15 YouTube Channels For Writers

YouTube channels for writers

This list of YouTube channels for writers serves as must-see TV for independent authors of all stripes, genres, and experience levels.

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Why spend money on a creative writing course when everything you need is online? In this article we’ll look at the 15 of our favorite writing channels on YouTube, which collectively cover pretty much everything you will ever need to take your writing to the next level. From grammar lessons to genre webinars, from seminars on writing craft to university lectures and interviews with best-selling authors, these channels have it all!

ProWritingAid TV

Best for: Writing and grammar aficionados
Originally set up to complement its ProWritingAid grammar checker, ProWritingAid TV has evolved into a resource for anyone interested in grammar and writing, with useful tips on everything from avoiding grammatical errors and awkward sentence constructions to deciding on the best POV and how to write genre fiction. There are playlists and training videos for every kind of writing style — from crime and fantasy to writing for business — and there are also writing webinars from best-selling guest authors. Of note is the playlist dedicated to crime writing which has brilliant tips from crime authors and former police professionals. This is a great place to start, with bestselling authors Lisa Gardner, Karin Slaughter, Jennifer Hillier, Steve Berry, and Ian Rankin.

 

Brandon Sanderson

Best for: Budding sci-fi writers
Brandon Sanderson is an incredibly prolific science fiction and epic fantasy author known for his Mistborn and Stormlight Archive series and for finishing Robert Jordan’s long-running Wheel of Time series after Jordan died. Sanderson is almost as well-known for his educational output, having taught creative writing (specifically science fiction and fantasy) at Brigham Young University. His YouTube channel covers every element of science fiction and fantasy writing — from fight scenes to world building, from “the heroes journey” to writing backstory for characters. His videos are delivered in a laid-back and humorous style and the channel includes his complete series of university lectures from the BYU course in 2020. Here’s the first of those lectures on plot.

 

Writing with Jenna Moreci

Best for: Dark fantasists and cyborgs
Jenny Moreci is a successful dark fantasy and sci-fi author whose novels include Eve: The Awakening, The Savior’s Champion and The Savior’s Sister. Writing with Jenna Writing with Jenna Moreci has built a large YouTube following by detailing her experiences in the publishing industry and what she has learned about writing for a living. With a wicked sense of humour and occasional salty language that comes at you like a stand-up comedian, her playlists include “trope talk,” “writing fantasy,” “planning, outlining and plotting,” “publishing and marketing,” and “the writer life.” A good place to start is this video on the 10 biggest mistakes writers make.

 

Self-Publishing Formula

Best for: All things self-publishing
If you’re interested in self-publishing, the Self-Publishing Formula is a great place to start. Mark Dawson is one of the most successful indie authors in the world, with over 20 books published across multiple series (including his popular John Milton series) and more than two million downloads to date. Aside from his incredible writing career, he has also managed to build a highly rated and long-running self-publishing course, The Self-Publishing Formula. There are nearly 300 videos on the SPF Channel offering a brilliant guide to the world of self-publishing. Dawson has handed the presenting duties over to friend James Blatch, and the pre-show banter between the two is always entertaining. The long-running saga of Blatch’s first novel (and its multiple rewrites) has been one of the highlights of the show for years, with the novel finally published in June 2021. Every episode features an interview with someone from the indie publishing world along with updates on the latest news in self-publishing, making it an essential watch. A good place to start is one of the most recent episodes on how traditional publishing feels about the indie revolution.

 

The Creative Penn

Best for: Self-publishing and future technologies
Another major figure in the world of indie publishing is Joanna Penn. Penn has been in the self-publishing business for more than a decade and in that time has written 28 books across several genres and under three different pen names. As J.F. Penn, she is a New York Times best-selling author of dark fiction and has been described as “Dan Brown meets Lara Croft,” with her Arkane series now coming up to its 12th book. In total, she has sold over 600,000 books in 162 countries and six languages and has been at the forefront of indie publishing right from the start — which is why The Creative Penn is now on episode 560! Aside from regular writing tips, the main themes of the show include book marketing, author entrepreneurship, and publishing technology. Her guests are either authors from a wide range of genres or technology experts brought in to discuss the future of publishing. Long-time listeners of the show will know that one of the main reasons for the channel’s success is Penn’s willingness to be an early adopter for new writing technologies, as evidenced by her ongoing fascination with AI writing.

 

iWriterly

Best for: Steampunk romantics
Meg Latorre is a former literary agent and author of The Cyborg Tinkerer who writes what she describes as “dark steampunk romance.” Having worked both sides of the fence, she brings a wealth of knowledge about how the publishing industry works on iWriterly. While there are some useful videos in her “writing and editing” playlist, it is her knowledge as a former publishing insider that is invaluable. Her video playlists include “self-publishing tips,” “finding a literary agent,” “rejections from literary agents and editors” and a live show with experts from across the publishing spectrum. This is an especially useful channel for writers interested in genre fiction and who are debating whether to go down either indie or traditional publishing routes. In this video she explains how to write genre fiction using the three-act plot structure.

 

Alexa Donne

Best for: YA newbies
Alexa Donne is a YA author who has traditionally published several science fiction and thriller YA novels, including The Stars We Steal and Brightly Burning. Her YouTube channel is known for offering a no-nonsense approach to the business of writing and aims to burst some of the common misconceptions about the publishing industry. She regularly updates the channel and liberally dishes out harsh advice on common writing errors and the unrealistic expectations of newbie writers. Video playlists include “traditional publishing,” “marketing and platform,” “industry advice,” “authortube bootcamp,” and “writing hacks and craft chats.” A good place to start is this writing hack on how to use Reddit for research.

