Twitter for Writers: 3 Ways to Make Meaningful Connections

Twitter for Writers: 3 Ways to Make Meaningful Connections | www.sprintshack.wordpress.comWriting can be solitary in nature, but that doesn’t mean you have to scribble down words all by your lonesome. Now you can connect with people all over the world, right from the comfort of your write cave. The internet is a wonderful thing, no?

In my previous post in the Social Media for Writers series, I walked writers through six steps to a Pinterest traffic flood. Today we tackle another titan of the social media world: Twitter.

If you haven’t given Twitter a try yet, you’re missing out—it provides a plethora of opportunities for writers. You can connect with fellow writers, find new readers, seek out inspiration and let your creativity shine, if you know where to look and what to do.

Ready to delve into the fast-moving, exciting (and highly addictive) world of Twitter? Let’s go.

Know Your Writerly Hashtags

The trusty hashtag is one of the most useful tools for writers on Twitter, yet sadly many people give them a wide berth because they aren’t sure what hashtags are or how to use them. But no more! Time for a quick hashtag lesson.

Using a hashtag in a tweet is a way to categorise your message and reach others who have used or searched for the same hashtag. For example, the #amwriting hashtag is commonly used in tweets about (you guessed it) writing. If you click on ‘#amwriting’ in a tweet, you’ll bring up a list of messages that also include that hashtag.

Why is that useful for writers? Connections, my friend. You can use writing- and reading-related hashtags to find fellow lovers of the written word and be found by them in turn. Including these types of hashtag in your tweets can help you to make new friends, find new readers, build a network of contacts and more.

So what are these magical hashtags for writers? You can find a more detailed list on our Writing & Sprinting Resources page, but some of the most popular ones are:

  • #amwriting
  • #amediting
  • #amreading
  • #writetip
  • #writerslife
  • #writerproblems (one of my personal favourites)
  • #writingprompt

Give it a try yourself if you’re new to hashtags and take full advantage of the hashtags for writers listed here to make new connections in the writing world.

Take Part in a Twitter Chat or Two

The beauty of Twitter, I feel, is it’s real-time nature, which becomes highly apparent when taking part in Twitter chats.

What are Twitter chats? In a nutshell: live conversations in which participants use the same hashtag to discuss the host’s questions or topic and chat with each other.

Some regular Twitter chats for writers, creatives and bloggers are:

  • #Storycrafter, hosted by @Writerology. Held on Sundays from 3-4 p.m. ET.
  • #StorySocial, hosted by @ShesNovel and @BlotsandPlots. Held on Wednesdays from 9-10 p.m. ET.
  • #StoryDam, hosted by @StoryDam. Held on Thursdays from 8-9 p.m. ET.
  • #K8chat, hosted by @K8Tilton. Held Thursdays from 9-10 p.m. ET.
  • #createlounge, hosted by @kayla_hollatz. Held on Wednesdays from 8-9 p.m. ET.

Join Creative Challenges

Want to exercise your creative muscles and/or let others see your skill? Join in a creative challenge or event on Twitter and do both.

My top Twitter challenges for writers include:

  • #FridayPhrases, hosted by @FridayPhrases. Can you tell a compelling story in under 140 characters? If you can, you can #FP. (You can find out more about Friday Phrases here.)
  • #sixwordstory, hosted by @WriterlyTweets. This challenge invites you to write a story based on a prompt in six words or fewer. Can’t get much more micro in your microfiction than that, eh?
  • #AuthorUp, hosted by @ShesNovel. Author Up challenges writers to 30 days of intentional improvement of their craft, and to make sure you can do that, it includes a free course (which you can find out more about here).
  • #WriteChain, hosted by @WriteChain. Want to make writing every day a habit? Set yourself a daily goal and create a chain with every consecutive day you reach it. You can sign up for the challenge here.

