Do you often daydream about moving to another city or country with the right ‘vibe’ to unlock your creativity and make your writing dreams come true? But are you unsure just exactly where are the best cities for writers?
You’re not alone! Many of the best writers seek places that offer inspiration, community, and support for their craft. Do you prefer bohemian enclaves, bustling metropolises with a big-city vibe, or a relaxing mountain or coastal town surrounded by nature? Whatever your preference, there are many cities around the world to inspire you to write a masterpiece and live your best life.
So get ready to pack your bags, grab your laptop (or notebook and pen), and start penning your next great masterpiece in one of these literary hotspots.
Here are the 13 best cities for writers to live and work in 2023 – both in the U.S. and worldwide.
The Best Cities For Writers in The U.S.
When finding the perfect city for writers in the United States, writers are spoiled for choice, with many great options.
Whether you’re an aspiring author or an established writer seeking a change of scenery, these cities can help make your writing dreams a reality.
New York City, New York
New York City is the literary capital of the U.S. It is overflowing with creativity and opportunity and offers something for every writer – from magnificent skyline views to Broadway’s bright lights.
Whatever your interests, there is something for everyone. So whether you want to write a best-selling novel or a screenplay, NYC provides an unforgettable backdrop full of inspiration.
Plus, it’s home to world-renowned literary festivals, numerous publishing houses, writing residencies, and talented authors to guide you on your writing dreams. So any serious writer should consider New York, even with its astronomical cost of living.
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles is often considered one of the best cities for writers due to its thriving entertainment industry and beautiful weather year-round.
With Hollywood at its doorstep, LA offers writers many television, film, and theater opportunities. Do you dream of being the next great screenwriter? Then Los Angeles is the place to be. LA is also home to events like the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and the LA Poetry Festival.
Additionally, LA’s diverse communities provide endless inspiration for writers looking to explore different cultures and perspectives. And with sunshine nearly every day of the year, writers can enjoy outdoor writing spaces like parks or beaches. Overall, Los Angeles provides an ideal environment for writers looking to connect with other creatives.
San Francisco, California
San Francisco is a progressive city full of inspiration and an excellent spot for writers and creatives to live and work. This iconic center of culture offers everything from grand Victorian houses to fog-blanketed hilltops.
With a transforming literary scene and thriving arts culture, San Francisco provides a fantastic opportunity for ambitious storytellers who want access to inspiring surroundings.
The city’s best coffee shops and libraries double as workspaces for inspired writers. Additionally, there are always inspiring cultural events, from exhibitions, indie bookstores, and music festivals to literary walks. They give writers an all-access pass to creative energy sources and inspiration, making San Francisco a great place for writers to thrive!
Seattle is known for its thriving arts scene and rich literary history, including authors such as Debbie Macomber and Sherman Alexie. In addition, Seattle has a strong tradition of supporting writers.
The Pacific Northwest city has several independent bookstores, including the famous Elliott Bay Book Company, which hosts readings and events with local and visiting authors. Seattle also boasts a vibrant coffee culture, providing plenty of cozy cafes for writers to work in.
Additionally, the city’s natural beauty – from Puget Sound to Mount Rainier- offers endless inspiration for writers seeking solitude or adventure. Overall, Seattle provides a supportive community of fellow writers, inspiring surroundings, and ample resources for those pursuing a career in writing.
So if you’re seeking a great place that nurtures your artistic side and offers a unique lifestyle experience, consider setting your sights on Seattle!
Portland is now one of the most popular writing hubs in the Pacific Northwest. Its vibrant creative scene and affordability make it the perfect destination for authors looking for a living situation that won’t break the bank.
With its booming tech industry, unique culture, and undeniably picturesque scenery, Portland has much to offer aspiring authors. It’s also known for being an exceptionally creative community, with many up-and-coming entrepreneurs in the art and media scenes.
The city is home to numerous independent bookstores, writing groups, and literary events such as the Portland Book Festival.
From bookstores to coffee shops, the city offers a variety of places for writers to work on their craft.
