Wednesday, September 5, 2018

IWSG - Publishing Path, Stats & Links

It's the first Wednesday of September, and the last summer IWSG until next year!

The IWSG, or Insecure Writer's Support Group is a monthly blog gathering created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, where we address our insecurities and support each other. Anybody can join. Just click on Alex's name and sign up! Then post on the first Wednesday of each month and hop around to visit other IWSGers.

This month's co-hosts are  Toi Thomas, T. Powell Coltrin, M.J. Fifield, and Tara Tyler! Be sure to stop by and visit them!

The optional question is: What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?

My publishing path started with short stories. I started experimenting with them then submitting then getting published, and they completely sucked me in. Now I'm looking at trying to get a novel traditionally published.

My insecurities right now are centered on which project I should be putting the most effort into. I've done a poor job querying my novel, so no new queries out this month. There are two novels I need to finish, and since I can't decide between them, I just work on other things. Plus, I have a craft book on writing, submitting, and marketing short stories outlined, but I haven't started writing it yet.

And then there's the siren song of short stories. I sit here doubting these longer projects, so I avoid them completely, working on short stories instead. Because they make me happy.

What I need to do is choose one long-term project, buckle down, and finish it. In the meantime, I keep beating myself up about my failure to do so, and keep writing short stories. Which means I'm still working, still getting things done, but I'd like to finish these other projects, too.

Submissions for the next IWSG anthology open today!

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How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (Double spaced, no page numbers), previously unpublished story to admin @ before the deadline passes.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:
Elizabeth S. Craig, author
Elana Johnson, author
S.A. Larsen, author
D.L. Hammons, Write Club founder
Gwen Gardner, author
Kelly Van Sant, Red Sofa Literary Agency
Kristin Smith, author

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. 

Each month I post my submissions stats to keep myself accountable. This month is a good one! After a lull in publication (I got a bunch of short stories accepted this year, but many of the releases were slated to the end of this year, starting in September), I've got stories in two anthologies releasing in September. More on that below. For now, my stats for August submissions:

Short Stories
3 stories submitted
2 rejections (one after a short listing of almost a year, which left me incredibly disgruntled and disappointed)
1 acceptance
10 submissions pending

0 new novel queries sent
1 novel query pending

Time for my good news!

I've got a short story in Flight Into Fright, an all female horror anthology. It just released yesterday! Purchase links can be found here: Fright Into Flight.

I also have a story in the upcoming The Society of Misfit Stories, Volume II. These are novellas and novelettes, so it's a big collection. Pre-order link is on Amazon, with release on September 15.

I'll also be participating in a signing later this month. Books and Brews will be a multi-author signing, with small presses selling books. This will be Thursday, September 27, 6-8 PM, at Peak to Peak Tap & Brew in Aurora. Other participating authors are Chuck Anderson, DeAnna Knippling, Stace Johnson, J.L. Forrest, Jamie Ferguson, Jim LeMay, Lou J. Berger, Mario Acevedo, Rebecca Hodgkins, Richard Friesen, and Wayne Foust.

Now it's time for some links! Bear in mind I'm not endorsing these, merely passing them along. Always do your own due diligence before submitting.

Accepting Submissions: 

Feral Cat Publishers is seeking odd short fiction for Bubble Off Plumb. 1000 to 5000 words. Pays $.03/word plus royalties. Deadline September 30.

Red Room Press is seeking horror short stories for American Psychos: A Serial Killer Anthology. 3500 to 5500 words. Pays $100. Deadline October 1.

The Last Line is seeking flash fiction and short stories. Must have the last line "I will visit again if I am ever back this way." 300 to 5000 words. Pays $20-$40. Deadline October 1.

The /tEmz/ Review is seeking fiction, poetry, and reviews. 1 to 10,000 words. Pays $20.

Grasslimb is seeking poetry, prose, reviews, and art. Up to 2500 words. Pays $5-$70, depending upon type and length of work.

Folded Word is seeking fiction, poetry, essays, and more. Pays $5.

Flash Fiction Magazine is seeking flash fiction. 300 to 1000 words. Pays $40.

Tough is seeking crime short stories. 1500 to 7500 words. Pays $25.

Craft is seeking fiction and non-fiction. Up to 7000 words. Pays up to $200.

New Reader Magazine is seeking fiction, poetry, memoir, and more. Minimum of 500 words. Pay starts at $10.

What are your insecurities? How have you done on submissions this month? Is there anything you've been needing to do, but haven't been able to? Any of these links of interest? Will you be submitting to the IWSG anthology? Anything to share?

May you find your Muse.


  1. Two short stories - that's awesome!
    Hopefully you do write that book about short stories. That's something people ask about a lot.

  2. Happy IWSG Day!

    You have a lot going on, lots to submit. Though, you sound like you have a plan, even if it's not moving quickly. I can relate to not knowing which project to focus on.

    Thanks for sharing your stats.

    Congratulations on your short stories! Way to go!

    Thanks as always for sharing the submission links.