Whether you use hashtags, chats, creative challenges or all three in conjunction, the aim for writers on Twitter is to make meaningful connections. Share your writing journey, talk to others about the craft, enrich the lives of every tweep you meet, and enjoy the ‘social’ side of social media—because writing might be a solitary pursuit, but it doesn’t have to be a lonely one.

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How do you use Twitter to make new writing connections?

How I Rebranded: My Pen Name Story

If you’ve seen me sprinting on the Sprint Shack Twitter account lately, you may have noticed something. My name is different. Skye Fairwin is no more.

Why? Let me start with a confession. Skye is not my real name. It’s a pen name I’ve gone by for the last six years… but not anymore. Last month I made the decision to come out from behind my pen name and start going by my real name online. So allow me to introduce myself again.

I’m Faye Kirwin and it’s lovely to meet you.

Leaving behind my pen name wasn’t an easy choice for me. I swayed back and forth between sticking with my alias and switching to my real name for months, and not just for the reasons you might expect. Here’s my story—the why and the how I changed such a big part of my online presence and how you can do it smoothly and painlessly if you’re considering doing something similar.

First Things First: Why Use a Pen Name?

There are more reasons than I can list. To keep your writing and personal lives separate. To publish in a different genre. To protect your career.

For me, it was privacy. I created my online alias way back when I was 16 years old, just before I started posting my writing on the internet. My poor, fragile writer’s ego feared my friends and family reading my stories and not liking them. A pen name provided protection against that, but it also came with a price: I was hiding such a huge part of my life and myself from the people I cared about. I’d talk about how much I loved reading, but writing? Not a peep. Yet it was how I spent hours and hours of my day. As time went by, it became harder and harder to break the silence and tell people that I was a writer and so I kept hiding it. I fell into a rut.

My first turning point came when I went to university. In one of the first few weeks, as I sat with my new friends in the university bar and chatted about ourselves and our interests, I found myself talking about writing. I’d never spoken aloud about that part of myself before, and here I was, talking about it with people I’d only just met. It was… weird. But in a good way. In a very freeing way. I didn’t have to hide that part of me anymore and it felt like such a relief.

Though I’d now revealed the fact that I wrote, I continued to keep my online writing a secret. Telling people about my writing was one thing; showing it to them was another entirely. It wasn’t until late 2014 that I finally worked up the courage to tell my friends and family that I had a blog and that I wanted to make it into a business. They were supportive and interested, and now that they knew, there wasn’t as much of a reason to keep hiding behind a pen name anymore. Its original purpose—to keep the people I knew in real life from finding me—was no longer an issue. Time to get rid of it, right? Well…

The problem that faced me now lay in the practicalities of transitioning to a different name. Could I transfer all mentions of my name, across my blogs and social media, to my real one without confusing, bewildering or losing my readers and followers? That in itself was a major factor that kept me wavering for months on end. Finally, I realised that I had to make the change—but I didn’t have to make it all at once.

Here’s how I did it.

Step 1: Changing Social Media Usernames

Before, my social media usernames had involved my pen name, Skye Fairwin. If I changed that straight to Faye Kirwin, it could confuse the heck out of everyone, and followers who didn’t know about the change would have difficulty finding me. Instead, I decided to change my usernames to my blog name, Writerology, as people already knew me by it and could easily search for it.

Quick tip: If you’re switching to a new name, for whatever reason, consider using your brand name as a username across platforms.

While I was changing the usernames of my social media accounts to Writerology, I made sure my alias, Skye Fairwin, was visible in the name fields to make it clear that it was still me and thereby minimise confusion. For example, on Twitter, my name was Skye Fairwin and my handle was @Writerology; on Pinterest, my name was Skye Fairwin and my username (visible in the URL) was Writerology; and so on.

Quick tip: Make sure followers can easily search for you by making your name and username something that’s already associated with you. Don’t switch to a completely new, unknown name and username, at least immediately.

