Writing site alternatives (You haven't heard of)

So… Ive been looking for a new site for over a year and after caving in and complaining to my daddy like the adult child I am I got a question writers… why haven’t any of you told me about Penana?

I’m new at this I know nothing you’re supposed to hold my hand and guide me to the light dang it. I’m truly offended but with that said I shall share what I’ve been given.

I’m obsessed with sweek. It’s clean, it lets you filter the books you like and so damn pretty. Plus gender inclusive (This… this will come up later) I think Sweek may be my new writing site personally so far from what I look up theres no problematic issues and its geared to let you share and prepare for publishing.

Then theres Penana which was what was geared to be exactly like a certain place with none of the bull… here’s a comparative:


It seems small to me, the biggest group it has is “Find your writing buddies” which is 38k users. The stories seem interesting and the trends apparently change weekly but idk… small. Easy to use though with contest offered.

This is the one my dad suggested I use… I… dont like it. Personally. Maybe I’m lazy but I feel like too much is well too much. The whole thing is geared to publishing and networking. You share stories for the basis of being critiqued and on the free level can only share ten stories. (I don’t have more than 10 but some people do)

I… don’t like that registry only lets you choose male/female.

The site is clean helps you build a portfolio but from what I see it should be used for the purpose of publishing and reviews from other authors which would be great if you didn’t have to pay to post… oh yeah. Here’s what basic offers

Our lowest level allows members to read thousands of stories, poems and articles and also create and maintain a writing portfolio of their own using many of the basic tools and features offered by Writing.Com. Either way, there is no charge for this level. Includes:

Bullet Personal online portfolio with recycling bin
Bullet Storage of up to 10 items in portfolio
Bullet Recycling Bin and Portfolio tabs (except Blog tab)
Bullet Public Portfolio URL to hand out to family, friends and publishers
Bullet Personal @Writing.Com email address with full email service, including 2 folders and 5 MB of space and 500 messages
Bullet Ability to create static items (up to 50K each), campfire creatives, product reviews, in&outs, madlibs, polls, word searches, quizzes, and crossword puzzles
Bullet Ability to add covers to portfolio tabs, including use of Writing.Com Stock Covers
Bullet Ability to use Writing.Com Stock Covers for item covers
Bullet Ability to rate and review other members’ items
Bullet Ability to receive feedback from other members of the community
Bullet Ability to request feedback from other members of the community via Reviews tab
Bullet Ability to use Handle menus including Queue tool
Bullet Search tool at the top of the left column
Bullet Left and right column navigation
Bullet Favorite/Fan items and authors organization, and Fans tab
Bullet Scratchpad, notepad (1 page) and ability to add Edit Points to one item
Bullet Ability to post in message forums and use instant messenger
Bullet Ability to post in Notebook tab and Newsfeeds
Bullet Receive Gift Points from Writing.Com for each day logged in
Bullet Ability to receive Gift Points from other members
Bullet Ability to participate in member-held contests and groups

Now heres a paid option

This well-rounded level, which adds even more storage space and the ability to create many different item types including books, images, groups and surveys, is the usual choice for casual members and those just getting started. Includes all the benefits of Basic membership, plus:

Bullet Storage of up to 250 items in portfolio
Bullet Ability to upload images
Bullet Ability to add covers to items, with advanced options
Bullet Static item size increased to 250K
Bullet Ability to create unlimited number of message forums, create up to 10 books (up to 5MB), create up to 10 interactive stories, and host groups of up to 250 members per group, create survey forms, and cNotes
Bullet Ability to embed YouTube videos in books
Bullet Portfolio Blog tab
Bullet Ability to collapse the right navigation column to open up center workspace
Bullet Additional Notepad pages (5) and Edit Point items (10)
Bullet Use of “Authors In Print” promotion system
Bullet Summary statistics for items
Bullet Feedback and ratings breakdowns
Bullet Extended statistics
Bullet Access to the Writing.Com Ideanary and the WritingML to HTML converter
Bullet Ability to create passkeys for items and post ads in the Writing.Com classifieds
Bullet Ability to create unlimited email folders and email disk space of 50 MB and 2,500 messages
Bullet Ability to post in scrolling messages and access to extended IM console
Bullet Offsite Email Access provides POP3/IMAP support to member’s @Writing.Com email account
Bullet Even fewer advertisements on Writing.Com
Bullet Fast instant message time

This is $49 a year… which sure cheap but its a bit like… huh? what? not for me but might work for someone else so sharing.


I used Bellestrictica for awhile last summer, maybe try that out?

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Thanks for this :slight_smile: I have a Penana account, but I haven’t used it much.


Youre welcome!


I’d never heard of Penara or most of those other sites listed, but Bhooks looks really interesting. I may create an account there…maybe. I’ll have to look into it more first. __〆(..)


I’ll look into it too right now im moving my work to inkitt & Sweek I think im too dead brain for writing.com its SOOOOOO MUCH


I used to use Sweek, before I found Wattpad. It was super quiet and empty compared to Wattpad, they used to host a lot of fun contests. There was the Sweek Stars, which was kind of like the Watty’s and also monthly micro-fiction contests which were a lot of fun. Since it was such a small site, there was a good chance you could win. However, I find it’s hard to get publicity unless you go out and make friends or win, which is not an option anymore because they don’t hold the contests anymore. :sob: It seems kinda dead lately, but that might just be cause I haven’t been or posted on there in a long while.

Either way, Sweek is a great platform to make friends, honestly. I think it’s a good option! Best of luck!


Thank you! I just think its pretty. Honestly the site I know can help me is the one my dad suggested but im not into it its just so much to process

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I’m on Sweek but it seems pretty dead to me to be honest… I don’t find a lot of activity going on there.
I’m using Booksie.com right now. The people there are really nice :slight_smile:

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Everyone keeps saying Booksie I think ima make one since I’m making new things anyway


Interesting. Like two weeks ago or something, I started publishing a new work of mine (that I have on here, too) on Inkitt just to give it a try. So far nothing, but I think for future works I don’t necessarily want to traditionally/self publish, I’ll be using Wattpad and Inkitt and see where it all leads. Still need to work on being social. I’ll check out these other sites, though.

OMG ana I love this!! Thank you!

I’m trying out https://www.notebook.ai/ … it’s quite small on the community/sharing front. But it’s nice for organisation. It has templates for writing out, storing, and compliling/organising information about characters, items, locations, etc. It has forums as well, but they aren’t terribly active.

I guess it’s less story share and more story create, but it’s handy nonetheless.

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I’m looking into rights and privacy of the different websites. Penana’s ( https://www.penana.com ) policy is allowing then full or partial reproduction of anything you post. Perfectly fine if you’re not planning to commercialize your work, or if you don’t care of being identified as the author. I’m not a lawyer, but I’d have some reservations about that.

From their ‘terms’:

’ However, by displaying, posting or publishing any Content on or through the Site and Services, you hereby grant us a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, worldwide, limited license to use, modify, delete from, add to, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and translate such Content in connection with the Penana Website and Penana’s (and its successors’ and affiliates’) business, including without limitation distributing part or all of the Site in any media formats through any media channels. ’


Yeah, it is quite pretty. It’s welcoming.

Sweek or not, I still wish you the best of luck on your writing website search! And if you do make an account, let me know, and I’ll drop a follow! :heart: