The Insecure Writer’s Support Group ~ No#132

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 April 05th posting of the IWSG are:  Jemima PettNancy Gideon, and Natalie Aguirre!

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!

April 05th Question: Do you remember writing your first book? What were your thoughts about a career path on writing? Where are you now and how is it working out for you? If you’re at the start of the journey, what are your goals?

I’ll have to tackle these questions another time, when I have more energy and the inclination to do so. I’m barely hanging in there after the heat we’ve experienced over the past three months, which has wiped my energy and left me with a terrible head cold, flu and congestion (also the result of leaving the aircon blowing the whole night on more than a few occasions…)


Tonja Drecker passed this one along and wanted to get the word out on a nasty writer scam going around.

Scams are nothing new, and as a writer, there are certain things, which set off the alarm signal. This last week, though, I ran across one, which caught me by surprise. I’ve since learned that it’s been around for several years and hits job boards as well as the usual social media outlets. I ran across it on Twitter, and while I didn’t fall victim to it, I was shocked at how much time the scammers put into it.

I received a DM from an account I’ve been following for several months, claiming that they needed some help with something and asked if I was willing and comfortable with writing clean kidlit stories. The account had around 3,500 followers (over 150 writers which I follow myself), did regular posts with book news and religious quotes, and didn’t seem off in any way. After a little back and forth, they claimed that they were contracted by a large company (a real company, who was not involved in the scam) to find remote writers for a project. It was a permanent position with a monthly salary of $4000. Wary but curious, I agreed to an interview on Skype, which was scheduled three days later.

The first alarm bells sounded when the gentleman, who was to interview me, insisted that it be done per chat…claiming the printed form was important to  assist in the company’s decision. During the chat, the logo of the supposed contracting company was present. The interview was very normal and came with the usual questions but did get odd when it was my turn to ask for information. The gentleman’s answers were vague, and the conditions, while nothing over-the-top, sounded too good to be true. The interview lasted over 30 minutes, and at the end, he claimed I appeared to be what the company was looking for. A second interview was scheduled with the supposed hiring company’s manager for the next day.

This interview also came as a chat only. While starting out with the usual questions, the ‘you’re hired’ popped up fast. Claiming that they needed me to start as soon as possible, they requested personal information, supposedly to speed up the paperwork process. While I didn’t let it get this far, I’ve since learned that it would include everything from address, birth date, bank information, credit card, and even SSN.

Before reporting this to anyone, I did contact the real company, whose name was used by the scammers. They were extremely kind and helpful, and confirmed that the individuals did not work for them nor were they hiring writers at the time. The account has since been reported to Twitter, but that, obviously, won’t stop the scam.

Phew!! Scary stuff! Scam artists are becoming more and more conniving – and the scams get more and more elaborate. Seems like it’s not going away anytime soon. 
With the rise of AI and what ChatGPT is able to produce, I shudder to think of the scams that lie ahead.  



  1. Tyrean Martinson on April 5, 2023 at 7:52 pm

    Thanks for passing on the scam alert!

    I am sorry for the horrible humidity you’ve had. I currently have some sinus stuff going on too, and hoping it goes away in a couple of days, since I have an event to attend – and even masked, I don’t like bringing icky stuff to public spaces.

  2. Loni Townsend on April 5, 2023 at 8:13 pm

    Whooboy! I hope you cool off!

  3. Olga Godim on April 5, 2023 at 8:19 pm

    Hot weather is always challenging.
    Those scammers! What a hateful bunch.

  4. Kristina Kelly on April 5, 2023 at 8:46 pm

    I hope you feel better and get more energy soon! These scams are getting creative. I’ve seen some of the key points of this one on job scams. Some things to keep in mind for writing or any other scams. 1)How did they find you? Normally places aren’t going to reach out to you. 2)Will they meet “face to face” – take pointers from the show Catfish on red flag here about “technology” not working etc. 3)If they want to send you a check and then have you buy something or send them something – run away fast. The check will likely bounce. Legit companies don’t do this.

  5. Jen on April 5, 2023 at 9:26 pm

    Oh I’m so sorry to hear about the hot weather challenges/illness. I understand. We’re gearing up for our Summer and the humidity always makes me feel like my brain is melting! I hope you’re feeling better soon.

    Thanks for passing along the scam alert. It’s really shameful how they operate.

    I’ve really missed this community! It’s so good to be back 🙂

  6. Hilary Melton-Butcher on April 6, 2023 at 7:48 am

    Hi Michelle – the heat can be unbearable … I remember it well. IWSG is such a great group … as Jen mentions above … your cooler weather is coming. Take care and with thoughts – Hilary

  7. Natalie Aguirre on April 6, 2023 at 11:04 am

    Sorry you’re struggling so much with the heat. We’re just starting spring here. Thanks for sharing Tonja’s scam alert.

  8. Alex J. Cavanaugh on April 6, 2023 at 11:26 am

    Really sorry you’ve been so sick! Winter is coming and that will take care of the heat.

  9. L. Diane Wolfe on April 6, 2023 at 6:24 pm

    I’m sorry you got the dreaded summer cold. I think we might miss most of spring as it has been super hot here the past few days.

  10. H. R. Sinclair on April 10, 2023 at 2:24 pm

    I’m sorry you’re feeling so miserable. Extended heat can wreck us! I hope you get a break soon.

  11. J.L. Campbell on April 15, 2023 at 8:40 pm

    Hey, Michelle,
    You have to wonder where people find so much time fo skullduggery, while we’re barely managing to hang on to all we have to do with life, work, and what-not.

  12. Patricia J.L. on April 17, 2023 at 8:16 pm

    I hope you’re feeling better by the time I’ve posted this. I am so behind on everything right now due to life.

  13. C. Lee McKenzie on May 3, 2023 at 3:43 pm

    Hope the heat as mitigated a bit, Michelle. We were in the 90s last week and now are in the 50s, so I’m dealing with big questions like What the heck is going on? Sorry I missed your April post until now. I’m not sure why that happened, but then I’m not sure why anything happens these days. 🙂

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