 

Chris Fox

Best for: Fast typists with lots of ideas
Chris Fox is a successful and established science fiction author of over 20 novels including series such as the Void Wraith Saga and the Magitech Chronicles. He is perhaps more famous for his nonfiction writing, via his Write Faster, Write Smarter series. Essential playlists on his YouTube channel include the “21-day novel challenge” in which he writes and then edits a novel in 21 days, on camera, as well as self-publishing playlists such as “write to market,” “mailing lists for authors,” and “12 weeks to a trilogy.” There are also great videos on character and world building, such as this video on introducing antagonists in epic fantasy.

 

Terrible Writing Advice

Best for: Bad Writers
It seems counterintuitive to recommend a site offering terrible writing advice, but actually this YouTube channel offers a load of really great writing advice in a fun and original way. Terrible Writing Advice sarcastically offers viewers advice on various ways to write badly – in other words, everything you should avoid doing. The site is animated in a South Park style and is often very funny, but underneath it all there are some quality writing tips. The channel is run by J.P. Beaubien, science fiction author of the Aeon Legion novels. It is especially useful for exploring various tropes in different genres of fiction, exemplified by the following video on characters in fantasy fiction.

 

ShaelinWrites

Best for: Writers who are young at heart
Though she is barely into her 20s, it feels like Shaelin Bishop has been around forever. Perhaps that’s because she has already managed to write 10 novels and build a successful writing channel on YouTube. She started her YouTube channel while studying creative writing. Consequently, she has built up a wealth of great content (100+ videos) that will be useful to writers of any age. She covers all aspects of writing — from outlining to conveying emotion, writing short stories to drafting a novel, choosing point-of-view to character backstory — and delivers it all in a relaxed, chatty style. A good example is this video on writing compelling character relationships.

 

Vivien Reis

Best For: New writers
Vivien Reis is the YA author of the Deian Chronicles, publishing her first novel The Elysian Prophecy in 2018. At the same time as writing her novels, she also recorded videos about the techniques that worked for her and has consequently built a great “how to write” YouTube channel for newbie fiction writers. According to Reis, it took her 10 years to really get to grips with writing a novel and she has detailed that process in short, entertaining videos that break down every stage in the writing and editing process. A good example of her style is this video on outlining your novel in Scrivener.

 

Rachael Stephen

Best for: Plotters with thick skin
Rachel Stephen is a Scottish indie author who published the dystopian novel, State of Flux and who runs courses such as the “Story Toolkit Workshop” and the “Story Magic Academy,” which explore storytelling strategies. She has also built an impressive video channel on YouTube that covers everything from the “plot embryo system” to bullet journaling. She even has videos of herself writing which you can play in the background if you are writing alone and want some company! Describing herself as an “urban witch” and a “hell-bitch,” Stephen’s videos offer excellent strategies for planning stories delivered in a no-nonsense, unfiltered style. This episode is a good introduction to the plot embryo system.

 

Hello, Future Me

Best for: Wizards and world builders
For writers who are interested in science fiction, Hello Future Me is well worth checking out. The channel is run by Timothy Hickson, author of On Writing and Worldbuilding, and is dedicated to the twin crafts of those same topics. The channel is brilliant at taking complex writing concepts and breaking them down into enjoyable and understandable parts using movies and pop culture. While he covers all the essentials, such as prologues, foreshadowing, and exposition, the channel really comes into its own when exploring things like polytheistic religions, empires, and systems of magic. The following video on villain motivation is a good introduction to his style.

 

The Drunken Odyssey

Best for: Rambling discussions about writing
John King is a writer who has been published in a wide range of literary magazines, including Gargoyle, Palooka, and The Newer York and who reviews books for The Literary Review. He is perhaps more famous for The Drunken Odyssey podcast, which covers everything from journalism, memoirs, and nonfiction to poetry, screenwriting, and discussions of favorite albums. With erotic poetry nights, Hunter S Thompson, Jack Kerouac, and HP Lovecraft roundtables, long-form interviews with an amazing roster of famous writers and movie directors (John Waters, Walter Mosley, Rick Moody, Irvine Welsh), this is essential viewing for writers. A good example is this interview with Chuck Palahniuk.

 

The Write Channel with Nicola Monaghan

Best for: Interviews with your favorite writers
The Write Channel is less a course or guide to creative writing and more an eclectic collection of writer videos and playlists curated by the novelist Nicola Monaghan. Monaghan is a highly successful author who won numerous awards for her debut novel, The Killing Jar, and has since published the novels Starfishing and The Okinawa Dragon, as well as having her short stories published in various anthologies. Monaghan does add some useful content on the craft of creative writing — her playlist on writing your first book is well worth checking out — but the highlights are her compilations of writers such as Neil Gaiman and Stephen King talking about their writing. Her own video on the eternal battle between planning and pantsing is a great place to start.

 

Bonus: BookBaby YouTube Channel

Best for: You!
From tutorials and reviews to our Spotlight podcast, the BookBaby YouTube channel has resources and industry insights to help you turn your publishing dreams into reality.

 


 
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