Wednesday, March 1, 2017

IWSG - Finish It! & Links

Spring is coming! But before we get there, it's time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group, created by Alex J. Cavanaugh.

All are welcome to participate. Just sign up and post your writing insecurities the first Wednesday of each month, then go around and support your fellow insecure folks. Also, be sure to thank this month's co-hosts: Tamara Narayan, Patsy Collins, M.J. Fifield, and Nicohle Christopherson!

This month's optional question is: Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

Yes, I have, but I must say it's harder to edit an old story than to just write a new one! It has worked out for me, though. Two of my recent publications were old stories I'd pulled out and rewritten. Still, it's not something I do a lot.

My insecurities have to do with finishing stories this month. I've started a bunch of stories, but I keep hopping between them and not getting them finished. I need a good dose of time and energy to actually finish. I can't submit a story that isn't done! And I'm going on a few months with nothing to submit to my critique group, which isn't like me. I'm determined to have one or  two stories to submit next month.


Each month I do my submission stats to keep myself accountable. In February, I:

Submitted 8 short stories
Got 6 rejections (2 with personal feedback)
Got 0 acceptances (sob)

I currently have 10 submissions out


Finally, links. Bear in mind that I'm not endorsing these, merely passing them along. Always do your own due diligence before submitting.

Accepting Submissions:

Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores is open for flash fiction and short stories in fantasy, fairy tale, and science fiction. Pays $.06/word. Current reading period ends March 28.

Sycamore Review is open for fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art. No genre pieces. Pays $25 to $50. Reading period ends March 31.

Chicken Soup for the Soul has two open calls for possible topics. The themes are Step Outside Your Comfort Zone and My Kind (of) America. 1200 words or less. Pays $200. Deadline for these two themes March 31.

West Branch is open for poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and translation. Pays $.05/word. Deadline April 1.

Splickety is open for the June issue of Splickety Magazine with the theme Medieval Mayhem. Historical, not fantasy. 300 to 1000 words. Pays $.02/word. Deadline April 7.


Hermeneutic Chaos Journal is holding the Alice Sullivan Prize. Only those who have not had a novel or collection of short stories published may enter (published short stories is fine). 300 to 1500 words. No entry fee. Grand prize of $300. Deadline March 31.

Of Interest:

Sherry D. Ficklin posted The (Hard) Truth About Book Signings. She's got some great information and tips for your book signings, as well as some hard truths, just as the title says.

What are your insecurities? How are you doing with submissions? Any of these links of use? Anything to add?

May you find your Muse.


  1. Writing something new is totally easier than reworking an old story. Good luck with your submissions, and thanks for the links! I've got two of them written down for possibilities this month. :)

  2. Sorry to hear about those rejections. Personal feedback is great and can help with the sting, at least somewhat.

    Good luck finishing and subbing those stories!

  3. It was a short month - more opportunities for acceptances this month.
    Rewriting from scratch works for me although I still hate writing that first draft.

  4. Hoping you get your stories out the way you've planned. I've got three stories I am working on also for submission, but I'm doing my stories one at a time.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,

  5. Hi Shannon - well you keep the momentum up - and at some stage a story or three will stick - good luck. I have to restart posts if I've started and am not happy - but finishing work is an essential - cheers Hilary

  6. "Finish It!"? Are you talking to me?

    I'm not fond of editing and redoing stuff. A big problem for me and writing. You do well with all your writing and submitting. Don't you realize that you're making slackards like me look bad?

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  7. I agree about it being harder to rework something old than write fresh! I was looking at an old piece of mine and thinking, I should just rewrite this rather than try to fix it.

  8. At this point, I think, all of my stories are old stories. :/

  9. I don't mind redoing an older story. Kind of makes it a fresh one then.

  10. I sometimes find an old story I don't even recognize, love that. Especially trying to remember where I was and why I wrote it in the first place.
    Some I'll continue working on, silly stuff mostly. Always like to have an ending though. :)
    Thanks for the links!

  11. I hear you there! Before publication, I actually used to bounce around about 5 or 6 different books, working a little on this one, a little on that one, never finishing anything before chasing a butterfly off to the next story. Ah, good times. I miss writing for fun. ;)

  12. I agree! Writing a story from scratch leaves you free to splurge in any direction you want; rewriting an old story...not so much. But what I do like about a rewrite is that most - not all - but most of the structure is already built.

  13. I am totally impressed that you have ten stories out on submission! Thanks for sharing the links.

  14. Sorry to hear there were no acceptances this past month. And with reworking old stories: sometimes it's just easier, and more fun, to start fresh.

  15. I'm always so impressed to read your submission stats. Even if you didn't get any acceptances in Feb, I love how you keep working away at it.

  16. Sometimes I get the creative juices flowing by writing something totally different, like fan fiction or something. Then it gets me int eh mood for more serious work:)

  17. Oh, yeah, editing old stories can be painful sometimes. On the other hand, it serves like a test of a sort, demonstrating how much I've changed as a writer since I wrote it.
    Thanks for your links, as always.

  18. The personal feedback is a score - I know it sucks that they are rejections, but hey, they spent some time with your work, right?
    Best wishes for sales and acceptances and lots of writing in March!

  19. Cheers to more inspiration and acceptances in March. I hate it to have so many unfinished ideas and articles as well, but when I think about all the time it would take to even try and focus on, let alone finish these projects, I get demotivated and start something totally new and unrelated! :-)

    1. Oh, and thanks again for the links. I did submit a story for Chicken Soup for the Soul in January after reading about them on your site! Haven't heard back, so probably no luck.

  20. I always fall short when I try to write more than one story at a time. I'm still trying to play catch-up from trying to write two-books at once. Positive thoughts for a few yesses on those submissions you have out there.

  21. I definitely agree that writing a new story is easier than revising/updating/whatever an old ms. I'm glad yours worked out.

  22. It's much easier for me to totally rewrite an old story than to edit what it was at the time. I always change over periods and want to rework things drastically. I don't have the confidence to simply clean up the plot and line-edit.

  23. Thanks so much for the links! As for your stories, perhaps you're trying to do too many things at once? Have you tried focusing on one? You've totally got this!

  24. I also have a bunch of unfinished stories. I seem to have a talent for starting off with a bang...and then fizzling out at some point.
    I have loads of partial stories from past A to Z challenges.