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Seeing this site and reading some of my ridiculous stories that I wrote a while ago makes me want to start writing again. I know I'll be more enthusiastic if I have people reading my work and commenting on it, and that will also be great feedback to improve my writing. I also don't want to pester my friends incessantly =P.

That being said, can you recommend some websites where I can share my work, that have an active community of people reading, rating, and writing each other's works? I'm not asking for professional review... just a way to have a chance at getting an audience that would be greater than me starting a random blog, putting up stories, and linking friends to it (although that could work now that I think about it =).

(Note: This question is about websites, not local writer's groups, or collaborative story sites, or writing contests, or forums about writing.)

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locked by Standback Dec 25 '13 at 18:18

This question exists because it has historical significance, but it is not considered a good, on-topic question for this site, so please do not use it as evidence that you can ask similar questions here. This question and its answers are frozen and cannot be changed. More info: help center.

    
couldn't find whether this would be on-topic, so now is the time to decide! –  Claudiu Dec 17 '10 at 21:50
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This is a request for a resource related directly to writing. As far as I'm concerned, that is squarely on-topic. –  sjohnston Dec 17 '10 at 22:33
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People should indicate in their answers why a site is a good fit for writers. That'll make this question a more valuable resource. –  Neil Fein Dec 17 '10 at 22:51
    
Usenet has many active fiction and nonfiction authoring and critiquing groups. –  Sparr Dec 18 '10 at 2:59
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In its present form, this is mostly becoming a cumbersome list that keeps popping up. Putting this under Historical Lock. –  Standback Dec 25 '13 at 18:17
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23 Answers 23

Online forums are a great way to get reviews and writing advice. All forums are different, so poke around before joining and read their submission guidelines. Do a Google search for "writing forums" to find some.

Places I've been:

Although a blog does seem like it wouldn't attract a lot of attention, it's an easy way to link to your work and promote yourself. Share your blog on a social networking site. Maybe someone will see a piece they like and read more. It's a way to start a following. And since blogs are customizable, people can get to know the author and will appreciate the work more.

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There's Fablelane for ultimate short stories that have been co-authored by the entire community. You could start your story there, or read the existing stories. Many of them are adventures and fiction. Stories there get voted up or down. You can also let others contribute to your story, and see how it ends to get inspiration.

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Type It Out is a website that I started for exactly the same thing: reading, rating and proving feedback to each others' works. But as of now, the community is small. Since I have some writers who write on a wide variety of subjects, readership won't be a problem. You may try Expertscolumn.com and Wikinut that already have an established community.

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ficly.com

A unique flash fiction site, with a 1024-character limit per story, that allows collaborative prequels/sequels. The story limit isn't as restrictive as one might think; it has helped me tighten up my prose, and help me eliminate the dreaded ly adverbs from my writing. All stories on the site fall under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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Try using http://www.migzing.com - a social networking site for writers.

The interface is beautiful and easy to use.

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Wattpad is a place where you can post stories and gain readers rather than critics. It has a mobile app so you can read the stories on the go if you want. Although, IMHO, there are too many teens there.

Another place where you can get both critics and readers is deviantArt, their focus is more on visual art, but they have a strong lit community as well.

Both sites, though, are very socially oriented, and if you want to get read, you'd need to do a lot of socializing first.

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We now offically allow writing critique questions here:

Policy change: Writing critique questions now welcome

Provided:

  1. It is your actual real world writing
  2. You provide context for the writing critique.

That is, you must tell us:

  • what you were shooting for when you wrote that piece

  • specifically what kind of critique feedback you are looking for

  • also, what kinds of critique feedback we should avoid, to set boundaries

In other words, give us some direction, don't just paste a bunch of writing into a question and click submit, expecting coherent feedback.

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Protagonize

Protagonize is a community of nearly 21,000 writers and has been around since 2008. We recently launched an entirely new version of the site, to excellent feedback from our members. The site is free to join, has won a number of awards, and has been reviewed favourably in a multitude of publications.

The site encourages interaction between authors and readers, allows you to build an ongoing and engaged readership, create and participate in writing groups, and collaborate with other authors on writing projects.

We consider the site a writers' playground; a way to flex your creative muscle and showcase your writing. We've also had a number of our authors get published using their work on the site as a reference or portfolio. We also give authors full control over licensing of their publications, and fall back to a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license for all collaborative works.

