Writers! We're so excited for you to read the interview our Community Liaison, Lynne Fellows, did with the founder of WriteHive, Joshua Lee Ronin! Check it out and make sure to take a look at their website!
WW: So, Joshua, tell us about yourself, and what prompted you to create WriteHive?
My name is Joshua Lee Ronin. I’m a science fiction and fantasy author, martial artist, and military veteran who found Twitter’s #WritingCommunity in 2019. I was pretty overwhelmed by the support and love in the community, and I wanted to do something to give back to all the people who lift me up every day. So, I founded WriteHive. Since the project started, I’ve also branched into writing-related podcasts and YouTube channels. It’s kinda become my mission to bring people together!
WW: The Hive theme features throughout your site – your logo (which we love) and the Buzz podcasts come instantly to mind, but what was it that inspired the theme?
Shoutout to my Assistant Executive Coordinator, Tyler, for the amazing logo. He was the first one to sign on as a volunteer and he’s been kicking butt ever since. The hive theme in our graphic design is really pulled from our mission as an organization. WriteHive is a place where tons of individuals come together and cooperate, just like a hive. The stronger each individual becomes, the stronger the hive becomes, and vice versa. At WriteHive, we’re constantly talking with one another, growing, and learning. That’s what it’s always been about. I think the hive motif works really well for that.
WW: WriteHive is an online convention, but how exactly does that work?
It is! And that’s what makes it so special! We made the con digital so we could avoid the barriers to entry stopping most people from going to a physical con (travel, transportation, clothing, anxiety, etc.). And we made it free.
We’ve reached out to a TON of industry professionals, insiders, and amateurs. We’ve consolidated those people into groups. Some will be doing topic panels, while others will be holding workshops, and still others will be doing Q&As. Our participants are free to use whatever platform they choose for their event. We at WriteHive consolidate the links and house them in one location.
On the weekeend of the con (18/19 April 2020), we’ll be streaming some pre-recorded interviews and panels, holding contests, and holding discussions on reddit, Twitter, Discord, and more. Events will be everywhere. Everyone is encouraged to attend as many events as possible. (The whole event is free.) And if you miss any event, we’ll have it saved and uploaded to an archive you can visit later!
All the fun of a con without having to change out of your pajamas.
WW: Can anyone attend Writehive? How do people register?
Anyone and everyone can attend. It’s totally free. There’s no registration. All you have to do is visit writehive.org on 18/19 April 2020.
WW: The convention runs for 48 hours (April 18-19th) – what can we expect to find there? Will there be an opportunity to catch-up on missed events, you know, for those of us who aren’t buzzing non-stop?
Oh gosh! We have so much going on! We’ve got panelists from all walks of life doing topic panels on just about anything you can think of. A lot of people are doing really neat presentations. (One that sticks out to me is a HAZMAT professional doing a panel on how to accurately write a nuclear holocaust). We’ll be doing cosplay contests, writing contests, pitch contests, and poetry readings. We’ll have a number of workshops going on and various places to just chat and meet fellow attendees. Our Discord is set up right now so that each room in it has a specific function, so you’ll be able to network at the con: look for agents, meet publishers, and talk with other awesome peeps!
If you’re interested in it, it’s probably happening during WriteHive. And yeah, like I said in a previous question: it’s okay if you can’t make the live events! We’re archiving everything so that those who missed the live events can still check them out later.
WW: There is a fantastic range of panels, but if you could choose anyone, who would be your ideal panelist? Why?
Oof. That’s a tough call. We have so many amazing people already doing panels that… it’d be pretty hard to pick a favorite. But if I had to pick a dream panelist, it’d be Quentin Tarantino. I’m fascinated with how he writes, and I’d love to hear his professional advice on writing for the Big Screen.
WW: Your website is looking for volunteers: how can people get involved?
We need volunteers (people to direct traffic and offer question-answer for attendees) and moderators (people who will be recording events, asking panelists questions, moderating chats, etc.). If you’re interested in helping out, we’d love to have you! You can fill out the form at writehive.org/volunteer and I’ll link you up with our Lead Moderator, Jerusha. She’ll train you up on everything you need to know.
WW: WriteHive is not just about the convention, though, is it? You have podcasts and a short story contest (namely a recent HORROR themed contest), so what else can we expect from the WriteHive team after the convention?
I’ve been working really hard to expand WriteHive. Originally, it was meant to just be a convention. But in the process of building it, I’ve learned just how important community really is to people. So, we’ve been expanding the vision. I’d like WriteHive to be a hub where all the people out there doing amazing things can come and connect with one another. We’ll be doing interviews for The Buzz all year -- and that’s a weekly thing. (We’re booked until like October, it’s crazy.) We’re gonna keep the Patreon open all year as well so people will have access to exclusive interviews, raffle prizes, and the book club. And we might have some other stuff going on throughout the year as well -- maybe workshops and panels with fan-favorites.
There’s a lot of potential for WriteHive to be huge. I indeed to feed that potential as much as possible.
WW: Where can we find you on Social Media?
You can find me, specifically, on Twitter @joshualeeronin. Feel free to check out my site, joshualeeronin.com. You can sign up to my personal mailing list there, as well as see what I’m doing with podcasts and vlogs, etc.
For WriteHive, you can check out the Twitter @Write_Hive. We also do a podcast called The Buzz you can find on pretty much all podcast platforms. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And, of course, check out writehive.org to learn everything you need to know about us! We try to respond as quickly as we can, but we can get bogged down with all the support we’re receiving.
WW: Any final words …?
Yeah. You matter. What you’re doing matters. And I don’t care if you’re writing your debut novel in 10-word sprints whenever you get a break from the kids, or you’re professionally represented and publishing a hundred books a year. At the end of the day, we’re all people. Writers, editors, cover designers, movie makers… we’re the people who keep art and imagination alive.
Sometimes, the whole being an artist thing can be a real burden. That’s why WriteHive exists. We offer a place for you to meet others like you who can lift you up, support you, and steer you toward success. So, if you’re interested in being part of a collective that will legitimately make you better, check out WriteHive. You are welcome here.