    I'm going to submit to the IWSG anthology but YA is not really my thing. I'm just so excited to have completed a YA story.

  3. Congrats on the short stories. I agree with Alex. You should write a guide about creating and submitting short stories.

  4. Congrats on getting your story into an anthology! I wish you happy writing in September.

  5. Congrats on the stories! Good luck with your querying. I pushed myself and submitted 4 short stories last month. I need to get back in the regular habit of that. Thanks for the links! I'm going to try one with the Bubble Off Plumb anthology. :)

  6. I'm the same way with short stories--I seem to always be writing them and finishing, though not submitting them quite yet while I have all these ideas for longer works and I can't seem to get through them.

  7. It's often easy to become scattered in this writing business. After all, this is a creative endeavor, so a straight line isn't always apparent or wise. I love short stories and so I applaud you for getting those out.

  8. Sometimes you just have to make yourself sit down and do it.

  9. Congrats on the publications! I can totally relate to being overwhelmed with so much to do, which to choose. Occasionally, I choose 'none of the above' and read a book or take a nap.

  10. It sure seems like you've been able to accomplish a lot. Just keep powering through...step by step. It's the only way to go!

  11. Deadlines help. ;) I used to get distracted by short stories, now I'm distracted by other full-length novels in various stages of completion. Ah, the writer's life, eh?

  12. Since the short stories make you happy, focusing on them is good. Focus on the things that make you happy until you're ready to face your novels.

  13. I totally get the appeal of short stories and novellas. There are famous writers who never wrote novels. Anton Chekhov and O. Henry come to mind. Not a bad role model, either of them.

  14. I get stumped by all the unfinished projects too. Some days my insecurities are that I'll never finish a project. Other days my insecurity is that nobody reads what I have finished and published. Never ending cycle.

  15. You're an inspiration on how many short stories you got published!

    I admit I had to put a stop on short story work while querying and revising my novel, but one can easily do both as well, I suppose.

    Congratulations on the short story hits this year, and here's hoping your queries land a target soon!

    Damyanti at Daily (w)rite

  16. I think a book on short stories is a great idea. Most of the books I see seem to focus on novels.

  17. I find shorts so challenging! My ideas all tend to be longer. I did write my first short for the last IWSG anthology - maybe time to try again! :)

  18. Congrats on your stories being included in those anthologies. Way to go. I hate to hear about Createspace. Amazon no longer needs the independents, and it shows!:-(

  19. I'm finding that short stories can be addicting. I love writing them. Sounds like you're having great luck with them, so good for you!

  20. I hear you about writing the short stories as opposed to working on the longer pieces.

    Excellent on the two stories!

  21. I can see how you'd get sucked into writing shorts. Easy and quick. Perhaps you could do one story per month and work on the novel during the rest of the time. Keeping your options open is always a good idea. Good luck.

  22. I think short story writing can be a good way to go. And you've been doing well in putting your work out there. Maybe you need to pull back from the novel projects until you really get on fire for them.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  23. Impressive productivity, Shannon and a great plan. I like the way that you keep track of your progress and give us such invaluable submission links.

  24. You are such an inspiration, Shannon. I can't imagine you ever worrying about a couple of novels when your stories alone could fill up volumes of literary excellence. Let your heart tell your fingers what to type ;-)

  25. Despite wanting to work on a longer project, it certainly sounds like you found a system that works for you. Great job!

  26. Congrats on your short story success and best of luck with the longer projects!

  27. Hi Shannon - lots of ideas here for us all - and short stories seem to be really popular - good for you - all the best = Hilary

  28. Sounds like you’re doing fine. You’re writing and you’re selling. Why worry about whether it’s a novel or not? That will come when you’re ready.

  29. Having multiple projects is good, I like to switch so I can keep a fresh approach to each. I absolutely fail at queries and pitches - I have this deep seated and not useful belief that if I could explain it to you in a sentence I needn't have written a book. Not born to advertise, at all. Cheering you on with that novel btw!

  30. Wow, Shannon, you are a busy bee, working on so many projects. I can totally relate to putting off the big job or the big project. I have only one (my memoir), but it is so easy to focus on other stuff until I have that “big chunk” of time to dig into the writing and editing process again.

    As for me and my achievements this month? Nothing, nada, nil has happened, since I’ve been traveling in our van this summer.

  31. I think if you're used to one form of writing, it's a leap out of your comfort zone to move to a longer story. But there again the acceptances you've had are a spur that you can definitely do it. I think it's OK to commit to writing a novel but let yourself continue to write and submit short stories if you hit a wall (which happens with nearly all books at some point!) That way not all the pressure is on thing.

  32. Two anthologies in one month? That's splendid news! I'm so happy for you.

    Hope you topple those novels soon.

  33. I think that short stories are a great thing to be working on! I understand the desire to do the novel, but you clear have something good going on with shorts, and if you are writing them while stuck with the long projects, I think you are doing very well!

    I’m late with my comments, but finally have reliable internet for the first time in 3 weeks, so I’ll be working my way around! My IWSG post: