Wednesday, December 7, 2016

IWSG - Five-Year Plan & Links

It always throws me when the first day of the month is a Thursday. I almost posted my IWSG last week, but realized it wasn't December yet. Why am I in such a hurry, anyway? Guess I'm ready for it to be 2017, and to leave 2016 behind.

But for today, it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Ninja Captain himself.

The IWSG is here for anyone to participate by airing their insecurities or reassurances (or both.) Sign up here and post the first Wednesday of each month then visit your fellow posters to lend your support.

The co-hosts for this month are Jennifer Hawes, Jen Chandler, Nick Wilford, Juneta Key, JH Moncrieff, Diane Burton, and MJ Fifield!

In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what's your plan to get there?

In five years I intend to be a published novelist who also still publishes short fiction. I'm working the plan now, which is to say I'm writing when I can, submitting short stories, and I'm hoping to be querying one of my novels by April. It's out to beta readers now. I have a critique group, who mostly see my short stories. I'm working! Which is what we all need to be doing, whatever that may look for each person.

November was a good month, which you'll see when I post my stats. So instead of talking about my insecurities, I'll just say write, edit, submit/query! Work your plan. Work your business. You're not a writer if you don't write. You can't get published if you don't submit/query. Invest in yourself and believe in yourself, and you can get there. Like anything else, it takes time, practice, hard work, and persistence.


One of my stories is free to read right now at Cheapjack Pulp. Just click here. Another story of mine will appear free online with Literary Hatchet on December 15, but I'll post that one when it's out.

I wonder if people will notice what book this short story is anti-fan fiction to? Meaning, I was inspired by this book to write a tongue in cheek response to it, and I was not a fan. If you read it, let me know what book comes to mind.


Stat time! Each month I go over my submission stats for the month. It keeps me in line.

November Stats:

Submitted Stories - 4 (on top of ones already on submission)
Rejections - 6
Acceptances - 2 (Cheapjack Pulp and The Literary Hatchet)
Currently on Submission - 9

Two of these rejections were for themed anthologies, which creates a new issue. That issue being that I have to decide if they are too specific or if I need to modify them in order to be submittable elsewhere. One is currently out to my critique group to see what they think. The other I'm already fairly certain needs reworking before I try to submit it elsewhere.

I also suspect I'll be pulling one of the stories currently out on submission, because it's been removed from Duotrope due to being behind on its publishing schedule, and they haven't responded to people in awhile. Ah well. This is not the first time.


Now for links. Bear in mind that I am merely passing along links I've found, not endorsing them. Always do your own due diligence when researching publications and contests.

Accepting Submissions:

Garden of Fiends is an anthology of addiction based horror. They are seeking 16,000-25,000 word stories. Pays $500. Deadline January 1.

Azoth Khem Publishing is open for submissions to their anthology Carnival of Madness. Psycho-thrillers. 5000 to 7000 words. Pays $25 plus a contributor copy. Deadline is after the New Year.

Inkubus Publishing is seeking stories with a male/male erotic fairy tale theme. Between 500 and 10,000 words. Pays $15 and a contributor copy. Deadline January 2.

The Wild Musette Journal is in its open reading period. Current themes are music and dance, fantasy and mythic fiction, women's fiction and consequential relationships, and environmental and earth-centered concerns. Fiction, poetry, nonfiction, art. 1000-7500 words. Pays $15 to $100. Deadline January 2.

The Twelfth Planet Press is seeing letters from speculative fiction writers, fans, editors, and critics written to Octavia Butler. 1000-1500 words. Pays $75. Deadline January 8.

The Flash Fiction Press is always open for flash fiction submissions. 250-1200 words. All genres. Pays $5.

Year 20XX is always open for submissions. 2000-10,000 words. Pays $10.

Worcester Journal is open to short fiction. 500-1500 words. Pays $15 to $80.


Honeysuckle Press is holding the Honeysuckle Chapbook Contest. In their words, they are "seeking boundary-breaking chapbooks that evoke vivid truths." Poetry and prose. 20-35 pages. $500 prize with publication.

What are your writing plans? Your insecurities? Do you have a 5-year plan? 10-year? Did you make any submissions this month? Any of these links of interest?

May you find your Muse.


