Top 5: Women Writers on Twitter
Look, I know that Twitter often resembles the digital manifestation of the seventh circle of hell. It’s a place where, thanks to Twitter’s prodigious lack of interest in making their platform a safe space, trolls are allowed to lumber around, casually inciting searing hatred. It’s exhausting.
That being said, in the hands of the right people, it can also be a place of light, learning and lols. My specific experience of Twitter has been purposefully woman-centric; it's been an important part of my growing up online to see that, although women might be routinely silenced IRL, on Twitter the floor is ours to use however we like. Sure, for every powerful woman Twitter-user there’s a lurking mansplainer, but he can only respond, he can't interrupt. It's through the raised voices of the following women (and so many more) that I've learned to start raising my own online.
Beth McColl (@imteddybless)
Really starting off with a bang here. Beth is a freelance writer, and has used her platform to successfully crowd-fund her forthcoming book How To Come Alive Again, which will offer helpful advice about dealing with depression. She tweets with incredible candour about her own mental health, and is tireless in the fight against men’s rights amoebas. She often puts them in the place by spelling their names wrong which isn’t funny if you write it down like I just did but I tell ya I laugh every time.
For fans of: spaghetti, self-help, good eggs
Priya Elias (@priya_ebooks)
This is kind of cheating I guess but I found Priya through Beth cos they’re Twitter pals. Priya really takes the multi-hyphenate game to new levels as she’s both a writer and trained lawyer. No one mixes the high brow with the low quite like her. Come for memes? Okay, but you’re also gonna get some biting socio-political commentary while you’re here, son. She’s written some truly top of the line short stories and autobiographical pieces which you can read here, and has just started a great Tiny Letter, which is intimate and personal and has made me want to befriend her even more (hi Priya!).
For fans of: short fiction, memes, taking down the patriarchy
Lucy Prebble (@lucyprebblish)
The thing I like best about writers on Twitter is their stalwart rejection of the 280-character hellscape we're all swilling around in. Tbh playwright Lucy Prebble could post 10,000 character tweets and I’d forgive her for it because she writes like she’s plucking truth out of the air, but she doesn’t feel the need to. She’s been excellent on the subject of sexual-misconduct in the film and theatre industries (we recommended her LRB piece in our Roundup), but my favourite Tweets of hers are her deadpan one-liners. That’s ONE-liners, guys, stop posting essays it makes me want to go on a killing spree.
For fans of: Trump-trashing, theatre, 140 character Tweets
Varaidzo is a member of the gal-dem team, was the youngest writer featured in The Good Immigrant, and has just launched a new podcast called Search History. No big deal. I listened to her speak at a Woke Twitter event a few months ago and was clean struck down by her thoughtfulness and articulacy. As you might imagine, these qualities translate well to Twitter itself. Her Tweets are a mix of razor-sharp social insight, critical thought, and a healthy helping of self-reflexivity. She takes no prisoners, and it’s glorious.
For fans of: Audre Lorde, reasoned debate, 90s tunes
Anna Leszkiewicz (@annaleszkie)
I hope this doesn’t preclude this list from being relatable, but the reason I love Anna Leszkiewicz’s timeline so much (aside from it being funny and well-written) is that she into the same things I am. In her guises as a culture writer and co-host of the SRSLY podcast for the New Statesman, Anna applies keen academic analysis to all things pop culture, giving it the respect it deserves. She basically writes all the pieces I wish I’d thought of for the Tung, including ‘Pinpointing the exact moment Marge should have left Homer in The Simpsons’ which is very obviously pure genius.
For fans of: Harry Styles, Gilmore Girls, also spaghetti (cc: Beth McColl)
Follow Anna on Twitter @annaerichmond