The best literary hashtags on Twitter

From #readwomen2014 to #WeNeedDiverseBooks, hashtags are helping to build community in the literary world

Published July 19, 2014 3:00PM (EDT)

        (<a href=''>Ermolaev Alexander</a> via <a href=''>Shutterstock</a>)
(Ermolaev Alexander via Shutterstock)

There are plenty of stupid hashtags in the Twittersphere that pop up for a day or so and fade away. But there are also some that, for good reason, hang around for awhile. And some of the most interesting and useful hashtags on Twitter are designed to build community in the far-flung literary world. So here are a few of the best:

#amwriting: Yes, it’s a bit of a humblebrag seemingly directed at those writers who might be at their day job or experiencing writers block. But when you’re stuck in front of a computer screen for most of the day, just knowing that other people are plodding through a Word document at the same time as you is encouraging. If you’re procrastinating, it’s a way to make you feel just slightly guilty and hopefully give you the push you need.

#readwomen2014: Created by writer Joanna Walsh (@badaude), this is a place for people to talk about the books they are reading, the authors they admire, link to relevant essays and articles and even share quotes from some of the books. It's great to have a hashtag (and a Twitter handle) that encourages people to read more books by female writers.

#askagent: Agents are very busy people. If you don’t live in NYC, it can feel almost impossible to connect with them. Even if you DO live in the heart of publishing, it can still difficult be to get their attention. Many of the best literary agents are on Twitter, and periodically take part in this very useful ongoing Q&A where they answer questions from writers.

#WeNeedDiverseBooks: We Need Diverse Books “is a grassroots organization created to address the lack of diverse, non-majority narratives in children’s literature.” Writers and publishing professionals have teamed up to tackle an important issue. The best part of this hashtag is that the movement started on Twitter. It just goes to show how conversations between a few people can lead to an actual movement. The original Twitter exchange was in reaction to the lack of a diverse representation of children’s authors at the BookCon conference held in NYC in May.

#fridayreads: One of the most popular literary hashtags of all time was started by writer and book critic Bethanne Patrick several years ago, and it’s still one of the best ways to find out about good books.

#bookstorebingo: This is one of my personal favorites, and one that I wish more people would use. Often times booksellers or customers use it to share a funny thing overheard in the bookstore. It’s also a way to spread awareness about supporting independent bookstores.

#writingprompt: Sometimes a 140 word or less prompt is all that you need to nudge you back into action. It’s great for writers who can’t afford to sign up for a writing workshop and need some inspiration.

By Michele Filgate

Michele Filgate's work has appeared in The Daily Beast, Vulture, Capital New York, Time Out New York, The Star Tribune, O: The Oprah Magazine, Bookslut, The Quarterly Conversation and other publications

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