  1. Five years from now I will be multi-published - one way or another. I will travel and write in exotic, ancient, and exciting new places around the world.

  2. You have a solid plan and you are already on your way. Keep going! :)

    Congrats on the new stories!

  3. Congratulations!
    I can't see you ever giving up your short stories.

  4. I'm already behind on my plan, more than once, almost always due to technology disasters.

  5. Those are awesome stats! I admire your focus. Looking forward to checking out your story in Cheapjack Pulp. Cheers -Ellen

  6. You'll be a published novelist soon. I just know it. Keep doing what you're doing. :)

  7. Thank you for the links. My goal is taking one day at a time.

  8. I love your perspective.
    Time, practice, hard work, and persistence. That's what is required. I agree.
    Happy IWSG Day!

  9. Wow, congrats on your publications in November! I read the story and am now racking my brains trying to figure out what book it was in response to. I enjoyed the story but now it's driving me crazy because I feel like I should know LOL.

  10. Congratulations on your story and glad you have some clear goals for yourself.

  11. You do so well with those short stories. Congrats.

  12. That's write! Work your business. I always find your posts so inspiring. Thanks for that!

  13. Looks like you're really great at keeping yourself on track. Incredible!

  14. Wow! I don't think I'll ever see The Old Man and the Sea again the same way. :) Excellent fiction with a satisfying bite - especially since the source isn't my favorite, this made it all the better. Thank you!
    Way to go with your writing and publishing!
    Best wishes for all of 2017 and beyond!

    1. You figured it out! Yay! (And no, not my favorite either.)

  15. Thanks for the links! Very helpful. I did submit this month (November, that is) and as a result, another one of my books is getting published. I did a happy dance about this!

    Just in case you don't see my response to your comment, see any ghosts at the Stanley?

  16. Hi Shannon - it's great you're going to keep on writing and editing and publishing ... and putting your words out there ... I've just spotted Tyrean's comment - well done ... cheers Hilary

  17. Congratulations,Shannon! Finish that book and join me innige qury line next year.
    You're a big inspiration for me.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G

  18. Congratulations on your continued success with your submissions schedule. And thanks for the links! It's always nice to find new markets (especially those that accept 5000+ word stories!)

  19. Good luck on all your writing goals in 2017 and beyond!

  20. Thank for the submission list. Its always great to see what is out there. I plan to submit some my short stores in 2017 too. Sounds like a good plan and Congrats on the story.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

  21. Love this advice. 'Work your plan. Work your business.'
    It's what we need to do to guarantee some level of success.

  22. I am so impressed by your organization, Shannon. You will be published in novel-length, and I'll bet it's sooner than 5 years. Your advice (about being a writer) is right on. Best wishes!

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family.

  23. Thank you for the helpful post, with the links and good advice. You are a very determined and successful writer, based on your stats. I feel like I am often slacking with one of the qualities of a successful writer: time, practice, hard work, or persistence. But, I am writing every single day! :-)

  24. Shannon,
    Congrats on all the progress and thanks for the links! You are an inspiration.
    Anne from

  25. Good luck with your plans for your novel and congrats on your published stories. I'd also like to say thank you for your regular market lists. They are very helpful; I even submitted to a couple I haven't heard about before I read it in one of your weekly lists.
    Thank you, Shannon.

  26. A few links interest me. I started reading your 'fisherman' tale and it's quite intriguing. Will definitely finish. Five years is a long time though time loves to play mind games with us. No submissions for me, focused on getting self pubbed next year and right now on freelance work. But I think I might try a few of these links and sub something by January. Thanks Shannon.

  27. Maurice Broaddus is also seeking dark speculative fiction for a special issue of Apex Magazine, paying six cents per word. I think he's mostly looking for stories between 2,000-5,000 words.

    And congratulations on your two acceptances! That makes it a better November than most!

  28. work, work, work - it's what we do!
    congrats on your publications coming up
    and I always appreciate your links
    thanks too for stopping by my Cradle Rock post at Junetas blog

  29. Congratulations on having a story out in print. I'm glad that November was a good month for you, considering that it seems harder to be productive as the year winds down.

    Good luck with your five year plan to publish a novel and write short stories.

  30. If you're writing books and short stories, and getting them out there for folks to read, then it's all good:) I just hope to still be doing what I do:) Happy holidays!