Essential Sites for Writers

It can be daunting starting out as a writer or writing for the web especially if you’ve had the will and way but had no idea how you might get started. This page is a repository for some of the web’s most useful and essential sites for the writer. Some have been recommended to me, some I have stumbled upon by accident or have literally stumbled upon them through… ummm… StumbleUpon and latterly Pinterest. If you know of any very useful sites, to me.

Writing & Language Tools

Blabla meter for when you really need to be told that there’s too much waffle in your writing
FreeMind: a brainstorming tool
English Stack Exchange. A very nerdy linguistics resource
Evernote: A cloud application that makes for a good tool for storing and sharing research and notes across multiple devices
Onomatopoeia dictionary Ta-dah! needs no explanation
Oxford Dictionaries British-American English Comparison. Want to know your pavement from your sidewalk or your aubergine from your eggplant? And what is a courgette anyway?
Power Thesaurus might not look like much (and graphically it is very simple) but enter a word and you are presented with, actually, quite a lot of information.
Synonym Finder (and antonyms) for all of your word finding needs
VisuWords is a clever dictionary/thesaurus/wordfinder/word association tool that uses a graphical interface
Wordnik: An encyclopaedia of words. Antonyms, synonyms, etymology, demonstrated use. Create lists of your favourites
Write or Die: Creative writing sadism with punishment for not keeping up

Writing Prompts

Creative Writing Prompts. Some simple ideas to get you started
With Painted Words: Picture prompt. Earn money too!
Portent’s Content Idea Generator


Classic Reader A resource of free ebooks – read online
Full Text Archive more free ebooks. Read in html or pdf format.
Project Gutenberg has a wider selection of ebooks than FTA and formats tailored to several commercial ebook readers
Daily Science Fiction: An ezine of new science fiction. Read online for free or purchase a monthly anthology for your ebook reader

Image Sources

Sometimes, stock images just don’t cut it. Try these handy sites for public domain and creative commons.

Morgue File an image search engine covering by subject, size and popularity
Wylio is a useful and simple image searcher. All you need is a Google account
photopin allows users to search by most recent, relevance and “interestingness” Unsplash is a high-res collection of images of scenes, scapes and people that make useful image headers
Death to the Stock Photo is a signup service but it is free and you must check the restrictions to see what the site’s creators will allow you to do


Book Crossing: Give a book away but first put a label on containing a unique code from this website. Then watch it travel the world.
Rare Book Room: HQ digital photographs of some of the rarest books on the planet. Examine them without having to visit the national library in another country and more importantly, without damaging them
Read It Swap It: Have lots of books in storage that you don’t want to give away, can’t sell and will never likely read again? How about swapping it for another book? Simple premise and it works. I’ve acquired three books through this site already.
Librivox: Download free audiobooks voiced by volunteers. Or perhaps you might want to volunteer yourself