Not too long ago, I finally gave in and joined Twitter. I wanted to check out the Manuscript Wish List (#MSWL) but the new site was still under construction. The old site was not being updated. If I wanted to see what was what, I need to birdie up and Tweet. Now that I’m on, I follow a few of my writer buddies and some of the authors I like. I also still check out #MSWL but I’ve already spotted a trend that disturbs me. Twitter Abuse.
I don’t mean people slamming someone whose tweet they don’t like. That happens, I’ve heard about it, but I haven’t witness it. What I’m talking about is lazy people not using a resource the way that they should. For a week or so, I wondered if I was the only picky pill but then a user named Jackson tweeted “…please stop saying ‘I have xyz’ or ‘is an agent looking for xyz’ in #mswl. It’s a resource for you to browse. not an advertisement.”
If you aren’t familiar with it, #MSWL (Manuscript Wish List) is a tag that agents and editors use when they are looking for something specific . . . well, somewhat specific . . . as specific as agents and editors ever get.
Peter Knapp wants middle grade with heart. Genre is less important. Heart is what “wins [him] over.” Click here for full tweet.
Molly O’Neill is on the lookout for a YA novel about a gap year. She specifies YA vs NA. Click here for full tweet.
Liz Kossnar is much more specific. She wants a picture book that shows the development through time of an artist. Click here for full tweet.
That’s how #MSWL is supposed to be used. It isn’t a place to post your manuscript description in the hopes that an agent will fall in love. It isn’t the place to ask what young readers interested in X should be reading. It is a tool for writers to use in researching agents and editors.
Fingers crossed that it remains a useful tool for those who need to use it.