Wednesday, September 6, 2017

#IWSG for September 2017

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is the brilliant idea of Alex J. Cavanaugh. The purpose of the group is to share doubts and insecurities and to encourage one another. Please visit the other participants and share your support. A kind word goes a long way.

This month's awesome co-hosts are: Tyrean Martinson, Tara Tyler, Raimey Gallant, and Beverly Stowe McClure!

Today I'm so excited to share the theme of this year's IWSG anthology. It's an incredible opportunity for writers.


The Annual IWSG Anthology Contest

Word count: 3500-6000

Genre: Mystery/Crime/Thriller

Theme: Tick Tock. The story revolves around a clock, is time sensitive, or has something about a specific time. This theme has plenty of scope and we’re open to pretty much anything along these lines. No erotica, R-rated language, or graphic violence.

Story deadline: November 1st, 2017.

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted, previously unpublished story to admin @ insecurewriterssupportgroup.com before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging or Facebook 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: Elizabeth S. CraigAnne Hawkins, Candace Havens, Lynn Tincher, Ion Newcombe, Patricia (Pat) Stoltey, and Mason Canyon.

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.

We’re excited to see the creativity and enthusiasm that’s such a part of this group put into action. So don your creative caps and start writing. And spread the word!

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This month's IWSG question: Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? For example, by trying a new genre you didn't think you'd be comfortable in?

I surprise myself all the time! It's one of the things I love about being a writer. First off, I'm a pantser. I let my stories flow organically, and it amazes what tales I weave. I just mentioned in a recent post that I didn't know how my Totem series was going to end, but when I got there and it happened, I was astounded. It was my best ending ever.

I also write short stories and flash fiction. This gives me a chance to try different styles and genres. I surprised myself once writing a western story, and it got picked up by a publisher. I'm uncomfortable writing non-fiction articles, but I stretch out and dare myself to share what I've learned. A few times, I read it later on and went: "This is good. I wrote that?!"

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Don't forget, next month is...


Show Us Your Writer Insecurity!

On Wednesday, October 4 (IWSG Day), post a photo of yourself (or your alter ego) with any of the IWSG swag or with the IWSG logo. Then leave a comment that day at either the IWSG website’s post or the IWSG Facebook post directing us to your photo. (All blog, Facebook, Goodreads, and newsletter members welcome, but photo must be posted on a blog or Facebook to qualify.) There are prizes!

IWSG Newsletter reminder: Please send me your news. We want to help shout-out and celebrate with you. Email me ( christinerains [dot] writer @ gmail [dot] com ) with a line or two and a link. Make sure to put "IWSG newsletter news" in the subject header so it doesn't get lost on me.  

77 comments:

  1. I agree! Writing short stories and flash fictions helps get the creative juices flowing. I recently started writing flash fiction and it really helps generate a list of potential stories to expound on. All of these opportunities look and sound so exciting! :)

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    1. I felt completely lost when I started writing short works, but now I look forward to working on something short and new!

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  2. I've never written short stories, but it sounds like a good way to expand your writing. The anthology contests sounds awesome!

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    1. It's a fantastic way to stretch your creative muscles. :)

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  3. The anthology contest sounds great!

    How fun that the Totem ending astounded you!

    I never thought I'd enjoy writing nonfiction, but I really like doing blog posts. It's like sharing a different part of my writing/creative spirit.

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  4. You've already proved you can write in a variety of genres. Keep at it!
    Very excited for this year's anthology contest.

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  5. Do you ever worry during the pantsing stage that things wont work out by the time you get to the end? Seems like a scary leap of faith when you first start a new story.

    Go ahead and keep pantsing!

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    1. Yes, I do worry about that, and there have been a few stories where I had to rewrite in order to make an ending work.

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  6. Always fun to see what pops out as we write away. Pantsing sure is the way for our bay.

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  7. Even being a plotter, I'm surprised when things work out. LOL! The next IWSG anthology looks like it'll be a good one.

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    1. Hehehe! And that's what makes writing so much fun. :)

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  8. I'm much the same way. I'm a total pantser and I'm shocked at what my brain comes up with sometimes!

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    1. Sometimes I have to tell my brain that we can't writer THAT! *LOL*

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  9. Flash fiction does really bring out the surprises, doesn't it? I have written from so many different character viewpoints that way and as a fellow panster - I think it's super surprising where things can go with a little writing. :)

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  10. Hooray for finding your best ending ever! And congrats on completing your series. That's an amazing achievement!

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  11. This anthology will be so awesome!

    And I can't imagine a better surprise than an ending coming together like that. Well done!

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    1. Thanks, Julie. I'm excited for the anthology too.