It’s no wonder Portland has become a top choice among the best cities for writers pursuing their passions in a welcoming and supportive community.
Ranked one of the best cities for writers to live and work, Austin, Texas, has an unmistakable charm—something made apparent by the giant bats flocking out from under the Congress Avenue Bridge every dusk and the long line of hungry diners at Franklin’s Barbecue.
Austin has more to offer than just its laid-back attitude that is perfect for writers. With star-studded festivals like SXSW and ACL, hundreds of specialized writing workshops and events hosted by local libraries, and an abundance of independent bookstores—Austin is as inspiring as it is thriving.
With a relatively low cost of living compared to some of the other best cities for writers, Austin provides promise for talented authors to find their unique voices and get their work published.
Iowa City, Iowa
When it comes to the best cities for writers, Iowa City is not usually what comes to mind for most writers. But it has a lot to offer! Iowa City is home to the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop, producing many Pulitzer Prize-winning authors. In addition to the workshop, Iowa City is a UNESCO City of Literature with a strong literary community and many events and readings throughout the year.
Downtown Iowa City has many coffee shops, independent bookstores, and other writing-friendly spaces. It is a haven for writers to find inspiration and connect with like-minded individuals without the hustle and bustle of a large city.
The Best Cities For Writers Outside The U.S.
For writers looking for the best cities outside of the U.S., you’re spoiled for choice! Whether you’re seeking inspiration from a bustling metropolis in Europe or an affordable location in Asia or Latin America to perfect your craft on a budget, these cities offer unique opportunities for writers to thrive.
London should be at the top of any aspiring writer’s list for cities to live outside the U.S.! Home to William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and Robert Louis Stevenson, this iconic city offers writers unparalleled vibrancy to match its diverse culture and rich artistic history.
London also has many educational opportunities and some of the best writing co-working spaces in the world across its various boroughs. In addition, numerous bookstores, art museums, libraries, and independent event venues cement this English capital as one of the best cities for writers anywhere in the world.
With such a mix of enthusiasm and environment, it’s easy to see why so many greats have found their voices in this cultural epicenter – surely your own words won’t be far behind.
As one of the best cities for writers, Edinburgh stands tall as a global center for creativity and culture. With its rich literary history, stunning architecture, and world-class cultural attractions, it’s no surprise that many acclaimed authors have succeeded in this majestic Scottish city. For example, J.K. Rowling famously wrote most of the Harry Potter series in various cafes around Edinburgh, Scotland.
But there’s more than just literary inspiration on offer – with beautiful parks, incredible pubs, and hidden gems luring even the most reclusive writer from their desk. So whether looking to make it as a best-selling novelist or find inspiration amongst Edinburgh’s many delights, aspiring authors will find themselves right at home in this vibrant city.
Being a writer in Paris has long been a romantic idea for writers. It is overflowing with rich literary history and a vibrant cultural scene. From the iconic Shakespeare and Company bookstore to the historic Le Procope café, Paris offers endless inspiration for writers seeking to immerse themselves in a creative community.
The stunning architecture, thriving cafe culture, and picturesque streets provide ample exploration and reflection opportunities. While museums like the Louvre offer endless literary inspiration, leisurely walks in Jardin des Tuileries can spark that next great novel idea. With so many offerings, from galleries to historical sites, there is something for every writer in Paris.
Paris inspired countless works of literature from authors like Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Victor Hugo. You’re bound to find inspiration while living in Paris, whether you’re looking to write your next novel or soak up the city’s literary atmosphere.
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is a bohemian paradise and the Czech Republic’s capital city. It is also a literary haven for writers seeking inspiration and creativity. Writers can immerse themselves in the city’s rich literary history while enjoying its breathtaking architecture and great nightlife.
The city has been home to renowned writers such as Franz Kafka and Milan Kundera. In addition, Prague has a vibrant contemporary literary scene, and the Municipal Library of Prague offers a wealth of resources for writers to explore and research.
