Wednesday, September 5, 2018

#IWSG Anthology: I'll Be The Judge Of That


But first...

It's September's Insecure Writer's Support Group event! Occurring on the first Wednesday of every month, writers post about their insecurities, or share news, and of course support our fellow writers. You can join HERE.

Many thanks to our host, Alex Cavanaugh, and to the many co-hosts that help make this event happen every month. This month's co-hosts are: Toi Thomas, T. Powell Coltrin, M.J. Fifield, and Tara Tyler

This month's optional question is: What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?

I chose self-publishing to begin with. It allows your work to get out into the world quicker and of course you have more artistic control over your work. It's also more work because you're in charge of everything from writing and editing, to formatting, book covers and then the dreaded marketing!

HOWEVER, after winning the 2017 IWSG Short Story Anthology Contest (Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime), and being published by Dancing Lemur Press, I became a hybrid author. I find dabbling in both self-publishing and traditional publishing very appealing--sort of the best of both worlds!

AND speaking of the IWSG Short Story Anthology Contest, guess who's been invited to judge this year's contest?! 

It's ME!

I am so thrilled and honored to be asked. And the company I'll be keeping? Let's just say that I am totally fangirling right now, but I'll try to keep it together lest I make a fool of myself like Lucy Ricardo. 

Check it out!

The 2018 Annual IWSG Anthology Contest

Word count: 3500-6000

Genre: Young Adult Romance


A Masquerade can be a false show or pretense, someone pretending to be someone they aren't. It can be a ball, a fancy dress party, it can be a mask. Open to interpretation.

Submissions accepted: September 5 - November 4, 2018

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (Double spaced, no page numbers), previously unpublished story to admin @ before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter IWSG group.

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges. This year, we are honored to have seven incredible judges:

Author Elizabeth S. Craig

Author Elana Johnson

Agent Kelly Van Sant, Red Sofa Literary Agency

Author S. A. Larsen

Write Club founder, D. L. Hammons

Author Kristin Smith

Author and previous anthology winner, Gwen Gardner

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title.

Which publishing path have you chosen?

Will you be entering the #IWSG Anthology Contest?

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

#IWSG: Pitfall Avoidance Advice

It’s the 8th Insecure Writer’s Support Group of the year. No worries, though, you can sign up any time by clicking on the link. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. 

Thanks to our host, Alex Cavanaugh, and our co-hosts this month: The awesome co-hosts for the August 1 posting of the IWSG are Erika Beebe, Sandra Hoover,Susan Gourley, and Lee Lowery!

This month’s optional question is: What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

I have a simple bit of advise, really. If you want to get published, it’s all about rewriting and editing. And when you're done with that, edit, edit, and edit some more. How many times, you ask? I probably went through my short story that I submitted to the IWSG Anthology short story contest about a 100 times. I'm serious! Each time I went through my story I found something new to change or correct, or something that could have been said better, or a weak verb to toss. 

Typos and misspellings will get you booted right off the bat, so if you want a publisher or reader to continue reading, you can't make rookie mistakes. And then polish your story until it's squeaky clean. Make a self-editing checklist. Better yet, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers is a goldmine. Use it and avoid the most basic pitfall; an unpolished manuscript. 

This is the process I went through to win the feature spot in Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime!

What is your best pitfall avoidance advice?

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

IWSG: Goals and How The Clock Doesn't Stop

Happy Insecure Writer's Support Group Day
Happy Independence Day!

Instead of the first Wednesday of the month, we're doing this month's IWSG event on Tuesday because of the holiday. If you'd like to join this group, go HERE:

The awesome co-hosts for the July 3 posting of the IWSG are Nicki Elson, Juneta Key, Tamara Narayan, and Patricia Lynne! And of course, thanks so much to our founder and host, Alex Cavanaugh!

Optional July 3 question - What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?

My ultimate goal is, and always has been, to support myself with my writing. I still have the same goal, but it's changed a bit with time. The first eight years or so of my writing career (I was a late bloomer) was spent learning the craft and publishing. Then the realization hit that I could do better. So I unpublished my books, studied for a year, and now I'm close to publishing again. Oh, the things I didn't know! 

While I was learning and practicing, something else happened. The clock didn't stop and wait for me!


And now I'm thinking about retirement (in the next five years), in the sense that I'm considering my "second career" options. Sort of a "Senior" project. LOL. I'm looking at writing shorter works, with quicker publishing (in order to build a back list), and a means to supplement my income. Because writer's don't retire, they just keep on writing. Am I right?

What are your writing goals?

How have your goals changed?