Step 2: The Reveal

A few weeks after changing my social media usernames to my blog title, I told my pen name story to my blog readers and revealed my real name. At this point, I began hunting down all references to my alias on my blog and changed the name fields of my social media accounts from Skye to Faye. For the next couple of weeks, I posted messages on the accounts recapping the reason for the name change to bring anyone who had missed the original explanation up to speed.

Quick tip: It’s unlikely all your readers and followers will know the story behind your name change. Keep recapping it at different times of day on social media and answer any questions they ask about it for some time after you change names.

Step 3: Keeping Tabs on Your Old Name

Just because you’ve switched to a new name doesn’t mean you can forget about your old one. In all likelihood, people will keep addressing you or mentioning you by the old one for a while after you change. Even now, I search for people tweeting to @SkyeFairwin, sending messages to my Skye Fairwin Google account and referring to me as Skye, so that I don’t miss messages meant for me.

Quick tip: Do regular searches for references to your old name and set up a Google alert to let you know when it’s mentioned online. You can find out how to set up a Google alert here.

It’s hard enough making the decision to change from a pen name to a real one without the fear of losing and confusing readers and followers holding you back too. Once you’re certain that switching to a different name is the best thing for you, follow the steps outlined above and make the experience as simple and painless as possible. Then go out there and rock that new name.

Good luck.

~

Have you ever written under a pen name before?

#SundayScribes – Sunday Word Sprints

SundayScribesHey there word sprinters! We’ve made it half way through #NaNoWriMo. Congrats! But in order to keep our writing strong, we’ve added a new weekly sprinting event to our roster: #SundayScribes! Every Sunday, Sprint Shack co-founder Taylor will be hosting an hour of word sprints on our Twitter account. Join us at @TheSprintShack every Sunday for some weekend writing.

GMT: 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
EST:
1 p.m. – 2 p.m.
PST: 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Wrap up the weekend with an hour of creativity-boosting word sprints!

For more information on word sprinting and how to join in, check out our FAQ page.

Time Change – One More Hour of Writing

Hello all you lovely writers. Fall is crisp in the air and the days are getting shorter. Autumn is here…and so is the time change (at least in North America).

In case you haven’t done so, we’re serving up a reminder to set your clocks back one hour today! And what better way to take advantage of that extra hour than by using it to write! Get your word counts up for NaNoWriMo (join us for #SundayScribes word sprints on Twitter – 10am Pacific/1pm Eastern) or finally edit that one tricky chapter you’ve been putting off.

However you use your extra hour today, make sure it’s well-spent.

Happy writing!

NaNo Prep: Making the Most of the Last Week of October

The clock is ticking. Only one week to go until NaNoWriMo. Just 7 days standing between you and your next novel.

Are you ready?

If not, here’s a last-minute guide to help you make sure you’re prepared for the month-long writing marathon.

Get your outline in order if you’re a planner
Get that outline cleaned up. Finish naming your characters and sketching out your villains. Clean it all up to make the writing process smoother once November 1st rolls around.

Start cooking ideas if you’re a pantser
Even if you prefer writing by the seat of your pants, it doesn’t hurt to start thinking about your story. Get a few ideas bouncing around you brain (What genre are you writing? Who is your protagonist?) and let them simmer over the next week.

Tell your friends and family that you’re participating in NaNoWriMo NOW
Seriously, send out a mass text or a Facebook post. Make an announcement with a mega-phone. Tell everyone you know that you’re doing NaNo. This not only keeps you on track (there’s nothing worse than a judgmental look from your significant other followed up with “why aren’t you writing?”), but it also lets the important people in your life know you’ll be busier than usual for the next month.

Set your daily word count goal now
How many days do you want to write each day in November? Do you want to do the standard 1,667 words per day? Do you want to write double that each day and be done by mid-November. Do you want to write less during the week and more during the weekend? Figure it out now and then stick to it come November.

