Writing Communities and Courses
- Young Writer's Society - Dedicated to scribes between the ages of 13 and 25, the Young Writer's Society is the world's largest website for young writers. The members-only community encourages submissions and offers tips that will help anyone become a better writer.
- NaNoWriMo's Young Writers Program - NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. Every November, the young writers' section of the site challenges people who are 12 and under to write a 50,000 word novel. If you are over the age 12 and want to participate, join the adult version of the NaNoWriMo Program.
- Writing.com - Boasting resources for everyone from novice writers to scribes with master's degrees in writing, this online writing community is a great place to store and display your work online. Free memberships are available to all.
- Young Writers Online - This community for young writers offers one forum for submitting your work for critique and one forum for general conversation about the craft.
- MIT Writing OCW - The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers a number of free college-level writing courses through their OpenCourseWare program. You can see the full listing of courses at this website.
- Writer's Digest - Although this website isn't specifically designed for young writers, it is a fantastic resource for anyone who wants to learn how to write better. Site features include blogs, community forums, writing tips, creative writing prompts and guidelines to getting published.
- Pomegranate Words - This site features free lessons in poetry and fiction, critiquing services and a magazine for teen authors.
- U.S. Copyright Office - This site is a must-see for writers of all ages. It will teach you everything you need to know about copyright and includes a section where you can register your work.
Grammar and Reference Websites
- Study.com's English Grammar Help has dozens of short, animated videos to teach the rules of grammar in a fun and engaging way.
- The Purdue Online Writing Lab - Purdue University's Online Writing Lab is a wonderful place to learn all of the various rules of grammar and usage.
- Grammar Girl - Mignon Fogarty, a.k.a. Grammar Girl, offers up a wealth of quick and dirty grammar tips for better writing. The tips are available in a blog and a free podcast, and readers can submit their own burning grammar questions.
- Merriam-Webster - Merriam-Webster's online dictionary and thesaurus is easy to use and guaranteed accurate. Other site features include a Word of the Day, podcasts, word games and free downloads.
- Chomp Chomp - This website provides 'grammar instruction with attitude.' The site's 'grammar bytes' include grammar rules, handouts, interactive exercises, videos and definitions to common grammar terms.
- The Writer's Workshop - The Writers' Workshop (run by the Center for Writing Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) offers a free grammar handbook that explains basic grammatical rules. The handbook is easy to read, complete and accurate.
- Daily Grammar - Nearly 500 grammar lessons and quizzes can be accessed for free on the Daily Grammar site. Other resources include workbooks and a glossary.
- Guide to Grammar and Style - Jack Lynch's Guide to Grammar and Style is an indispensable resource for young writers. The guide explains grammar rules in detail and provides valuable usage suggestions.
- Bartleby - This Internet publisher has a number of free books online that will help users master the rules of grammar. One book in particular worth checking out is The American Heritage Book of English Usage
- AutoCrit - The AutoCrit Editing Wizard can check writing for grammar errors, clichés and other no-no's. AutoCrit also provides a number of other writing resources as well.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Creative Writing, General
- The Story Starter - Creativity abounds at Story Starter! Their automatic generator plays host to over one trillion (no joke!) creative ideas for writers.
- Creative Writing Prompts - When you need inspiration, this site is the place to go. It features more than 300 detailed creative writing prompts, as well as journal ideas.
- Ink Provoking - This site provides creative writing prompts of all kinds. New prompts are added every Sunday.
- The Story Kitchen - This site starts a story for you using the elements you choose and then asks you to finish it. With a focus on youth-friendly protagonists like superheros and genius kids, Bruce Van Patter's Story Kitchen is excellent practice for young writers.
- Language Is a Virus - The automatic prompt generator on this site can provide writers with an endless number of creative writing prompts. Other resources include writing exercises and information on dozens of different authors.
- Scholastic - If you are looking for a site that inspires and covers the basics of writing, Scholastic is the place to be. The site is great for kids and teachers.
- About Fiction Writing - The About.com Guide to Fiction Writing provides all sorts of creativity boosters for young writers. The site also offers advice for those who are new to fiction.
- Book-In-A-Week - The Book-In-A-Week website is for serious young writers who want a challenge. The writing community encourages creativity by asking members to write as much as possible the first week of every month.
- Reach Every Child - Designed for exceptionally young writers (think 12 and under), Reach Every Child offers a list of publishers that accept stories, poems and works of art. More than 40 markets are listed.
- Teen Ink - This national teen website (and magazine) counts on submissions from young writers to fill their pages. Writers must be between the ages of 13 and 19 to be considered, and there are also community forums to which any teenager can submit work for peer review.
- Teen Voices - Like Teen Ink, Teen Voices accepts submissions from young writers between the ages of 13 and 19.
- Claremont Review - This magazine showcases young adult writers and offers resources such as writing tips from famous authors and an annual teen writing contest.
- Ink Pop - Ever dream of getting a major publisher to read your work? This site, run by Harper Collins, offers writing tips and advice for young writers, as well as a chance to connect with a Harper Collins editor, if you're lucky.
- About Freelance Writing - If you are over 18, this site is a great place to find paying freelance writing gigs. New jobs are posted every week, as well as practical tips and advice for freelance writers.
- Media Bistro - Considered by many to be the ultimate freelance marketplace, Media Bistro is a good spot to find writing gigs and journalism jobs. The site also offers blogs, community forums, event listings and much more.
- Writers Market - Writers Market is the ultimate guide for young writers who want to learn where to sell what they write. It costs $29.99 for a one-year subscription with a 7-day money back guarantee, but it is money well spent.
- Literary Marketplace - This worldwide resource is for writers who are interested in the book industry. The site provides contact information for international publishers, U.S. publishers, Canadian publishers and a variety of small presses.
- First Writer - Undeniably an indispensable resource, First Writer is a great place for professional writers to find agents, publishers and writing contests. There is a catch though - you have to pay a small membership fee to access all of the features. A free trial is available.
- Newbie-Writers - This site is a gold mine for new writers in any genre. Newbie-Writers will not only help you learn the craft, the site will also help you get published. Users who sign up for the free newsletter also receive an 85-page e-book.
- Become a Writer Today - This blog provides practical information and tools for new writers.