WordPress Plugins & Themes for Long-Form Writing & Story Telling

Published on May 14th, 2014

Last Updated on October 25th, 2019

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If you wish to use WordPress for long-form writing or telling stories, then an amazing new plugin launched a little while ago name Aesop Story Engine. It  is a free plugin which allows you to create create long-form stories in WordPress with a page builder so you can craft your piece. The plugin comes with a number of story-telling components which you can use to build your story :

  • Audio & Video – Display an audio player with MP3 support, or a video player with YouTube, Vimeo, and more.
  • Chapters – Break up a story into multiple chapters with easy scroll-to points.
  • Content – Display a background image or color, or split content into multiple columns.
  • Character – This component displays an avatar, title, and short bio to remind you of key characters.
  • Quote – Control the text color and background on this full width component featuring large type.
  • Parallax – A full width image component with caption and lightbox that moves as you scroll.
  • Image – An image and caption you can align and offset; open a larger version in an optional lightbox.
  • Gallery – Create unlimited grid, thumbnail, or stacked galleries-all with caption support
  • Location – Create a map for your story that displays markers with your custom messages on them.
  • Timeline – Segement a story into sections so readers can scroll to a story milestone with a single click.
  • Documents – Once a reader clicks this component they can view an uploaded PDF or image file.
  • Collections – Display a collection of stories from the same category on any page of your site.


You can download the Aesop Story Engine plugin for free, or see it in action over at the Aesop Stories site which hosts people’s stories. There are a number of themes designed to work with Aesop and they also claim it will work with most other themes.

In today’s post I thought I would take a look at some themes which can be used for this type of long-form writing to tell stories, for longer pieces of journalism, essays and so on. Here are 20 of the best free and paid themes for aspiring writers …


Fable is beautiful theme built for blogging. The theme tells a story by building a visual narrative through post variation. Fable is built for easy reading. Its spacious, full-width, and long-format style makes scrolling a pleasurable journey. Each post type is displayed boldly, giving your content the full-screen attention that it deserves without bombarding the senses. The design is neither busy nor overbearing; reading this story is like breathing a breath of fresh air.


Details & Download | Price: $69 ( Includes 80+ Other Themes! )


An elegant and bold theme featuring multiple, visually distinct, Post Formats. Designed by Matthew Buchanan and inspired by the art direction of Esquire magazine.


Details & Download | Price: Free

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Book Lite

One column classic book style blog theme. Fully responsive, large fonts and very easy to read. Clean and Minimalist design with focus entirely on content — Content First.


Details & Download | Price: Free


A big bold modern blogging theme for creative writers. Each post and page can have their own background slideshow.


Details & Download | Price: $35

The Novelist

If you’re looking for a basic blog, you’ve come to the wrong place. This theme is built for the serious writers looking to showcase their talents. ‘The Novelist’ is a premier RESPONSIVE portfolio theme for authors and/or copy writers. Content is king people.


Details & Download | Price: $50

WordPress for Writers

With advanced layout options, gorgeous large article images, citation support, article series, and author images, all wrapped up in a fully responsive design, WordPress For Writers takes care of making your site look beautiful and allows you to do what you do best: write.

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Details & Download | Price: $30


Writer is a super clean Premium WordPress Theme with oodles of features. Writer comes packed with our brand new options panel ‘Builder’. Builder makes it super simple to configure your site and get up and running as fast as possible.


Details & Download | Price: $30

Independent Publisher

Independent Publisher is a beautiful reader-focused WordPress theme, for you. Clean, responsive, and mobile-ready, it gets out of your way and lets you share what you create.


Details & Download | Price: Free


This is a purely content-only theme with a design catered to typography and readability, driven towards writers. There are no menus, widgets, pages, search or anything else outside of the posts page and single posts. This is a minimalist, responsive theme designed around content, not bells and whistles.


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Details & Download | Price: Free


Blogify is an awesome WordPress theme which brings clean & flat design. It’s ideal for personal blogging . It’s very flexible and powered with Bootstrap framework. Blogify has advanced theme options to make your site very flexible and fully customizable.


Details & Download | Price: $35


Journal is an awesome WordPress theme which brings elegand & unique design. It’s ideal for blogging. It’s very flexible, fully customizable and powered with Redux Framework. Journal also provides you a pure reading expereince with a feature called Reader Mode. Click the ‘reader button’, sit back and enjoy your reading.


Details & Download | Price: $40


Pure is a beautifully simple, pixel perfect responsive WordPress theme for writers & bloggers.


Details & Download | Price: $35


iWrite is the perfect minimal theme for blogging in style. Packed with essential features such as different post formats, useful shortcodes, widgets and a great design, this theme is for those who just want to write.


Details & Download | Price: $40


Meet Paper, a beautiful and unique WordPress theme for bloggers, writers and artists. Paper features a groundbreaking design which is also really familiar to all of us: the layout of a book. Every detail is detailed, engaging the visitor in a pleasant experience.


Details & Download | Price: $35


Scriptor is responsive WordPress theme. It is optimized for Retina Displays (used in iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and MacBook Pro Retina). Best for the bloggers, writers, designers or photoraphers.


Details & Download | Price: $40


Trend is a unique looking template for agency, freelancer, bloggers or writers who want a simple, clean and spacious layout for their sites.


Details & Download | Price: $40


Andersen is the perfect theme for bloggers, and those who are eager to get into longform storytelling, but aren’t sure where to start. This is the perfect fit for you! With an updated take on a traditional layout, Andersen is perfect for personal bloggers, small news outfits, storytellers, writers, and more.


Details & Download | Price: $35


Jorgen is a near replicate of our playground demo theme, but with added options like comments and individual story design! If you’ve got a collection of stories to tell, or just want to make an impact with huge cover images, Jorgen is just for you.


Details & Download | Price: $39.99


Genji was designed to put 100% focus on your content. You won’t find anything else to distract you from that, which will force your readers to consume the content that you’ve spent your precious time building.


Details & Download | Price: $29.99


Bartleby, the Scrivener, inspired by the Great American short story by Herman Melville, features a theme options panel, modern social icon fonts, and a two-column post display.


Details & Download | Price: Free


A lean, mean blogging machine with snappy AJAX post loading, a dynamic header and abundant white space.


Details & Download | Price: $69

Oliver Dale is the founder of Kooc Media, An Internet Company based in Manchester, UK. I founded WPLift and ThemeFurnace, find out more on my Personal Blog. Thanks!