Prague’s beautiful scenery and relaxed lifestyle provide an ideal environment for writers to focus on their craft. It also has a much lower cost of living than other European cities. This makes it an affordable option for aspiring authors who must stretch their budgets while writing the next bestseller.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai used to be a well-kept secret among writers. But for years, it has been attracting entrepreneurs and writers from all over the world.
With its affordable cost of living, rich Thai culture, and stunning natural beauty, it’s no wonder why so many writers call this city home.
Chiang Mai is nestled in Northern Thailand’s foothills and provides a peaceful, inspiring atmosphere that lends itself perfectly to creativity.
The laid-back lifestyle makes it an ideal place for writers to focus on their craft without distractions. There are also many co-working spaces and cafes for writers to work from.
Whether you’re an aspiring novelist or work best crafting stories as a copywriter, Chiang Mai has something magical that sets it apart from other destination spots, surrounded by mountains and nature. It is also one of the biggest digital nomad hubs in the world.
With low living costs and excellent quality of life, this enchanting city may be the best spot to make your writing dreams a reality.
Medellín has come a long way from being the ‘murder capital of the world’ in the 90s. It has since undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years, from drug-related violence during Pablo Escobar’s reign to a creative hub for entrepreneurs, digital nomads, and writers.
Writers worldwide flock to this South American destination each year for endless possibilities. It is an incredible city for transformation and self-discovery, offering a unique canvas where stories can be spun into reality.
The multicultural city’s modern vibe and culture make it an inspiring place for writers looking to create their next masterpiece. From its many libraries and green spaces to its diverse cuisine and bustling nightlife scene, Medellin is a paradise for anyone wishing to participate in great cultural experiences while writing. It also boasts a thriving literary and creative art scene, especially in El Poblado.
Medellín’s low cost of living makes it an affordable option for writers on a budget while still being in a U.S. timezone and close to home.
What Makes a City Good for Writers?
Finding the perfect city to live and work in as a writer can help you overcome writer’s block and increase your creativity, productivity, and happiness.
That’s why it’s crucial to consider several factors when choosing the best city for writers before just making the leap and packing and moving based on a feeling.
So, what makes a city the best place for writers to live and work?
Overall, the highest-ranked world’s best cities list is not always suited for writers. Instead, a good city for writers offers a combination of creative inspiration, affordability, resources, and unique atmospheres that allow writers to thrive.
Some factors you should consider when choosing where to live as a writer include:
Livability is a crucial factor in choosing the best cities for writers. A city that offers a high quality of life can inspire creativity and support writers to thrive.
You should consider the following factors when thinking about a city’s livability:
- Access to affordable housing
- public transportation
- cultural amenities
Writers are more likely to be inspired and productive when they feel comfortable and happy in their surroundings. So you should prioritize livability when choosing a city for writing inspiration.
Cost Of Living
With the massive surge in inflation, the cost of living is perhaps the most important thing to consider where you should live as a writer.
It means paying astronomical rent prices if you want to live in a big city like New York, LA, or San Francisco. Will you also get a full-time job?
Or do you want to focus primarily on writing? If so, perhaps moving to another country, such as Thailand, Colombia, or the Czech Republic, could be a great alternative, where you can make your dollars stretch further.
A vibrant cultural scene provides writers with endless inspiration and opportunities to explore different perspectives, ideas, and experiences. It also fosters community among writers and other artists, creating an environment where creativity can thrive.
In cities with cultural vibrancy, there are many literary events, such as book fairs, poetry readings, and writing workshops. These events provide networking opportunities and enable writers to showcase their work and connect with writers and readers alike.
Job opportunities are a crucial factor to consider when determining whether a city is good for writers. Writers need access to writing jobs that offer fair pay, flexibility, and creative freedom.
Cities with thriving industries such as publishing, journalism, and advertising can offer writers a wide range of job opportunities that allow writers to hone their skills and gain valuable experience.
A city with ample job opportunities can also provide writers the financial stability they need to pursue their passion while allowing them to network and collaborate with other professionals in their field.
A city with a thriving writing community offers writers events, workshops, seminars, and other activities that can help to inspire, motivate, and connect with fellow writers. In addition, these resources can significantly help develop and perfect your craft and provide support, advice, and guidance when needed.
Furthermore, a dedicated writing community can be invaluable for finding job opportunities and making connections. These communities can be accessed online and offline, so you can still have a solid writing community even if you live in a more remote location.
Finding somewhere to live that inspires you is important to any writer. Inspiration can be found everywhere, from a city’s natural beauty to its architecture or even its people.
A city that has a vibrant arts scene and numerous cultural attractions can also provide writers with plenty of inspiration. Whether attending a poetry reading or visiting an art museum, these experiences can spark new ideas and help writers see the world in different ways.
Furthermore, just living in a city known for its creative energy and artistic community can be inspiring. It gives writers a sense of belonging and connection to others who share their interests.
FAQS – Best Cities For Writers
Where Is The Best Place For Writers To Live?
Are you an aspiring best-selling novelist or a freelance copywriter? Well, choosing which city to live in can be challenging. Are you looking for inspiration, networking possibilities, and generally strong writing communities? There are many inspiring locations where passionate wordsmiths can live their best lives.
The best place for writers to live in the U.S. is usually New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, or Portland. For writers outside of the U.S., then London, Paris, Edinburgh, and Prague are excellent places.
Where Do I Move If I Want To Be A Writer?
You don’t necessarily have to live in a specific location to be a successful writer. Instead, moving to the place that inspires you the most would be best. Whether it’s a bustling city or quiet countryside, find a place where you feel creatively energized and motivated to write.
However, certain places may inspire and support your writing journey more than others. For example, writers have long lived in New York City, London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Edinburgh, Seattle, Portland, Prague, and Paris.
Where Do Most Writers Live In The US?
In the U.S., certain places are very popular among writers to live. They include California, New York, and the Pacific Northwest. New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland.
Can A Writer Live Anywhere?
Many creative types believe that to make it as a writer, your best bet is to live in a big city filled with other artists. However, can a writer really live anywhere and still succeed? The answer is yes! Aspiring authors have many options to live in the U.S. and worldwide.
With so many different locations offering unique advantages, from connectivity to scenic views, the best cities for writers will surely provide any storyteller with the foundations for their best works. So don’t feel like you need to settle down in one of the significant hubs; explore your options and find the best fit for you – wherever it may be!
All you need is a laptop (or pen and paper), and you can become a successful writer from anywhere in the world!
My Experience As A Digital Nomad Writer
I’ve been a digital nomad since 2017 and have been lucky to write and live in many cities worldwide for months at a time. Some of my favorite cities I have lived in are London, Prague, Chiang Mai, and Medellín.
Further Reading On SkylerBenson.com
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Have you had a long break from writing and having difficulty getting started again? Here are 9 ways how to get back into writing.
Too busy to write? Try these tips for how to make time for writing.
Want to skyrocket your productivity? Here are 25 tips for how to write faster.
As a writer, the best place to live and work depends on your preferences and what you seek. Any of the above cities would make an ideal new home for writers. The most important thing is choosing somewhere you love and will make you happy, inspire you, and improve your quality of life.
There’s something special about being in the same city as your favorite famous writers. Whether visiting a famous author’s home or exploring the same neighborhoods that inspired their works, living in a place with literary history can be a great way to connect with your passion for writing.
But also remember that you can become an iconic writer yourself in any city.
Moving to a new city can create the perfect environment for your writing dreams to flourish. So what are you waiting for? Start exploring the best cities for writers, and prepare to make your story a reality!
Skyler Benson is a full-time blogger. Join Skyler on SkylerBenson.com and learn how to start an online business and create a life of freedom. Before starting this blog, Skyler worked online as a freelance content writer. He worked with digital marketing agencies and B2B companies for four years. Skyler reviews the best software for your online business and teaches you how to write better and start your freelancing career.