With the advent of technology, more and more of publishing moves online. Long gone are the days of having to put your manuscript into a SASE and mailing it off through snail mail. As you may have guessed from some of my previous blog posts, I am big into social media, a place where many agents, editors, authors, and readers gather, especially those in Young Adult, which is what I write.
With so much on social media now, it makes sense that the industry would evolve into using social media to its advantage. As such, there are many hashtags that have sprung up to help writers, aspiring and otherwise, on their journey. Here are some of the most popular:
#MSWL– Manuscript Wishlist is a hashtag (and website) where agents and editors tweet about what they wish people would send them. Sometimes it is broad, like they want to see more cozy mysteries. Other times, it is hyper-specific, like they will tweet a picture saying they wish they had something akin to it. PLEASE, if you decide to keep an eye on this hashtag, do not advertise in it. It is something that annoys many of the writers that use it, it will not endear you to anyone, nor will agents even be likely to see it. So just don’t.
#AmWriting– This is a great hashtag for people that like to not feel alone. I know sometimes Twitter can make you feel like you are yelling into a void, but with this hashtag, you can find your people. Did you just figure out a plot point? Share it here. Want to show off your writing area? Share it here. Just want to let the world know that you are writing (somehow while simultaneously on Twitter)? Go ahead and share it. Who knows, your next new friend may happen to see the tweet and reply.
#OnThePorch– Much like #AmWriting, people use this to chat with other writers. More specifically, you can participate in online workshops and get advice from other authors. Just scrolling through the hashtag can yield tons of affirmations and people cheering you on.
#PubTip– This hashtag is where you can find advice about the publishing journey. It is usually from agents or editors, but occasionally you will find some words of wisdom from authors that have walked the same path you are on. The advice can span anywhere from outlining, to marketing, to query letters. Need help with something? Feel free to use the tag to ask around.
#AskAnAgent– Ask An Agent is less something that can be used at any time and more a hashtag agents/agencies will use when they are hosting a question and answer session. It can be used in conjunction with a specialized hashtag by the agent, or by itself. I would suggest checking it out every once in a while to see if there is anything coming up. Even if you miss one, the questions and answers that posted may end up helping you along the way.
#WriteTip– This hashtag is just what it says on the tin, a place where you can get tips on writing. Agents, editors, and writers ost things they have learned on their journeys and would like to share with others. This can come in the form of funny anecdotes or quotes from famous writers or just straightforward advice. I would warn to take all advice with a grain of salt, what works for one person may not work on another.
#QueryTip– Like Write Tip, this hashtag gives advice about writing a query. Even if you don’t have a question, it doesn’t hurt to check this tag every little while to see what has been asked. You never know, someone may ask a question you never thought to ask.
#TenQueries– This is actually one of my favorite hashtags. Agents will use this one when they decide to give a small peek into how they evaluate queries. They will livetweet their reactions to a query, generally telling what the category and genre are and if they requested or passed. For a longer form, there is also #500Queries, which is currently Laura Zats going through 500 of her queries.
I have personally saved all of these searches and periodically look through them. They are all a wealth of information. Personally, I believe no matter what part of your publishing journey you are all, they can be helpful. Maybe you will even find a chance to share information of your own.