Hashtags! For Writers! Okay, that’s enough exclamation marks. This collection of Twitter hashtags for writers is not a definitive list of anything. There are an infinite number of potential hashtags on Twitter, even within the much smaller community of writers or the writing industry collectively. These are just some that I’ve found useful as a novice but impatient user of social media. My hope is that it will save other writers’ time learning how to leverage Twitter for their writing process and careers. As such, I hope you’ll comment on how the list can be improved so we all have a better resource going forward.
There is nothing magical about this list, but I hope you find some of them useful. If you think of important ones that are missing and would help others, let me know.
Note that I’ve capitalized words in hashtags to make them more readable. This has no impact on how the work on Twitter. In other words, #amquerying is functionally the same as #AmQuerying, and the results are identical. So, off we go…
#AmEditing (I’m editing!). Not sure if it’s better to use this or #Editing.
#AmPublishing (Here comes my debut!) is generally used while or for self-publishing.
#AmQuerying (I’m querying & need beer!) is used for authors with a finished manuscript who are searching for an agent.
#AmReading (And now I’m reading) is a way of sharing books what you’re reading generally, which can help better understand what others (and other writers) are reading or to find good book recommendations.
#AmWriting (I’m back to writing!) (>300/hr) is used mostly as a way to community who are currently in the process of writing (presumably, their #WIP). It’s inevitable that sub-tags such as #AmWritingFantasy will be used to add detail, but I’m not sure if this is a better or worse case than using #AmWriting with #Fantasy in the same tweet. My OCD mind prefers the latter (as it prevents hashtag proliferation and is more flexible), but results of course depend on who ends up using what (and logically whether you care a lot about “and” vs. “or”).
Got a Question?
#AskAgent is for asking agents questions when they have time, which they’ll generally let you know individually or during scheduled events. Here’s a greatly respected agent making himself available to answer writer questions:
Spontaneous #askagent until 8:15pm this evening, September 11, 2020. Special alert goes to @awfleck.
— Uwe Stender (@UweStenderPhD) September 11, 2020
#AskAuthor is used to ask authors and writers questions, but is perhaps used more by non-authors (e.g., agents) to query this part of the #WritingCommunity.
#AskEditor is used to ask editors questions when they’re available. Some #AskEditor sessions are obviously held by professional editors looking for clients (nothing wrong with that).
#AskMentor is nominally useful in many contexts, but here I think it’s mostly used during #PitchWars to interact with potential mentors.
#AskWriter is like #AskAuthor, but I’m not sure which is more common.
Looking for an Agent
See also Events & Competitions, below
#500Queries is used by agents to share the reasons they passed or declined a query, but I’m not that familiar with how it works or when it’s used. I’ll do some research and update this shortly.
Welcome to #500queries. For the next 5ish months, I will be going through my slush pile in order. 1 tweet = 1 query.
Here are some tips if you're following along:
— Laura Zats (@LZats) January 8, 2019
#AmQuerying. See above.
#AskAgent. See above.
#MSWL (Manuscript Wishlist) is both tag and website. Both are exceptionally useful for finding agents and what they’re looking for. This is especially true now that some agents are specific about not just age and genre (e.g., Adult Science Fiction) but also authors (e.g., preferring LGBTQ+ or BIPOC writers).
#QueryRejections is one that’s not used that much but which I’m advocating as a way to share our experiences with query rejections. This is a hard business, and you’re not alone in feeling the pain of rejection while #AmQuerying. Sharing is caring.
Just got rejected so fast the web form got backlash or a concussion. Imagining agent playing query wack-a-mole. It's impressive. #amquerying #queryrejections #TGIF
— Shawn Butler (@ShawnButler) September 12, 2020
Self Publishing Your Book
I’ve not gone through this process (yet), so if you have better or additional good hashtags, I’d love to know what they are.
#BookCovers for information on book covers and design if you’re #SelfPublishing.
#IndieAuthors is the subset of authors focused on #SelfPublishing or publishing with small independent presses.
#SelfPublishing or #SelfPub if you’re looking for (or to share) information on self vs. traditional publishing.
Marketing Your Book
This is also something I’m not familiar with just yet, so more hashtag suggestions welcome.
#BookGiveaway is used to announce promotional book giveaways, or to thank authors for the books, and so on. This is a great way to generate reviews for your book (and hopefully, more sales). I’m not sure if used more by #SelfPublishing authors, but I assume so.
#BookMarketing is pretty self-explanatory.
Events & Competitions
I’m sure there are many more, but here are the ones I’ve come across or participated in at some point:
#10Queries is used by editors (exclusively?) during #RevPit to provide feedback on all or many of the queries they’ve received for evaluation, and by writers to ask questions about the process.
