There’s no denying the power of Twitter. It’s a tool for journalists, for marketing companies, and also Twitter is even a great way to find a job. It’s also a great way to simply interact with other like-minded people. One particularly active group of people on Twitter fall into the literary category.
You can find Twitter users sharing their poetry, short stories, and even the work of famous writers, all in little bite-sized 140-character updates. If you’re not sure where to start your literary journey on Twitter, we’ve got a few tips to get you going – from who to follow, what hashtags to keep an eye on, and even how to get your Twitterary works out to a wider audience.
Haikus & Micro-Poems
Twitter’s format – limited to 140 characters – lends itself perfectly to short forms of poetry, none more popular than the haiku. Twitter pushes you to be even more creative with your poetry because you know you’re limited to a certain amount of space to convey an idea or emotion – even more so if you want to add a hashtag to make your poem easily searchable. That said, there’s quite the active poetry community on Twitter, sharing their 140-creations on a daily basis. A search of any of the hashtags used by poets (listed below) will show you just how much poetry is being shared on Twitter.
Find other poets to follow, interact with, and you’ll find yourself inspired in no time. And you don’t have to stop there. There are even projects which make it possible to get your Twitter poetry published. One example is Seven Twenty (currently on a short hiatus while transitioning editors, but still accepting submissions.
In their own words, Seven Twenty is ”an online magazine using Twitter as its publishing platform, for readers at home and on mobile devices.” To find out more on how to submit your work to them, check out their guidelines here.
Believe it or not, poetry is not the only literary form being shared on Twitter, with short stories making an appearance too. You might ask yourself how can a short story be written in just 140 characters, but the concept is inspired by what is believed to be a short story written by Earnest Hemingway, challenged to write it in just 6 words. The resulting story “For sale: baby shoes, never worn,” is proof that an entire story, from beginning to end can be conveyed in just a few words.
There are quite a few successful short story writers on Twitter, some of whom have even gone on to publish their work. Very Short Story is a great example of a writer, Sean Hill, who not only shares his work on Twitter, but even crowdsources his creativity from his followers. He explains on his blog:
“I ask my Twitter followers to send me nouns. The nouns that inspire me, I use in a very short story that I send out on my @veryshortstory Twitter feed. Since it’s Twitter, the stories have to fit in 140 characters. This character space limitation can be challenging, but it forces me to use my creativity to find a way to convey the stories in a small space. My best trick is getting the readers to use their imagination to fill in the gaps.”
With over 150,000 followers, Hill had his work published in a book with the same title as his username..
While Twitter is a great place to discover new writers who are just getting started, or who are promoting their new work, you can also use Twitter to keep up with some of your favorite classics. There are quite a few carefully curated Twitter accounts featuring excerpts, quotes and more from famous writers work. Just a few of the writers you can find on Twitter are listed below:
Hashtags to Follow
Aside from following Twitter accounts curating the work of famous writers, along with talented upcoming writers, you can also follow specific hashtags to make sure you discover more interesting writers to follow. Below is a list of hashtags, one that is by no means exhaustive, but is a great place to start for finding poetry on Twitter:
Can you think of any other literary uses for Twitter? Let us know about them in the comments.