The Insecure Writer’s Support Group ~ No#69

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 September posting of the IWSG are:  Tyrean Martinson, Tara Tyler, Raimey Gallant, and Beverly Stowe McClure!

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

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

September marks six years for the IWSG group and four years for the website. You know what that means…

The annual IWSG Anthology Contest!

Eligibility: Any member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is encouraged to enter – blogging or Facebook member. The story must be previously unpublished. Entry is free.
Word count: 3500-6000
Genre: Mystery/Crime/Thriller
Theme: Tick Tock. The story revolves around a clock, is time sensitive, or has something about a specific time. This theme has plenty of scope and we’re open to pretty much anything along these lines. No erotica, R-rated language, or graphic violence.
Story deadline: November 1st 2017
How to enter: Send your polished, formatted, previously unpublished story to admin @ before the deadline passes.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 or Facebook 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 writes cozy mystery series for Penguin Random House, Midnight Ink, and independently. She curates links on Twitter as @elizabethscraig that are later shared in the free search engine Writers Knowledge Base.

Anne Hawkins is a partner in John Hawkins & Associates, Inc., New York. Founded in 1893 by Paul R. Reynolds, it is the oldest literary agency in the country. She works with mainstream literary and commercial fiction, including mystery, suspense, and thrillers and a wide variety of serious non-fiction, particularly history, politics, biography, science, and natural history. A number of her books have gained distinction through award nominations, book-to-film contracts, significant foreign rights sales, major book club selections, or placement on the New York Times bestseller list. Anne Hawkins is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives.

Candace Havens is the Editorial Director of Covet has written multiple novels for Berkley, Entangled and Harlequin. Her books have received nominations for the RITA’s, Holt Medallion and Write Touch Reader Awards. She is one of the nation’s leading entertainment journalists, runs a free online writing workshop, and teaches comprehensive writing class.

Author, Public Speaker, and Executive Producer, Lynn Tincher was born just outside of Louisville, Kentucky in the beautiful city of La Grange. She has written four books, with the fifth one currently in the making. Her first book, Afterthoughts was optioned for movie production by Kilted Pictures and Dancing Forward Productions in Los Angeles. It is currently in pre-production with plans to shoot in Louisville, Kentucky very soon.

Ion Newcombe is the editor and publisher of AntipodeanSF, Australia’s longest running online speculative fiction magazine, regularly issued since January 1998. His qualifications and employment range from horticulture through electronics into literature and communications.

Patricia (Pat) Stoltey is the author of four crime fiction novels published by Five Star/Cengage including a historical mystery called Wishing Caswell Dead ( (December 2017). She lives in Northern Colorado with her husband Bill, Sassy Dog, and Katie Cat. To learn more about Patricia and her books, visit her website/blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Mason Canyon had a love of books since childhood encouraged by a mother who loved to read. A 30+year career in journalism fueled her desire to know what a story is all about. Blogging at Thoughts in Progress since 2009 and operating MC Book Tours for over a year. Loves to read and share great stories with others. MC Book Tours.

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.

We’re excited to see the creativity and enthusiasm that’s such a part of this group put into action. So don your creative caps and start writing. And spread the word!

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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! 

SEPTEMBER 06th QUESTION: Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? For example, by trying a new genre you didn’t think you’d be comfortable in?
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d write a fantasy story. But
I did. The story is part of a published collection which consists of re-imagined fairytales. It’s an urban fantasy story (which I discovered after the fact…I had no idea that such a genre even existed. Ha!)
Just for the record: poetry is my first love…which was swiftly ousted by flash fiction. However, my first bit of ‘solid’ writing was creative non-fiction, which I feel very comfortable with and really enjoy. But I love the mystery/suspense/thriller genre too.
‘Nuff said.

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A reminder that Show Us Your Writer Insecurity takes place next month. On Wednesday, October 4 (IWSG Day), post a photo of yourself (or your alter ego) with any of the IWSG swag or with the IWSG logo. Then leave a comment that day at either the IWSG website’s post or the IWSG Facebook post, directing us to your photo. (All blog, Facebook, Goodreads, and newsletter members welcome, but photo must be posted on a blog or Facebook to qualify.)

Happy IWSG Day! I’m off to visit some blogs!


  1. C. Lee McKenzie on September 6, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Happy IWSG Day! Great news about the anthology. There’s always something happening in this group.

  2. Anna on September 6, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    It’s always good to test our wings. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  3. Elsie on September 6, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    I’ve never tried to write fantasy. Not sure I’d be any good at it, but who knows, maybe I’d be like you and surprise myself? 🙂

    Enjoy the rest of your week!

  4. Nick Wilford on September 6, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    That goes to show it’s always good to take a leap, because you never know where you could land. We’re going to see some great entries for this next anthology.

  5. Carol Kilgore on September 6, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    This is going to be a great anthology. I’m looking forward to reading it! Happy September 🙂

  6. Loni Townsend on September 6, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Woot for your fantasy venture working out! Yay!

  7. Ryan Carty on September 6, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    Writing fantasy horrifies me! All that world building…and it seems like there are more rules than I can handle. Then again, I may be completely off base and making up reasons to never try and write fantasy.

