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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Peaslee

How To Find Your Writing Community

Updated: Oct 15, 2023

Picture it: a community of passionate wordsmiths, eager to critique, encourage, and inspire you on your writing journey. Whether you're a seasoned scribe or an aspiring author, a writing community is a must if you want to seriously develop your craft.

Ask Yourself: What Are You Looking For In A Writing Community?

Are you hoping to find alpha or beta readers? Critique partners? Just want people to chat with?

These are all fine answers, but different groups are going to address different priorities. Knowing what you're looking for will definitely help.

To save you precious time and energy, I explored a few options. I did not opt for any of the paid memberships. I did submit a short story to all the critique sites.

Get ready for an overview: from the constructive camaraderie of Scribophile to the no-holds-barred critiques of Critique Circle, each destination offers a different experience.

  • Meetup is hit or miss, depending on your location. If you live near a city, you're more likely to find a variety of groups.

  • There is always the possibility of starting your own meetup! But be advised, it costs money to run a group.

  • If there are no writing groups near you, broaden your search—some virtual groups (like mine!) don't mind if you're from out of town.

  • Verdict: Worth a shot! If you're looking for local writers, this is probably your best bet.

  • Critique Circle offers forums and some tools along with its critique system, including a knowledge base, name generator, and outlining worksheets. They have a premium membership that may be ideal if you're looking to submit chapters of a novel for critique.

  • On the plus side, CC makes sure its members leave more critiques than they receive, which is good. Generally speaking, you receive one credit for every critique, and it costs three credits to submit a story.

  • But your mileage may vary. I've had some positive experiences and some negatives ones. Some of the crits I've received have been blunt but fair—critters can be harsh, but with the aim of helping you improve.

  • I received eleven critiques on my submitted story.

  • Verdict: not for the thin-skinned; great if you want no-holds-barred critiques.

  • I am new to Scribophile, but hugely fond of it; the community emphasizes giving constructive and positive critiques. Scrib provides a handy guide on how to critique, but also gives you the option of writing line edits or a freeform critique.

  • Like CC, Scrib requires writers to write more critiques than they receive. Scrib uses a karma system, where you receive roughly 1 point for every critique, and it costs 5 points to post your writing. As you can see, you have to do more critiques on Scrib than CC.

  • Scribophile offers groups as well as forums, and I highly recommend joining a group or two to help you get your bearings.

  • Paid members can take advantage of the workshops offered, but anyone can access the academy or submit to contests.

  • I received five critiques on my submitted story.

  • Verdict: An all-around solid community.

  • Lots of features. Aside from the options to post your writing or chill in the forums, there is a notepad, blog, writing prompts, instant messenger, random number generator, etc.

  • This is an old site—if you couldn't tell by its inclusion of an "instant messenger." (Takes me back to my AIM days.) Old doesn't mean inactive, though.

  • Offers free and paid subscriptions, but I couldn't find a lot of information on what you get for paying more.

  • One nice feature is that you don't have to wait to submit your writing. Of course, that means there's no incentive for members to critique!

  • Speaking of critiques, its process is unstructured. There isn't a way to do an inline edit, or add comments to specific paragraphs. You simply leave a star rating and a message in the comment section.

  • I received two direct messages that were complimentary but weren't really critiques.

  • Verdict: Not great if you're looking for critiques; better if you are seeking writers to chat with.

  • I highly recommend joining a group to get your bearings; they have lots of active groups, so it's easy to find what you're looking for.

  • You receive points for leaving a rating/review; the more active you are, the more points you earn. The more points you have, the higher you rank on the search tool. So you're rewarded for being active.

  • You don't have to wait to post your writing. You can post as much as you'd like, but it's less likely to be seen unless you're active.

  • Another unstructured critique process: leave a numbered rating and a message in the comment section.

  • I was unable to post my writing. Never could figure out why!

  • Verdict: Not for critiques; maybe good for finding writer friends.

  • No critiques—forums only.

  • Great forums, though. Two other writers and I started meeting on Sundays to go over a workbook together.

  • Verdict: Fantastic if you're all about that forum life.

Google your city + writing community

  • Yes! This is an option that is often overlooked. You never know what you might find!

Ta-da! Seven writing community options for you to explore. And it doesn't end here! There are many sites that I didn't review. Go forth and find what's best for you.

It won't end like this (probably)

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