Friday, February 6, 2015

Anita Chapman: Getting to Know the RNA Through Social Media

Today we welcome, Anita Chapman to the blog to talk about social media.

Thank you for hosting me today. I’ve been a member of the New Writers’ Scheme (NWS) since 2010 and plan to send in a full manuscript for my second novel this year. My work in progress is set during the eighteenth century and present day, in Venice and in two country houses in England. Being part of the NWS has helped me to move forwards with my writing and the last report for a partial of my second novel gave the most encouraging feedback I’ve received. Plus, the report was written by an author who clearly ‘knows her stuff’ when it comes to the eighteenth century. Where else would I find such specialised advice for the same fee?

With Liz Harris
When I first joined the RNA, I went to a few parties without knowing anyone, apart from my friend, a fellow NWS member. At these parties, I met other members, but we didn’t stay in touch. In October 2011, I set up the neetswriter blog on writing, joined Twitter and Facebook; and mentioned this on the RNA forum. Being a supportive bunch, several RNA members followed me on Twitter and commented on my blog. At the next RNA Party, I knew quite a few people in the room, many of whom have since become good friends. Some of us had talked on Twitter the day before, using the hashtag: #RNAWinterParty. This is always a great way to find out who’s going and to see photos and news during and after the party.

My blogging and social media experience helped me to get a role at National Trust Property, Polesden Lacey as a part-time website and social media volunteer, where I created history pages; and updated the Polesden Lacey Twitter and Facebook accounts.

At the RNA Conference in July 2014, I met Richard Lee, Chairman of the Historical Novel Society (HNS), who asked me to manage the social media for September’s HNS Conference. Since then I’ve been Social Media Manager for the Historical Novel Society (Twitter @histnovsoc).

Over the past couple of months I’ve done some social media freelance work for Corazon Books, and I’ve set up a website: to show which training, assistance and promotion social media packages I can offer to individual writers, small publishers and organisations. I’ve set up an accompanying blog on social media for writers: and the first post, published recently is ‘My Beginner’s Guide to Twitter for Writers’. On 6 February, RNA Member, Alison Morton will appear with a guest post, ‘Alison Morton on Twitter’. And on 6 March, RNA Members, The Romaniacs will appear with a guest post: ‘The Romaniacs on Blogging and Using Social Media as a Group’. The aim of my neetsmarketing blog is to help writers who are starting out on social media with tips, written in layman’s terms.

Details of upcoming RNA events can be found here. You can follow the RNA on Twitter at @RNAtweets as well as the RNA blog twice weekly here.

Here are some RNA hashtags to look out for, and use:


I’m on Twitter: @neetswriter, and at @neetsmarketing. Thanks again for hosting me, and I look forward to another year of fabulous RNA events.

Thank you for your interesting insight into Twitter and the RNA, Anita.

The RNA blog is brought to you by

Elaine Everest & Natalie Kleinman

If you would like to write an article for the blog or be interviewed about your latest publication please contact us on


Anita Chapman said...

Thank you so much for hosting me today Elaine and Natalie. It's an honour to have a post on the RNA blog!

Unknown said...

An excellent blog, Elaine, Natalie and, of course, Anita.

I second everything you said about the NWS, Anita. Once I'd been accepted for publication, it hit me that there would be no more NWS critiques, and I felt bereft. Having independent eyes, which know what to look for, is invaluable.

Good luck with your social media venture. It sounds extremely interesting, and much needed.

Liz X

Anita Chapman said...

Thanks Liz, for reading and for your lovely, supportive comment. You are one of those RNA members who I met first on Twitter, then at the RNA Winter Party in 2011!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Great post, Anita - I owe my novel writing career to the NWS! It's good to hear how much you are able to help other companies get the most from social media now.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant post, you are a shining example of what can be achieved by embracing and utilising social media.

Anita Chapman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anita Chapman said...

Thanks Rosemary! I've known you since the beginning in 2011, through our blogs and Twitter; and it was lovely to finally meet you at the RNA Conference in July 2014, hope to see you at the next one!

Thanks so much Jules (at Romantically Inclined). I met you on Twitter through a conversation about the first person present tense, and then at an RNA Winter Party, and now you're a close friend and we go on writing retreats together. That's the power of social media, amazing!

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

Great post, Anita. I'm hoping to attend the conference this year, but will definitely see you at the Summer Party.

This is my first year as a full member of the RNA and I have to admit that I miss not having the August deadline to work towards, and the Reader's report afterwards.

Anita Chapman said...

Thanks Debs. Look forward to seeing you at the Summer Party, and congrats on making the shortlist for the Joan Hessayon Award!