These writing resources include apps, blogs, links and pages that I have found useful for my writing.
Online Writing Meetups
The Covid-19 Pandemic has may have caused us to isolate physically, but not socially. Online resources have become vital for us to stay connected. Many creative opportunities have popped up to help us support each other with our writing, through online conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Hangouts and Microsoft Teams..
These are a few groups that I’ve found. Some provide prompts, some are online meetups enabling up to simply come together and write with one another at the same time. Many miles, if not continents apart, but together.
A fantastic organisation running a variety of online workshops, events and competitions to help aspiring writers.
- Creative Writing
- Advance Playwritng
- Writing Ghost Stories
- Visual Storytelling
A wonderful meetup to write all together at the same time, for 50mins. They read out an inspiring quote every morning for you to think about if you want to do a stream of conciousness / freewrite / Morning Pages. Really helpful, supportive group to get stuff done.
UK BST AM
🗽US Eastern AM
🌴US Pacific AM
8-9am PDT (11am EDT / 4pm BST)
Not a conferencing group, but they frequently run procrastination busting writing courses via email. “For badass writers with no time or money”
They run many email courses, online and regular writers’ retreats. My current fave is the current Monday morning Journaling meeting on Crowdcast – via an easy web link. With just a chat box to communicate with each other rather than actual chat.
I really enjoyed the prompts they used. I started because I thought it would be handy to get back to Morning Pages journaling. But then it turned out the prompts were just handy to get the mind opening up anyhoo and weren’t ‘journal specific’… whatever that is. Really useful hour long session to just get unblocked and get those words out.
Shutup and Write®
Both international and local groups. With the international groups, don’t forget to factor in the time difference between countries. I turned up to one, only to find out it had happened several hours earlier. Ooops!
Shut Up & Write!® (Norwich, UK)
Shut Up & Write!® Online Events (San Francisco, US)
Running online writing workshops for underprivileged and under-represented writers and artists, encouraging diversity & inclusion in the arts.
Local writing resources here in Norwich.
Writing Prompts & Writing Challenges
Writing prompts for when you are stuck, or even when you’re not, but just need a starting word or phrase to start a free-write.
The Literal Challege runs writing challenges several times a year, usually lasting a month. The challenges have included screen writing, playwriting, prose and non-fiction. It’s not a competition against other people. You can choose for your work not to be read if you choose to. There are two streams, Timed and Creative.
On the creative stream you receive the prompt each day and you can work on each in your own time. The timed route however, is just what it says on the tin. There is a daily deadline in which to get the work done.
As a further incentive, if you make a payment into the pot, then complete the challenge on the Timed route, the writers receive a share of the money at the end. But if you are like me and can not afford to pay anything in, it doesn’t matter, you can still take part. The deadline is a handy incentive in itself to prevent procrastination and get you into the habit of writing every day.
At the end, you not only have the snuggly, warm glow of satisfaction, having pushed yourself out of your comfort zone and completed a challenging challenge of challengeness, but you also have a whole month of work done.
Take Three Nouns
There are lots of writing exercises on the Writing Exercises site but one of my favourites is Take Three Nouns. Does what it says on the tin. Generates three random nouns.
Also on the Writing Exercises page is a random image generator. If you fancy using a visual cue to spark your creativity instead of using words. Or maybe use a combination of both?
Watch Out for Snakes
Another random word generator for free writing. With the one you get to choose the word type and it’s complexity. Additionally you can pick a randomly generated, phrase, sentence or even paragraph.
A website full of prompts and games, exercises and techniques to help get the creativity flowing again.
Soundscapes to Write to:
‘My Noise’ is a website of ambient sounds, such as sea, wind and rain, café noises, forest, garden, waterfalls. Each soundscape page has sliders so you can vary the individual component sounds. So, if you don’t like listening to the flow of water trickling, but prefer bird songs, want more tweeting and less cuckoo, you got it. It’s awesome.
Competitions and Awards
On beginning to gather a list of writing competitions, I very quickly realised it would grow too long and unwieldy to include on this page.
Especialy if I include short stories, and poetry as well as playwriting competitions. So, I have been adding the Competitions along with a few short details on a spreadsheet, which I will link to below. Also it is easy for you to sort what kind of event you are looking for.
Go to the individual competition organisers’ specific webpages for full details on how to enter each competition and for up-to-date deadline dates, entry fees and rules of elgibility.
Fantastic Youtube channel that holds an astounding number of videos relating to screenwriting and filmmaking
Brandon Sanderson has posted all of his lectures on writing Science and Fiction and Fantasy online on his Youtube channel.
Couch to 80K Writing Boot Camp
I love Tim Clare’s Couch to 80K Writing Boot Camp. It’s a free writing course, via podcast that runs for 8 weeks and only takes approximately 20 mins. It gets you started on writing for just 10 minutes per day with simple exercises that become more interesting and challenging as the course progresses. It gets your creativity flowing and gets you into a writing habit. Tim Clare is also funny and makes it an entertaining journey.
If you want to really get into a good writing habit and poke your creativity into life, Tim Clare now has a 100 day writing challenge. Just like the 80K Boot camp, it’s just a 20 minute podcast with 10 mins of writing. It is just as funny and entertaining as the Writing Boot Camp, only longer. It is funded by Arts Council England so is totally free. The link in the title above takes you to the intro on Day 0. Enjoy.
Cold Turkey Writer
Cold Turkey Software
This software turns your PC into a simple typewriter for the time duration that you set, or until you reach your required number of words. You can’t use your computer for anything else until you meet your goal. A little frustrating, but it works.
Allows you to set goals over a specific time-frame and then monitor your progress. I used to to set up and monitor my #30DayPlay goal of writing 667 words per day for a month.
Into the Woods by John Yorke
I picked this book up on a whim from a local book shop because I was a bit overwhelmed with all of the writing resources available on the internet and I couldn’t choose where to focus. This turned out to be an accidentally amazing and invaluable buy.
It pretty much sums up all of the information I was reading on play writing on the internet but without all the clutter and waffle in between. I’ve owned the book for less than a year but it’s already looking battered and coffee-covered and I still haven’t read it from cover to cover yet. I keep dipping in and out of it as, when I read it , it really helps inspire me and gets me focused on my writing.
I re-read sections of it when I start writing something new and when I feel stuck and it never seems to fail to get me writing again.