Writing Resources

The Creative Writing Club at Penn Highlands spent two semesters sharing our favorite writing aids and sources of inspiration with one another. With a new semester just beginning, it’s a good time to gather all those helpful resources in one place. Share your favorite writing tools down in the comments!

Not sure what to write about?

  • The Time Is Now offers three writing prompts every week in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.
  • Abulafia collects random generators for pretty much any facet of storytelling you could ask for to help jump-start your writing.
  • Story Cubes and Nanofictionary were favorite storytelling games at our writing club meetings. They’re great ways to blow off steam and push your imagination outside the box at the same time.
  • Story Cards combines the best of Story Cubes and Nanofictionary as an online game.
  • Magnetic Poetry Online lets you rearrange words to your heart’s content, no fridge required.

Looking for writing advice?

  • Craft Capsules is a series of mini-essays exploring elements of writing and offering tips or exercises to hone your writing skills.
  • Writing Excuses is a weekly podcast in which SFF writers explore one topic in as much depth as 15 minutes will allow.

Need a little help staying focused?

  • Habitica turns your to-do list into an online roleplaying game. Who doesn’t love a rewards system?
  • Write or Die tracks your word count as you write, with dire consequences for falling behind.
  • Written? Kitten! Every hundred words = a new kitten picture, if you need a cuddlier, less stressful motivator.
  • Headspace is a free guided meditation app that will help you stay on task.
  • Sound archives such as Freesound and British Library Sounds can help you immerse yourself in your setting.

Have publishing questions?

  • Query Shark breaks down real query letters to highlight what works and what really doesn’t.
  • Poets & Writers is a great source of advice from publishing professionals and maintains databases of literary contests, magazines, and small presses where you can submit your work.
  • Writer Beware tracks literary scams, teaches writers how to recognize predatory practices, and offers general publishing advice.

Stay organized.

  • Scrivener is perfect for pantsers and outliners alike. No process is too chaotic, no project too sprawling.
  • Organize your writing visually with mind maps and mood boards.

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