18 September 2018

Finding your writing community on Twitter

Writing online
by Katie Smart Writing Tips

#WriteCBC, our Twitter-based creative writing competition, takes place on the first Thursday of every month – when we (@CBCreative) share a writing tip and writing task provided by a special guest from among our tutoring team, our published former students, or the book agents of CB or C+W. Each month we give away one place on one of our six-week writing courses to someone whose writing task we like, and there are some runner-up course discounts too. Find out how to take part here.

But, our monthly Twitter event is just one of a zillion online spaces dedicated to writing (you just have to look in the right places). If you follow certain hashtags and social media accounts and enter competitions you can learn a lot and connect with loads of writers.

We’ve reached out to a few #WriteCBC regulars on Twitter (the social media site of choice for a great many writers) to ask them about how they use social media to find their writing friends; a few of these regulars even set up their own virtual writing group (#VWG), where they use the hashtag to share writing prompts, provide moral support and most importantly copious amounts of encouraging gifs. Here’s what they had to say about their online writing community…

Carlie Lee (@MrsCarlieLee):
I’d been on Twitter a few years before my first course with CBC, and although I followed #amwriting, I didn’t really have a sense of community. That changed when I took CBC’s ‘Starting to Write Your Novel’ online course, in 2016, and I began to follow my CBC buddies. They gave me the confidence to interact with other writers, editors and agents, and I’ve learnt so much, read so many amazing posts, stories and novels. I know people say Twitter’s like a cocktail party, but for me, it’s like a book-world party. The very best sort to be at.

Wiz Wharton (@Chomsky1):
I came for #writeCBC and stayed for the incredible people I met there. There’s immense support, love and encouragement from other writers on social media, (concerning both life and writing) as well as great tips. Sharing this sometimes lonely, frustrating and uncertain trajectory continues to be a gift.

Rebecca Kelly (@holymoly1000):
Through the CBC Twitter challenges I have met some fabulous, funny and talented writers. A few of us have formed a group offering support, advice and sharing tips. I am loving having made new friends who understand what it is like to be on this often solitary writing journey.

M S Clements (@MSClementsbook):
Negativity surrounds social media, especially Twitter – however, that has not been my experience. Engaging with others, especially through #WriteCBC, has opened up what can be a lonely & insular activity. With our own little tribe & hashtag, we encourage, develop our writing, but above all, support each other with humour & gifs.

Mike Ellison (@MikeEllison7):
I found Twitter a very insular place as a writer. Then I got wind of #WriteCBC and after a 7 day challenge met my ‘tribe’; other writers in the same boat. Now, we meet most days, chat, set tasks, support & encourage each other. It’s a very lovely group of people to be a part of.

Jenny Ireland (@IdreamofNarnia):
Without the kindness and support of online writing friends, I’d probably be in a sad writing abyss, crippled by self-doubt, wondering why I ever started in the first place. Writing can be so lonely. Put yourself out there, chat to people and always be kind. Completely worth it.

Neema Shah (@NeemaMShah):
I was quite ‘shy’ when I joined social media. It was only when I started interacting with others and joining things such as #WriteCBC that I started to feel like I was part of a supportive community. Don’t hang back at the sidelines, do get involved. You won’t regret it!

Pushpinder Kaur (@pushpwrites):
Writers I’ve known online are the kindest peeps I know. In #VWG, which emerged from @CBCreative’s #WriteCBC, I found home. My day’s incomplete without their gifs and support – be it setting up writing tasks or the words of encouragement.

Daniel Aubrey (@SpacemanDan13):
I used to avoid social media but #WriteCBC lured me in! It’s connected me to authors, events, competitions… but most importantly to an incredibly supportive group of awesome writers. Cheering on others and getting that support back is brilliant. Just say “hi” and get involved!

Julie Rea (@juliepie76):
My experiences with the online writing community have been overwhelmingly positive; there’s encouragement, support and a genuine willingness to help others. Connections take effort and nurturing but the outcome of this is a writing community where incredibly strong bonds are formed.

Follow us on Twitter for daily writing advice and to catch our monthly #WriteCBC competition, @cbcreative 

And you can also find your writing tribe on one of our writing courses – as well as getting lots of great writing advice and feedback (delivered at greater-than-tweet length!):

Check out our 6-week online novel-writing courses where you’ll have the opportunity to join a secure forum for interacting with fellow writers: Starting to Write Your Novel, Write to the End of Your Novel or Edit and Pitch Your Novel.

Or for a more intense writing group, you’ll have lots of space to work on your manuscript with input from industry professionals as well as fellow writers on our longer selective courses, working closely with a published author, either in London or online.

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