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The Twitter Cheat Sheet: 7 Helpful Tools for Writers

Welcome, writer! Let me start off by immediately confronting what I believe to be the single biggest misconception when it comes to writers and Twitter. In this post I won't be giving marketing advice or tips on hashtags to build your author platform. (Although if you have any good ones, please feel free to send them my way.) It's easy to get sucked into the belief that social media is only good for establishing and maintaining a brand. For this reason some people often get overwhelmed trying to be on too many platforms at once and end up quitting everything altogether or never venturing beyond Facebook. What these writers fail to understand are all of the benefits and resources they are missing out on.


Once I began to see past the stigma of social media as nothing more than a marketing device, I was able to notice a lot of tools available to writers utilizing the specific strengths of each individual site. In this post I'm going to be talking specifically about Twitter and the useful writing-related hashtags I've discovered. Whether you're an avid tweeter or someone hesitant to give it a go, I hope you find this list helpful. The following hashtags have contributed to my writing career in some way and I hope you find them equally beneficial to yours.

#CPMATCH

If you're in the market for a critique partner, then I highly recommend the #cpmatch event hosted by Megan Lally (@Megan_Lally). While the hashtag is always active, the best time to find a partner is on the day of the actual event, a day designated by the host in advance. Writers will share a bit about their novel, genre and critique style in order to find a partner with a similar style. 

I participated in the event last year and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. And yes, I did indeed find a wonderful CP. If you're interested in an upcoming event, I recommend following Megan's account so you don't miss the next announcement. She also has more information about the event and how to participate here.


#MSWL

The MSWL or Manuscript Wish List hashtag is key for writers seeking representation as agents will use this hashtag to post trends and specific story ideas they are hoping to see in their inbox. While I don't recommend writing to this list, it can be a helpful resource to match you with an agent who is interested in your kind of story.

#QUERYTIP

The #querytip hashtag is another helpful resource used by agents that is intended to help writers along in the querying process. It offers industry insight along with the do's and don'ts of querying. And while the process can be frustrating for both the agent and writer, I find it reassuring that some (if not all) agents do seem to use this hashtag out of an authentic desire to help writers be successful.

#PITMAD

PitMad is a quarterly event that enables authors to promote their book pitch to an audience of agents. On this day, writers will tweet their pitch using the hashtag and if an agent is interested will like the tweet, letting the writer know that they would like them to query. If you're interested in the next PitMad event or would like more information about the rules, you can find more information here

#AUTHORTOOLBOXBLOGHOP

If you've ever visited my blog before, you may have noticed the hashtag in a fair number of my posts. I have been a fan of this blog hop for some time now. A monthly event, the Author Toolbox Blog Hop is a chance for authors to share helpful writing tips and resources with other authors. On the day of the hop, everyone will tweet their blog post along with the hashtag. Then, following the hashtag, you like, share, and comment on each other's blogs throughout the day.

Blog hops such as this one are a great way to not only network with other writers, but to share what you've learned and to learn from other writers. The blog hop is hosted by Raimey Gallant. You can find more information or join the blog hop on her website

#NANOWRIMO

While NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month is not hosted exclusively on Twitter, I believe it was random tweets that first introduced me to the concept. I'm now a total convert and plan to participate in the event every November. While I won't go into my adoration of NaNoWriMo in this post, I will say that I've had a lot of fun following the @NaNoWriMo Twitter account. Not only do they share fun graphics for people to use on social media throughout the events, they also host a ton of writing sprints to help you reach your goals. Using the #NaNoWriMo hashtag is also a great way to connect with other writings during the event!

Writing Games

Writers have been using hashtags to invent new fun writing games and challenges for years. Essentially, the host will put out a question to which you can answer using the hashtag. The fun is in not only formulating a response, but interacting with the other participants. There are also plenty of hashtags not monitored by a host that you can participate it in on your own. Personally, Twitter games have been a great way for me to get out of my shell and gain confidence sharing bits of my work. They're a great way to make friends, too!

If you're looking for specific Twitter games and challenges, there are a couple great lists I've found online. Check out this one by Amber Linn Wyss or this one by blackwolfeditorial.com.

If you're interested in even more useful hashtags beyond games, authormedia.com also has a long list here.

Do you enjoy Twitter? Did I miss any helpful hashtags for writers? Which is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

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