38 Awesome Free Things for Writers

Tools, Courses, and Books that are game changers.

Shaunta Grimes
Oct 15, 2019 · 4 min read
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

I’ve gathered up more than thirty of my favorite free tools, courses, and books for writers. To keep things simple, I’ve just included a line about each thing (usually right from the website.)

These are all resources I’ve used myself or that I plan to use.

Have fun!

Agent Query: Huge searchable database of literary agents. Check out the resources that lets you upload your query letter for free feedback. (Tool)

An Introduction to Screenwriting: This online course explores the key concepts and fundamental principles involved in the process of screenwriting. (Course)

Books: I put together a collection of free Kindle books for writers. (Books)

Brandon Sanderson’s BYU Lecture Series: Twelve hours of video instruction from a master. (Videos)

Chris Fox: Read his book 5000 Words Per Hour, free. (Book)

Chuck Palahniuk’s Thought Verbs Article: Perhaps the most useful piece of writing advice I’ve ever read. Ever. (Article)

Cliche Finder: A simple tool for finding cliches in your writing. (Tool)

Conferences and Residencies Database: The Poets & Writers database includes details about over two hundred writing conferences, writers residencies, and literary festivals. (Tool)

Critique Circle: An online writing workshop for all authors. (Tool)

Evernote: Evernote helps you capture and prioritize ideas, projects, and to-do lists, so nothing falls through the cracks. (Tool)

Google Docs: With Google Docs, you can write, edit, and collaborate wherever you are. For free. (Tool)

Grammarly: Compose bold, clear, mistake-free writing with Grammarly’s AI-powered writing assistant. (Tool)

Headline Analyzer: Write Headlines That Drive Traffic, Shares, And Search Results. (Tool)

Hemingway: Hemingway App makes your writing bold and clear. (Tool)

How to Craft a Killer Short Story: The art of a great short story requires a different set of writing skills altogether. (Course)

How to Develop + Test a Story Idea: How to Develop + Test a Story Idea (or H2DSI) is a free 5 day course that will teach you a method you can use over and over to build a stable of ideas for your stories. (Course)

James Altucher: Choose Yourself is a totally life changing book with one of the best exercises about ideas that I’ve ever come across. Free on Prime. (Book)

Poets and Writers: Huge searchable database of awards, grants, and contests for writers. (Tool)

Joanna Penn: Everything you need to write, publish and market your book, as well as how to become an author-entrepreneur. (Course)

Pomodoro Techinque: A revolutionary time management system, it is at once deceptively simple to learn and life-changing to use. (Tool)

Querytracker: QueryTracker has helped 2,762 authors find agents for their books. (Tool)

Quora: Quora is a question and answer social media platform that’s a great tool for idea generation. (Tool)

Ray Bradbury’s Advice to Writers: I watch this video at least once a year. It’s that good and that full of the most perfect advice. (Video)

Reverse Dictionary: This tool lets you describe a concept and get back a list of words and phrases related to that concept. Your description can be anything at all: a single word, a few words, or even a whole sentence. (Tool)

Reverso Grammar Checker: Super simple tool that lets you insert your work and make sure all your spelling and grammar checks out. (Tool)

Sean Wes Audience Building Course: Building an audience is the start to a lot of great things for you. (Course)

Start Writing Fiction: Get started with your own fiction writing, focusing on the central skill of creating characters, with this hands-on course. (Course)

The Complete Guide to Bullet Journaling for Writers: A bullet journal can help you set writing goals, plan novels, track your progress, practise all-important self-care, and much more. (Tool)

The Plotting Workshop: This four-week course will take you from the spark of an idea through the hero’s journey, straight to a fully-plotted road map that will help you write your novel all the way through to the end. (Course)

The Story Shack: Generate your next creative writing prompt with this little tool. (Tool)

The Power of Podcasting for Storytelling: Discover all things podcasting: learn how to plan, write and publish your own podcast. (Course)

The Submission Grinder: The Submission Grinder is a submission tracker and market database for writers of fiction and poetry. (Tool)

Tomato Timer: A free and easy timer for the Pomodoro time management technique. (Tool)

Trello: Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable you to organize and prioritize your projects in a fun, flexible, and rewarding way. (Tool)

VideoFruit: Take our free 6-part online class and learn the step-by-step system to quickly grow your email list (even if you are a beginner.) (Course)

Wordcounter: Apart from counting words and characters, our online editor can help you to improve word choice and writing style, and, optionally, help you to detect grammar mistakes and plagiarism. (Tool)

Writers Associations: Here’s a great list of writers associations, writers groups, and organizations for writers. (Tool)

ZenPen: A minimalist writing zone, where you can block out all distractions and get to what’s important. The writing! (Tool)

Here’s my secret weapon for sticking with whatever your thing is.

Shaunta Grimes is a writer and teacher. She is an out-of-place Nevadan living in Northwestern PA with her husband, three superstar kids, two dementia patients, a good friend, Alfred the cat, and a yellow rescue dog named Maybelline Scout. She’s on Twitter and Instagram and is the author of Viral Nation and Rebel Nation, and The Astonishing Maybe. She is the original Ninja Writer.

Shaunta Grimes

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Learn. Write. Repeat. Visit me at ninjawriters.org. Reach me at shauntagrimes@gmail.com. (My posts may contain affiliate links!)

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