One of the most important things you can do for your author career is to connect with other writers, especially writers in your genre. Writer friends can help you keep perspective when publishing gets tough and celebrate when things are going well. Authors in your genre are also great people to run cross-promotions with. And you can connect with them by learning how to use Twitter chats for writers.
In this article, I’ll explore:
- What Twitter chats are
- Current Twitter chats for writers, with a focus on chats for fiction writers
- 7 ways to get the most out of Twitter chats
And soon enough, you’ll be meeting new writer friends through Twitter chats!
What are Twitter chats?
Twitter chats are recurring events where people gather on Twitter at a specific time to discuss a specific topic. To participate, users simply tweet as normal, including the hashtag associated with the specific chat. Most Twitter chats are an hour long and happen at the same time every week, so you can easily incorporate them into your schedule.
Chat hosts will typically ask the group a series of questions to encourage conversation. This makes it easy to participate since all you need to do is answer the questions.
There are Twitter chats about a wide variety of topics and industries, including chats for both fans and creators of specific genres. Over the years, I’ve participated in chats about freelance life, publishing, book marketing, owning a small business, and more.
You can use Twitter chats to connect with fans of your genre, but I prefer using Twitter chats (and Twitter in generally) as opportunities to connect with other writers.
Twitter chats for writers
There are numerous ongoing Twitter chats for writers, some of which have been happening for 5+ years. You can find both general chats for writers and chats about specific genres/types of writing.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of current Twitter chats:
- #JustAddTea – Sundays at 12PM EST – General chat for fiction writers, featuring a new topic each week.
- #SpoonieAuthChat – Sundays at 1PM EST – General chat for writers who identify as disabled, neurodivergent, d/Deaf, or mentally ill. Currently on summer hiatus; will begin again in the first week of September.
- #StoryCrafter – Sundays at 3PM EST – General chat for fiction writers, featuring a new topic each week.
- #WriteStuff – Tuesdays at 9PM EST – General chat for writers, with an emphasis on fiction writers.
- #IndieAuthorChat – Wednesdays 3PM EST – Chat run by the Alliance of Independent Authors, with a different guest each week.
- #WritingChat – Wednesdays 3PM EST – General chat for writers, with an emphasis on fiction writers, featuring a new topic each week.
- #WriteChat – Wednesdays 8PM EST – General chat for fiction writers, featuring a new topic each week.
- #WritersLifeChat – Wednesdays 8PM EST – General chat for fiction writers, featuring a new topic each week.
- #BookMarketingChat – Wednesdays 9PM EST – Chat that discusses a different topic related to marketing each week, often with a featured guest. Runs once a month during summer.
- #FreelanceChat – Thursdays 12PM EST – General chat for freelancers, with an emphasis on freelance writers.
- #WeeknightWriters – Thursdays 7PM EST – Writing check-in chat for writers of all kinds, occasionally featuring different topics.
- #StoryDam – Thursdays 8PM EST – General chat for writers of all kinds, with an emphasis on fiction writing. Occasionally features guests.
- #WriteAndWine – Fridays 8:30PM EST – General chat for fiction writers, with a new topic each week.
- #PoetParty – Saturdays 7PM EST – Twitter chat specifically for poets, with a different topic each week.
How to get the most out of a Twitter chat
1. Attend regularly
Most ongoing Twitter chats have a group of regulars who attend week after week. You don’t need to attend every week, but you’ll build stronger connections if you attend two or three times a month.
To make sure you attend a chat regularly, set it as a recurring event on your calendar app. Then you can take a look at the chat each week to determine whether or not you’re interested in the topic. If you are, you can stick around to chat. If you’re not, you’ve just gained an hour for writing, or another marketing task.
2. Remember to use the appropriate hashtag in every post
The hashtag is what makes your posts visible to other users participating in the chat. If you respond to a question without using it, the question will only be visible to the host. This limits the amount of interaction your post can get.
That said, don’t feel bad if you forget once in a while; I’ve been hosting Twitter chats for years and I still forget to use the hashtag (or worse, use the wrong hashtag) sometimes. We’re all human, and you can always use it as a humorous moment.
3. Respond to other people’s answers
Get involved in the conversation! Respond to answers you find interesting. Ask questions of your own (when it makes sense). Say hello to people as they enter the chat, especially new people. The more involved you are, the more you’ll get to know your fellow chatters.
4. Keep things on topic
Most Twitter chats have some room for tangents, but you don’t want an off-topic conversation to dominate the hashtag when other people are trying to chat. If your conversation goes off the rails for more than 2-3 minutes, continue it without the hashtag. That way, people involved can stay involved and people who aren’t interested can stay focused on the main chat.
5. Focus on friendships, not opportunities
People tend to notice pretty quickly when they’re being treated as opportunities, and it rarely goes over well. You’ll get a lot further if you think of the writers you’re talking to as people first and writers second. You’ll also quickly discover that writer friends are the best kind of friends, ready to listen to your frustrations and cheer on your successes.
6. Only share links to your work when they’re relevant
This is part of keeping things on topic, but it’s worth stating separately as well. There are only two times when you should share links during a Twitter chat:
- When you’ve created a resource relevant to the conversation. For example, if I’m participating in a chat about marketing, I might include a link to the Author Marketing Club in one of my tweets.
- When you’re invited to share a link. If you talk about your stories in an interesting enough way, someone may ask you to share a link. Some chats also include an opportunity to share links at the beginning or end of every chat.
7. Don’t overdo it
As the list above shows, there are a lot of Twitter chats for writers. You could easily fill all of your free time with them. But Twitter chats aren’t generally a direct path to sales. They also won’t write your next book. Stick to one or two Twitter chats per week to make sure you still have time to nurture other aspects of your writing career.
Final advice on how to use Twitter chats
Twitter chats are a great way to connect with other writers in your genre. Choose one or two of the Twitter chats listed above, add them to your calendar, and start attending them this week!
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