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Four Online Resources for Budding Writers

by Abdus Subhan
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Last modified on September 17th, 2023 at 8:19 pm

Thanks to the internet, it’s never been a better time to be a burgeoning writer. Not long ago, becoming a writer meant gritting your teeth through paper submissions, in-person workshops and networking events. Now, you can find all the resources you need at your fingertips. 

Whether you’re a high-school-aged student dreaming of the next great American novel or a university student honing their technical writing chops, these four online resources can help. 

Finding Inspiration: r/Writing Prompts

Sometimes, you just need the germ of an idea to get you started – and the rest is relatively intuitive. A lot of amateur writers struggle with the ideation phase of the writing process, imagining scenarios or inciting incidents. 

If you need some inspiration to get started, consider the community at Reddit’s r/Writing Prompts. The concept is relatively straightforward: people post small snippets of an idea to the forum, then others build on those ideas by fleshing them out in unique ways. It’s a fantastic way to see the craft in action, reading through a Rashomon-style collection of perspectives on the central prompt. You can also add to the community with a prompt of your own.

Flexing Your Novel-Writing Muscles: NaNoWriMo

Let’s say you already have the germ of an idea. Now, you’re eager to explode that idea into a sprawling, 200-page work. 

Writing that kind of volume can take the wind out of your sails if you go it alone. But with an air of competition – and the motivating presence of other writers in a similar situation – you can get through the process in just 30 days. Or at least, that’s the premise behind NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), an online non-profit event that encourages people to write that novel idea they’re always telling friends about!

Throughout the novel writing month (November), the organization hosts virtual events and author Q&As, and lists resources for kicking the dreaded writer’s block

Getting Ahead in School: Online English Courses

High-school-aged writers often feel like they’ve outgrown their English class. They want to feel challenged with harder texts, loftier concepts and more demanding assignments. 

In these cases, look beyond the four walls of a brick-and-mortar classroom; consider online English courses instead. When you take ENG4U online (English 12), you can complete the course in a self-paced, flexible environment, finishing as quickly as your typing hands will allow. This self-paced model lets you finish sooner so you can turn in your applications for university writing programs ahead of your peers. 

Understanding the Editing Process: Grammarly

Writers of all stripes, be they technical writers or poets, struggle with the editing process. Beyond the syntactical and grammatical rules of language (like where to place that comma), people struggle with making their writing succinct, punchy and easy-flowing. It’s a difficult tone to strike, even for seasoned authors. 

Grammarly doesn’t solve all your problems, but it’s a neat resource for learning the editing process. The software (which uses some fancy AI) combs through your work, making suggestions based on grammar, spelling, tone, clarity and engagement. Consider it like a set of training wheels for the editing process. 

These resources can help every step of the writer’s journey, from ideation to editing. If you’re honing your written language skills, give them a try. 

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