Sign up for the Writember Workshop
Need help staying on track during November? Our very own Faye Kirwin is running a workshop that will keep you writing. For more info or to sign up, click here.

Get your playlists in order
Take some time to hand-pick your music before NaNo starts. Doing this will keep  you inspired through the month AND it saves you from creating more and falling into a pit of procrastination when you should be writing next month.

Create your Pinterest inspiration boards
Pin to your heart’s content. If you’re constantly looking for visual inspiration, create a board full of inspiring photos or quotes that will keep you writing through November.

Stock up on the snacks
Or coffee, tea, alcohol, etc. Make sure you’ve got enough of your favorite munchies to fuel your writing…at least for the first couple days of NaNo!

Pre-write your November blog posts
Or at least outline them. Instead of having to break from your NaNo novel to write your weekly blog post, get it done now.

Get pumped with pre-NaNo sprints
Head over to our Twitter account for sprinting throughout the week and get the creative juices pumping!

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What do you have left to do to prep for NaNoWriMo? Let us know in the comments below!

Why Do You Write?

Can I ask you a personal question? Why do you write?

Each time I ask myself that, I have to pause. Not because I can’t think of a reason, but because there are too many. There are so many aspects to writing that I love, that make the process, from inkling to polished novel, something I get so much fulfilment from. When I stop to think, there are countless reasons for me to write–and yet, all too often, I forget about those reasons and lose the will to write. Unfortunately, I’m not alone.

When we’re stuck in the middle of a tough scene or wading through a particularly difficult edit, it’s easy to lose heart. We forget why we love to write so much, why we took up the hobby in the first place, and instead find reasons not to write. ‘I don’t feel like it.‘ ‘I’m too busy.‘ ‘I’d much rather watch funny cat videos on YouTube.‘ You know what I’m talking about.

The thing is, when we find reasons to avoid writing, we’re cheating ourselves. For the most part, we don’t have to write. No one’s forcing us to. We do it because, for whatever reason, we want to. And those reasons can be the biggest motivators of them all.

Try it yourself. Why do you write? Not too long ago, I asked this question myself on Twitter. These are some of the responses I got:

These are just a few of the many unique, inspiring reasons our Twitter friends have to write. If you’d like to see what other people love so much about writing, search for the #whyIwrite hashtag and send out a few tweets of your own!

Finally, here’s my challenge to you: each day, think of one reason you write. Put it in your journal, tell your friends and family, tweet about it, repeat it on a night before you go to sleep, sing it from the rooftops… However you do it, just remember why you write and why only you can write what you do. Remind yourself every day why you put pen to paper. Recall the first spark of inspiration that took your breath away. Write down why you write, share it with the world, and keep it in your heart.

It’s amazing how much more motivated you feel when you remember what drew you to writing in the first place.

~

Why do you write?

Harnessing the Power of Camp NaNoWriMo

I’m starting this post off with an apology.  To my fellow word sprinters and writers: I’m sorry I’ve been so absent over the last month! If you haven’t noticed my radio silence, it’s because Faye and Cristina have done some a wonderful job of keeping the site and word sprints running while I’ve been MIA.

Now, I have a hundred excuses as to why I haven’t written a Sprint Shack post or hosted any word sprints in the last few weeks, but none of them are really good enough. When you love writing, you shouldn’t let anything get in the way. So I wanted to return to Sprint Shack with a short post about the power of Camp NaNoWriMo and getting yourself back into the writing game.

Over the last month, I’ve managed to barely keep myself on track with the short fiction posts for my personal site and meet my Write Chain goal each day.

But because of all the other things that were happening in my life, I began to resent the fact that I was sitting down every day to write. I had a million and three things to do – I couldn’t afford to be sitting around for an hour each day, writing a bunch of fiction.

So my writing suffered. My heart wasn’t in it, and I could see that my stories were forced, my writing unimaginative. I missed loving to write. I wanted to look forward to that hour of writing like I used to. But I didn’t know how. And the more mediocre my writing became, the more unmotivated I was to write, and the more my writing suffered. It was a vicious circle.

