Monday, February 22, 2016

Taking on a Newsletter - guest post by Alex J. Cavanaugh


Taking on a Newsletter 

This month, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group launches its very first newsletter. It’s been a long time coming, but all of the elements had to fall into place first.

For those who don’t know, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group began September 2011 as a monthly blog hop. A comment by a fellow writer prompted my reply that he needed such a support group, and the idea for one stuck. So, I created a sign-up list, outlined the purpose and rules, and opened it up to others. We’ve been blogging the first Wednesday of the month ever since with 250-300+ blogs participating each time.

It was incredibly successful and rewarding, and I started thinking of how I could help other writers beyond the monthly blog posts. That’s when the idea of establishing a website hit me. I knew I couldn’t do it alone and enlisted six amazing writers as admins. They not only helped put together the website but established the Facebook groups as well. We built up the database of writing information and started inviting guest authors to join us in the weekly posts.

A newsletter was at the back of my mind, but since I’d never started or run one, I had no idea what to do. When the IWSG’s three-year anniversary date rolled around, we celebrated by inviting our members to submit to a writing book that would be free to all. It was a lot of fun to put together and gave us another way to help writers. (Links to download it HERE.)

I was still considering that newsletter last year. And still lost as how to do it. So instead, we held our first IWSG Anthology Contest. From the entries, ten stories were selected by a panel of agents and authors and Parallels: Felix Was Here will be released this May from Freedom Fox Press.


So now we had a monthly blog hop, a website, two Facebook groups, a free writing book, and a yearly anthology contest. Even our own t-shirt – but no newsletter! So after the New Year, I got serious. We had to start a newsletter, one that would benefit to writers and not be something just thrown together. It would require dedication and effort. All of the IWSG admins had their duties already, myself included. (Plus I didn’t know how to run a newsletter.) How could we make it happen?

Then it hit me – bring on another admin!

With the support of the other admins, I reached out to author Chrys Fey, and she agreed to run the newsletter. I got the MailChimp account set up and the newsletter header, and then Chrys and I planned the content. There will be an article from an industry leader, one from an IWSG admin, and one from an IWSG member. Plus, we’ll have helpful links, a member spotlight, news, and the upcoming IWSG blogging information. Our first issue goes out February 24 and you can sign up HERE.

So, after years of wanting a newsletter, we finally have one! Big thanks to Chrys for taking on such an important project. Now the idea of a newsletter no longer haunts me.

Still like to make the Writers’ Digest List of 101 Best Sites for Writers. Next year!


About Alex J. Cavanaugh: He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design, graphics, and technical editing. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He’s the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, CassaStorm, and Dragon of the Stars. The author lives in the Carolinas with his wife.

38 comments:

  1. It's amazing to see how far the IWSG has come! I'm glad to be a part of it, and I can't wait to see the newsletter!

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  2. Looking forward to the newsletter! Chrys always has something helpful and interesting to say.

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  3. Alex, you're such an amazing supporter of other writers in so many ways. That's awesome how you wanted to do the newsletter and found a way to do it. Not surprised knowing you. I'm sure the newsletter will be an amazing resource for people.

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  4. LG, the newsletter will rock! Just wait until you see it.

    Thanks, Natalie! Appreciate that.

    Thanks again, Christine!

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  5. You're very welcome, Alex. I can't wait to see the newsletter too! And thank you to everyone for stopping in. Have a terrific Monday! :)

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  6. Excited that IWSG is taking on a newsletter. I think it's such a great tool to connect and inform. :)

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  7. It just goes to show that an idea that sticks around so long has to be a good one. :)

    Looking forward to the newsletter!

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  8. I love how far the IWSG has come. Looking forward to the newsletter!!

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  9. It took bringing on just the right person.

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  10. Chrys was a perfect choice. She has experience and a lot of energy. I'm so grateful for IWSG for the community and also everything I've learned from the memebers.

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  11. After reading all this, I feel even more honored to have been asked. Thanks to Alex and the other admins for thinking of me...and believING in me. I hope everyone enjoys the first issue. It's coming out Wednesday!!! :)

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  12. All great ideas, Alex. And the authors you support appreciate them. I hope I'll be able to contribute to a future anthology. Hated having to sit on the sidelines this year, but that's just the way it was. I look forward to the NL!

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  13. Thanks so much for this, Christine. Valuable insight and camaraderie for writers here. I'm on the blog hop with C. Lee McKenzie, et al. I'll join your blog, too.

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  14. So glad you got all the support you needed Alex. You have been an inspiration to many of us.

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  15. A newsletter really is the next step. I'm glad you found Chrys to step up and fill that position.

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  16. Wow, that's a lot of good stuff going on all at once. Cheers not just to the newsletter, but to everyone that's made this all possible!

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  17. Madeline, that idea stuck around a very long time.

    Chrys, it will rock!

    Lee, hope you can join us for the next one.

    Brandon and Bryan, it's taken a Ninja Army...

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  18. Looking forward to reading the newsletter when it comes out! Alex, you and the IWSG team continue to lend wonderful support and inspiration to writers. Thank you.

    Christine, thanks for hosting today! :)

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  19. It's so great that you have a team making IWSG work. And kudos to Chrys for taking on such a big project. I'm sure she'll do a great job!

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  20. So great that IWSG is coming out with a newsletter now! :)

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  21. A big hand to everyone whose given so much of themselves to make this so.

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  22. IWSG just keeps growing and growing...just like writer insecurity! ;)

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  23. IWSG is a big force in blogging and publishing. I look forward to the newsletter.

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  24. I'm so honored to be a part of this amazing group!
    Chrys is a gem!

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  25. Hi Christine and Alex - it's brilliant how all your admins and contributors have helped achieve so much via the IWSG services - it's an amazing group of bloggers with so much to offer ... cheers Hilary

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  26. Thanks everyone! First edition comes out tomorrow.

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  27. A great idea! When people join forces amazing things can be accomplished. I will have to sign up!

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  28. You've probably already guessed that our fine leader is really a super hero. It's good that Alex and his wife get a way every once in a while. Scary without him, but we can't have him too overworked. Bravo Alex! Thanks, Christine.

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  29. Always fun to see how ideas grow. Glad you got help for the newsletter! ISWG helps writers in so many different ways. Thanks! :)
    ~Jess

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  30. yay for the IWSG newsletter!
    and yay for Chrys taking care of it!
    Great article Alex =)

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  31. You've certainly enjoyed great success with IWSG. Congrats!

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  32. I'm looking forward to catching up with all the IWSG news all in one place!!!

    Congrats to the IWSG and Chrys!

    Heather

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  33. I think having a newsletter is a great idea. It will give resources to writers. I know when I first got serious about writing fiction there was nothing like that out there. Oh, there were books, but I didn't want to buy more of those I wanted real time solutions and encouragement. I think that Insecure Writers provides that and more.

    Thank your Chrys for taking the time to do this and all the other admins involved with the IWSG.

    ~Sia~

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  34. Looking forward to the newsletter. Thanks, everyone, for putting this together.

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  35. I love how IWSG has grown leaps and bounds, and I'm definitely looking forward to the newsletter! :)

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  36. I love this group and how it keeps finding new ways to help and support authors. I'm looking forward to my newsletter.

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