to writing YA by YA fantasy author Mackenzie Belcastro.
John Green Q&A
It’s great when authors give concise answers to complex questions. YA author John Green’s writing FAQs on his website answers interesting questions such as ‘how do you write about adolescents when you aren’t one?’
Writing for younger readers necessitates using platforms younger readers love well and meaningfully. See John and Hank Green’s vlog on YouTube for ideas of how to create meaningful video content for your YA readers.
Sarah Webb’s children’s writing tips
Children’s author Sarah Webb shares great advice for writing for children on her author site.
Michael Morpugo’s teaching resources
Sir Michael Morpugo, one of the best-loved children’s authors and author of War Horse, shares inviting question and quiz resources for parents and educators to go with his books via the author’s website. An inspiring ed-tech format to use with your own children’s writing.
Interview with Maurice Sendak
The Guardian has many fantastic articles mixing essay with interview, such as this biting and fascinating conversation with Maurice Sendak, author and illustrator of the beloved Where the Wild Things Are. His statement ‘I refuse to lie to children’ is an interesting maxim for writing for younger, truth-seeking readers.
The Federation of Children’s Book Groups
This helpful resource for children’s book writers and readers includes interviews with authors, information on the Children’s Book Award, and more.
Writing historical fiction
Writing historical fiction naturally involves research due to stories being based on real events. Here are some of he best internet resources for researching and writing historical books, including museum archives with digital collections and universities’ subject specialist research guides.
British Pathé archives
British Pathé is a fascinating resource for historical footage and photo collections. See, for example, their outline of key events from WWII.
The National Archives (UK)
The National Archives is a vast archive spanning 1000 years of UK history. The searchable collections have many photo albums and articles, on everything from coronations to crime and punishment in specific eras.
The Smithsonian Institute
Across the Atlantic, the Smithsonian Institute offers vast archives of research materials to do with American history, from conservation biology to art history.
National Archives of Australia
Writing books set in Australia? The National Archives of Australia provides research guides for subjects such as first peoples and colonial history, foreign relations, military history and more.
USC Latin America resource guide
The University of Southern California offers a useful, organized guide to resources on Latin American history and archives from this region as well as the Caribbean. Google ‘.edu’ and the area you’re interested in and ‘resources’ to find similar librarian-developed research resources for historical fiction.
Yale’s European history library guide
Yale University has a fantastic library guide to historical research resources about Europe. Includes resources for general Western European history and medieval, early modern and modern Europe.
The Historical Novel Society
Founded in 1997, this organization is devoted to historical fiction and offers a quarterly magazine, information on historical fiction conferences, member directory and more.
A Writer of History by M.K. Tod
Historical fiction author and blogger M.K. Tod shares many interesting historical fiction discussions and interviews on her blog. For example, this deep dive on behind-the-scenes facts from WWII.
Africa is a Country
Africa is a Country (the title is ironic) is a fantastic resource for nuanced journalism and contemporary, left-leaning analysis of African culture and politics, reviews of books about African and diasporic issues, and more. A good research resource for studying African issues and debates.
English Historical Fiction Authors
This history writing blog began in 2011 and shares all kinds of interesting micro history accounts by historical writers from various periods of British history.
Queen Anne Boleyn blog
This site devoted to historical fiction and named after the famously executed second wife of Heny VIII has many interesting blog articles. See, for example, where history authors weighed in on casting decisions and the question of race and representation in adapting historical stories for film and TV.
Jane Austen’s World
This blog offers thought-provoking deep dives into Austen’s writing, the Regency period (such as social customs of the time) and more.
Further writing resources
McSweeney’s Internet Tendency
A long-standing humor site that publishes biting satire and parody, such as ‘If people talked to other professionals the way they talk to teachers’ by Shannon Reed. A good regular read for aspiring humor writers.
Quora is often a very useful resource when you have a specific writing-related question you’d like to crowd-source answers for (for example, ‘What is plot development?‘).
Chuck Wendig’s Terrible Minds
Chuck Wendig’s Terrible Minds blog is full of interesting and profanity-laden articles about the writing process [not for the expletive-squeamish] and now features guest articles on topics such as ‘five things learned while writing a book’.
Writer’s Digest is one of the longest-standing writing sites on the web, with WD having been founded long before the interne in 1920. They offer fiction and non-fiction writing resources, a very broad section on getting published and more.
National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo has a simple premise: Challenging writers to try produce a book draft in a month. Anyone who has written or attempted to write a book knows this is no time at all, but many authors use the write-a-thon as an exercise to see how much they can churn out of a manuscript within 30 days.
This story writing website founded by Kathleen Bolton and current editorial director Therese Walsh offers an engaging blog and also published a writing manual, Author in Progress in partnership with Writer’s Digest. The manual is billed as ‘a no-holds-barred guide to what it really takes to get published’.
Literary Hub publishes a wide variety of material, but their ‘craft and criticism’ section is perhaps the most immediately useful. Read this article by author Vauhini Vara on how to keep a long project alive (with advice from writer and Emeritus Professor of English Tobias Wolff).
What are your favorite writing websites? Let us know in the comments below. Start writing a book with structured support and a caring community’s help.