Writing is often a lonely endeavor for professionals and college students alike, but it doesn't have to be. There are many places for writers to find help and inspiration for every part of the writing process. One of the newest sources of support is on Twitter, through a wide variety of writing chats. Writers on Twitter only need to use and search for a given hashtag to participate, and most groups are very welcoming to those with different interests and levels of experience. Here, we've listed some of the most popular and potentially valuable chats on Twitter. Covering a wide range of topics, you're bound to find a chat that meets your personal needs as a writer, and you may just make a few new friends in the process.
These chats don't always have a set time or day that they meet. Writers and readers simply post to them whenever they come across something they'd like to share with the community.
- #litchat: This group is not only a great place to get inspired to write, it can also help hook you up with some great books to read. Chats are held every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday but if you miss a meeting there are transcripts on the group's blog.
- #storycraft: While the official chat takes place on Sunday nights, writers often post items to this hashtag all week long, sharing links to great fiction writing updates and sometimes looking for help. Follow @Story_Craft for more information.
- #wip: WIP stands for "work in progress" and that's just what these writers share, offering tips to make your writing better and excerpts from their own.
- #iamwriting: This chat is exactly what it sounds like. Anytime writers are working, they share their progress, or lack thereof, to this hashtag chat. It can be great to motivate you to get your own writing done.
- #writermoms: Moms who love to write can find like-minded women through this ongoing Twitter chat.
- #writerslife: Laugh about all the funny quirks (and some of the more annoying bits, too) of the life of a writer with this perpetual chat.
- #writingparty: Writing can be lots of fun, and you can celebrate getting those words down by joining in this chat all about the good, the bad, and the ugly of being a writer.
- #writers: With new tweets posted every few minutes, this is a super active chat to take part in. Writers will find a very wide range of links, tips, writing commentary, and more to keep them entertained.
- #writing: From inspirational quotes to job postings related to writing, this hashtag covers just about anything you could want to know more about, with respect to writing.
- #novelists: Keep in touch with your fellow authors and novelists through this chat. Right now, advice for National Novel Writing Month is one of the most popular topics of discussion.
- #author: If you want to be an author, start chatting like one. Use this chat hashtag to keep up with working authors and to find help with your own literary endeavors.
If you're looking for a more structured chat, any of these options for writers can be a good choice.
- #tuesdayserial: If Dickens can do it, why not you? Here you'll find a chat where writers can share their serial work and to follow the stories written by others.
- #storyfriday: Join in this chat every Friday to share excerpts from your work and to see what other writers are cooking up. It can be a fun exercise for both avid readers and writers alike.
- #ScreenwritingSaturday: Every Saturday, screenwriters come together to talk about their unfinished works, the business, and other topics of interest. For more information, screenwriting buffs can contact the moderator of the group at @UncompletedWork.
- #WNW: WNW is short for Wednesday Night Writer, which is a fantasy and fiction discussion group held on, you guessed it, Wednesday nights.
- #fictionfriday: Spend your Friday sharing your short stories through Twitter when you join in this chat.
- #fridayflash: Boost your quick writing skills with this Friday chat, where writers can post or write flash fiction to share with others.
- #poettues: Every Tuesday this group, led by moderator @robertleebrewer, meets on the web to talk about all things poetry.
- #writechat: Writers can find a wealth of information and a thriving community through the weekly chats held at this hashtag. Simply head to Twitter from 3-6 p.m. EST to join in the fun.
- #storychat: Share any progress you're making (or not making) with your short stories and other writings through this weekly chat.
Not Just Novels
While many of the chats on Twitter are geared towards novelists, there are still plenty of options for those who prefer screenplays, memoirs, poems, and other forms of writing.
- #undeadpoets: This chat goes on all week, but special topics may be raised on Wednesday nights. It's the perfect place for inspiration on writing a truly creepy poem.
- #poetry: Whether you're a reader, writer, or just a great fan of poetry, you're bound to find something of interest in this Thursday night chat.
- #memoirchat: Every other Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST, writers working on their memoirs can head to Twitter to engage in a thoughtful chat, offering tips, advice, and excerpts of their writing.
- #scriptchat: New and practiced screenwriters come together to share advice and inspiration in this weekly chat. Simply sign on to Twitter at 8 p.m. EST on Sundays to join.