When the end of June rolled around and I began to see tweets about Camp NaNoWriMo, I wondered if I should even bother signing up. But after some contemplation, I realized that if I gave up on Camp NaNo, I may as well give up on my writing.

So I set my word count goal low and spent the first week of Camp NaNo putting off actually starting my new novel.

After 7 days of no progress with my Camp NaNo project, things were looking bleak.

But then I logged into my NaNo account and checked out all the messages left in my cabin’s chat section.

These people were so excited. They were writing and loving it! They were complaining about blocks and joking about ways to get over them. They were supporting one another and giving updates on milestones that they’d reached with their projects.

It was infectious! I couldn’t help but want to join in. And so I did – I began writing. And not out of a sense of obligation, but from a place of curiosity. I wanted to see what I could do. Even if it ended up being horrible, I wanted to write the story that had been taking up space in my head for weeks.

Since then, I haven’t been able to stop. I’ve been writing like crazy and loving it.

I realize that what I was missing was the camaraderie. I’d used the excuse of being too busy and then sequestered myself off from the freedom of word sprints and encouragement that comes from interacting with the wonderful community of writers that I used to be so involved in.

All I needed was to realize that I wasn’t alone. Everyone feels this way about their writing at times. Everyone thinks they’re no good and that they don’t have time to spend writing below-par stories. Yes, writing is inherently a solitary pursuit. But it doesn’t mean we have to go it alone.

I’m feeding off this positive energy of other writers during Camp NaNo and using it to fuel my own writing.

If you’re in a writing rut, I recommend jumping into Camp NaNo or joining in on some of our Twitter word sprints. Let go of the excuses and enjoy writing again.

~

Are you guys participating in Camp NaNo this month? Tell me why you’re NaNo-ing in the comments below!

Battling the Mid-Month Boogie Monsters

midmonthIt never fails. Whether you’re participating in NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNo or simply your own timed writing challenge, the middle is always the hardest part. If this is your first Camp NaNoWriMo, you may have heard the campfire stories of mid-month boogie monsters that capture your plot bunnies, steal your enthusiasm, and sneak up on you just when you thought things were going well. They’re frustrating but, believe us, they can be beaten!

It’s common to feel discouraged when you’re halfway through these challenges; the excitement of a new project has worn off in the past 15 days, yet the end is still another 15 away. Suddenly, you find yourself feeling more lost than anything. That’s okay, and that’s normal! Maybe your story isn’t going as well as you’d hoped, or maybe it’s going great—so great that you’ve run with it and written yourself into uncharted territory. Whatever your reasons are, you likely aren’t feeling as confident about this as you did on April 1st. But I’m here to tell you to toss another log in that fire and scare those shadows away.

There are several ways to get yourself back on track and finish strong. Try these methods out and see if they work for you!

