By Allison Phillips
The environment is changing for authors. What once was thought to be a solitary pursuit is evolving into an interactive process with the introduction of new technology. As we move from the printed page to the screen, it invites readers and writers to engage and share the experience through online writing communities. Writers now have access to networks that offer critique, feedback, and support to one another. This collaborative approach helps to beat writer’s block, get inspired, and obtain a fresh perspective.
Take the bestselling novel 50 Shades of Grey, fan fiction based on Twilight, and written in progress on a public fan-fiction website; it gathered fans and feedback over time before being formally published.
While online writing communities benefit writers by giving them the freedom to share their work, it benefits readers by allowing them to uncover a whole new world of storytellers. No longer are readers restricted to the bookstore in search of something captivating but can now visit a site to explore new writing styles, working plots and engage with a potential bestseller.
Here are some writing communities that readers can explore:
Inkitt is a data-driven book publisher and community where writers can share their work and find an audience for free, even if their novel is not yet finished. Inkitt’s algorithm analyzes reading behaviors to understand whether a novel has a strong potential to become a big success. If readers love your work, Inkitt will offer you a publishing deal.
The Fiction Writing Facebook group is a community of nearly 20,000 writers. Here, you can post your writing for critique or review, and veteran members can announce details about upcoming book releases and published pieces.
Chronicles engages science fiction and fantasy writers. Community members gather to discuss favorite books, authors and common themes in science fiction and fantasy writing.
Prose is a social network platform for writers who want to focus on the work — not the superficiality of social media. This is a great place to publish your work, connect with other authors, and participate in writing challenges.
This community is focused on encouraging emerging writers. They publish works from writers who don’t have published novels and haven’t been featured on larger platforms yet. They are dedicated to long-term development of new authors.
Allison Phillips works with the Berlin based data-driven publisher, Inkitt, by way of Toronto, Canada. Inkitt uses an artificially intelligent algorithm that analyzes users’ reading patterns to predict future bestsellers. Allison is an avid reader and writer, interested in the future of the publishing industry.