Hello everyone on the Sword & Silk blog!
My name is Justine Manzano, and you may know me as the first author signed by Sword & Silk. I’m the one with the Aphrodite story, Never Say Never. It’s a YA Contemporary Romance, due for release June 2021. But that’s not why I’m here hanging out on the blog today.
I was asked here to talk about the other hat I wear. Okay, one of the other hats I wear. I wear a lot of hats.
I’m here to talk about my role as Editor in Residence at WriteHive. WriteHive is a Discord Server and a writing community, and I stumbled upon it during their completely free online writing convention earlier this year. I became a panelist, and through my continued work with the company and my years of editing experience, found myself in the Editor In Residence role.
So what does WriteHive do? The Discord server has some great channels for writers. There’s the Lobby, where people can chat and get to know each other. There’s the Writer’s Corner, where subsections are set up for people to get critiques, positivity passes, and advice from other writers. In addition there’s a writing sprint channel for challenging yourself to stick to your goal for the day. There’s even a classified section where people can post about jobs in the writing and publishing worlds and promote their websites and various ventures.
There’s Creative Space, where people can share music, art, and poetry that inspires them. The Book Nook draws all kinds of fun events, including themed months, read-a-thons and live readings. We also have two Book Bloggers in Residence that are super helpful and offer book reviews and recommendations, and, more recently, coordinate blog tours.
And then there’s The Word Nerd Cafe. That’s where I live, together with other Editors in Residence, Jeni Chappelle and Megan Manzano. Anyone can come into the cafe and ask questions and receive answers from our professional editing crew. Megan and Jeni have open scheduled Q&A hours, and I teach free two-hour classes on most Saturdays (I’m on a short hiatus now, but intend to restart in September) on various writing topics. We’re currently organizing WriteHiveLite, an amazing Virtual Writing Retreat experience in which each of the editors involved will have ten students for two days of writing and editing assistance and discussion--as well as dedicated writing time.
All of this is free. And there’s a really good reason why it’s free. Recent events have reminded much of society of the systemic inequality inherent in all industries--not just the writing industry. There are parts of writing that can be expensive and other parts that have unfair biases, and WriteHive wishes to level the playing field wherever possible. BIPOC, LGBTQ+, disabled, and other marginalized individuals are encouraged to join so we can provide them with the same opportunities.
WriteHive has a Ko-Fi and a Patreon, but the money made through it does not go to the coordinators of WriteHive--they use it to maintain the website and to support a writer in need, chosen every year through an application process. Someday they hope to be able to sponsor more than one writer each year.
And that’s not even mentioning next year’s conference, which we’re already starting to plan.
I would like to take this moment to invite everyone reading this to our server at https://discord.gg/52sDSJH and to view our website at https://www.writehive.org/ to learn all about what we do to help writers every day. I would love to see you there.