Created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the IWSG is a blogging community that comes together to support each other in our ups and downs. We post on the first Wednesday of each month. You can, too! Click on Alex's name above and sign up. Be sure to visit some new to you blogs and say thanks to the co-hosts: Patricia Lynne, Lisa Buie-Collard, Kim Lajevardi, and Fundy Blue!
I'm starting the year in a down place, frustrated with some aspects of the publishing business and feeling like a failure in several ways.
I suspect part of it is the fact that the holiday season depresses me, but at the same time, I've had a string of bad experiences with some publishers lately, including two breaches of contract I've been dealing with. Maybe I've simply been lucky up to now. I can say that, overwhelmingly, short story editors and publishers are fabulous people who put their passion into their magazines and anthologies, and do their absolute best, even though most of them aren't making any money off these publications (and many are funding them from their day jobs). I've enjoyed working with those I've worked with in the past (and the vast majority of the ones I'm currently working with). It's disappointing that the end of my year (and thus the beginning of the next) had to be tainted by these experiences, and I keep telling myself it's rare, and to push forward. (To be clear, I'm not talking about normal things, like delays in publication, etc. I'm talking about breaches of contract; not getting paid; books not coming out at all, with a strange email from an editor that the publisher is refusing to respond to his queries about why the finished book has not been released, and said publisher ignoring my queries; and similar issues.)
In addition, I've been struggling with finishing anything. I'm at this weird crossroads where I'm doubting my writing and feeling like if I put out something bad it will ruin any minor amount of accomplishment I've reached. So it holds me back. I realize it's this fear that's keeping me from writing, but recognizing the issue doesn't seem to make it any easier to write most of the time. I'm also struggling with resubmitting rejected pieces, but I'll be buckling down tonight and getting that done.
To end on a more positive note, I managed to not only get some writing done this week, but to finish a short story I'd been working on for a while. That, despite starting a new day job on top of the one I already have, and some real life stress/drama that's piled on in the last month. I'm feeling pretty good about that, and I hope it indicates those self-doubts are starting to fade some. Here's looking forward to a positive update in February.
I almost forgot the optional question for the month: What are your favorite and least favorite questions people ask you about your writing?
I like questions about what inspired my stories. Sometimes they're completely random, but often there's a story behind the story. There's at least one question I hate to be asked, yet I'm drawing a blank. I'll have to update if I remember it.
Before I get to submission stats for December, how about some IWSG news? We've got the contributors for the next IWSG anthology!
Oddly Suited by LG Keltner
Sea of Sorrows by AV Brown
Behind the Catcher’s Mask by Jennifer Lane
A Diver’s Ball by Angela Brown
Fearless Heart by Deborah Solice
The Dark Charade by CD Gallant-King
The Cog Prince by Elizabeth Mueller
Flower of Ronda by Myles Christensen
Remedy by Chelsea Ballard
Charleston Masquerade by Carrie-Anne Brownian
The top story has the honors of being included in the title. LG Keltner’s story came out on top! The official title of our next anthology – Masquerade: Oddly Suited. Congratulations, LG. (She was also in the top spot for our first anthology, Parallels: Felix Was Here.)
The IWSG Admins spent many hours reading the entries and fourteen were sent to our special judges. We certainly wish to thank them for taking time away from their own work to read the entries:
Elizabeth S. Craig, author
Kelly Van Sant, agent at Red Sofa Literary Agency
Elana Johnson, author
DL Hammons, Write Club founder
S.A. Larsen, author
Kristin Smith, author
Gwen Gardner, author and previous IWSG anthology winner
Look for Masquerade: Oddly Suited late spring!
Congratulations to everyone! There were so many great entries!
Don't forget #IWSGPit is coming up January 15! Do you have a manuscript ready to pitch? Come out to Twitter and pitch to editors and agents.
The Insecure Writer’s Support Group
Twitter Pitch Party!
January 15, 2019
8:00 am to 8:00 pm Eastern Time
All writers and authors are invited to participate.
Create a Twitter-length pitch for your completed and polished manuscript and leave room for genre, age, and the hashtag. On January 15, Tweet your pitch. If your pitch receives a favorite/heart from a publisher/agent check their submission guidelines and send your requested query.
Many writers have seen their books published from a Twitter pitch - it’s a quick and easy way to put your manuscript in front of publishers and agents.
Writers may send out 1 Twitter pitch every 1 hour per manuscript.
Publishers/Agents will favorite/heart pitches they are interested in. Publishers can either Tweet basic submission guidelines or direct writers to their submission guidelines. (Writers, please do not favorite/heart pitches.)
No images allowed in pitches.
Pitches must include GENRE/AGE and the hashtag #IWSGPit.
#C - children’s
#MG - middle grade
#YA - young adult
#NA - new adult
#A - adult
#AD - adventure
#CF - Christian fiction
#CO - contemporary
#F - fantasy
#H - horror
#HI - historical
#LF - literary fiction
#MCT - mystery/crime/thriller
#ME - memoir
#NF - non-fiction
#PB - picture book
#PN - paranormal
#R - romance
#SF - sci-fi
#WF - women's fiction
#UF - urban fantasy
#S - suspense
*Authors, please check out the publishers and agents before submitting.*
The February challenge will be 28 Days.
Okay, time for my December stats. I post them each IWSG Day to keep myself accountable.
1 story returned after contract timed out with no published book, so I'll be submitting that tomorrow, too
2 stories pulled from unresponsive markets who appear to have gone under
8 stories currently on submission
Are you submitting? Getting any writing done? What questions do you like or dislike people asking about your writing? What are your insecurities? Will you be taking part in #IWSGPit or WEP?
May you find your Muse.