- #poets: One of the best chats for poetry writers, this slow chat is a great place to connect with other poets, showcase your work, and learn about great poems you might not have read.
- #JournalChat: Journals can be a great way for writers to practice, get down ideas, and explore emotions. Join this chat on Thursdays to share in the discussion about good journaling techniques.
- #journchat: Discuss issues pertinent to journalism and PR through this chat, held on Monday evenings.
These chats focus on a single genre, like sci-fi, romance, or young adult literature.
- #FlitChat: This fantasy literature chat is a great way to meet others who are interested in writing fantasy works and to get help with your own work. Chats are held each Saturday, with topics that vary from week to week.
- #storyappchat: These days, many books head straight to the iPad, especially if they're for kids. With the help of this chat, you can meet other developers and writers who are creating amazing storybook apps for kids. There are new topics each week and the group meets at 9 p.m. EST on Sundays.
- #scifichat: Lovers of the sci-fi genre can learn more about writing and reading great science fiction through this engaging chat, held every Friday afternoon.
- #romancewriter: Find others who share your love of writing romance through this hashtag.
- #kidlitchat: This chat is the perfect place for writers penning works for young readers to keep in touch with others in the field. The chat begins at 9 p.m. EST on Tuesdays, and topics are announced before the chat.
- #thrillerchat: Ever dreamed of writing a gripping thriller? Through this chat, held on Wednesdays, writers and fans of the genre can share work, get advice, and more.
- #scifiwrite:Meet up with your fellow sci-fi enthusiasts on this ongoing chat.
- #yalit: This chat is pretty popular with both readers and writers alike. It's the perfect slow chat forum for those who want to share their work or learn about amazing young adult reads.
- #rwa: The Romance Writers of America chat is a great place to meet other romance writers, especially those who've been published. For more info, head to the RWA's Twitter feed at @romancewriters.
- #sfwa: From the professional to the personal, this chat from the Science Fiction Writers Association is perfect for learning about other writers, finding reviews, or just keeping up with the world of sci-fi.
- #UFchat: This weekly chat, held on Saturdays, is moderated by urban fantasy fans (and writers) @inkygypsy and @snowppl. Anyone interested in the genre is welcome to join in, and if you miss a meeting, there are transcripts available.
- #scbwi: If creating books for young adults and kids is your cup of tea, make sure to join this chat from @SCBWI. You'll meet fellow Society of Childrens' Book Writers and Illustrators members and may even get some help in your own work.
- #mglit: The #mglit chat is the perfect place to share insights into writing for those tweens or middle-grade readers.
Learn more about what it takes to work as a writer, get published, and have a successful book with some help from these professional chats.
- #editing: Join in this chat to get advice on editing your work or keep up with those working as professional editors.
- #askagent: Have a question you want to ask a book agent? While chats often go on all week, Tuesdays provide the biggest opportunities to talk with professionals.
- #bookmarket: If you've already completed your novel or other book, this chat can help give you pointers on how to market and sell it. If you're looking for that kind of help, head to Twitter at 4 p.m. EST on Thursdays.
- #publishing: Learn more about the publishing industry though this slow chat. Your newfound knowledge could just help you get your own book published.
- #IBchat: The Indie Author Book Chat just started in October of 2011, and is held every week on Tuesday afternoon. Writers (or readers) can learn more about the chats from the related Twitter feed at @IndieBookIBC.
- #scribechat: Join your fellow writers on Thursday nights to network, get inspired, and share help with writing and publishing issues.
Help and Inspiration
Whether you need some writing help or a creative spark to get you going, these chats offer a way to find it.
- #writetip: Need some helpful writing tips to hone your fiction? Here you'll find advice aplenty, with new tweets posted to the chat every hour.
- #writegoal: Setting goals for writing can be a very important part of actually getting a work done. Use this chat to share your goals and your successes as you move through the writing process.
- #storystarters: We all need a little help with inspiration now and again, and this chat offers writers a chance to get story ideas and starters from other creative minds out there.
- #wordcount: How far along is your story? Join in this chat to brag or bemoan your word count.
- #wordathon: Similar to the #wordcount chat, this chat pushes tweeters to write, write, write.
- #creativity: Get into your creative groove with a little help from the chat that goes on pretty continuously under this hashtag.