By Anastasia Scott, who sends out most of Free Spirit’s tweets
March 21, 2015, marks the ninth anniversary of the first official tweet ever sent into the Internet abyss. Free Spirit didn’t join the party until 2009, but since then we’ve been chiming in every day with reviews of our books, the latest updates on education and social-emotional learning, and of course, many photos of our office dogs, Violet and Twiggy.
These days, Twitter has more than 288 million active users around the globe, is breaking news stories before they unfold on major news networks, and has even spurred political and cultural revolutions everywhere from Syria to Ferguson, Missouri. Needless to say, Twitter is a catalyst of change, and we’re happy to use it as a way to connect with the causes and people we admire, as well as to interact with you, our wonderful readers, all over the world. While many of you already follow Free Spirit on Twitter at @FreeSpiritBooks, we want to highlight some of our most interesting, active authors on Twitter:
- If you are interested in environmental news, be sure to follow ocean advocate and CNN special correspondent, Philippe Cousteau, coauthor of Make a Splash! and Going Blue, at @pcousteau. In addition to reporting on water-related news events around the globe, Philippe shares tons of inspiring stories on how every person can better protect Earth’s lakes, rivers, and oceans.
- Looking for advice for teens and tweens? Don’t miss the expert guidance of Annie Fox, author of our Middle School Confidential™ series, at @Annie_Fox, and Alex J. Packer, author, psychologist, and “Manners Guru to the Youth of America,” at @HowRudeBook. Both authors answer letters from real teens and consider the best course of action in dealing with an assortment of sticky, but common, parenting and coming-of-age scenarios.
- Jill Starishevsky, author of My Body Belongs to Me, is a New York City district attorney dedicated to seeking justice for victims of child abuse and sex crimes. Follow her at @SafetyStar for tips and resources on talking to kids about body boundaries.
- Youth Communication is a nonprofit organization that helps marginalized teens develop their full potential through reading and writing, so they can succeed in school and at work and contribute to their communities. If you love Free Spirit’s Real Teen Voices series, be sure to follow @youthcomm on Twitter for more stories written to and by young adults.
- The Cyberbullying Research Center’s @onlinebullying Twitter account, run by Justin Patchin (@JustinPatchin) and Sameer Hinduja (@Hinduja) follows national cyberbullying incidents and shares resources and advice for teaching teens about the importance of standing up for themselves and others online. Justin and Sameer are the authors of Words Wound.
- Nancy Carlson, author of Armond Goes to a Party and This Morning Sam Went to Mars, is a prolific children’s author and illustrator. Follow her at @drawstuff and enjoy daily doodles inspired by her life in Minnesota.
- For those most interested in early childhood education, be sure to follow Gill Connell, coauthor of A Moving Child Is a Learning Child, at @MovingSmartNow. Gill shares tons of activity ideas related to movement and learning to help parents and early childhood caregivers ensure their little ones’ healthy development.
- Last but not least, be sure to also follow Free Spirit’s publisher Judy Galbraith at @JudyFreeSpirit for a mix of news on independent book publishing, popular education initiatives, gifted education, and more.
Peruse the full list of Free Spirit’s authors on Twitter and follow us online and send us tweets at @FreeSpiritBooks. We love to hear your feedback and see how you’re using our resources in real life.
Another great resource on Twitter is the use of education-related hashtags. Don’t have the funds to attend a conference? Follow the conversation on Twitter instead. Looking for support and inspiration from people in your same position or situation? Weigh in on a themed chat. For a comprehensive list of hashtags, check out this excellent infographic. A few interesting hashtags not included on this list include #WeNeedDiverseBooks, which chronicles critical discussion in the fight for children’s literature representative of all young readers, and #FSBlog, the official hashtag for discussing Free Spirit blog posts.
What people, organizations, and hashtags do you like to follow on Twitter?
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