Creative writing is imaginatively expressing ideas and thoughts. Unlike academic and journal writing, it allows you to let your words flow and express without bondages. For such wild minds and creative pens, it is imperative to have a platform that provides the necessary freedom and cradles their talent sincerely.
Let’s say you’re a creative writer and have written a piece of fiction or poetry. You start by writing with a pen on paper or type it up on any of the available note-making apps. After writing and editing in physical or digital form, you want to post it online.
But where to post your short stories and poems? Which online platform will nestle your writings and help you get discovered. These are some of the questions that cloud a writer’s mind when posting their work online.
Several online creative writing platforms have mushroomed since the onset of the internet. With so many of them, it is often perplexing to narrow down on one that best complements your writing style and requirement. More than how to post, it is important to know which site or app is actually worth your efforts. You do not want to invest your time in a place that may shut down in a short time or hardly has any active readers.
As a creative writer, I’ve tried quite a few online creative writing platforms out there over the last few years. This includes the big and the small, the novice and the established, the good and the bad. With that experience, I have a list of websites and apps which are worth sharing your art and spending your valuable time.
Here are some apps and sites where you can write your poem, story, or quote, and post online. These online sites are not only filled with interesting features but can also help you get feedback, fans, and more!
The very first on the list has to be Wattpad. Developed in 2006 by Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen, Wattpad boasts of being one of the largest libraries of stories on the internet. It claims to have an audience of more than 80 million. This allows writers to reach out to a global audience.
Wattpad welcomes a wide range of genres from romance to paranormal. The content produced by writers is protected by copyright law in areas such as distribution, performance, and creation of your work. This means that writers retain rights to their work. Available in over 50 languages, most of its stories are teen-focused and comprise of novel or novella. Readers can directly interact with the writers and share their feedback and opinions. The massive audience size can make feedback levels a hit or miss but it is possible to build a loyal reader-base once your stories start to connect with the audience. There as many writers who enjoy a star status on the website with millions of reads.
Getting noticed requires efforts and patience. Because the site is so big and there are so many writers competing to get attention, it’s quite tough. However, if you engage with the community regularly, you can get some readers. Coming up with interesting and intriguing content consistently will eventually help you in building a huge audience.
Wattpad lets you write and edit your stories on the go to enhance your content quality as you receive the reader’s response. Some people have got publishing deals and some have even received movie deals. The number is small, but there’s nothing wrong with trying, right?
One big complaint readers have about the platform is that poorly written content surfaces quite often. Wattpad is dealing with it by making improvisations in its algorithm. But with the innumerable benefits the site offers, this is something that can be looked over. Moreover, Wattpad is completely free, both the site and the app.
Founded by Evan Williams and Boz Stone, Medium is an online publishing platform launched in 2012 where you can post any form of writing. It was initially developed as a means to publish writings and articles longer than Twitter’s 140-character limit which has now exceeded to 280-character. Thus, Medium hosts a lot of articles in the 1000-3000 words category.
Despite its preference for non-fiction articles over fiction, fiction still has its place. There are a few publications within Medium that are entirely dedicated to fiction. Such communities are relatively small but they are pretty active and have been producing quality content.
Medium focuses on reading time. The average reading time is quite amazing, usually between 7 and 11 minutes. Building a large audience here is difficult unless you post life hack sort of posts. If you post something insightful, inspiring, and interesting, your content has a greater chance of making a stronger impact on Medium. The audience on Medium is smart and well-read. If you have blog content anywhere on the web, Medium allows you to import it.
One of the great features of Medium is that it constantly helps you to reach out to a new audience. This is regardless of your current audience size. Although the more thumbs up you receive, the wider Medium’s algorithm takes your content to.
Other than regularly writing good content, you can gain exposure by starting your own Medium publication. So, even if people don’t follow you as an individual, they might start following your publication. This increases the probability of them being exposed to your content anyway and can eventually boost your number of followers.
Certain industries perform better on Medium. They have a well-established reader base. Topics such as life learning, business, entrepreneurship, startups, culture, technology, and politics have a committed audience.
While writing on Medium is free, you need to get a paid subscription to read. A one-month subscription to Medium costs ₹330 and you get an annual subscription for ₹3,250. Both of these support multiple devices and the amount is said to be given to the writers you interact with.
YourQuote is a mobile app by Harsh Snehanshu available on iOS and Android. Made in India in 2016, YourQuote is comparatively an infant on this list.
