Earlier this month I wrote a post about online contests for writers and I kinda wanted to expand on that. Not necessarily about the contests themselves, but about the people you can meet from doing them.
I entered quite a few pitch contests and such in the last few weeks and after the first few, I realized there were names and pitches I was starting to remember from the other contests. Well, somehow late one night several of us that had gotten requests from one of the contests were all on twitter together in a hashtag and we started talking. It was really neat to get to know these people that had been strangers to me before these contests. We encouraged each other, speculated on on-going contests, and just enjoyed each other's virtual company.
Well, one thing lead to another, and now amazingly enough a core group of four of us ended up starting our own group. On twitter we're the #twitwits and on facebook we have a group on there under the same name. Since starting this group, we have worked together to get a contest of our own ready (since that's what brought us together--it's still being finalized, but when it's ready I will post more about it!), we've added people to the group, and started a section on our FB group to share critiques. It's pretty amazing the support that everyone shows on it and I'm so glad to be a part of it. Soon we're even hoping to have our own site/forum/blog/thing.
It's been an amazing experience meeting these people, learning about them, working together, and just encouraging each other. So if there's any advice I can offer to you all, it's to get out there--in person, online, or both!--and meet other writers. Share your experiences and offer support. There really is nothing quite like having a group of people you can go to that will understand you and all the craziness that comes with writing. So go on, join those contests for the prizes AND the people, get to know those bloggers you follow, find friends on twitter (the hashtag chats are an awesome way to do this!), or whatever else you need to. There's an amazing community of writers out there waiting for you to join in!