Disclaimer: I'm the developer/operator of Protagonize, so feel free to ask me any questions about the site or how it works.

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Protagonize

Originally for developing collaborative works, Protagonize has been recently redesigned and revamped completely and allows all of the things you're looking for.

Protagonize now has nearly 21,000 members and encourages interaction between authors and readers, allows you to build an ongoing and engaged readership, create and participate in writing groups, and collaborate with other authors on writing projects.

We consider the site a writers' playground; a way to flex your creative muscle and showcase your writing. We've also had a number of our authors get published using their work on the site as a reference or portfolio. We also give authors full control over licensing of their publications, and fall back to a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license for all collaborative works.

Disclaimer: I'm the developer/operator of Protagonize, so feel free to ask me any questions about the site or how it works.

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Fictionpress

As a writer, FictionPress is a place to showcase your creativity. For a reader, this a place of discovery and an opportunity to feast to your heart's content.

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FictionPress is a sister site to FanFiction.Net, the largest fanfiction site on the web. FanFiction.Net is for fanfiction, and FictionPress is for original fiction. –  Rory O'Kane Sep 1 '12 at 22:35
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Figment

Figment is a website aimed at teenagers where stories can be posted and commented on. Comments and reviews can be given about stories, and people can favorite stories. Short stories, long stories, and poetry can all be posted.

One common thing is to trade reviews or comments. People will post on a forum that they want reviews and that they will swap and review on other stories. Reviews and comments come up differently. Comments are short and usually just contain a person saying that they like the story, but reviews are more in depth and are submitted under a different category on the story page.

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My personal favorite is a site where I've been active for several years: The Online Writing Workshop. This site is geared towards science fiction, fantasy, and horror writers, so it won't be useful for you if you don't write in those genres. However, the OWW has been the training ground for an impressive list of bestsellers and up-and-coming writers:

... and others (I can't seem to find a good list right now).

It's a great place. You'll like it.

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literotica.com

Obviously, the focus is on amateur erotic stories, but the site has over 50,000 members and well over 200,000 story submissions. In addition to all the ones you might expect, there are "non-erotic" and "romance" story categories, and a well-written story doesn't need to be explicit to get good ratings and feedback.

Quality of the stories is understandably pretty mixed, but with an easy 5-star rating and feedback system, its pretty easy to identify the cream of the crop, or to get quick feedback on your own writing.

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It sounds like you are looking more for critiques than reviews. If that is the case, then I would recommend Critique Circle. You can find people there who will volunteer to read your work and give you feedback on what they have read. It is a good source for finding people who will give you pretty honest evaluations of your work as well as recommendations on how to improve it.

If you are truly looking for reviews, then there is a long list of reviewers in this thread from another forum. Please be sure to read the guidelines and respect the rules. A lot of these folks may have a long backlog, but you should be able to find a few places to get some reviews.

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I will check that out. It sounds like what I'm looking for. –  LordZardeck Sep 7 '11 at 20:44
    
Critique Circle seems really cool. Nice tip! I know this is a long shot but, do you or somebody else here know any site like Critique Circle but for other languages? I'm particularly interested in Portuguese. Maybe I'll raise this comment to become a question. –  Psicofrenia Jun 21 '13 at 21:43
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Scribophile is a nicely organised site with an active community of writers. Its tools for helping with structuring critiques are quite helpful. You earn points to make submissions depending on the length of critiques and whether they are appreciated by other site members.

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One of the more popular sites is Critters Writers Workshop. I participated for a year before finding a local workshop, and I found it very helpful. It used to be SF/F/H only, but it looks like it has expanded to include all genres.

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I highly recommend. Critters is very well-organized and easy to use, and it's established enough to draw quite a crowd. –  Standback Feb 17 '11 at 12:55
    
Haven't found anything about language on the site, so I guess it's "English". Too bad. :-( –  Jürgen A. Erhard Feb 18 '11 at 20:42
    
It is English. I think non-English sites would need a separate, more specific question. On the other hands, Critters has dealt with a lot of unconventional stuff - you might be able to find eyes for a non-English MS there too. I'd contact the site manager, Andrew Burt, and ask if he's got any thoughts on the issue. –  Standback Mar 6 '11 at 4:28
    
I absolutely agree. I've been a member off and on for several years. –  neontapir Mar 7 '11 at 5:25
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Insight Outpost is a great place to post humor and more informal, bloggy pieces. We actually created the site because we felt blogging was too insular and wanted to create a more social, integrated alternative. We also use voting and tagging conventions that are similar to stackexchange, so the interface should seem familiar :)

For critiquing, Scribophile also has built in mechanisms to encourage people to give feedback, but I haven't used it yet.