#DVPit (Diverse Pitch) is a pitch event for diverse and marginalized writers.
#FaithPitch is an event for all faith-based novels.
#KissPitch is an event for all genres of #Romance.
#IWSGPIT (Insecure Writers Support Group Pitch) is not an event I’ve done, but it sounds like I should.
#NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is an annual no-prize contest where writers all try to write a novel from scratch in a month. Some award-winning novels have come out of this competition, so it’s definitely worth looking at. Note that this is not actually a Twitter event, but it’s a great place to learn about it.
#PBPitch (Picture Books Pitch) is an event for authors with #PictureBooks.
#PitDark (Dark Pitch) is an event for darker themed novels, not just #Horror.
#PitMad is a Twitter event put on by the people who run #PitchWars (see below) as a quick way to find interested agents, but here are also many other “pits” including #SFFPit (Science Fiction Pitch) sponsored or organized by others. I participated recently and noted some of the more retweeted tweets here. More retweets are meant to make you more evident to agents, but it’s not clear there is a direct correspondence. Example pitch:
BREAKING BAD + GOLDEN GIRLS
After binge watching shows like The Wire & Breaking Bad, a 70 year old grandmother decides to try to enter into the world of illegal drug sales with the help of some friends at her senior citizens home and her tech-savvy granddaughter.#PitMad #BVM
— yaggah20 (@yaggah20) June 4, 2020
#PitchWars (Pitch Wars) is a recurring event where authors compete (in a friendly way) for mentorship by successful writers, editors and others. I’m trying this for my first time this year. The same team puts on #PitMad. Here was something I put together while getting ready for Pitch Wars this year using this tag.
I put this together for my use in #PitchWars 2020, for adult mentors only (Mentors x Genres), so if you find it useful, great. If not, great. Good luck to everyone!https://t.co/c2enfKlK8J
— Shawn Butler (@ShawnButler) September 12, 2020
#RevPit (Revise & Resubmit) was apparently created by a group of editors to facilitate editing-focused assistance to writers. The site Revise & Resub also sponsors related events where you can win feedback on full manuscripts, which sounds amazing. And there’s an Annual Contest. I’ve not used this tag or done the contest(s), so I can’t speak to efficacy, but it sounds cool. Also not sure how this works with or overlaps #AskEditor–but I assume the latter is less formally “managed” by the RevPit editing team.
#SFFPit (Science Fiction & Fantasy Pitch) is an event much like #PitMad, but focused exclusively on #SFF pitches. Participation in 2020 was far lower than in #PitMad, but it’s probably worth doing both if applicable. Here’s a pitch that was well received:
When Morghan finds a magic cult whose rebel leader claims to have info about her missing dad, she must decide whether leaving behind her family and betraying the girl she likes to become a rebel is worth learning the truth. #YA #BVM #SFFpit #CF #LGBT
— Shelly Page is at 50k! (@shelly_p_writes) July 29, 2020
#WMPitch is an agent pitching event for children’s fiction writers put on by WriteMentor. The 2020 event took place on Sep. 24th.
General Writing & Community Resources
#Authors is an alternative to #Writers (and presumably other related creatives) that seems to be used less frequently.
#MustRead. Hey, sometimes you get tired of writing.
#ScreenWriting is for screenwriters, who go through entirely different writing and marketing workflows.
#ScriptWriting is for script writers. So clever.
#WiP (Work in Progress) is for discussion of what you’re working on, including challenges and triumphs.
#WordCount is pretty specific and low-traffic, but if you really want to find information about ideal word counts for your book, you’ll find plenty to talk about. To save you time, if you have to use this hashtag, you probably need to trim your manuscript.
#Writers. Hey, it’s you! See also #Authors.
#WritersCommunity (>100/hr). Use #WritingCommunity for more views.
#WritersLift (<100/hr) is essentially a request for more followers and is generally sent to the Writing Community to help build your base on Twitter. This is an interesting social feature for new users, but I’m not certain how or if it translates to more active engagement of success in competitions, marketing etc. Regardless, there are hundreds of such tweets daily and it’s something worth trying when you first join Twitter or want to build your writing-related audience.
#WritersList is TBD.
#WritersTips nominally offers tips to writers, but in my recent experience has seemed a bit spammy. If I’m looking for tips or to post them, I’ll usually go to #WritingTips instead, but I have no idea if this is a best practice or how others use both hashtags.
#Writing (>525/hr) is about…writing. Be funny it wasn’t at all. I’m assuming there is massive overlap with #WritingCommunity.
