The Insecure Writer’s Support Group ~No#103

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time.

The awesome co-hosts for the July posting of the IWSG are: Jenni Enzor, Beth Camp, Liesbet @ Roaming About, Tyrean Martinson, and Sandra Cox!

Don’t forget to visit them and thank them for co-hosting!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.
Remember, the question is optional!

JULY 01st QUESTION: There have been many industry changes in the last decade, so what are some changes you would like to see happen in the next decade?

In recent years, the explosive growth of e-books seems to be flattening out somewhat. However, we all know that they’re here to stay. Having said that, I’d love to see a revival in the popularity of paperbacks and hard copies. Apparently, print books are showing no signs of continued decline, anyway. They’re still favored by many readers. 

I would love to see the rise of stories where a writer’s distinct voice is “the hook”, not only the “high concept” stories which can captivate readers with a title or even just a single sentence. 

From an educational perspective, I’d like to see more of a three-way collaboration with authors, libraries and schools: scheduled group visits to libraries where authors do live school group readings, and hold writing workshops with school writing groups, as well as other activities/events. I do know that this may be happening regularly in some parts of the world. Am I right?

A reminder about the annual contest.
Guidelines and rules:

Word count: 4500-6000

Genre: Science Fiction

Theme: Dark Matter

Submissions accepted: May 6 – September 2, 2020

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (double-spaced, no footers or headers), previously unpublished story to admin @ before the deadline passes. Please include your full contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter IWSG group.

Happy IWSG Day!   


  1. Jemi Fraser on July 1, 2020 at 5:16 pm

    Yes! I’d love to that author collaboration between schools, libraries, and authors as well. Spreading the joy of the written word is a fabulous idea!

    • Michelle Wallace on July 3, 2020 at 7:02 am

      Solid reading programmes would go a long way in helping to solve literacy challenges faced in education!

  2. Alex J. Cavanaugh on July 1, 2020 at 6:05 pm

    I don’t do print books anymore, but a lot of people still do. They won’t go away for a very long time.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 3, 2020 at 7:03 am

      I love the tactile experience of a physical book PLUS I have to give my eyes a rest from the screen.

  3. Cathrina on July 1, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    Great ideas and post for this months question!!!

    My favorite will always be hardcover and paperback books to read.

  4. Tyrean A Martinson on July 1, 2020 at 7:39 pm

    I love the changes you mention, because it seems like they are slowly beginning to take place. There’s a group in my area – Write 253 – who work with teen writers in the schools and outside the schools. I tried to volunteer for a poetry slam event, just as COVID started, so I’m hoping to revisit volunteering with them when life returns to a new normal.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 3, 2020 at 7:06 am

      Write 253 sounds amazing. I wish I had more hours in the day to get involved with a school writing group.

  5. L. Diane Wolfe on July 2, 2020 at 12:06 am

    Yes to libraries, schools, and authors working together more!!!

    • Michelle Wallace on July 3, 2020 at 7:07 am

      It would help with the illiteracy levels we’re faced with. Ours are unbelievably high…

  6. Patsy on July 2, 2020 at 6:08 am

    I read both ebooks and paperbacks. Both have their advantages and disadvantages and will, I think, be around for a long time to come.

  7. Annalisa Crawford on July 2, 2020 at 8:45 am

    I prefer paperbacks. When I start a new book, it takes me longer to get into an ecopy. I still read them, but it’s not quite the same.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 3, 2020 at 7:10 am

      Me too. The ebook reading experience is a bit impersonal, on some level… if that makes sense?

  8. Rachna Chhabria on July 2, 2020 at 11:42 am

    Hi Michelle, yes this three-way collaboration with authors, libraries and schools is really a good idea. Hope it happens soon.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 3, 2020 at 7:11 am

      Our literacy levels are shocking. The three-way collaboration would really help.

  9. M.J. Fifield on July 2, 2020 at 2:08 pm

    When I buy books, they’re almost always physical books, but I do check out a lot of ebooks from the library (especially these days).

    I’d love to see more collabs with authors, schools, and libraries. I would have loved that as a student.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 3, 2020 at 7:12 am

      For me, the paperback reading experience is more immersive.
      The three-way collaboration would be a significant educational move to address our shocking literacy levels.

  10. C. Lee McKenzie on July 2, 2020 at 3:20 pm

    I still love to hold a book and turn the pages. And meeting readers, talking about writing with writers in person, not on Zoom, is absolutely the very best. I can’t wait for my library to reopen, so I can “lurk” among the stack again. How I miss that.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 3, 2020 at 7:14 am

      I would love to talk about writing “in person” with more writers.

  11. Patty Josephine on July 2, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    That’s a great idea for collaborations. It’s like a match made in heaven. =)

  12. Patricia Josephine on July 2, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    That is a great idea. I think it needs to happen.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 3, 2020 at 7:15 am

      Imagine if educational departments bought into this idea? It would be a major change in the industry.

  13. Lee Lowery on July 2, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    Great idea about the three-way collaboration. I love any idea that involves the library.

    As far as books, despite the many advantages of e-books (storage and portability can’t be beat) I am always going to prefer to hold an actual book in my hands, to enjoy the cover art every time I pick it up, or to flip back to earlier parts when the mood strikes. Just turning the pages is part of the reading experience for me. Thumbing or scrolling? Not so much.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 3, 2020 at 7:18 am

      The physical book experience is more immersive. It’s the tactile aspect, flipping pages and marking sections, amongst other things, that does something for the brain.

