Wednesday, October 3, 2018

October? Impossible! IWSG

October is my favorite month, hands down. Fall, spooky things, Halloween, sweaters, gorgeous colors in the leaves, pellet stove, and the ability to actually cook real food without spending a fortune on air conditioning or simply roasting. Yay!

Since it's the first Wednesday of October, it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group.

Created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, this group exists to seek and lend support to fellow writers. Anyone can sign up. Simply click on Alex's name and enter your blog on the link list. Make sure to visit this month's awesome co-hosts:

Don't forget about the IWSG Anthology Contest!

Guidelines and rules: 

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How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (Double spaced, no page numbers), previously unpublished story to admin @ before the deadline passes.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. 

We've had some entries already, but we want more, more, more! If YA Romance isn't your genre, this is an excellent opportunity to stretch yourself and try something new.

This month's optional question: How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?

For me, I've found that if there's a major negative life event occurring, my creativity buries its head in the sand. When we evacuated during the Waldo Canyon Fire and were staying at a hotel, people kept saying, "I bet you've got tons of writing time!" Sure. Only I was stuck in a one bedroom hotel room with my terrified children, had no idea if my home was still standing, or my parents', or my friends'. I was too busy figuring out next steps, like where to go if the house was gone. Whether my husband's workplace would still be standing. All that jazz.

When my dad was diagnosed with ALS, I froze up for a few months. No writing. No desire to write, because I didn't have the emotional energy.

I can't say writing has helped me through anything. It's helped me cope with things afterward, but my creativity seems to disappear when my emotional energy is low. That's okay, because I always eventually get back to it, and get to exorcise it through the stories that follow.

Before I get to this month's stats, a couple cool things happened this month.

First, Strangeful Things made women in horror trading cards, and I'm on one! If you're attending the Women in Horror Film Festival, check out the Strangeful Things table. They've got some horror goodies, including these bonus trading cards.

And I discovered this awesome Ladies of Horror Fiction website, which includes a directory of female horror authors. And I'm on it! Exciting!

Also, I was interviewed over at Wonderland Press.

Okay, stats for the month. For those who haven't visited here before, I go over my previous month's submission stats to keep myself accountable.

In September:

3 submissions
1 acceptance
2 rejections
2 publications (Fright Into Flight and Society of Misfit Stories, Volume II
1 other (I've assumed it is rejected since I haven't heard back)

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

Accepting Submissions:

Nonbinary Review is seeking literary pieces with the theme Dante's Inferno. Up to 2000 words. Pays $.01/word for fiction and nonfiction. Poetry and visual art are paid differently. Deadline October 24.

Flash Bang Mysteries is seeking flash mystery and suspense. 500 to 750 words. Pays $20. Deadline October 31.

Atlantean Publishing is seeking British folklore fiction and poetry. Short story to novelette length. Pays one penny Sterling per word. Deadline October 31. is seeking short horror pieces for Kill Switch, a tech horror anthology. Think Black Mirror. 2000 to 7000 words. Pays $10. Deadline October 31.

Chicken Soup for the Soul is seeking stories with the theme Life Lessons From the Dog. Stories should be personal and written in first person. 1200 words or less. Pays $200. Deadline October 31.

Shenandoah is seeking short stories, essays, poems, etc. Up to 8000 words. Pay varies. Deadline October 31.

Our Loss Anthology is seeking fiction or poetry dealing with sadness and loss. Up to 8000 words. Pays in royalties. Deadline October 31.

Can you write when things are tough? Does it help? Have you submitted any pieces this month? Care to share your stats? Are you going to submit to the IWSG anthology? Any of these links of interest? Anything to share?

May you find your Muse.

*artwork by, OCAL


  1. Yeh for October! Congrats on all the successes, Shannon!

    I have a story coming out later this month for a Halloween issue of a new-to-me zine. :)

  2. This is totally your month--release wise. I hear you about stress and the missing creativity. Any time there's too much stress, especially of the negative variety, I either want to completely disappear into my writing, or I can't get my brain anywhere close. Here's to an epic October!

  3. I couldn't write with that kind of stress. With the hurricane a couple weeks ago, I didn't write. We put together a puzzle and watched it storm outside.

  4. I'm the same at you. Major things are hard for me to write during. At first, I'd feel guilty, but things always calmed down and I could focus back on writing, so I try not to let guilt get to me during those tough times.

  5. Horror trading cards! Those are so cool.
    When things happen, I don't write much, but it usually doesn't end up in one of my stories.

  6. That is so awesomely cool that you're on a horror trading card! I don't think I could be productive writing during a natural disaster and worrying about the kiddos, if building will still be standing etc.

  7. What a chockful post. You are one busy horror writer! I would have to agree, about traumatic events taking away from writing time. When I've traveled (to visit sick relatives or other reasons), I don't write as well. I'm distracted by why I'm there and the creativity just doesn't come.

    I hadn't really thought about that before.

  8. Hi Shannon - I certainly couldn't write with disaster going on around me - so can quite understand your creative-head burying and just doing the essentials. Congratulations on those interviews, the horror trading cards - what fun ... and good luck for October - cheers Hilary

  9. Very cool, Shannon! Who wouldn't want to be on a trading card?

    Happy Halloween!

  10. No writing during disasters for me either. I'm lucky if I can find a good book written by someone else to lose myself in.

  11. Cool trading cards!
    This time of year, spooky Halloween, must get your muse working.
    Happy Halloween!

  12. Shannon, you're on a trading card? That means you're famous!
    The October WEP theme is horror... up your alley! Are you participating?

  13. How awesome you're on a trading card! :) October is my favorite month too. When tough times hit, I write. It's easier to get through my emotions that way. I got one acceptance last week for Flash Fiction Magazine, so I'm excited. :) Thanks for the links.

  14. Wow, how cool was that. You're a trading card. Awesome. Fall and October especially are my faves too. Lately, I just try to write cause tough times seem to be hanging around so I have got to write through them. Hmmm, well try anyways, some days are good and some not so much. The point persist, persist, persist. The drop in creativity though is the same for me, some days I cannot just soldier on. Happy IWSG Day. Love reading your blog.

  15. You're on a card made by someone other than you. That surely qualifies as a big success. Congrats!

  16. First, congratulations on your success, Shannon. Second, you are probably right that in the midst of a crisis, writing is very little if any help. Whereas after the event is when the words come. Unless the crisis is ongoing.

  17. Like you, I never write through negative life events. But when things are clearing up, oh yeah, the juices flow. Congrats on making those lists. Way to go.

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  19. I do write when things are tough, even if it's just privately in a journal. Sometimes I feel what you described though, no emotional energy to do anything, not even write. But eventually the muse returns. :)
    I am very interested in several of your links. I have never submitted to a contest, guess I'll have to try it soon! Thanks for sharing!

  20. It is hard to write against life's winds, but if I didn't, I would never write! How cool. You have a trading card of yourself! Once when I had a book store, I was put in a local video game as one of the characters. Have a great weekend!

  21. You're on a trading card - fantastic! Sounds like you had a wonderful month;-)
    You're so right about writing AFTER the storm passes, though journaling keeps me from screaming about things I can't control.
    I love the holiday months!

  22. October is definitely my favorite month! And I love the idea of those cards!