16 Twitter Accounts and Hashtags for Writers
[updated on September 10, 2015] There is no doubt that social media has changed many things about the publishing industry. Agents, authors, and editors now often meet and interact on Twitter, famous authors connect with their fans on Facebook, and LinkedIn is used by many freelancers to send letters of introduction to editors.
In short, it's not just about email anymore, and snail mail is so nineties.
Social media has changed everything for writers. That is a very good thing. For people who don't like change, let me argue my case. Here are 16 Twitter accounts and hashtags for writers.
These are the folks
Jessica Sinsheimer (@jsinsheim) is an agent at Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency. She is the co-creator of fantastic agent-author connection efforts such as #PubTalkTV, #MSWL (Manuscript Wishlist) and the hilarious Bad Query Contest. She posts incredibly helpful links and advice on her account, and is very good about responding to questions.
Michelle Richter (@michrichter1) is an agent at Fuse Literary. She once posted #1000queries on her feed, which is just what it sounds like. She went through a thousand queries from her inbox, gave her reaction, said whether she'd request or pass and why--all in one tweet. She also posts professional tips for writers and what to do/not to do when querying.
Carly Watters (@carlywatters) is the VP and senior agent of PS Literary. She writes great blogs on tips for writers, both related to craft and to getting an agent. Her feed is also full of great links to other resources that I've found incredibly useful.
Carole Blake (@caroleagent) is an agent for Blake Friedmann agency and author of From Pitch to Publication, one of the most helpful books I've read on finding an agent and the process of getting published (although it is due for an update). She often tweets querying tips for writers.
Rachelle Gardner (@RachelleGardner) is a top agent for Books & Such Literary Management. She writes a detailed blog with great advice for writers, from how to write a query to why your manuscript is being rejected. She tweets awesome resources as well.
Whiskey, Wine and Writing (@wwwriting) is a podcast and Twitter account run by a few published/represented authors who want to help aspiring authors learn more about the publishing industry. Both their Twitter feed and podcast have been very helpful and offer some great insights. Plus they're very good about answering questions.
Literary Rejections (@litrejections) is a fantastic account that offers encouragement to writers and celebrates with authors who find representation. They tweet inspirational quotes, links to other resources, and the names and contact info of agents who are actively looking to fill their lists.
Jennifer Laughran (@literaticat) Posts a wealth of professional tips from an agent's perspective, combining sharp with with a whole lot of truth bombs.
Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig) Is probably one of the funniest, most helpful people tweeting for writers. He has a great blog as well, but his tweets are fantastic if you want little bite-sized pieces of wisdom and snort-laughs.
Minor Literature[s] (@MinorLits) This is the Twitter account of a literary magazine, but don't let that convince you it'll be boring to follow. Whoever runs the account is hilarious (are you seeing a trend with tweeters I like?) but also links to great info and mentions what kind of work they're looking for.
There are many, many more helpful folks to follow on Twitter, so don't stop there. Those are just a few of the best in my feed.
These are the hashtags
#MSWL (Manuscript Wishlist) is used by a lot of agents who are looking for a specific type of manuscript. This is beyond just "I represent thrillers", but instead goes into more details such as, "I'm looking for a modern day retelling of Arsenic & Old Lace in book form." [Note: this is not a place for authors to promote their manuscripts.]
#pitmadis an intense quarterly event. For twelve hours on a specified date, authors will tweet 140-character pitches for their manuscript under this hashtag, and agents will watch the feed. If they like your pitch, they favorite it, and then you send them a full query (which is considered solicited and therefore read faster). Further details and rules here.
#askagent and #askeditor are great places to put your questions to the professionals. You won't always get an answer, but if you see an agent or editor answering questions on the feed, that's a good time to ask.
#tenqueries is used by some agents to demonstrate their thought processes when reading through ten random queries in their inbox. The agents will give their reaction to the query, whether they're passing or requesting more, and why. The house is pretty divided on this one. Some people find it self-aggrandizing and cruel; others find it useful. I am one of those others. It's nice to be reminded sometimes that this whole agent-wanting-your-work thing is so subjective, and what's not right for one may well be perfect for another.
#pitchwarsgives aspiring writers the chance to have their completed manuscript workshopped and improved by a mentor who is already agented and/or published. Writers choose from a list of mentors and pitch their first chapter and query letter to a select few (in 2015 it was five) in the hopes of getting chosen to move on to an agent round. Lots more info here.
There's a whole giant list here of other hashtags writers can follow to win giveaways, connect with other writers, and chat about their specific genres.
So there you go! Now it's your turn: what Twitter accounts and hashtags have you found useful as a writer? Share in the comments.