For as long as I can remember, I have been a fan, subscriber, and writing course graduate of all that is available through Writer’s Digest. Before I left my wonderful oceanside condo at the Surf and Racquet Club in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii and moved back to “America,” I donated ten years’ worth of Writer’s Digest magazines to a local writer’s group.
Today, as I contemplate downsizing one more time, now that I’m living in the Seattle, Washington area, I found a box that contained all that I loved about my journey with Writer’s Digest. One such online posting occurring in the year 2000, displayed a list of websites that Writer’s Digest said they liked. As I scanned the list today, I wondered how many of those sites were still in existence fifteen years later in November, 2015.
Guess how many writing sites are still in service in 2015
If you had to make a guess, out of the original twenty-four websites named by Writer’s Digest in 2000, how many sites do you think are still helping writers today?
If you’re even the tiniest bit interested in my findings, then below you can read the original Writer’s Digest list as it appeared on their website in 2000, and then I’ll reveal the sites, which are still operational today (with one site they forgot to mention).
Writer’s Digest Favorite Sites in January 2000
- Inkspot http://www.inkspot.com There’s market information, writing tips, author and editor interviews and networking opportunities. “Has all the information a writer needs no matter what genre you write in.” —Teresa Bell Kindred (writersdigest.com nomination)
- Fiction Writer’s Connection http://www.fictionwriters.com Plenty of help even for non-members, with access to articles, public forums and interactive novels. “It is inspiring. The Web page gives that special feeling that a writer needs to be producing works of fiction. It recognizes the need to give writers that chance.” —Gautam Shankar Banerjer (writersdigest.com nomination)
- Word Museum http://www.wordmuseum.com “They have everything from interviews to articles to author pages. I always find something new there and I love love love their free contests!” —Melissa Dupaul (writersdigest.com nomination)
- The Fiction Network http://www.fictionnetwork.net “It is one of the few sites to showcase both novels and short stories. It has a wide variety. The talent level is high. The exposure is good. And it’s free.” —David R. Mark (writersdigest.com nomination)
- Inscriptions http://come.to/Inscriptions A free weekly e-zine for writers featuring contests, articles and jobs. “The information this site presents is sensible, accurate and informative.” —Diane Steendahl (writersdigest.com nomination)
- Writers’ Computer Store http://www.writerscomputer.com The store offers software as well as books on writing for the big and small screen as well as more general issues such as story structure.
- Master Freelancer http://www.masterfreelancer.com Another store jampacked with products and services for freelance writers.
- Amateur Poetry Journal http://amateurpoetry.virtualave.net/ “Always good reading, tips articles and poetry. Chat room and workshop. Learn new forms of poetry not familiar and a challenge each week!” —Gene Wiginton (writersdigest.com nomination)
- Zoetrope http://www.zoetrope-stories.com Interesting cooperative concept. For every story or one-act play submitted, the author is asked to read and critique five. After 30 days, Zoetrope decides whether the work will be considered for publication. “The site allows writers from all over the world to post short stories and get widespread, thoughtful critiques of your work, as well as to see other people’s work. It gives you a view of the slush pile that editors have to wade through; it gives you something to shoot for. It gives you a community of people who are struggling with the same issues, the same problems.” —Cynthia Hartwig (writersdigest.com nomination)
- Artsforge’s Wordforge http://www.artsforge.com/wordforge.html Among the site’s appeals is the ability to write a story in conjunction with other online visitors. “The creativity and opportunity to write interactively with others is excellent.” —Judy McCann (writersdigest.com nomination)
- Children’s Writing Resource Center http://www.write4kids.com Free resources for children’s writers from Children’s Book Insider newsletter.
- 1st Books Library http://www.1stbooks.com Even if you don’t believe traditional paper-and-ink books will go the way of the dinosaur, this company’s got an interesting concept. You can download more than 1,400 virtual books, many of them at no charge.
- PageOne www.pageonelit.com Besides a regular newsletter, the site provides literary news and some neat features, including Novel Beginnings, the first paragraphs of books that visitors are reading. “It’s free and always contains at least one really good inspiring thought that helps me go on with my writing.” —Elizabeth Hamlin (writersdigest.com nomination)
- Writer’s Loft http://www.writersloft.com It takes a long time to get to the application to join in the fun of the progressive workshops, but you assure us it’s worth it. “Very creative atmosphere. Wonderful people. Many options.” —Pat Linkhorn (writersdigest.com nomination)
- All Mixed Up http://www.digilogic.com/allmixedup/ E-zine for writers. “This e-zine has offered a lot to the new unpublished authors, myself included and the caring that Jessica Fogg puts into it is unbelieveable.” —Marilyn Olson (writersdigest.com nomination)
- odd prose http://munshi.sonoma.edu/jamal/oddprose.html Don’t beat yourself up over every grammar error or non sequitur. Just be glad you write better than these Sonoma State students
- Zuzu’s Petals http://www.zuzu.com How can you not like a site named for the younger daughter in It’s a Wonderful Life? The editors of Zuzu’s Petals Quarterly Online also offer discussion groups, 7,000 useful links and an online bookstore. “The variety of resources makes it easy to find the latest about smaller publications. The work featured in the ‘zine is good quality work, not wannabe writers’ attempts.” —Linda Clare (writersdigest.com nomination)
- Screenwriters & Playwrights Home Page http://www.teleport.com/~cdeemer/scrwriter.html It’s run by Charles Deemer, author of Screewright: The Craft of Screenwriting, and it has lists of useful links and information for both screenwriters and playwrights.
- Authorlink! http://Authorlink.com/ Like many other sites, there’s publishing industry news and a lot of links. What sets this site apart is the preview of evaluated manuscripts seeking editors or agents.
- WritersNet http://www.writers.net/index.html Links to Web pages of published authors, editors, publishers and literary agents.
- Momwriters http://www.offthewallemporium.com/momwriters.html This site caters to men and women who take care of the kids or grandkids, but still want to write.
- One Woman’s Writing Retreat http://www.prairieden.com/ Nice assortment of links and discussions of topics such as “what keeps you writing?” “This site has it all: exciting links, helpful articles, and frankly, anything a new or an experienced writer needs! In my opinion, it’s the best writing link I’ve found, and I’ve found many.” —Jillian Leslie (writersdigest.com nomination)
- SharpWriter.com http://www.sharpwriter.com Good portal dictionaries, punctuation, encyclopedias, even writer’s block.
- The Inditer http://www.inditer.com/ Interesting assortment of online stories and poems.
And the site that for some reason didn’t make the original Writer’s Digest list, but is still operational and current for the past 16 years is none other than The Writer’s Mentor – http://thewritersmentor.com Online resources for writers and screenwriters, including writing courses, editing services, business group coaching, one-on-one mentoring sessions, marketing services, and resources for the successful author and entrepreneur.
2000 vs. 2015 – Sites still Providing Services to Writers
Listed below are the seven sites +1 that are still live and operational in 2015.
http://inkspot.com. This site is now an online writing portfolio service powered by Writing.Com
http://www.fictionwriters.com/. This site is operational.
http://www.wordmuseum.com. The site has not been updated since 2011, but it is online.
http://www.artsforge.com/wordforge.html. Operational, but I’m unsure if the content is current.
http://writeforkids.org./ Website exists, but copyright is outdated.
http://authorlink.com/. Website still exists.
http://www.writers.net/index.html. Active website