Getting the Most from She Writes
Welcome to She Writes, the largest community of women writers online. She Writes is your place to find community, and all of our place to foster it. Whether you're well published, just starting out, a novelist, journalist, blogger, memoirist, screenwriter, poet, playwright, agent, editor, or publicist, this guide offers a number of ways to maximize your use of She Writes.
Before we jump in, however, an important tip:
Please don't "shout" -- using big images and all caps -- at other She Writers about your work, or post irrelevant links.
Please do, however, feel free to use your profile page to share what you are working on, and the "Latest Activity" feed to share links germane to the business or craft of writing.
1. CREATE YOUR PROFILE
2. BUILD YOUR NETWORK
3. SHARE YOUR NEWS
4. UPLOAD CONTENT
5. GET EXPERT ADVICE
6. EXPLORE THE SW BLOG
1. CREATE YOUR PROFILE
Your profile is your home base, the place from which you can blog, post videos, and manage your messages on the site.
+Start with your photo. Upload a photo of you--at work or at play--to show the She Writes community who you are.
+Update your status (to the right of your photo) to let other SWers know what you're up to--drinking a cup of tea at your writing desk, staring down your pub date, or reading an interesting article and sharing the link.
+Check your Inbox (at the column on the right) as you would your e-mail. If you have a message from a fellow SWer, a number will pop up next to the envelope.
+For a full overview, here's a particularly useful video on how to customize your profile page.
+Now that your page is looking more familiar, take care of some housekeeping. Set your privacy settings here so that only the information you want out there is visible.
+Manage the kinds of emails you receive: On your profile page, click the link under your photo that says Manage My Page. Once there, click on "Email" under My Settings on the left side. There, select different kinds of emails to receive or not receive.
+A video from Ning creators on the basics.
2. BUILD YOUR NETWORK
Whether you're just starting out with a blog, have ten books published, are an author photographer, or just keep a journal at home, you're here because you want to expand your network. 'Networking' no longer refers merely to the unappealing world of business cards and schmoozing. It means participating in our online community, reaching out and sharing, saying hello or recommending an agent, and meeting other SWers in your area. She Writes is as much 'a room of her own' as it is a room for all of us, and every connection we make has it feeling more like home.
+First, find out who else is at She Writes here. Whether you're searching for someone in particular, or just browsing for kindred spirits, take a minute to explore. When you visit other SWer's pages, drop a comment on their page to say hello!
+Help us expand our vibrant community and invite a friend to join She Writes. She Writes couldn't exist without all of us, and the more the merrier. We are all about access here.
+Once you've had time to explore, join some groups here. Looking for like-minded writers to brainstorm with and ask questions? Want to find other She Writers in your area or genre? Our groups are all started by members and are sorted by genre, geographical location, and more. Just look here for all the categories. We have groups for everyone from bloggers to Alaskans to poets to comics. Don't see the group you need? Start one of your own!
+Leave a comment for a fellow SWer on her page, or on a post. She's from the South, too? Leave a comment and say hello. Read a post on the Community Blog that really touched you? Leave a comment on the post--and you'll see that plenty of others will, too.
+Comments not cutting it for you? Participate in our Live Chats, about topics from marketing to mothering. Check out the calendar here, then tune in then to chat with other She Writers.
+Have a question for the group? Got a bee in your bonnet about something? Start a discussion thread on the Forum.
+Networking here is as much about putting yourself out there as it is about helping others get out there, too. Take our fearless leader Kamy Wicoff's "Are You a 'Self-Promoter'?" Quiz to find out how to balance your networking and self-promotion here on the site.
+A video from Ning creators on how to get started with social networking
3. SHARE YOUR NEWS
There are many ways to share your news on She Writes--in fact, sharing news, as well as knowledge and resources, is one of our main goals.
+Member News is a weekly digest highlighting what you're up to. At She Writes, we believe in sharing good news. From publishing your novel to winning an award, we want to hear about it. For some people, it's easier to ask a friend to tout your accomplishment than it is to tout it yourself. So in addition to posting your own news, give a sister a shout out by posting her news (with her permission of course) on the Member News page in addition to posting your own.
You can always find Member News on the top nav bar. We post the week's highlights on the SW Blog every Friday, and a few items are highlighted in the blast that goes out to the entire network each week as well.
+Community Countdown is an offshoot of our featured column, Countdown to Publication. If you're writing about counting down to the publication of your book, and you'd like to share with all of us, tag your post with "Countdown" and it'll come up on our Community Countdown section.
+Don't forget about the rest of the web out there--they want to hear it, too! Did you post a poem that you're particularly excited about? Find a post that really sings to you? Hit the Twitter or Facebook button at the bottom of a post's page or on the left column of a profile page, and spread the word!