Currently used by over 5 million writers worldwide, it is available in more than 14 languages and hosts over a hundred million original posts on the platform. It allows writers to pen quotes, stories, poetries, and a lot more. It lets you broadcast your writings on beautiful, hand-picked wallpapers and cinemagraphs available in YourQuote libraries or that from your gallery. YourQuote helps you get discovered by making your work searchable on Google. It holds contests and games throughout the year to challenge users and polish their writing skills.
The audience on YourQuote is dominated by teens and is quite encouraging. There is a considerable fraction of the elderly population as well. People can interact with each other through comments, team games, and by collaborating on each other’s work which creates a friendly atmosphere. Most of the backgrounds on YourQuote are free to use and supports up to 1200 words. Long-forms can be extended in the caption. Shorter posts revolving around life, philosophy, and love perform better in comparison to others. However, the audience is kind enough to accept other forms of writing and take time to give feedback.
YourQuote, like other platforms on this list, only supports original content and is extremely stringent when it comes to plagiarism. The app comes with an option to check if the content is plagiarized. If found copied, the post gets deleted. Repeatedly posting copied content can even lead to banning a user’s account. Writers on YourQuote retain the rights of their content and can republish their content anywhere they wish to.
Recently, the platform has also entered into publishing and has started its in-app book store. You can publish your work and earn real-time royalty up to 10% on MRP. Also, you get a published writer badge on YourQuote. In addition to this, you can buy beautiful handmade notebooks made by traditional artisans. The app also has an in-app wallet for making the purchase.
You can upgrade to a paid version to enjoy an ad-free experience, access premium wallpapers, statistics, recent visitors and flash a premium badge. One month of a paid subscription is priced at ₹149 and an annual subscription costs ₹749.
Founded by Sydney Liu and Ryan Choi, Commaful is an online platform that houses a variety of fiction, short stories, poetry, and more, shared in a picture book-style format.
This format has many advantages. A writer can get as creative with visuals as much they like. It allows them to decide the amount of content they would like to have in a single picture. Considering that people have less attention span these days, it makes sense to tell stories in a format like that of web series. It keeps writing interesting and captivating. From a reader’s perspective, this format helps to decide whether to tap and continue or jump to another story.
For someone new to Commaful, posting their work might initially seem like a task but once you get used to it, you’d enjoy the format that has been termed as multimedia-fiction. This posting style on Commaful is its USP which differentiates it from traditional writing at other platforms. So, writing a novel may not be a great idea if you’re looking to write just copy and paste a novel onto the site. Short stories work best for this site.
The site mostly comprises of teens but also spans a wide range of experienced professionals such as teachers, professors, editors, and even bestselling authors. The community is active, friendly, and very engaging. This facilitates in keeping the spirit alive and acts as a motivation against writer’s block of any kind.
The site is smaller than Wattpad, but the community is extremely active and many readers and writers love its fresh format for storytelling. Also, it is easier to get discovered here in comparison to Wattpad for new writers. Commaful has grown significantly, with monthly readership hitting the hundreds of thousands, and over a million in overall reach. This has led to fresh opportunities for its community members, from small publishing deals to press opportunities. The site has also hosted several writing contests to encourage its users to write more.
To top it all, Commaful is absolutely free. With all of these features, it wouldn’t be wrong to list Commaful as one of the best places to pour your heart out and pen your imagination.
Registered by NameCheap, Inc. in the year 2012, Quotev is a teen-oriented site flooded with short stories, fanfiction, and fun quizzes. With Quotev, you get to create your own quizzes and publish your own stories.
Since the majority of its audience is teenagers and young adults, young adult is rightly the genre that is the heart of this website.
Qoutev has a fun atmosphere where earning fans is easier than other websites. It has an activity page where you can interact with the people you follow. Some people prefer to role play, you can make new friends, join and create groups. And if you love drama and gossip, then there’s a lot of that in it too. So Quotev is more for you if you’re a social person. But if you want your stories to be exposed to more users, Wattpad is any day a better choice as it supports the smartphone app which allows your content to be exposed to more readers, and if you got enough reader base you can earn from that.
Stories on Quotev have a lot of room for improvement. The website lags in this aspect. Also, receiving actionable feedback is a bit difficult. Many of the young readers aren’t the best at giving constructive feedbacks that can be used. Despite the quality of stories being average, there are writers whose words work like magic. These stories are mostly romance or fanfiction. This makes Quotev one of the largest fanfiction archives only second to its competitor Archive of Our Own.
