Wednesday, December 5, 2018

IWSG - Writing Spaces & Links

It's the first Wednesday of December, which means it's time for another edition of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, created by Alex J. Cavanaugh.

The purpose of this group is to out your writing woes, gain support from fellow writers, and give support to those who need it. All are welcome to participate. Just sign up HERE. Post on the first Wednesday each month and hop around to visit others. We recommend trying to visit twelve new blogs and meet some new people!

This month's optional question is: What are 5 objects we'd find in your writing space?

How about some photos?

You'd see my Funko Pops (each one represents a short story sold).

Movie posters and artwork (the xenomorph was created by my friend Jade as a 40th birthday present last year).

Pictures of loved ones.

(I've got pictures of my parents awaiting frames.)

Badges/nametags from events where I've presented.

My library lamp.

And a bonus of my super sloppy shelves, which include craft books, contributor copies, and lots of horror stuff and personal objects (plus photo albums and my X-Files collectors cards from the 90s).

Last month I titled my blog post The Little Things then completely forgot why I'd titled it that way. What I'd intended to post was a little story about exciting small things that happen in writers' lives. So I'll tell you this month instead. As writers we deal with a lot of rejection, so we have to celebrate the little things when they come along. 

One of my neighbors, who I didn't know very well, but we were friendly, asked my husband if I was a writer. She'd done a search on Amazon for horror short stories and found my anthology. Having no idea it was me, she'd ordered it on Kindle and read it. When she got to the end, she recognized my headshot. Ultimately, she ended up ordering a stack of signed books to send out to friends and family, which is probably the coolest experience I've had as an author, so far.

I know the holidays are hard on a lot of people, so I did a post last week about depression and some coping methods for those who might need it. At the very least, know you're not alone.

Okay, it's time for submission stats. Each month, I run through the stats for the previous month to keep myself accountable.

In November:

6 rejections
1 withdrawal (they had zero activity on Duotrope for the last year, and I wanted to submit the story elsewhere)
0 acceptances
6 submissions

Right now, I have 10 short stories out on submission.

Don't forget that this is a WEP month! WEP and IWSG have joined forces. 

Next month is IWSGPit! Get ready to pitch to editors and agents!

Now 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:

Bad Dream Entertainment is seeking humorous horror stories for an anthology. 1500 to 8000 words. Pays $.06/word. Deadline December 31.

Unlit Press is seeking stories on the theme of Darkness for the anthology Curse the Darkness. 3000 to 10,000 words. Will pay about $100 (payment is in pounds). Deadline December 31.

Zombies Need Brains is seeking fantasy and sci-fi stories for three different anthologies: Portals, Temporally Deactivated, and Alternate Peace. Will pay a minimum of $.06/word with further royalties once earned out. Deadline December 31.

Cantabrigian is seeking literary fiction. Up to 8000 words. Pays between $20 and $50. Deadline December 31.

Chicken Soup for the Soul is seeking stories about angels. Up to 1200 words. Pays $200. Deadline December 31.

Spring Song Press is seeking steampunk stories for the anthology Steam and Lace. 1000 to 10,000 words. Pays $.01/word. Deadline January 1.

What are your insecurities? What is something cool that has happened to you as a writer? What are your submission stats for the month? Any of these links of interest? Anything to share?

May you find your Muse.

*Artwork by OCAL,
*Photos by me


  1. That is just awesome she ordered your books as gifts! Wow, every writer's dream.
    X-Files trading cards. I wonder if they are worth anything?

  2. I think it's so much fun that you order a Funko Pop every time you sell a story. And I love how your neighbor read and ordered your book!

  3. Wow, that's a lot of stories sold! Love the Funko Pops and what a great way to celebrate your accomplishments. Your space is awesome.

  4. That is so cool about your neighbor! I love the peek into your writing space. :) Thanks for the links. I need to get back on top of my submitting game.

  5. That was incredible your neighbor got the book and didn't realize it was you.

  6. How neat to have that happen with your neighbor! You have so many neat things in your writing space. It must be a fun place to be.

  7. Your neighbor is awesome!!!
    I like your writing space, too. I have sloppy shelves nearby, but not quite where I write - otherwise, I would get distracted and just read.
    Best wishes on your submissions!

  8. What a great story! Thanks for sharing it with us. How funny that your neighbor purchased your anthology without even realizing it was yours!

    I push myself to submit 100 times a year, and this year I was slightly past that once I hit November, so I'm happy. Sold three short stories this year, landed three novel contracts and a bunch of teaching engagements, and got an agent. Submitting definitely pays off.

  9. Your pictures remind me of how my living room looks.

  10. That thing with your neighbor is so cool! Your writing space is really cute, a real testament to your achievements what with all those Funko pops and event badges.

  11. I love your little Funko Pops! What a great idea to have that visual for your successes. And story about your neighbor and your book is almost one of those Hallmark moments - exept Hallmark doesn't do awesome horror.

  12. I never heard of Funko Pops before, but you sure have a nice little army of them. Congratulations! They represent a LOT of sold stories. :)

    What happened with your neighbor is waaaay cool. That was no small thing. I'd call it monumental!

  13. This is such a great prompt. I love peeking into other peoples workspaces and hearing about their processes. Thanks for the pics and for the links. Happy Holidays!

  14. What a great story about your neighbor reading your book, and then ordering copies for friends!

  15. That is an extremely cool thing your neighbor did. I like your badge display. Happy holidays to you and yours.

  16. You're right about the holidays being difficult for some, esp. if you've lost a loved one. I went to a neighborhood garage sale, and a neighbor asked if I was a writer. Turned out her husband is a writer, too. Happy coincidence. Best wishes for a great month.

  17. That's so cool about your neighbor! And you're right - you've got to celebrate the little things! (although that's far from little imo)

  18. Since there are more little things than big, if you celebrate them, you will be in a continual state of thanksfulness, right? I have my signed Funko Pops staring at me as I write: wONDER WOMAN, FURIOSA, the PUNISHER, Kevin Conroy (the voice of Batman in the Animated Series, and Eleven. Happiest of Holidays!

  19. Your writing space is awesome! Hi, Shannon!

  20. Enjoyed seeing you writing space. That is cool about the neighbor. Happy IWSG.

  21. Thanks for the photos. It's true that a picture is worth a thousand words. And what a charming story about your neighbor turned reader and fan.

  22. That's awesome that your neighbor came across your work on their own!

  23. Whoa, you do like horror, don't you? :) Those dolls would really distract me, especially when they come alive at night...

  24. What a cool writing space, Shannon - love how your shelves are books and mementos. I collected many of the badges and neck IDs from when I was a journalist-photographer - and I still have a few around gathering dust.

  25. What a great story about your neighbour. It's nice to be surprised like that.

  26. Loved ones and Alien posters. Nice choices! You have such a lovely working space. :)

    A heads up that Fireside Magazine will be opening shortly and paying 10+ cents per word for stories up to 4,000 words.

  27. What an amazing, motivating and rewarding story about your neighbor. Indeed, one of the nicest things that could happen to a writer.

    I love your Funko Pops collection, representing stories sold. What a great way of "materializing" and remembering the sales.

    Since we are about the same age, I can't help but compare myself to you and be full of respect of what you have accomplished as a writer, Shannon. Well done! Keep on writing and submitting and collecting Funko Pops next year!