Wednesday, September 06, 2017

The Insecure Writer's Support Group Anthology Contest

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

September’s optional 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?

I actually started writing my YA/NA series, The Circle of Friends, first, but from writing my two non-fiction books, I’ve discovered I’m better with non-fiction. (Must be the professional speaker in me!)

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group 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 The story must be previously unpublished.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How to enter: Send your polished, formatted, previously unpublished story to admin @ before the deadline passes.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!

For those of you on NetGalley, Dancing Lemur Press’ March 2018 release, Corners by Corrina Austin, is now available for review.
If you’re not on NetGalley and are interested in reviewing this middle grade/adult-coming of age fiction story, please leave a comment or send an email to inquiries AT There are still print copies available, too.

Plus October 4 is the Show Us Your Writer Insecurity contest.

Will you be participating in either contest? What surprised you as a writer? Want to review Corners?

Those of you who follow me on Facebook saw the new additions to our home:

This is Star and he's all boy. And a bit of a dork. His full name is Star Lord, but he's already been dubbed Star Dork.

This is Rocket and she's a sweetie who loves her furry mice. (They aren't related and she's 6 weeks younger than him)

I'd petitioned to name them Rocket and Groot (our other cats were Calvin & Hobbes and Rocko & Spunky) but my husband couldn't see himself calling for Groot. Now that we've had them over a week, I can safely say Groot would've really fit.


  1. The competition topic sounds really exciting! It's interesting how we find our strengths. I love your new additions. Cats make a household incredibly interesting :)

  2. Holy whoa... so much goodness going on in the IWSG. I'm sure it will all be a major success! That's interesting about nonfiction. And the kitties!😍

  3. They sure look to be two happy campers indeed. Groot would have been a fun name to call for.

    Hopefully there will be lots of entries for IWSG.

    Guess your voice just enjoys non fiction more, telling it like it is haha

  4. LOL - Erika, that's an understatement.

    Pat, he really should've been Groot.

  5. Awww---congrats on your new furry friends. They are adorable. When we got a kitten after having senior cats for so long, it was a bit of an adjustment. The speed and energy of our kitten was amazing. Just don't do what I did and overfeed you kittens. I now own a bowling ball with ears and a tail.

  6. Awww, such cute kitties! :) Also I admire anyone who writes non-fiction--so much research involved!

  7. Oh my gosh, those two are so adorable! I think we may be adding a new fur baby to our mix the end of this month, but ours will be a puppy. Fingers crossed it will all work out because he's a cutie!

    Enjoy the rest of your week!

  8. Ooh, I love that theme for the anthology - so many possibilities.

    Hi, Rocket and Groot...I mean Star Lord! They're beautiful. Enjoy your new housemates.

  9. Looks like great fun. Good luck to all submissions. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  10. Glad to see Star Dork and Rocket making an appearance here and I'm glad you have some cuddly friends in your home!
    I recently re-read something in one of my writing books for my students and was surprised. I think I might be better at writing non-fiction, too - or at least how-to-write essays manuals.
    I would love to be an ARC reader or a reviewer for that MG book! :)

  11. Those two look like trouble all right.

  12. Adorable kitties! My cat's a dork too. His name is Thunder and it must be because he's always making loud noises running into stuff or knocking stuff over!

  13. I love non-fiction to write and to read, but I really have found fiction an entertaining outlet--Well, entertaining and frustrating and downright aggravating, too.

    Love the kitties. And since, I'm taking a break I'd enjoy reading and reviewing Corners. I'd read it on my Kindle during my trip. cleemckenzieATgmailDOTcom

  14. Love your furr babies! That orange gene in kitties is not known for it's brilliance, but they do tend to be sweet. Love that he is a dork.

    I think the sci-fi one for the anthology a few years ago was my biggest surprise. I hadn't written anything speculative before. Very excited for this years contest--what a great panel of judges.

  15. Love the way you name the cats. I would have been all for Groot too.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

  16. Welcome to Star and Rocket! Awesome names. I can already tell the next anthology will be great.

  17. Cute kitties! I hope you guys get a lot of good entries for the anthology contest!

  18. I'm happy you found your new kitties and didn't need to come all the way to Texas for them :) They are adorable ♥

    Really looking forward to reading this anthology. My kind of tales.

  19. Tamara, Hobbes was one of those.

    Elsie, we thought about a dog and a cat, but too much work.

    Tyrean, thank you. I'll email you.

    Christine, I love the clumsy ones.

    Lee, I'll email you.

    Carol, nope, we just went one county over.