  1. Just push through it. This is the tough love approach and I know it isn’t easy. Take it from me—we’re halfway through and I’ve only written a few hundred words! But sometimes all your writing needs is a little teeth-gritting determination. When those monsters of the night threaten to scare away your inspiration, scare them right back by holding your ground! Some ways this has worked for me include fleshing out whatever scene I’m on—even if it’s totally unnecessary to do so—or skipping to another part of the story that I’m eager to write. Both methods get the words flowing and keep you from cowering behind that blinking cursor.
  2. Attend the virtual Camp NaNoWriMo Write-In tomorrow. Hosted on the NaNoWriMo YouTube account, virtual write-ins provide an opportunity to grab some inspiration, motivation, and support without leaving your writing cave—or tent! The next one is tomorrow at 11am PDT, so translate that to your time zone and join in!
  3. Schedule your own write-in! I’ve spoken before about the benefit of write-ins and, while organized write-ins are more common during November, there’s always an opportunity to host your own. Start a #SprintParty on Twitter, host one on a YouTube channel, or simply invite some writing buddies out for a few competitive sprints over coffee! If you’re anything like us, your hunger for word count glory will override that mid-month writer’s block under pressure, and you’ll soon find yourself writing away toward your word count goal.
  4. Reach out on Twitter/cabin mates. I have a confession: I almost quit two thirds of the way through NaNoWriMo this year. I was hitting that block somewhere in the third week and was falling behind, and I wanted to give myself permission to quit if I didn’t think winning was feasible. Thankfully, my friends weren’t going to let that happen! Taylor and Faye gave me some really great pep talks and even rallied what seemed like half of Twitter to shout all kinds of encouraging (and playfully threatening!) things at me. If you need similar motivation, simply announcing your struggles via a popular hashtag (like #CampNaNoWriMo or #AmWriting)  is guaranteed to earn you a few encouraging words.
  5. Start from zero. Of course, I don’t mean start your project from scratch! But as I said in my post on starting from zero, sometimes it can be helpful to take a step back, take stock, and reorganize your project. This is especially helpful if you’re written yourself into a road block: instead of trying to push through it if it doesn’t seem to be giving, map out your story on a sheet of paper and figure out where you’ve been, where you’re stuck, and where you have to go. Even if you aren’t the outlining type, simply reminding yourself of your ultimate goal with that particular story can be incredibly helpful!

How do you power through that rough midpoint? Everyone has a different process, from NaNoNewbies to seasoned wordsmiths. Let us know how you battle those mid-month boogie monsters in the comments below!

Sprint Watch: Camp NaNo – April 1st Kick-Off Sprints!

Ah, spring time. The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, and thousands of people are getting ready to embark on the maddening quest to write a LOT of words come April. That’s right, Camp NaNoWriMo is swiftly approaching and we here at the Sprint Shack are gearing up for all the fun that’s in store next month. We’re picking which projects we’ll be working on, figuring out our word count goals, and looking forward to cabin assignments.

And, of course, we’ll be doing what we do best: word sprinting.

To kick off Camp NaNo right this year, we’ll be hosting sprints on our Twitter account throughout the first day of Camp NaNo (April 1st)!

Here are the times we’ll be sprinting (we hope to add more times, but these are for sure our set sprinting times as of now):

2pm-4pm BST // 9am – 11am EDT // 6am – 8am PDT

5pm – 8pm BST // 12pm (noon)  – 3pm EDT // 9am – 12pm (noon) PDT

8pm – 11pm BST // 3pm – 6pm EDT // 12pm (noon) – 3pm PDT

12am (midnight) – 1am BST // 7pm – 8pm EDT // 4pm – 5pm PDT

1am – 2am BST // 8pm – 9pm EDT // 5pm – 6pm PDT

3am – 4am BST // 10pm-11pm EDT // 7pm – 8pm PDT

 4am – 6am BST // 11pm – 1am EDT // 8pm – 10pm PDT

We’ll be using the #SprintParty hashtag, so watch out for it!

Aside from the first day of Camp NaNo, we’ll also be hosting sprints throughout the entire month of April, so make sure you’re following us on Twitter!

Check back here for updates on our kick-off sprints!

~

Are you ready for Camp NaNo? What’s your word goal? What are you working on for April? Let us know in the comments below!

~

And here’s your Story Shuffle prompt for today!

Character: The ghost of a ghost-hunter
Setting: The Taj Mahal
Year/Era: Right after the first alien invasion
Item of interest: A mysterious parcel

Saturday Surprise! A Collection of Writer Goodies

Saturday Surprise! A Collection of Writer Goodies: Revision and Querying Resources.As anyone who follows me on Twitter may have noticed, I’ve been in a kind of writing slump as of late. It happens to the best of us, especially those of us with a lot going on at the moment, but one thing’s for certain: the reason a writer must write, despite being busy or tired or plain fresh out of ideas, is that long hiatuses are the quickest way to dry up your creative well.

