Wednesday, October 03, 2018

The Insecure Writer's Support Group and Responding to Emails

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

Today’s option question:
How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?

When writing my series, The Circle of Friends, I’d say yes - writing those five stories helped me through a lot of things from my past. They were therapeutic and just about every main character dealt with a struggle that was once my own.

Rather than an insecurity, I’d like to address an issue.

Back in the day, people would leave a phone message, expecting the person to return their call. Eventually, email took on this same role. Send a message and get a response.

Only people don’t treat email like a phone message anymore. It’s junk mail. Glance at it, ignore it, or just throw it away.

I know writers get frustrated with non-responses from agents and publishers. Guess what? Publishers get just as frustrated with non-responses from reviewers.

Dancing Lemur Press gets a ton of queries. Add a bunch of other emails (plus the 100-200 I get a day through my personal email) and it’s a lot. But Dancing Lemur Press still replies to every single one of those queries, no matter how bad they are. (Even to tell someone we don’t respond to mass-emailed queries.)

Reviewers, I know you also get a lot of requests. But guess what? It only takes ten seconds to reply with “No thanks,” “Too busy,” “Not my kind of book,” or “Not accepting reviews at this time.” You can even have a list of standard replies and just cut and paste. I know many say they won’t respond if not interested, but that’s just plain RUDE. Take a moment to show some manners and reply to messages.

Do non-responses bother anyone else?

Submissions are open for 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How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (Double spaced, no page numbers), previously unpublished story to admin @ before the deadline passes.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: Elizabeth S. Craig, author; Elana Johnson, author; S.A. Larsen, author; D.L. Hammons, Write Club founder; Gwen Gardner, author; Kelly Van Sant, Red Sofa Literary Agency; and Kristin Smith, author
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.

Has writing helped you through something? Does the lack of a response to an email bother you, too?