  20. I'm looking forward to creating a short story for the anthology competition. Lovely pusses!

  21. I love the anthology theme this year!! Your kitty's our adorable.

  22. Sometimes we hit upon what we're good at quite by accident. The cats look like they're loving life at your place.

  23. They're so cute! Too bad you didn't get Groot. he looks like a Groot.

  24. Our kitty is getting old and long in the tooth, but I remember the days of wild and crazy kittens. I also still have the scars.

    IWSG September

  25. Groot would have been GREAT!!!
    The contest sounds fun - may have to try my hand at writing a short! :)

  26. I love your two new additions!! So adorable.
    I'm looking forward to reading the submissions for the anthology

  27. This new anthology should be fascinating. I'd have tried for it, but mystery is not my forte. Maybe I should anyway, just to see if I could write it.

  28. OMG, you've got new kitties!!!!!
    Aren't they just the cutest little things?

  29. Yay for another IWSG Anthology!

    Your kitties are just adorable. I am glad you have them now. :)

  30. Sounds like a great contest, though I don't write in that genre or write short stories, so not for me.

    Your kitties are so cute. Hope you're having fun with them.

  31. I love the Guardians of the Galaxy kitties. Sounds like a great idea for the anthology. I love reading crime/mystery/suspense but would never try to write it.

  32. It's good that you got to explore both fiction and nonfiction, and ever better that you found a strength in one.

    Cute kitties!

  33. Joy, they have taken over!

    CD, I still have scars from our last cats.

    Jemi, I still think so.

    Olga, why not?

    Chrys, so am I. The house was so empty.

  34. You can never have too many cats, or cat pictures. Have they started bossing you around yet?

    Sometimes I think writing non-fiction is easier than fiction. No worrying about showing versus telling. No cheesy dialogue. But I'm hooked on fiction, so that's where I'll stay.

  35. Glad you enjoy your non fiction. Aww, love the new kitties. They're sweet.

  36. Perhaps you should call the cat Groot and let your husband use the name he prefers. Cats don't really come when you call, anyway...

  37. I think all cats are dorks. Its why I love them, lol.

    Guess we've all sort of written in areas that surprise us, at least a little. Once you start writing, the world opens up.

  38. Your two furry babies look adorable. I can see lots of fun in your future with those two.

  39. Ken, so far no bossing.

    Liz, he sure doesn't know his name. Rocket has figured out hers though.

  40. Hi Diane - gosh they look delightful ... and naming animals is tricky - I'm a failure at it ...and started young - my poor cat (kitten) never got beyond Peedle and her son never got beyond Boot ... poor critters ... well the three of us were all Fats - and we weren't (well at that stage!). Those contests - look amazing ... I won't be there, but shall watch and read from the sidelines - cheers Hilary

  41. I also love writing creative non-fiction.
    Aren't those kitties just adorable?

    Writer In Transit

  42. Writing for contests or anthologies stretch your writing wings. I'm excited about IWSG's contest.

  43. Wow, you have written YA, NA as well as non-fiction. That's a lot.

  44. I have a YA story in a folder that I would love to try and write someday. We'll see...

    Your kitties are SO cute!!

  45. Sounds like a great theme for the anthology!

    Aww! The new kitties are so cute.

  46. Star and Rocket are so cute. I love cats and kittens. :)

    Interesting that you didn't start off writing non-fiction.

  47. Hi human, Diane,

    As paw usual, a highly informative pawst by your good human self. I hope the IWSG anthology contest goes real well. I wont enter writing contests because it wouldn't be fair on you humans. Yep, I'm as modest as ever.

    Star and Rocket! *Hello!*

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny 🐶

  48. I can imagine shifting to fiction would be a struggle. My background was technical documentation. All logic; not a hing of feelings or emotions.

    I discovered, fiction can be a great release of the imagination. I'm positive you're make the switch and you know what? You just might like it.

  49. Star and Rocket are adorable!

    I can't say I've ever tried writing horror. I'd probably scare myself! Probably the most outside-of-the-box writing I've done was for Heroes Lost. That was definitely not a children's story!

  50. Interesting to know that nonfiction is your strong suit. I'm sure you do both equally well.
    How are those babies doing?

  51. Hilary, Star's original name was Boots.

    Rachna, now I'm working on paranormal romance.

    Sandra, they have settled right in!

  52. It's been quite some time since I dropped by. Terrific things going on!

  53. Whatever you call them, I call them precious!

  54. What adorable kittens! They look they have a lot of personality. Very lucky that they found a home with you guys as I know you'll cherish them.

  55. I trust your day has been productive and pleasant, Monstrous Magic Rock:)

  56. Star Dork and Rockett are adorable. Enjoy your new additions!

  57. I tend to read more non-fiction these days. Maybe that partially comes with age, but I've always liked to gain greater enlightenment. It's pretty neat that you've published both fiction and non.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  58. Congrats on the new additions to the family. They are both adorable.