That’s something I’ve been experiencing: the longer I’ve been going without writing, the less I have to write about and the less I want to write. It’s a dreadful cycle I’ve found myself in time and time again.

As a result, when faced with today’s Sprint Shack post, I was stumped. I had no clue what to write about, and I still don’t have a topic. So instead, I’m going to let my bad habits be a lesson to all of you, and point toward some resources that can help keep you on the right track.

Over the years, I’ve collected magazines, links, and books on the writing craft, and they’ve all inspired me to keep going (or, depending on their subject, guided me during a specific stage of my writing), and most of them have been less about writing that first draft and more geared toward what to do with that raw copy. Dashing out those words during a furious word sprint is only part of the process; revising and submitting your work for consideration, whether it be a short story to an e-magazine or a novel to a literary agent, are the parts that take guts. That’s when you get your hands dirty.

Here are some of my top resources on revising and submitting your work. They’re the ones that I’ve been referencing or plan on turning to, depending on what part of the process they cover. Just remember not to get too wrapped up in researching this (it can get addictive!) and get back to your writing eventually!

Revisions
The First 250 Words of Your Manuscript by Janice Hardy – It goes without saying that you have to start strong to catch a reader’s attention, but I never realized how many mistakes I was making in my attempt at a captivating beginning until I read this article. Author Janice Hardy does a great job detailing why that first page of your manuscript (around 250 words) is so important, as well as what to do and not to do in order to draw a reader in. She even gives an extremely helpful breakdown of the first page of one of her novels, sentence by sentence, that demonstrates exactly what she preaches.

NaNoWriMo’s Now What? Initiative – As you may have seen on the Sprint Shack previously, the NaNoWriMo team is dedicating the beginning of 2014 to the revision of November’s novels. They’re offering fantastic pep talks, advice articles, and webinars/live chats dedicated to it, and as always, there’s a fantastic support network on the forums. Don’t have a NaNoWriMo novel? Here’s a dirty little secret: you don’t technically have to be a prior participant to benefit. Just sign up, pledge to revise a novel, and take part!

#amEditing: Need some live support? This Twitter hashtag is constantly live, streaming tweets from fellow writers who are editing their work that very moment. Whether you intend to seek some advice, vent some frustrations, or even announce your accomplishments, this is the place to do it (and the Sprint Shack, of course!)

Querying/Submitting
Let The Words Flow’s Query Week – I used to write over at Let The Words Flow, which is a now-retired blog dedicated to all stages of the writing process. Its current contributors have now moved over to Pub(lishing) Crawl, but LTWF has been left up, leaving behind a wonderful archive chock full of advice from authors at various stages of writing/revising/publishing. In 2011, LTWF hosted a “Query Week” in which its contributors offered advice, critiques, and Q&As on the process of querying literary agents. Though I’m personally not quite at that stage yet, I’ve had this bookmarked for a while, knowing it’ll prove to be an invaluable asset in the future.

Lessons from the Submission Desk by The Dreadful Cafe – Getting a link to this combination talk/PowerPoint presentation will cost you a $10 donation, but if you’re looking to submit a short story for publication, I consider it a must-see (hear?). This talk gives you unabashed, uncensored insight into what editors see regularly at the submissions desk—and most of it isn’t good. For those who want to avoid major, fatal mistakes in their submissions and writing, I highly recommend giving this a try.

#AskAgent and #PubTip – Two great hashtags that allow you round-the-clock access to agents and publishing professionals. Follow them for regular tips and Q&As or take to them with questions of your own. You’ll almost always get an answer—and if not, you’ll still walk away with plenty of tips, articles, and contacts for future reference.

And that’s it for now! What about you? Do you have any great links/resources/tips to dish out to fellow writers in need? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter—we’ll be sure to pass your advice along!