Writers and readers need to be part of a community to find new books to read, locate beta readers for work in progress and to make friends to share the ups and downs of the writing process. Women writers especially need this sort of network due to the gender bias of the publishing and book-marketing world.
Twitter is well populated with writers who want to talk about writing as well as book lovers who want to find new authors and genres to read. Hashtags for writers and readers number in the hundreds. Chats about publishing, writing in different genres and the best books to read are also easily found.
Given all this interest in books and writing on Twitter, it came as a big surprise to me that there is no chat dedicated specifically to women writers. This is why I have teamed up with Jane Bradley of For Books’ Sake and Kendra Winchester of The Reading Women to start what I believe is the first ever women writers chat on Twitter. The aims of this chat are:
- To celebrate and discuss the work of contemporary women and other marginalized writers.
- To raise awareness of the issues women writers face such as lack of coverage in reviews, lack of award nominations, gender imbalance in publishing generally.
- To hold practical advice sessions on writing, editing, publishing and agents to be led by experts on each topic.
- To celebrate and discuss the work of past women writers in the hopes of addressing the imbalance of male writers in the literary canon.
Who Should Attend?
We welcome attendees of all genders and backgrounds though the focus will usually be on work by and challenges faced by women and other marginalized writers.
How Do I Take Part?
To get involved, follow the hashtag #women_writers during our live sessions. I’ve written a tutorial on using Hootsuite for #women_writers chat here.
All live sessions run from 5 to 6pm BST.
12 April 2017: This month we’ll be welcoming guest host Anne Charnock, a supporter of women writers chat from the beginning, to lead the session on science fiction by women writers.
15 March 2017: Poetry by women writers was led by guests Jen Campbell and Afshan Lodhi. We had an especially vibrant set of recommendations this time and you can view the highlights here.
15 February 2017: We’ll be celebrating LGBT History Month with a chat on queer writing by women for our first chat in 2017. Brush up on your favorites and come along to tell us about them!
30 November 2016: We’ll be discussing the best of 2016 and the most anticipated of 2017 in the November chat, the last one for 2016. Come along and tell us about your favorite releases and reads of 2016 as well as the titles you’re most excited to get hold of next year.
26 October 2016: For October, we have a spooky-themed chat guest hosted by writer, editor and publisher of dark fiction by women, Hannah Kate. We want to talk about horror, gothic and other dark fiction as well as the challenges faced by women writing in this genre.
28 September 2016: Writing about Women Writers with guest host Lesley McDowell, author of Between the Sheets: The Literary Liaisons of Nine Twentieth-Century Women Writers. Brush up on your biographies and histories and join us to look at how reputations of women writers have been made and unmade. View the highlights here.
24 August 2016: DIY online marketing for authors. Bring your best tips and be prepared to learn plenty. We’d love to hear about websites and initiatives that help women writers especially. View the highlights here.
27 July 2016: A group discussion about women writers in translation with guest host Meytal Radzinski, organizer of Women in Translation Month (taking place this August). Come along to tell us all about your favorite women in translation and to get recommendations for new authors to read. View the highlights here.
29 June 2016: A group discussion about our favorite women writers. Come along for a chance to meet us as well as others interested in the topic. View the highlights here.