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I've used www.writingforums.org to post some of my writing and have received some good advice. You review two pieces of work and then you may post your own to be reviewed.

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I have always found Zoetrope to be a useful resource for critique. They do Short Stories, Screenplays, Flash Fiction (uber short stories) and Novellas. Novellas tend to have fewer critics hanging around. It's a well known website though so there's always plenty to get involved with. You have to criticise to be able to post and that ensures at least one criticism for everything you put up.

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If you are writing science fiction, fantasy or horror, then you should check out the Online Writers Workshop specifically for those genres -- Ethan posted the link above. Elizabeth Bear, Josh Palmitier and CC Finley all came out of OWW.

If you write erotica, then you'll want to check out the Erotica Readers and Writers Association. They host a Storytime mailing list where you can post your work for critique.

And when you get to the point of sending out queries, make sure you list your membership to this kind of group (especially OWW or Critters!) It is a major selling point for agents and editors

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Here are a few from my bookmark collection. I don't have deep knowledge of any of them, though I have posted a story on the first one.

Online Writing Workshops

Authonomy -- Careful with this one. Google it first. It's a bit spammy.

Critique Circle

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+1 for the Online Writing Workshops, which are excellent. –  JSBձոգչ Dec 21 '10 at 16:16
    
If your goal is to get readers who will provide you feedback on your book or help critique your work, then I would second Critique Circle. –  Steven Drennon Jul 23 '11 at 3:52
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Fictionpress is a popular website that allows anyone to upload stories, read those stories, and comment. As the site is wide open, the quality of comments varies wildly, along with the quality of stories. Earlier in my life, I frequented the site, but I eventually left, as I wanted more constructive feedback than I tended to get there. It does have the advantage of being easy to use and having a large user-base.

A quick google search indicates there are also a number of clones. I cannot comment as to their quality, having never tried them.

If you're looking for more critique and less friendly chit-chat, as I was, I would recommend joining an online critique group like Critters. Critters is designed to encourage participation (you have to give about 3 critiques per month to have your stories critiqued). It is also designed to encourage useful, constructive, and in-depth feedback. I typically get 10-20 critiques on any story submitted, with 90% or more being very useful. The science-fiction/fantasy/horror portion of the site has been around for some time, but the other genre sections are new, so I don't know how populated they are at this point in time.

Also, be aware that making a story freely available to anyone on a site like Fictionpress effectively uses your First Electronic Rights, and possibly others. This means you are no longer able to sell those rights. This can be a big turn-off to publishers. You may want to do some research on publishing rights before putting a story online, if you plan to submit it for publication.

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oo critters looks close to what I'm looking for. Thanks for the warning about rights.. I'll keep it in mind, but for now I'm just looking to write for fun. –  Claudiu Dec 17 '10 at 22:49
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+1 for the notes about Rights. Speaking as a former editor we wouldn't touch anything that had been posted online. The thought was that all First English rights had been used up, electronic and otherwise. –  Fox Cutter Dec 18 '10 at 0:52
    
hmm interesting, I saw this snippet: "he notion that merely by posting your manuscript online you exhaust your first publishing rights dates back to the early days of the Internet, when the concept of electronic rights was brand-new and it wasn't clear what sort of competition they might present to print rights. I doubt that many editors these days would be greatly bothered" written 2008, is that still true? –  Claudiu Dec 18 '10 at 2:07
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@Ralph, that depends on where you post it. Forums that are password-protected and require registration (such as the OWW and Critters) are generally not regarded as exhausting your electronic rights, especially since the owners of those sites explicitly disavow any rights claims. –  JSBձոգչ Dec 21 '10 at 16:18
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@Christopher That still counts as being published. I was working on an editing assignment last night and when I Google'd part of the manuscript, I found it was available on the author's website. The publishing house wasn't very pleased when I informed them and they voided his contract. –  Ralph Gallagher Jan 6 '11 at 0:06
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In german language kurzgeschichten.de worked well for me.

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