#WritingCommunity (>500/hr) is a great way to share and gather information from other writers. Here, for instance, is one of my tweets to the community. While I don’t have many followers, it still got some traffic and response. Now that I know this hashtag is used far more than #WritersCommunity, I’ll stop using the latter tag.
What do you wish you had more of as a writer, or what should be more available to all writers? PLEASE comment with details. Thank you. #WritingCommunity #Authors #WritersCommunity
— Shawn Butler (@ShawnButler) September 14, 2020
#WritingPrompt for those looking for a little help with inspiration.
#WritingTipshas some great advice for writers. Tip to myself: Work on your #WIP!
Yeah, there are a lot of these. This is not all of them. If I missed yours, it’s not personal, but feel free to let me know in the comments below. I’ve covered the top ten genres in fiction (Sorry, non-fiction writers!), and other random stuff.
#A (Adult) is one many hashtags that are obviously ambiguous. While #A used in a #WritersCommunity post along with #SF might clearly indicate tweet about adult science fiction, it can also mean blood-type, etc., in other contexts. So, be sure to add other hashtags when using tiny little tags like this one.
#Action. Bam! It’s a genre!
Action-Adventure is often grouped for agent and sales purposes.
#Adventure, because life is too short for the alternative.
#ChickLit is (often?) a more light-hearted sub-genre of #Women’sFiction.
#ChildrensFiction is for those younger than #MG. The readers, not the authors.
#ChristianSuspense is presumably not what Christ’s followers felt while waiting outside the cave. Just kidding. I assume there are sub-genres like this for many belief systems and theologies.
#CommercialFiction is nominally plot vs. character driven, in contract to #LiteraryFiction. See also #UpmarketFiction.
#Contemporary (generally referring to post-WWII literature) includes all possible sub-genres like #contemporaryromance and so on.
#Crime was a great hashtag, but someone stole it.
#DarkFantasy is one I’m afraid to click on. I assume this is a great sub-genre tag, but it also feels like typing “Dark Fantasy” on Google while hoping to avoid BDSM or goth porn. #NSFW?
#FairyTale can only be used if you pay the troll a tole.
#Fantasy seems pretty obvious, but context is key that that key is probably guarded by a dragon.
#Fiction covers everything except #NonFiction…or does it?
#KidLit (Literature for Kids) is (I believe) the same as #ChildrensFiction.
#LitFict (Literary Fiction) or #LiteraryFiction is the character-driven partner of plot-driven #CommercialFiction and co-parent to their #UpmarketFiction lovechild.
#MagicalRealism, where the mystery is if it’s realistic for me to write in this genre.
#MG (Middle Grade) comes between #ChidrensFiction (#KidLit) and #YA.
#Mystery is probably not too hard to figure out, but I’m not sure if #Mysteries will yield better results. It’s a mystery.
#NA (New Adult) does not usually mean “Not Applicable,” but I suppose it could in other contexts. So, be careful or maybe use #NewAdult? Best choice will depend on when and how it’s used. Pitch Wars, for instance, uses #NA for brevity.
#PB (Picture Books) barbecue if a picture is worth a thousand words, a book of pictures is worth a gazillion. See also #PictureBooks.
#Romance is a huge genre. Huge! But also tender and kind. See also #RomCom.
#SF (Science Fiction) refers to #ScienceFiction but also means San Francisco, among other things, and is generally used during #PitchWars and similar events were brevity is key and characters are precious. Otherwise, it’s probably better to use #SciFi.
#SFF (Science Fiction and Fantasy) is for when you want to reach a larger audience than just #Fantasy or #ScienceFiction, but smaller than #Speculative. I think.
#Speculative in this context means (I think) #SF + #Fantasy + #Horror, but probably means both more and less than that depending how it’s used. Also refers to the current stock market and political future of the USA.
#SuspenseThriller is usually how the genre is grouped for sales.
#Thriller is for dangerous books that move.
#UpmarketFiction is anything with the plot-drive of #CommercialFiction and the style or character development of #LiteraryFiction.
#WomensFiction is generally the category encompassing #ChickLit and several other sub-genres, and is massive in scope and reach.
#YA (Young Adult) or #YoungAdult, one of the top age-based genres in #Fiction.
I’m not going to list anything here, as they’re generally obvious, but if you want to publish or learn about (say) the SmashWords e-book platform, there’s a tag for that: #SmashWords. This can be very helpful when finding out how other writers like things like Query Tracker, etc., without using the @ format that directly links to the company or site’s profile.
#WritersCafe is one you’ll see quite frequently, referring to WritersCafe.org, an online writing community portal and resource.
If you’d like to add or correct something here, please just let me know in the comments. Thank you!
Great list Shawn – thanks for the breakdown!