With acceptance rates lower than ever for Creative Writing MFA programs, students spend rigorous amounts of hours critiquing their own writing and begging others (former professors, siblings, strangers) to offer feedback. As schools intend on keeping their programs boutique sized, it drives acceptance rates into the teens, tens, and five percentiles. Though the competition is not letting up, the variety of online resources that offer support to applicants is growing. Guidance from online literary websites comes in the form of writing prompts, program rankings, and personal accounts from other writers, confessing their own self-doubt as a means to make the experience of trying to become a writer less solitary. Perhaps we have less well-known artist cafes and speakeasies than our historical counterparts, but this era of intellectuals is making up for that in the way of countless forums and literary based websites that create a community among seasoned and emerging writers. Here is a list of our top seven favorite literary spots around the web for encouragement and inspiration.
Literary Hub publishes reviews, suggested reading, in depth pieces on art, culture, and literature, and so much more. The site is updated daily to deliver all the current news and trends in the literary world. For writers, lithub is a great resource for long editorial pieces that demonstrate quality writing and craftsmanship. Their ‘Features’ vertical covers literary trends and how modern readers interact with classic and contemporary authors. The site is peppered with quick-witted dialogue to engage readers and discuss topics surrounding art, books, and culture.
A fantastic resource for writers going through the grueling task of submitting their work. This site has an infinite database of literary journals and small presses that accept writing submissions. The most unique characteristic of The Review Review is that it interviews editors from the various publications to offer writers insight about what lit. magazines are looking for in a submission. They also investigate the more obscure presses that just might specialize in publishing werewolf poetry or comic strips that deal with the loss of a pet … which is exactly what you might be working on at the moment! A very trusted source and a staple when sending out submissions.
TNI publishes pointed opinions and essays on the topics below the surface that make society tick. TNI digs up the issues that shape our culture and politics that are not obvious to the naked eye, shedding light on just how relevant they are. TNI’s commitment to longer editorial pieces is somewhat of a novel idea this day and age. With listicles (such as this one) becoming exceedingly popular, longer pieces get less attention and it is harder to make people actually read an entire article. TNI is a true visionary of its time and honors the skill it requires to produce content that creates meaningful discussions.
Electric Literature is always working to expand the conversation when it comes to connecting our lives to literature and culture. They publish personal and pointed author interviews, or “conversations”, as they term them, to bring readers first-hand commentary on craft, style, and the psychology behind their individual writing. The “Recommended Reading” series is a much loved feature of the site, which brings readers new and original fiction on a weekly basis. The premise of the site is to connect all things infused with art, literature, and culture into the hands of eager writers, readers, and artists.
This site will forever be a staple for emerging and established writers. PW.org is dedicated to delivering writers with the tools and resources to finding an outlet for their writing, whether it be through contests, literary journals, or MFA programs. They also publish writing prompts as a refuge from writer’s block and post daily news related to authors, publishing, etc. PW.org is very much a one-stop-shop for all the goings-on in the literary world.
GRANTA will always be one of the best sources for fiction on the internet. It started; however, far before the World Wide Web existed, in 1889, and has since delivered some of the most illuminating fiction from a diverse pool of writers. Each issue of GRANTA deals with a different theme and compiles pieces from a range of novelists, journalist, and essayists that contribute to the chosen topic. GRANTA is an incredible source for new writing that explores the transparency between genres and unique modes in which to deliver a story.
This site is dedicated to one woman’s pursuit to living well and infusing one’s world with creativity and intrigue. Maria Popova is an accomplished writer who has previously written for Wired UK, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab. Her website, BrainPickings, delves into the rhetoric of inspiration, be that music, poetry, journal entries, illustrations, or other means for discussing the topics that spark creativity. Think of this site as a place to feed your intellectual hunger with content that points to the imaginative and innovative pursuits in our world.
Latest posts by Bridget Kiley (see all)
- Friday Fiction Recommendation: Flash Fiction from 3:AM Magazine - November 13, 2015
- What Does the Future Hold for Creative Nonfiction Writers? - October 7, 2015
- Celebrating the Most Anticipated New Lit Magazine of 2015, Freeman’s - September 25, 2015