Quotev is completely free and readers and writers can enjoy their time on the website without any interruption by ads. The user interface of quotev.com is simple, clean, and sleek which adds to a wonderful experience
6) ARCHIVE OF OUR OWN
Archive of our own also known as AO3 is a not for profit open-source repository for fanfiction and other fanworks contributed by users. Created in 2008 by Organization for Transformative Works, Archive of our own hosts nearly 6 million works in over 36,700 fandoms.
Archive of our own is the go-to fanfiction website at this point. It is the most popular platform for fanfiction in the world. It is the place to be if you are writing fanfiction with popular novel and movie characters or would simply like to read some fanfiction. With millions of readers and writers, this site is very active. Teens form the largest reader base on Archive of our own with the presence of senior audiences in a small number. The site holds many challenges in which people can participate. It also allows you to import your work and publish it on the website. Feedback can be a hit or miss, but there are surely some mature readers and editors who read through there and give great advice.
For those who are new to fanfiction, they need to scroll with caution. There can be some very mature and aggressive themes floating around so if you aren’t prepared for that you can get caught off-guard. Archive of our own allows users to rate their stories by intended reader age.
Being a nonprofit organization, Archive of our own is a free website. You cannot earn cash by posting your work on the website. The site has, however, received positive acclaim for its curation, design, and overall organization mostly done by readers and writers of fanfiction. The site has won Hugo Award for Best Related work in 2019 and continues to maintain its position as the most sought after place for fans of fanfiction.
Fanfiction.net often abbreviated as ff.net or FFN is an automated website meant primarily for fanfiction stories. Fanfiction is stories written around popular characters of books, TV shows, movies, and comics. Founded by Los Angeles based computer programmer Xing Li on October 15, 1998, it is the largest and second most popular fan fiction site after Archive of your own in the world. It has more than 12 million registered users and nestles stories in over 40 languages.
The site is divided into nine categories which include Anime/Manga, books, cartoons, games, comics, movies, plays/musicals, TV shows, and miscellaneous. The first two categories are among the most popular ones on the platform. Harry Potter tops the list as the most favorite fandom while Naruto and Twilight grab a distant second and third position as per a survey conducted by Alexa.
Over the years, the site has grown tremendously in spite of newer sites popping up now and then. The longest work of fan fiction ever written on a fanfiction site is more than four million words long and has garnered massive media attention.
The site is free for readers and writers and does not provide any monetary benefits. It uses advertisements to pay for its costs.
Fanstory.com is home to some amazing stories, poems, and a lot more. It has been helping writers since the year 2000 irrespective of their skill level. There are plenty of contests featuring poetry, flash fiction, etc. The site has live rankings and daily writing prompts to keep writing exciting. Many of these features and contests require you to pay. So, it’s not entirely free.
Although it is an old school site from the early 2000s, it is still around and has a pretty active community. The site seems to be growing pretty slowly but has a decent user base already for people looking to build an audience.
This site offers cash prizes for the winners of its contests and related short fiction contests.
RoyalRoad is a place of web novels and fanfiction sites with a pretty active community. The community is a mix of various talented individuals who are hobbyist writers and those who write professionally. People are very friendly and actively provide valuable feedback and encouragement. There are also a good number of artists around who collaborate on book covers. The site has a forum for members to hang out, chat, and support each other. This is why the community seems to be their strong suit. The site has a list of its members that can be easily accessed. It helps you discover writers and showcases their accomplishments on the site to date.
Like most other platforms on this list, RoyalRoad’s audience is ruled by teenagers. Romance, fanfiction, and young adults are a few genres that perform well on this site. With other genres, it is tough to get the audience’s attention. It isn’t impossible though. Many popular stories have millions of views over the last few years.
The design of the website is elementary and caters to effortless navigation and reading. It offers light as well as a dark theme. RoyalRoad is absolutely free and maintains itself through advertisements and affiliate marketing.
Other than these, Miraquill, formerly known as Mirakee is pretty good if you want to post your quotes, poems, and short works on alluring backgrounds. Writers can collaborate on each other’s work and interact with one another. HaikuJAM is another great creative writing app. It also offers a mood tracker with a premium subscription. There are many other apps and websites that have emerged as amazing platforms to showcase one’s creative writing talent. It should be great to get you started writing online and sharing your stories!