  8. Rhonda Gilmour on September 6, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    It’s fun to stretch our wings and try new genres. I’ll bet doing so has made my writing stronger in my main genres: mystery and women’s fiction. However, I recently attended a workshop on branding for writers (as in selling books, not sizzling flesh) in which the speaker emphasized the importance of picking a genre and sticking to it–if you hope to sell books. ‘Tis a dilemma.

  9. Alex J. Cavanaugh on September 6, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    And I bet you could write in even more genres if you tried.
    Anthology is going to rock!

  10. Tyrean Martinson on September 6, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    Congratulations on your story! I think you’re a brilliant writer and your flash fiction shows that you could tackle any genre!

    Happy September!

  11. L. Diane Wolfe on September 6, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    Congrats on that story. You’ve done one, you can do another.

  12. Donna B. McNicol on September 6, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    I surprised myself when I dabbled in fantasy…not great at it but still enjoy writing it. Much more comfortable writing whodunit mysteries!

  13. Lela Markham on September 6, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    For me it was alternative historical fiction that surprised me. It’s not a genre I even read, but I enjoyed doing it for an anthology and am developing a fuller story around the short for a longer book once the short is released by the anthology.

  14. Jemi Fraser on September 6, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    Love finding those new genres and styles of writing that call to us – lots of fun!!

  15. dolorah on September 7, 2017 at 5:47 am

    I think most of us have surprised ourselves with our writings. I remember writing some poetry in high school, and not being too awful at it. Now though, I can’t seem to string even two lines together that rhyme. So cool though to find yourself succeeding at genre’s you’re not familiar with.

    Thanks for co-hosting.

  16. Julie Flanders on September 7, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    I love that you discovered urban fantasy after you’d already written an urban fantasy story. How fun. I didn’t know that genre existed until relatively recently either!
    The new anthology seems fantastic.

  17. Christine Rains on September 7, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    How awesome about the urban fantasy story! I think it important we all step out of our comfort zone now and then, even if we don’t do anything with what we write. Flash is really good for that.

  18. Yvonne V on September 7, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    It sounds like you are talented in a variety of genres! And how great that IWSG is running another contest. 🙂

  19. Carrie-Anne on September 7, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    I’m really conservative about what genres I write in. I’ve found my life’s calling in historical, with interstitial elements of women’s fiction, Bildungsroman, romance, and literary fiction. I also have some soft sci-fi on hiatus. Since I have almost no experience with reading genres like fantasy and psychological thriller, I feel like my lack of passion would show through in the writing.

  20. Susan Gourley on September 7, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    You really have a wide range of writing interests and experiences. And another great anthology coming from IWSG.

  21. Annalisa Crawford on September 7, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Poetry and flash fiction have a lot in common, so much to say, so few words!

  22. Pat Garcia on September 7, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    I have now learned that we never know what we can do until we step out and do it. It is the trying to stretch our horizon that teaches us what we’re capable of. I’m glad you wrote your fantasy.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia Everything Must Change

  23. Liesbet on September 7, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    You seem to be a Jack (or what is the female equivalent?) of all trades when it comes to writing, Michelle. The fact that you feel so comfortable with all of it is heart-warming, productive and beneficial. I don’t know enough about writing and all the correct genre terms to know what most of them mean. At least I have figured out that what I am working on is called a memoir. And, I believe it could also be termed creative non-fiction. 🙂

  24. Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine on September 7, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    I knew about Urban Fantasy for a while because it often has vampires and werewolves in them and you know I love me some fangs and fur. =D

  25. Nas on September 8, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Awesome on your fantasy story! I surprised myself by writing a paranormal and it was well received.

  26. Patsy on September 8, 2017 at 8:48 am

    Writing in a genre you didn’t know existed is impressive!

  27. Hilary Melton-Butcher on September 8, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Hi Michelle – great reminders for the IWSG members … always something to learn and a contest to enter, or prepare for … it’s wonderful how everyone gets involved – cheers Hilary

  28. Leslie S Rose on September 10, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Love the Tick Tock theme! As I’ve switched from a pantser to a plotter, I’m finding my characters are going rogue much more often. Lots of surprises and more often then not, juicy ones.

  29. Raimey Gallant on September 11, 2017 at 5:44 am

    Speaking of writing outside your comfort genre, I’m dabbling in something sci-fi for the anthology. I’m wondering though, about the definition of graphic violence. I don’t know what is acceptable. If someone is killed swiftly, and there are no gory details, is that okay? Yes, all murder is graphic, but in terms of fiction, is this considered graphic violence?

  30. Lynda Dietz on September 11, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    I think it’s great that you’re experimenting in other genres and succeeding!

  31. HR Sinclair on September 18, 2017 at 2:22 am

    It’s good to dip our wings here and there! I love urban fantasy.

  32. Emma on October 10, 2019 at 4:46 am

    love this about the #Challenge….finding a new blog on the participant list and finding a theme that is interesting with arm chair travel by photograph. How fortunate you are to have experienced the back roads of America. Thanks for sharing. With all this travel not sure you have time to read or visit BOOKSTORES, but if they are on your radar screen I hope you will join me for this year’s theme….bookstores, their architecture, locations and the great people who sell books. Today the letter C takes us to Charing Cross Rd. in London. See you there?

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