Establishing a writer’s platform is hard. Especially since I’m sure 90% of us would rather be writing fiction, not blog posts. But last August, I read that it could be detrimental to my nonexistent career as an author if I wasn’t present on social media.
So I joined Twitter.
And holy shit, it was like putting a tutu on my dog. I just kinda froze, staring at the world with wide eyes like, “Why? Why would you do that to me?”
But a few months and seven pathetic tweets later, I can admit that Twitter has its place. It’s especially useful for writers, if you know where to look.
Lucky for you, I’m just going to cut the middle step and tell you where to look, because that’s how much I care for you (and your ability to subscribe to my blog). Here’s my comprehensive list of must-follow hashtags for the Twitter-verse.
- #mswl. It stands for Manuscript Wish List, and it’s quite literally a comprehensive list of what actual literary agents want to read right now. There are #mswl events, where agents tweet in real time what they’re looking for. And if you have a finished novel that fits the bill, congratulations! Stop wasting time and query the woman!
- #pitmad. Where #mswl is agents talking to writers, this hashtag switches everything around. They’re scheduled days (4 per year, as of January ’16) where literary agents will read your one-sentence pitches right there. Agents will fight over the good ones. The best ones get book deals. That’s right, you could be signed without ever writing a query. All you need is a great idea and a Twitter account.
- #askagent. Writers can pose questions to agents, and the benevolent ones will answer. It’s a fantastic resource for people who might be new to publishing. (Related: #askauthor, #askeditor)
- #amwriting. This is probably my favorite, if just to help you connect with other writers. A simple search will reveal hundreds of thousands of writers all over the world, many of them experiencing exactly what you are. What a cool way to find friends!
So, in conclusion, it’s confusing as crap and retweeting means nothing to me, but I frequently spend hours combing through these hashtags just to stay fluent in the industry. Definitely a fabulous tool for writers looking to get involved–and maybe published!