“Writing is the hardest way of earning a living, with the possible exception of wrestling alligators.”
Or so claimed Olin Miller. He had a point- writing can be a difficult job. The creative process is only half the battle. After that, you have to try to get your writing out there, build a reader base, and try to survive in the industry. There are several ways to do that. An exciting way to do so is- Free Writing Platforms in India.
Introduction to Free Writing Platforms in India
What are they and how is posting on them different from having an online blog? Well, free writing platforms have several advantages
- You get the opportunity to interact with other writers, explore their work and engage with it.
- Often writers on these platforms form close bonds. They share each other’s work, promote it, and even collaborate. There are always prompts, challenges, and feedback to help you.
- Many platforms offer some way to earn after creators reach a certain number of followers.
- Competitions with a chance to win cash prizes are organized.
- The publishing industry also engages with writing on online platforms. Writers have been offered publishing deals based on their uploaded work
There are many free writing platforms in India that include websites and apps out there. We have put together a list for you to check out and of course, write for.
List of Free Writing Platforms in India
Pratilipi is India’s largest digital platform that connects readers and writers. Starting in 2015, it already has a staggering number of regular readers and creators.
- Multilingual platform. You can read and write in 12 different Indian languages. These include English, Hindi, Bengali, Kannada, Gujarati, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Punjabi and Odia. For people writing in regional languages, Pratilipi offers a rare chance. Engaging directly with many readers, without the expense of traditional publishing.
- More than 2.5 Crore readers and 2.7 Lakh writers currently use Pratilipi. It is India’s largest app connecting readers and writers in that many languages.
- You still have sole copyright over your work after publishing with Pratilipi
- Pratilipi also has a rating system. On their website, each published work appears with stars out of five.
- Pratilipi has guidelines for unacceptable work. This includes hate speech, sexual content, and copyright violation. The full list is available on their website. Failure to comply can lead to account suspension and even legal action. Make sure you are well versed with the guidelines for appropriate submissions.
- Apart from traditional types of writing- memes, jokes, and satirical work, are all welcome.
- Pratilipi does not pay every creator. However, they do have a system through which readers can choose to pay authors. The sums are rarely significant, and usually more symbolic. There are also competitions with specific themes or prompts that have cash prizes.
Type of Work Preferred
- Long form and short form content is both accepted and appreciated. Fiction, non-fiction and poetry are all accepted. While Pratilipi has all kinds of content, popular genres like romance, mystery, and horror tend to attract more readers on this platform.
Wattpad is a massive international platform, and possibly one of the best known. With over 90 million readers and writers from across the world, your piece can be read by a diverse milieu.
- On Wattpad, you can build a reader base impressive in size and diversity.
- Wattpad is a platform that attracts professionals from the publishing world. Representatives of major publishing houses scout for talent on Wattpad.
- Wattpad has connections with various publishing and multimedia brands. HarperCollins, NBC, Macmillan publishers, Simon and Schuster, and Paramount are all partners. It also has its own publishing division- Wattpad Books. Until now, over 1000 Wattpad originals have been turned into books or adapted for TV and film.
- Wattpad also organizes workshops on different areas of writing with bestselling authors.
- The Watty awards recognize the winners of the annual writing contest on Wattpad. Entering the competition is a good way to gain more visibility and attract more readers.
- You can tag your stories on Wattpad, with the genre, sub-genre, and other details. This makes it easier for readers to find your story, and for you to join a community of like-minded individuals.
- Posting on Wattpad means you retain First Rights, and still, own your work. It is not viewed as a reprint by the publisher.
- The platform is sensitive to copyright issues. It has systems in place to protect the copyright of writers. They abide by the DMCA process (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). The copy-paste function is disabled on the website.
- Wattpad Paid allows readers to support writers, and certain works become paid.
- The WattCon is an event organized by Wattpad for their premier writers. It includes programming and panels that help writers meet with each other. They hone their craft, and make connections with Wattpad’s various multimedia partners.
- Because of the sheer volume of work available on Wattpad, it is easy for stories to get lost or overshadowed. Users often complain that good writing gets buried under piles of poor-quality work.