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  12. Hi,
    I so agree with you because I surprise myself all the time. As a writer, I am continually discovering new territory.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia Everything Must Change

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  13. I love Tick Tock being paired with Mystery!

    Being surprised is the best! I love surprise characters, too. Those people who show up unannounced, but they're awesome, and those people I thought would have minor roles, but they end up being a major players. So fun. ^_^

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    1. Characters know more what they're about than we do!

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  14. Pantsing is one of the best ways to keep the surprises coming. :)

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  15. I've never mastered pantsing in long works, but when writing a short I love the wacky and surprising things that come out. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. I do wish I could get a little plotting for longer works, it would make things easier!

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  16. I love the anthology theme. I might try writing something. I'm a pantser too. So it is amazing when it all comes together!!!! Have a great week, Christine.

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  17. That's one of the greatest things about being a pantser, being surprised by how things turn out. Hopefully it means the reader is equally as surprised.

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  18. I love being surprised, so I guess being a pantser suits me. The theme for this anthology should produce some interesting stories.

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  19. I know the ending, but I never know what route the story is going to take to get there after the characters all get together. I'm looking forward to this anthology!

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    1. Usually I know the good guys have to win somehow. *LOL*

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  20. You wrote a western? Good for you! That is so far out of my wheelhouse. You made the decision for me. I'm going to let go of my fear of writing shorter fiction, and start brainstorming story ideas for the anthology. We can do this!

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  21. Wow! Great contest....wish I had time to dabble but this month i have to finish edits & publish my 3rd mystery in a trilogy and next month I have to write, edit, publish a Kindle World novella by the end of the month. LOL!

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  22. I'm not a pantser, and I feel it hampers my writing. Sometimes, I feel paralyzed, can't even start a story, until I know how it ends and what happens in the middle.

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    1. I know many writers that feel the same way. But even if I write an outline, my story will deviate away from it!

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  23. I'm a pantser too. You are inspiring. The anthology contest looks interesting. Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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  24. I'm just like you with nonfiction. I think I don't know anything to share but when I do, it doesn't sound so bad.

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  25. I want to read the western! I just finished West World, so I'm in that zone. I need to finish the Totem series. You're stories are always filled with surprises.

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth! "Bun in the Oven" is the western one I wrote back in 2010. Being pregnant does inspire things! *LOL*

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  26. Being a writer, we often do surprise ourselves. It's all a part of being creative. :)

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  28. Hi Christine - you've certainly stretched your writerly wings ... so keep on going - and good luck. Love the idea of those contests - though I'll be on the sidelines ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks, Hilary! I hope to continually stretch them.

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  29. Thanks for taking over the responsibility for the newsletter. Congrats on stretching yourself. Does that count as exercise? LOL

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  30. A western? Wow!
    You write such wonderful stories! I think you can write anything you put your mind to...
    I love writing non-fiction...it's the first bit of 'solid' writing I dabbled in.
    Writer In Transit

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  31. Congratulations on finding your greatest ending!

    I'm a mix of a plotter and pantster. I like to have a general outline and/or working table of contents to have an idea of where things are going, and on what timetable, but along the way, many subplots, new characters, and divergences from my plans emerge.

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    1. Thanks, Carrie-Anne! I love it when all those subplots and new characters pop up.

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  32. Hey, didn't realize about the anthology. Sounds amazing, and I'll be sure to do the logo thingy with yours truly, the one and only I.B. Nosey, for sure!

    And surprising ourselves is great...unless it's a tax bill or something. Then we gotta, you know, run like the wind!

    Great post, I.B. Nosey approved!

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    1. Great to meet you, Mr. Nosey! No one wants a surprise like a tax bill. Heh.

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  33. Bravo to you, Christine, for trying different genres and enjoying it. You never know what might sell. That's why writers need to keep writing and keep submitting. All best to you!

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  34. Since I'm a panster too, I'm always getting surprised by my writing.

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  35. Hi Christine!

    Its awesome that you try different genres. I have a yearning to write and submit to this anthology....tick tock...hmmm...

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  36. Wow, had no idea you wrote a western once. Very cool how you're able to branch out into other genres like that! And even though I'm not a pantser anymore, it still takes me ages sometimes to figure out the proper end while plotting, so I know how amazing it feels for things to finally come together. Can't wait to reach the final Totem book to see how everything falls into place there!

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    1. It's fun to dabble in different things. :)

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  37. That's a pretty cool topic. Tick Tock. I bet you'll get lots of amazing submissions for that!

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  38. I think that's so cool that you didn't know how it was going to end. It must be so neat to just watch the story unfold from your imagination as you're writing it.

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