4. UPLOAD CONTENT
As you become more comfortable with the site, we encourage you to bring your outside resources in. Have an event coming up, or know of a reading by another She Writer? Post it! Just finished the promo video for your new book, or have a video of your latest reading? Upload it! Have a short piece of writing you want feedback on, or just feel like sharing what's on your mind? Post it on your blog! Here's how:
+On your page, there's a section called "My Blog." Add a new post, and you're on your way. Whether you're writing something new, exploring an idea, linking to an article somewhere else, or just have something to share, this is the place. Anything you post to your blog comes up on our front page under "Community Blog," in real time. If you like, you can set privacy settings for the post so that just you and/or those who've friended on the network can see what you've posted, or you can choose to share with all of us.
+Editors' Picks is a weekly selection of those member posts, including videos, written blogs, audio, and photo, that we think best exemplifies the spirit, talent, and mission of She Writes and its members. Keep an eye out for it every Wednesday. If your post is selected, we'll let you know!
+Have a video of a reading--yours or another She Writer's? Just finished a video promo for your next book? Post your video here.
+Have a talent or skill to offer your fellow She Writers? An upcoming workshop you know about? A call for submissions for your lit mag? Coming up.... She Writes Listings! In the not-too-distant future, this will be She Writes' community bulletin board.
+Having a She Writes-related event? Post your event here with the details!
5. GET EXPERT ADVICE
Resources are slim in the publishing world these days. Our philosophy at She Writes, simple as it sounds: no woman is an island. If we help each other, we can succeed.
+First, head over to She Writes Services. Need an editor, agent, photographer, web designer, or coach? Find all of these, and more, over at She Writes services, where our team of Preferred Providers live. If you don't see what you're looking for there, let us know and we'll try to get it in the works!
+Check out one of our webinars, many of them taught by our Preferred Providers, here. You'll find a webinar (an hour-long audio-visual presentation, offered live and as a download after the live event) on everything from "How, Where, and Whys of MFAs" to "Twitter for Writers" to "Write a Nonfiction Book Proposals that Sells." Again, if you don't see what you're looking for there, let us know and we'll try to get it in the works!
+Want to hear more? Find one of many interviews with publishing industry experts--including Pam Satran, Sarah Wilson, Lea Beresford, and Erin Hosier--hosted by Founder Kamy Wicoff and a special guest on BlogTalk Radio here.
+Read How She Does It, a weekly post featuring an expert with knowledge to share, detailing a "case study" (a specific success, or a specific challenge) that speaks to the service she provides for the writing community. This feature, penned by a rotating cast of agents, editors, publicists, established authors, and independent consultants, gives our readers a detailed look at a variety of techniques, skills, and publishing innovations--from the inside.
6. EXPLORE THE SW BLOG
The She Writes Blog is the official voice of She Writes. It offers daily content with regular rotating columns from a literary agent, editors, a tech expert, writers, and She Writes' founders (who are writers themselves) as well as a curated digest of community-created content and highlights from Member News.
Check out the She Writes Blog on our homepage, or browse by Feature here.
+Learn from other She Writers! Look at the featured content on the home page. If you want to browse past featured content by category from guests and She Writers alike, look at the featured content index pages about the Biz, the Craft, and the Community.
The following columns on the She Writes Blog are open to submission:
What She's Reading Now
What She's Reading Now is a weekly overview of one SWer's reading list right now. A fun, easy exploration of what we're reading, What She's Reading is a conversation with other SWers as if they were looking through the stack of books on your bedside table. Feel free to stretch your reviewer wings, to shout out a fellow She Writer's book, or simply to list what you're reading and why. To be considered for this feature, please include a bit about you and why your bookshelf stands out.
How She Does It
How She Does It is a weekly in-depth look at one She Writer's unique experience. From self-publishers to ghostwriting to independent, erotic book promotion to cookbook writing, How She Does It is the place for those who took the road less traveled--and came back with a story to tell! To be considered for this feature, please include an overview of your circumstances and a bit explaining why they are especially unique or different. We're looking for posts by experts (authors, consultants, entrepreneurs, the like!) who have done something innovative or noteworthy in the brave new publishing landscape, something from which our community can benefit and learn and grow.
Five Questions for...
Our Monday feature, "Five Questions" offers an exchange between two She Writes members on their books, inspiration, process, life, passions, and more. Our calendar is booked through July, but we're seeking submissions for August and beyond. Is there a She Writer whose process or oeuvre you're particularly curious about? Someone whose work you find especially unique? Send an e-mail to email@example.com including who you'd like to ask 5Qs of and why. We prioritize interviews with writers who have a book/play/big article coming out, as the feature affords a great opportunity for publicity around pub date time. We're committed to showcasing a wide swath of members across genre, geography, race, and ethnicity. We look forward to your submissions! To be considered for this feature, please tell us a bit about the pairing you propose.
Countdown to Publication
We reserve this column, one She Writer's chronicle of her run up to publication, for those doing something particularly innovative with her publicity campaign, something from which others can learn. Each contributor blogs weekly over the course of 1-2 months before her book comes out. To be considered for this feature, please explain what you are doing that's innovative with your publicity campaign.
Please direct all submission queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.