Twitter is the best social network for writers. There, I said it. But, you protest, Twitter limits you to only 140 characters per tweet. How am I supposed to write under those conditions? Concisely, my dear, the way every writer must learn to tell stories.
I understand the aversion. Unless you're really into microfiction — which I am not — that über-limiting character count looms daunting. There's also the fact that your first thousand tweets kind of feel like whispering in an overcrowded cafeteria; everyone else is part of the conversation except for you. And, to tell you the truth, some days still feel like that.
Even so, Twitter is Narnia for writers. It's where all the literary magazines, book reviewers, publishers, libraries, bookstores, and authors converge for your convenience. No matter where your writing aspirations lie, following the right accounts on Twitter will provide you with all the inspiration, hacks, news, and recommendations to keep your creative dream afloat.
That's all well and good, but which accounts should you be tuning in to? The ones you like and which serve your purposes, obviously, but finding them as a Twitter newbie can be challenging. Here are the first 20 Twitter accounts every aspiring writer should follow.
If you're in the market for literary humor, contests and giveaways, reading recommendations, and book-nerdy research articles, Book Riot is your first stop.
NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, which I'm sure you've already heard of. Though the event only comes 'round in November — and in the spring and summer with Camp NaNoWriMo — the official Twitter account has you covered with advice on plotting and editing, and plenty of fun retweets, all year long.
Guy In Your MFA
Even if the only writing workshops you took were part of your undergrad, you know Guy In Your MFA. Following this Twitter account will remind you of all the asshats you have to prove wrong as it keeps you chuckling.
If you're the type to go for online writing classes and workshops, LitReactor.com is right up there with Writer's Digest — which is not on this list, but which you should also follow. Even if you don't believe in paying for writing advice, or you're just broke, LitReactor.com still provides helpful advice a-plenty for free.
Writer's Edit is an online literary magazine. On Twitter, however, it's so much more than that. Chock-full of practical advice, inspirational quotes and images, and a healthy helping of bookish articles curated from around the Net, Writer's Edit is required following.
Your Favorite Author
Don't follow your favorite author expecting a font of craft-related wisdom to cascade down your feed. Mostly, you'll get current-events commentary and pictures of your idol's home life — including dog birthdays. Trust me, it's great!
Fiction! Events! Advice! Op-eds! Seriously, what more do you need?
Based in Decatur, GA, Paste Magazine has all the news and opinions you need to stay on top of the pop culture game. The tweet above is from Paste's main account, but you'll also want to follow Paste Books, Paste Movies, Paste Games, and Paste Comedy, for starters.
The Twitter account of this Emerson College-based literary publisher posts original content you'll want to read, plus heaps of well-curated — and well-attributed — articles from elsewhere.
You know Grammar Girl, right? Mignon Fogarty has all the linguistic quirkiness and usage advice you need to make it through the next time English seems a particularly cruel language.
Your Favorite Publisher
Even if you don't want to publish your work via the traditional route, following your favorite publishers on Twitter is the best way to learn about book tours, new releases, and giveaways. Also, following indie publishers will garner amusing results like the tweet above.
This elite literary magazine is as old as I am. Follow Glimmer Train on Twitter to learn about their upcoming submission periods and read wise words from the authors it has published.
NY Public Library
This is the library to end all libraries, I swear. The NYPL's Twitter account has reading lists, rare fragments, and — of course — the best questions the New York institution has ever been asked.
Following the good folks behind POETRY magazine gets you access to all the fun poetic history and poems-a-day you can handle.
Easily one of my favorites, Literary Hub is the lovechild of Grove Atlantic and Electric Literature. Follow Lit Hub on Twitter for the interviews, reviews, and op-eds you wish you'd written.
Your Favorite Magazine
This should be the magazine where you want to stamp your byline, no exceptions.
Poets & Writers
This Twitter account is filled with writing prompts, author quotes, and literary events. Check out the Poets & Writers website for more resources.
Every writer and aspiring writer knows all about rejection. When you're down in the mouth over that last "we will pass at this time," LitRejections is there to remind you that success is just around the corner.
The New Yorker
Publication in The New Yorker is a dream for many — if not most — of us, so it makes sense to follow the prestigious magazine on Twitter. It's a constant feed of cartoons, articles, and excerpts from around the web.
Want to know what your favorite writers had to say about the craft? Follow Jon Winokur's Twitter account for the commiseration you need to make it through the next 1,000 words.
Your Writer Friends
If you're from East Jesus Nowhere, you might not have found your writer tribe yet. Never fear! Twitter is the perfect place to start building your network.
Did I miss one of your favorite accounts? Let me know!