The Insecure Writer’s Support Group ~ No#80

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 August posting of the IWSG are: Erika Beebe, Sandra Hoover, Susan Gourley, and Lee Lowery!

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!

AUGUST 01st QUESTION: What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?
I haven’t published a book yet, but I’d warn newbies to beware
of those offers that sound “too good to be true.” They probably are! There are loads of scamsters and unsavoury characters trying to make some quick money, and many eager, unsuspecting writers fall prey to these tricksters. Do NOT part with your hard-earned money because you are in a hurry to be published. Ask around. Do some research. Take your time. You WILL get there.

There is a load of new stuff going on, so let me get to it!

The 2018 Annual IWSG Anthology Contest

Word count: 3500-6000

Genre: Young Adult Romance


Theme: Masquerade

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How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (Double spaced, no page numbers), previously unpublished story to admin @ before the deadline passes.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

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges who will be announced September 5.

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.


The Insecure Writer’s Support Group has entered into a new partnership with the Write…Edit…Publish Challenge (aka WEP) which is the brainchild of Denise Covey and her wonderful team.
WEP is a free online writing/creative community.




  1. SUBMIT your name to the Inlinkz list that will be provided on the WEP blog. The list opens 01 August which is TODAY!
    2. CREATE your entry for the August challenge – CHANGE OF HEART
    3. EDIT your entry
    4. POST your entry on your blog/face book page on August 15 – state feedback preferences
    5. READ other entries, giving feed back
    ALL GENRES WELCOME except erotica – 1,000 words maximum. Visit the WEP site for more information.


The IWSG Goodreads Book Club

We’re almost at 300 book club members!

Our book selection for August/September is:

The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr

This one is for our memoir writers and anyone who has ever thought of writing a memoir. The discussion will start September 19th and will go to the end of the month, but it will be up indefinitely, so you can hop in whenever you’re able. Join Us On Goodreads.

Facebook Shake Up

The Facebook  members can look forward to some new activities. Starting in August, the line-up will be as follows:

Sunday – New Member Shout Out
First Monday – Member Services Offered
The remaining Mondays – Informational Monday
First Wednesday – IWSG Day
Second Wednesday – Ask For Help
Third Wednesday will be shared with WEP
The WEP challenge is on the third Wednesday of August, October and December, which is every alternate month

On the non-WEP third Wednesdays – Wordsmith Tales
Fourth Wednesday – Hot Topic/Industry News
Fifth Wednesday – WOW It’s Wednesday
Friday – News & Promo

We look forward to stimulating conversation and exciting discussions/debates on a variety of topics. JOIN US ON FACEBOOK.

Do you want to attempt a YA story? Or a story based on a Change Of Heart? Maybe join us for some lively discussion on the upcoming facebook Hot Topics platform? Or visit the memoir discussion over at Goodreads? There is plenty to keep your creative juices flowing!

Happy IWSG Day!


  1. Ellen Jacobson on August 1, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    What a great theme for this year’s anthology – looking forward to reading it once it’s released! There are so many scammers out there. Kind of makes me glad I went the self-publishing route and don’t have to deal with weeding out honest publishers from the rotten ones.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 12, 2018 at 6:13 am

      The great advantage of going the self-pub route is that you don’t have to deal with the possibility of scam publishers.

  2. Jemi Fraser on August 1, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    Great advice! There are so many scammers out there taking money from people’s dreams.
    Terrific theme for the next anthology!

    • Michelle Wallace on August 12, 2018 at 6:15 am

      They have no qualms about taking your money.
      Yes, it’s a great theme!

  3. Julie Flanders on August 1, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    Great advice. It’s amazing how many scammers are out there preying on people. It’s disgusting.

    I love the WEP gang and think it’s wonderful that the IWSG and WEP are partnering. 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on August 12, 2018 at 6:16 am

      It’s disgusting… you are so right!
      The WEP-IWSG collaboration is a wonderful initiative! 🙂

  4. Madeline Mora-Summonte on August 1, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    So many scams out there! We really have to take our time and do the research before we get sucked in. Good reminder!

    • Michelle Wallace on August 12, 2018 at 6:19 am

      Thank goodness we also have the online writing community to bounce ideas off and ask for references, before we hire anybody to work on our books.

  5. L. Diane Wolfe on August 1, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    Don’t pay to be published unless you are hiring editors, formatters, and book cover artists.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 12, 2018 at 6:21 am

      Yes. It’s that simple, yet people still get sucked in by unsavory characters.

  6. Anna on August 1, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    We are such a hopeful bunch that scam artists line up at our doors. Your beware is noted and appreciated. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    • Michelle Wallace on August 12, 2018 at 6:22 am

      Scamsters prey on the optimism… you’re so right! 🙂

  7. Alex J. Cavanaugh on August 1, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    And we have a ton of information on the site to help with that research.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 12, 2018 at 6:23 am

      That’s why it’s so important for writers to have a support structure in the form of a writing group.

  8. C. Lee McKenzie on August 1, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    Scammers are everywhere. It’s good to be cautious and, of course, never pay anyone to publish your book.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 12, 2018 at 6:26 am

      It seems like every other individual is out to make a quick buck… any which way!! Whatever happened to putting in honest hard work and getting the satisfaction of earning something?