- Although Wattpad has a copyright policy, creators say that plagiarism is a problem. AS* (name withheld to protect identity), a published writer on Wattpad agrees. She added,” I have often found instances of entire stories being copied. Only names and minor details were changed.”
- Many good books and stories don’t manage to gain much recognition or visibility.
- While Wattpad Paid does exist, the vast majority of work is free and most writers don’t get paid.
Type of Work Preferred
- The fiction of all kinds is appreciated. Submissions range from short stories to novel length pieces running several chapters. Wattpad also attracts large numbers of fanfiction readers and writers. Writers who write romantic fiction, fan fiction, thrillers and dramatic fiction are more likely to get attention than others.
Tapas is one of the fastest growing digital platforms for webcomics and novels in North America. Based in Los Angeles, creators and readers from all over the world are welcome to the platform.
- 68.8 thousand creators, with more than 14 thousand of them paid for their work.
- Tapas offers several avenues for monetization. You can earn ad revenue on your content, and also appeal to your readers. Tapas has a digital currency called ‘ink’. Readers can directly support writers using this. Both of these options work for all work posted on Tapas. The platform also has a premium program, which makes certain work paid.
- Tapas is a good platform to make connections and network. It has a supportive creator community called Tapastry. Tapastry is home to more than 68000 creators and millions of readers.
- Tapas has more than 9 million monthly active users, so you can build an interactive reader base over time.
- Tapas removes many obstacles in the comic industry, making it easy for anyone to publish. It has creators from various countries which includes 63% females among its top 30 comic creators. All this makes Tapas score well on the diversity test.
- Comic creators have fewer avenues to showcase their work than writers. With its focus on comic creators, Tapas provides a much needed space.
- Tapas is great for serialized work, but has technical flaws that make it less user friendly. For example, once you have posted chapters, you cannot go back to change the order of the chapters. So if you make a mistake and post chapter 2 before chapter 1, you cannot remedy it.
- While Tapas accepts other kinds of fiction it leans heavily towards comics. Most of the creators as well as readers use it for webcomics, so it can be difficult for other work to gain traction.
- Because of the ‘ink’ system, through which readers support writers, you need to have a large fan base to make money.
Type of Work Preferred
- Novels and stories are accepted, but it is truly a space for comics.
Inkitt is an interesting writer platform that publishes writers based on reader feedback.
- Inkitt has over 2 million active readers and writers, so you can really build an online community.
- You retain all rights to your work after posting on Inkitt.
- You can take down your work from the platform whenever you wish to do so.
- Inkitt organizes writing contests.
- Inkitt has a unique sister app called GALATEA. Once you upload your work to your profile, Inkitt analyzes reader patterns. It also looks at reader engagement with your book. If it seems your work has ‘bestseller potential’, the Inkitt team will approach you with a contract. This contract is to become a paid author, by publishing on Galatea. Galatea is a reading app. It enhances written material with original soundscapes, visual effects and music. If you sign the contract, your work will be adapted to Galatea’s format, and you will start getting royalties. Later on, your work may also be published in other formats.
- Inkitt accepts previously self-published work.
- Galatea is a relatively new app that is growing extremely fast. As a result, writers with published work are seeing royalties increase every month. The top authors on the app can earn up to 14,000 dollars a month, but even others earn decent sums.
- Inkitt publishing is based on patterns of reader engagement. What gets published is based on ‘bestselling potential’ rather than the story. Good writing sometimes gets overshadowed because it doesn’t get as many clicks. Writing in a popular genre automatically has more chance of success than an offbeat read.
- Promoting your work becomes an essential part of the process. This can put certain writers at a disadvantage.
- Not all works uploaded to Inkitt are published on Galatea.
Type of Work Preferred
- Nonfiction is not accepted. Novels, short stories, children’s books, and poetry are all accepted. Any kind of fiction is usually appreciated.
Goodreads has a dedicated writing platform where writers and readers can explore hundreds of genres.
- Any kind of writing- from poetry to fanfiction to interview tips, can find a home here.
- Easy to tag your work any way you want, to make it easier for targeted readers to find you.
- Goodreads is a recognized and respected platform that millions of readers use worldwide. Not just for reading original work, but reading and writing book reviews, and following their favourite published authors. Because of this, it can be a great space for networking.
