50 of the Best Websites for Writers

Published Jul 22, 2008

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There are tons of reference sites on the web that can help you find a job or write a poem, essay or story. Here is a list of the best 50 websites for writers.


Reference Websites

  • Merriam-Webster Online - Merriam Webster is the perfect place to look up words and find information. The site offers a dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, podcasts, word games and a lot of other things that may be of interest to writers and word-lovers.
  • Bartleby - This site is good if you need a quote or if you want free access to encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri, and other reference books.
  • High Beam Encyclopedia - This online encyclopedia is a reliable tool that allows you to search for answers in published reference sources like Oxford University Press, Britannica and Columbia Encyclopedia. Other features of the site include access to a library of over 60 million articles and an online dictionary.
  • Google Books - This segment of Google is a handy place to find phrases, photos and book passages on nearly every topic imaginable.
  • Wikipedia - Although Wikipedia isn't the most accurate resource out there, as anyone on the Internet has access to edit entries, it can be a great starting point and a good place to ferret out accurate reference materials.
  • ChaCha - Have a question you need an answer for right now? This human powered search engine has 15,000 guides that help people nationwide.
  • Library of Congress - This U.S. government site offers access to an online library of books, letters, manuscripts, photos and other printed materials.
  • Project Gutenberg - This collaborative effort has produced a huge library of free books. There are currently over 100,000 titles to choose from.
  • The Internet Public Library - IPL is a university-founded public library with online newspapers, magazines, periodicals and reference books. Resources are reliable, and they are easy to find using the IPL searchable database.
  • Infoplease - This organization has been providing answers to questions since 1938. Their website is a great place to find encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases and other reference materials.

General Writing Websites

  • Writer's Digest - Probably one of the best all-around websites for writers, Writer's Digest offers information on writing better and getting published. The site also includes community forums, blogs and huge lists of resources for writers.
  • Absolute Write - Absolute Write covers a wide range of topics and is a good resource for any writer. This site's thousands of pages feature articles, classifieds, interviews, message boards and writing contests.
  • Writing.com - This site is an online community of writers at all skill levels. Free memberships are available to everyone and include an online writing portfolio, writing tools, email services and the opportunity to engage other writers.
  • Fan Story - Submit your writing and get critiques from other writers in this online writing community--all genres are welcome.
  • Auto Crit - The AutoCrit Editing Wizard is a fantastic tool that automatically analyzes your manuscript and red flags errors, overused phrases, dull sentences and cliches.
  • The OWL - Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL) has over 200 high-quality grammar and writing resources.
  • SparkNotes Ultimate Style - The web's ultimate guide to grammar, with a searchable topic database and an A-Z list of common questions.
  • MIT OpenCourseWare - MIT offers a number of free writing courses through its OpenCourseWare program. Course topics include fiction writing, short story writing, expository writing, essay writing, technical writing and poetry.
  • Literary Law Guide - The Literary Law Guide provides the legal resources and copyright information that every writer ought to be familiar with.
  • The Publishing Law Center - This site also provides important legal information for writers. Topics include licenses, trademarks, copyright, intellectual property and contracts.

Fiction Writing Websites

  • About.com - About.com publishes a Guide to Fiction Writing with general information about fiction writing and a number of community forums for both current and aspiring writers.
  • Poets and Writers - Poets and Writers is the largest non-profit organization that servescreative writers. Their website is full of resources, providing information on everything from job listings to writing contests.
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America - The SFFWA, or SFWA for short-short, is one of the most effective and widely-recognized of all non-profit writers' organizations. Members have access to all manner of resources and publications and can benefit from the protection offered by the SFWA.
  • Writer's FM - The only radio station created for writers by writers. Writer's FM broadcasts 24 hours a day and features music, live interviews, podcasts and more.
  • NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month, known as NaNoWriMo, challenges writers to pen 50,000 word novels between November 1 and November 31 every year. The site provides articles, forums and all kinds of motivators to help them get the work done.
  • Book-in-a-Week - This site is for ambitious people only. Book-in-a-Week encourages writers to write as much as possible during the first week of every month.
  • Novice Writers - Geared mainly towards beginning writers, this site welcomes everyone into their fold. Writers can submit original work and fan fiction, take part in contests and post in community forums.
  • Fifteen Minutes of Fiction - Great for the busy writer. Fifteen Minutes of Fiction asks writers to sit down for 15 minutes and write something--a poem, a story, etc.--to post to the site.
  • Creative Writing Prompts - Need inspiration? This site offers over 300 writing prompts and ideas for fiction and journal writers.
  • Baby Names - Need to name one of your characters? BabyNames.com lets you search for names by gender, origin and letter.

Nonfiction Writing Websites

  • Bella Online - This site offers a large collection of resources for nonfiction writers.
  • George Mason University's Nonfiction Universe - George Mason University provides resources for writers of all nonfiction genres.
  • Freelance Success - Freelance Success bills itself as the ultimate resource for the established, professional nonfiction writer. Site features include a newsletter, interviews with editors and writers, writing tools, searchable databases and networking groups.
  • Poynter Online - Poynter offers almost everything you need to improve your journalism. The best site features include columns, training and job listings.
  • News University - Free training, blogs, articles, and resources for current and aspiring journalists.
  • Teaching with Nonfiction - This Scholastic project covers nonfiction writing basics. This site is good for writers wishing to teach the craft and for those who are just starting out.
  • Associated Content - Associated Content is an open content network, meaning they accepts nonfiction submissions from anyone. You can practice your writing, get a few writing credits for your resume and maybe make a little bit of cash at the same time.
  • Brainy Quote - This website is a good place to find a quote for your article or book. It features a database with numerous search features that makes it both fast and easy to find just what you're looking for.
  • Bib Me - This tool is a fully automatic bibliography maker that can auto-fill, so it makes it easy to build your works cited page.
  • The Wayback Machine - Nonfiction writers need to dig deep to find old information. The Wayback Machine from the Internet Archive make it easier by offering access to more than 85 billion web pages that date back to 1996.

Websites for Freelance Writers and Authors

  • Media Bistro - This site is a good place to find freelance jobs online. Other features include forums, courses and industry news.
  • About Freelance Writing - Freelance writer Anne Wayman offers tips, articles and forums to help other writers hone their skills. HEr market listings are also a good way to find paying writing jobs.
  • Constant Content - List your work for sale your work and name your own price on this website. Constant Content takes 35 percent as its commission and handles the transaction for you.
  • Freelance Writing Gigs - The site bills itself as the Internet's #1 Freelance Writing Community. Special features include job listings for bloggers and writers, a cover letter clinic, interviews and articles about freelance writing.
  • Agent Query - This amazing site offers the web's largest (and most current) searchable database of literary agents, as well as information about agents, writing and publishing.
  • Agent Search - AR & E is an agent search site with a searchable database of agents as well as information about finding an agent and a tool that helps you verifythe record of an agent.
  • Funds for Writers - This online resource for writers offers information on grants, writing contests, awards, markets, available jobs and much more.
  • Freelance Writing Organization International - This reputable organization has one of the largest searchable databases of writing resources in the world. Other special features include writing jobs, free downloads, funds and grants for writers, portfolio listings and a reference library.
  • First Writer - First Writer is a helpfu; resource for writers everywhere. The site has a searchable database of book and magazine publishers, literary agencies and writing competitions.
  • About.com - About.com's Guide to Freelance Writing provides general information for freelance writers, forums and much more.

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