  9. Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine on August 1, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a too good to be true offer that wasn’t too good to be true.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 12, 2018 at 6:27 am

      I agree with you.
      If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is!!

  10. J.L. Campbell on August 1, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    Lots happening on the IWSG front.
    Yes, shop around and research before putting down money.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 12, 2018 at 6:28 am

      Also, ask others who have loads of experience in this game.

  11. Kathy Karch on August 1, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    Yes, the publishing world is full of predators. That’s one more reason I love the IWSG. They’ve got links to resources that help us avoid those unsavory characters. Like the Predators and Editors website. Invaluable resource. Thanks for the post, and happy writing to you! 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on August 12, 2018 at 6:30 am

      It’s important to have that support structure, in the form of other writers and a solid writing group. 🙂 Happy writing to you too!

  12. Loni Townsend on August 1, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    Yes, those offers are definitely something to be wary of!

    • Michelle Wallace on August 12, 2018 at 6:32 am

      The scary thing is, unsavory characters always find new ways to trick unsuspecting victims.

  13. Nick Wilford on August 1, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    Looking forward to reading the IWSG/WEP entries – exciting times!

    I believe paying someone to publish your book is known as “vanity publishing” – never a good idea and they’ll probably give you a terrible cover and no marketing.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 12, 2018 at 6:32 am

      Enjoy reading those entries! Exciting times indeed! 🙂

  14. Ryan Carty on August 1, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    Too many too good to be true scammers out there. I get super nervous when I need to pay an upfront fee for most anything. I mean editing is one thing, that feels like a service…

    • Michelle Wallace on August 12, 2018 at 6:34 am

      Absolutely! We have to screen every individual beforehand… very carefully… or go with a recommendation from a trusted writer friend.

  15. Raimey Gallant on August 1, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    I’m so wary of some forms of pay-to-play publishing. It’s hard to tell what would legit work. Great post! Some really interesting stuff happening with IWSG.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 12, 2018 at 6:37 am

      “Pay-to-play publishing?” It sounds fishy… as you say it’s hard to tell sometimes because lines can get blurred…

  16. Susan Swiderski on August 2, 2018 at 1:19 am

    Good advice, Michelle! I know a couple guys who spent big bucks to have a company publish their books. Now they have a garage full of unsold books.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 12, 2018 at 6:38 am

      I’m amazed when people get sucked into these unsavory deals. But I suppose we’re human and sometimes our trustworthiness comes back to bite us. So not fair, though! 🙁

  17. Natalie Aguirre on August 2, 2018 at 11:22 am

    Yes, you do have to be on alert for scammers sadly. Thanks for sharing all the great IWSG news.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 12, 2018 at 6:40 am

      The world is full of good and bad characters. *sigh*

  18. Leslie Rose on August 2, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    Agree – hold on to that money. I think often we creative types are too quick to trust because we like to see the best in people. Love all the IWSG fun on tap.

  19. Denise Covey on August 3, 2018 at 5:19 am

    Hi Michelle!
    A busy month indeed! I have my work cut out with ll things WEP.
    So sad that there are so many scammers out there who prey on the unwary. Writer, beware.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 12, 2018 at 6:42 am

      You’re going to be one busy lady. Exciting times. Have fun, Denise! 🙂

  20. Toi Thomas on August 3, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    Oh yes, “the too good to be true” tip. It’s always good to hear that or be reminded of it. It’s not just good advice for new writers, sometimes veteran writers who aren’t quite where they want to be, need to be reminded of this.
    There is so much going on with the IWSG now, I hope I can keep up, or at least find a place I feel comfortable, but I guess that’s already the hop and the book club.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 12, 2018 at 6:43 am

      You’re so right, Toi! We all need to be reminded of it.
      I’ll see you on the WEP blog hop circuit!

  21. JEN Garrett on August 7, 2018 at 12:15 am

    Yes, if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is. But the scary thing is that it’s getting harder to detect when it’s too good to be true! You might think you’re submitting to a legit agent, and find out that agent wasn’t so legit. Or you might think you’re utilizing good self-publisher services and later find out they were just vanity presses. It’s rough out there… the best thing is to go with your gut and hope for the best.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 12, 2018 at 6:45 am

      Somebody else mentioned the same thing… that it’s getting more difficult to detect. Really scary and more reason to ask around and bounce it off members in your writing support group.

  22. Carol Kilgore on August 7, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    So true about scammers. We always have to be vigilant. Lots of great news from IWSG this month. Thanks for posting the new Facebook schedule. Somehow I missed that.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 12, 2018 at 6:46 am

      Thanks for popping by, Carol!
      I know how busy you’ve been with Gracie… 🙂

  23. Crystal Collier on August 8, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    There’s no shortcut on the path to success, eh? Or if there is, it probably will drop you somewhere you don’t want to be. Here’s to following the path and reaching your destination in the right time and way.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 12, 2018 at 6:48 am

      Well said, Crystal! Thank you.
      It’s all about the correct path and the right timing too! 🙂

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