- Goodreads is mainly known and used as a website for book reviews, quotes, and for following personal author profiles. The section dedicated to original work is not as well known.
Type of Work Preferred
- All kinds of writing is accepted. Poetry, gardening tips, short stories, memoirs. As long as you work on attracting the right readers, any genre can do well.
Readomania is a writing platform on which both free and paid content is available.
- You own all rights to your work.
- Readomania has a team that reviews submitted writing. If needed, they even work with the writer to improve it. Readomania is distinguished by the personal attention and handholding that writers receive.
- Readers can leave feedback, and comments, and share it on social media. This will help you gain more readers and work with constructive criticism.
- Everything on the website is curated and edited. A standard of quality is maintained that gets compromised on many other platforms.
- You can follow other writer’s profiles and become part of your own creative community.
- Once your work is published, you cannot edit it without contacting the Readomania team.
- There is no remuneration offered for posting on Readomania.
- If you want to publish your work elsewhere after it has appeared on Readomania, there may be issues. You are expected to include – ‘first published on Readomania.com’. Many other platforms, contests, and publishing houses do not accept previously published work.
Type of Work preferred
- Fiction of all types is appreciated. It must be appropriate for everyone above the age of 13. The paid content especially, often includes non mainstream genres, so the platform is definitely worth considering for those authors.
Storymirror is an India based writing platform. It brings readers and writers together from all across the country.
- Multilingual platform. You can read and write stories in ten Indian languages. Write in English, Hindi, Tamil, Gujarati, Marathi, Telugu, Bengali, Oriya, Kannada, and Malayalam.
- Six million readers and more than a hundred thousand writers using the platform
- Apart from writing, you can also post audio work and quotes .
- Storymirror also facilitates self publishing for interested authors.
- Hosts contests that have cash prizes
- While Storymirror doesn’t own any of the content, its policy gives it certain rights over your work. Storymirror can reproduce, edit and distribute your work. All without having to inform you or ask for permission. Also, any income earned through Storymirror belongs to Storymirror and not the author. This is the major drawback of the platform. Read the full policy here https://storymirror.com/terms-and-conditions
Type of Work Preferred
- All kinds of writing is accepted.
Archive of Our Own, commonly known as AO3, is the go-to website for fanfiction.
- Archive of Our Own has millions of readers and writers from all over the world. It has fanart and fanfiction across thousands of fandoms.
- Vast archives of fanfiction exist in many languages from all over the world.
- You can connect with people who are passionate about the things you love. Your favourite books, movies, TV shows, and comics.
- AO3 is a good place to explore concepts like ‘canon’ and ‘fandom’ in literature.
- There are always challenges and prompts to inspire you.
- Apart from stories, poems, fanart and ‘podfics’ are also accepted.
- All work is free and writers are not paid.
- Be careful while exploring the website, as there are a lot of mature and disturbing themes around. You can filter the results, and each work has a rating and trigger warning. Make sure you read those carefully before reading any work. Also, ensure your own stories are clearly marked.
Type of Work Preferred
- Fanfiction. Of all sorts. Poetry, serialized work, short stories, head-cannons, fanart, all are welcome here.
Apart from these, there are other platforms like Juggernaut, which has its own app for better access. It was a free platform initially but is no longer a free-to-read and writing platform. It charges a small amount as membership fees and provides free eBooks in return for it as soon as your subscription is confirmed. (Note: Their range of books is absolutely worth the subscription!)
Svbtle is a new and upcoming platform with some unique features where it allows you to organize, develop and share your writings through their platform. It also allows you to curate and work on articles slowly and/or simultaneously depending on your writing speed and ability. The reading experience is also smooth on any device. However, it charges $7 per month / $75 annually for its subscription.
For women writers, there are many other free platforms like Women’s Web, Momspresso, and eShe where you can consider sending your write-ups. These communities are very helpful for women writers across age groups in sharing their work for free and also giving an opportunity to participate in awards and contests based on their writing.
Whichever platform you decide to go with, you will be putting your work out there in the world. It can be a scary process, but remember to stay positive and keep writing. Best of luck!