Getting Started

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:

She Writes is an open community BUT we closely review all membership requests. This is not a free blogging platform for you to use to promote your own personal business, freelance blog posts, linkbacks or any other "spammy" activity. The best way to ensure access to is to fully and truthfully complete your profile page. If you feel you've been unfairly flagged for spam, please reach out to our community manager.  

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 about the business or craft of writing.


Your profile is your home base, the place from which you can blog, post videos, and manage your messages on the site. It's also the first thing we see when we're reviewing your membership request so please be sure to complete it fully! Incomplete profiles are much more likely to be flagged for review.

+Start with your photo. Upload a photo of you--at work or at play--to show the She Writes community who you are.

+Complete all the fields. Again, incomplete profiles tend to be flagged by our members. We want to know all about you so be sure to share your social media networks, what you're working on, and most of all, be specific! "Blog posts" doesn't tell us enough about you!

+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.

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.

+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.

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.

+Submit your member news as a comment here.


+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!

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.

+A note about blog posts: Want to write about hair products and essay writing and gardening services and get paid for it? isn't the platform for you! As a community of authors, the most successful posts are about the business of writing - either your personal experiences or sharing info from other authors. Posts that are considered spam by our members are frequently flagged and your account could be suspended.

+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!

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.

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.

+Get your post featured on She Writes! Think your post is something that all of our community would truly enjoy and learn from? Let our editor know about it! She'll review the post and work with you to get it featured.  


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