  14. Sonia Dogra on July 2, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    Author collaboration would be a great way to motivate too. Though eBooks are around, in India I think we will take a while to shed the prejudice against them.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 3, 2020 at 7:20 am

      There is that lingering prejudice, though not as bad as before. It took me a while to accept the ebooks. Still gravitate towards my paperbacks…

  15. Nick Wilford on July 2, 2020 at 6:55 pm

    I definitely don’t want anything to happen to paper books, even though they account for probably less than 10% of what I read now (I should up that). It is a nicer experience. And more work with libraries and schools sounds great, children need to be encouraged to explore their creativity.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 3, 2020 at 7:23 am

      The collaboration would lead to greater opportunities for children to explore creativity. We all know that creativity is a key factor in the workplace today. There’s this quote that confirms it: “The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind—creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers.”

  16. Yvette Carol on July 2, 2020 at 7:12 pm

    Yes, I love those wishes, Michelle! I publish e-books and some printed. However, personally, I can’t read books on a screen. I spend so much of my life looking at a screen as a writer that the idea of reading books the same way is simply too much. It’s too tiring for the eyes and I need a break from it. I was just talking to someone the other day who has hundreds of books on his Kindle. He said, ‘Sometimes I get sick of my Kindle and just want to flip the pages of a real novel.’ Have you ever heard anyone say, I get sick of reading (paper) books? I haven’t.

  17. Juneta Key on July 2, 2020 at 8:45 pm

    I seldom do print anymore because harder on my eyes, but I do love holding them.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 3, 2020 at 7:25 am

      It’s the opposite for me, the screen is harder on my eyes.

  18. ChemistKen on July 3, 2020 at 1:37 am

    There’s still an intrinsically good feeling when you hold a physical book in your hand, but the ease and convenience of carrying hundreds of ebooks around with you can’t be beat. So I think they’ll always be both, that is, until we run out of trees.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 3, 2020 at 7:26 am

      Yes, we’re about to run out of trees. There’s that to consider…

  19. Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy on July 3, 2020 at 5:43 am

    I still love print books but I also love ebooks for their convenience and because they don’t take up a lot of room. I’ve run out of shelf space!!

  20. Yvonne V on July 4, 2020 at 3:35 am

    I’m still a fan of print books. 🙂

  21. C.G.Coppola on July 4, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    I still buy ebooks mostly, but if I simply *love* it, I’ll get a physical copy. But thankfully people are still thirsty for reading in general! Happy writing 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on July 5, 2020 at 5:35 am

      I also buy ebooks but look forward to “curling up” with a paperback from time to time.😃

  22. Toi Thomas on July 4, 2020 at 9:47 pm

    I like your ideas about collaboration.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 5, 2020 at 5:36 am

      That’s the prefect collaboration. It’s a win-win-win.

  23. Denise Covey on July 5, 2020 at 3:56 am

    Hi Michelle! There’s a place for both print and ebook. I read both equally, but there’s nothing to replace the feel of a print book in hand. Yum.

    • Michelle Wallace on July 5, 2020 at 5:37 am

      There’s place for both. Definitely. A print book is yummy!

  24. Hilary Melton-Butcher on July 5, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    Hi Michelle – I really don’t like ebooks … but I read quite involved educative books – so easier to have in print. I think ebooks could be used for much shorter articles – which could easily be read out to those who can’t perhaps read any more … good luck with the anthology – and all the best to you and yours – Hilary

  25. Michelle Wallace on July 6, 2020 at 5:14 am

    Thanks, Hilary!

  26. Elizabeth Mueller on July 7, 2020 at 5:53 am

    School readings would be great! But with COVID19, everything is out! *sigh*

    It’s good to see that ebooks are flattening, especially with paperbacks not falling–if only they’d rise but I think they will in the far future–people will start feeling nostalgic over it and bring them back. What do you think?

  27. Michelle Wallace on July 7, 2020 at 6:01 am

    Nostalgia is a strong emotion, so who knows? I do think paperbacks will rise… to a certain degree…

  28. J.H. Moncrieff on July 7, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    Those are some great ideas, Michelle. While I’ve collaborated plenty with libraries, I haven’t with public schools yet…most likely because I write for adults. However, I do teach writing classes at various schools and libraries.

    Happy writing!

    • Michelle Wallace on July 8, 2020 at 4:26 pm

      I’d love to get involved with teaching writing to students… but time is too tight at the moment. Maybe one day. Thank you, Holli!

  29. Ronel Janse van Vuuren on July 22, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    I like the idea of the three-way collaboration — once we don’t need masks anymore, of course.

    Ronel catching up for July IWSG day A Decade of Writing

    • Michelle Wallace on July 27, 2020 at 1:48 pm

      Yes, once we are mask-less (fingers crossed) a three-way collaboration would be a wonderful initiative.
      All we need is to get the Dept. Of Education to buy into this idea.

  30. Deniz on July 28, 2020 at 8:55 am

    Ooh, I like that idea a lot. Actually, i just read Circe by Madeline Miller, and that was quite an intriguing voice — a sort of unreliable narrator at the start, who is also a bit naive, but it was wonderful to grow along with her!

  31. Loni Townsend on July 28, 2020 at 2:06 pm

    The collaboration sounds like a great idea!

    Print books work best for my son, but eBooks have saved my daughter with the onset of the pandemic when the library closed. They still allowed the checking out of eBooks, and now she’s finished all 13 books of the Wings of Fire series!

    • Michelle Wallace on August 4, 2020 at 5:39 pm

      There is a place for both print and e-books.
      I say, as long as the children are reading, then I’m happy. Sounds like your kids have already developed good reading habits.

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