IWSG Newsletter offers articles from industry experts, links to helpful articles as well as advice, wisdom and inspiration.
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Insecure Writer's Support Group

A database resource site and support group for writers and authors. Featuring weekly guests and tips, a monthly blogfest gathering, a Facebook group, and thousands of links – all to benefit writers! And this is our newsletter! #IWSG

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Pitch Your Work with Pitch Madness and #PitMad by Brenda Drake

Pitch Madness is a contest held every March, where writers enter for a chance to win requests from the participating agents. Writers submit a 35-word (max) pitch and the first 250 words of their completed manuscript on submission day. Then a team of readers chooses the top sixty entries to go onto the agent round. There are many entries, so it’s important to hook the reader with the pitch and make sure the first page shines.

The submission window for 2017 Pitch Madness is February 24, 2017 and the agent round is March 16-17, 2017.  

#PitMad is a pitch party on Twitter where writers tweet a 140-character pitch for their completed, polished, unpublished manuscripts. Writers may only tweet three (3) different pitches per manuscript for the day. I suggest tweeting a different pitch every four hours. The pitch must include category hashtags in the tweet. There are also sub-hashtags for genres that writers can include to further describe their work. A list of suggested hashtags is on my site.  


Here’s the dates for our upcoming quarterly #PitMad events:

March 23, 2017 (8AM – 8PM EDT)

June 8, 2017

September 7, 2017

December 7, 2017

Your hook is very important in these contests. It can set your story a part from the many entries competing for requests. If you need help with it, I have a post on my site to help you.

Pitching Post:

#PitMad page:
Brenda Drake is the New York Times bestselling author of Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers #1), Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers #2), Touching Fate (Fated Series #1), and Cursing Fate (Fated Series #2), creator of #PitchWars, #PitchMadness, and #PitMad, fueled by coffee and Goldfish crackers (but not together), and represented by Peter Knapp with The Park Literary Group. Find her on
From the IWSG Admins:
The IWSG Admins would like to remind everyone participating in the IWSG monthly blog hop that the purpose of the group is to share thoughts, doubts, and fears about writing. To encourage and inspire. Our group is meant for positivity. Non-writing related posts are fine, as long as we discuss how it impacts our writing, but please refrain from going off on non-writing tangents. You can post these things any other time on your blog. Just not under the IWSG badge. Guest posts for IWSG Day are acceptable, but the post should address writing insecurities in some way. Those who fail to follow this will be given a warning. If done a second time, you will be removed from the blog hop list.

Thank you for your understanding!

The next Insecure Writer's Support Group day will be on March 1st.
Sign up here.

Please post on Wednesday. It is all right to miss and post a day late, but make sure your post is front and center around then so we can see it.
OPTIONAL March IWSG Day Question: Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

Tamara Narayan
Patsy Collins
M.J. Fifield
Nicohle Christopherson

This is not a platform just to advertise. Share your struggles and encourage others. If you fail to post two months in a row, your blog will be removed from the list. 

Connect. Visit new members. Return comments. And have FUN! 

The Write Life has honored the Insecure Writer's Support Group by including us on their top 100 Best Websites for Writers list for 2017!

We want to take the moment to thank all of you for helping us to make IWSG great. Thank you!
Are You a Writer? by Joylene Nowell Butler
At a writers’ workshop, the speaker asked whom among us write. Everyone put their hand up. He then asked who were writers. Three raised their hand.
“Why didn’t you put your hand up?” he asked a woman. “You publish a blog.”
“Doesn’t make me a writer.”
“If I pay you $350 to write a post for my blog, are you a writer?”
Large smile.
He looked at the rest of us. “At what monetary value does one go from writing to writer?”
Most looked stunned by the question.
What do you think?
 I’m not a writer until I’m published, is a common response that comes from the insecurity existing in all of us. But doesn’t being a writer mean more than just feeding a longing? Isn’t the understanding that although you don’t know what drives you, you feel alive when you’re writing? You care about your words. Doesn’t that qualify you as a writer? Why else revise and edit, sometimes for years?
Next time someone asks, tell them you the truth. After the self-deprecation wears off, I promise you’ll notice something remarkable. A sense of freedom. A dream lived. I am who I am, you realize.

C. Lee McKenzie signed on at the end of January to be our Media Relations Specialist. She is the author of young adult and middle grade books. Her most recent release is Sign of the Green Dragon. Let's all wish her luck with her admin role and welcome her to the fold.


Hero Lost

Mysteries of Death and Life

An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology


Can a lost hero find redemption?

What if Death himself wanted to die? Can deliverance be found on a bloody battlefield? Could the gift of silvering become a prison for those who possessed it? Will an ancient warrior be forever the caretaker of a house of mystery?

Delving into the depths of the tortured hero, twelve authors explore the realms of fantasy in this enthralling and thought-provoking collection. Featuring the talents of Jen Chandler, L. Nahay, Renee Cheung, Roland Yeomans, Elizabeth Seckman, Olga Godim, Yvonne Ventresca, Ellen Jacobson, Sean McLachlan, Erika Beebe, Tyrean Martinson, and Sarah Foster.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these twelve tales will take you into the heart of heroes who have fallen from grace. Join the journey and discover a hero’s redemption!

Release Date: May 2, 2017

A To Z Challenge 2017 Announcement
This year, the A to Z team is changing up the way the Challenge works. They are currently working out any kinks, so check out their website for more information.

Last year, the IWSG participated in the A to Z Challenge with the theme of writing resources. See one you don't know about? Check it out!

A - Anne R Allen's Blog
B - Book Market
C - Children's Book Academy
D - Dear Editor
E - Elizabeth Spann Craig
F - Figment
G - G Websites and Books
H - Literary Hub
I - The site we had no longer exists.
J - Janice Hardy's Fiction University
K - Written? Kitten!
L - Literary Rambles
M - Men with Pens
N - NaNoWriMo
O - O Websites and Books
P - Preditors and Editors
Q - Query Shark
R - Renegade Writer
S - Storybird
T - Ten Podcasts
U - Useful Links for Writers
V - Verbix
W - Websites and Books
X - (How to Find Your Writer's Voice)
Y - Young Writer's Online
Z - Zenpen

Melanie Schulz is the creator of *Ubooks. What are *Ubooks? 
"Basically, *Ubooks are books on video, where the words appear on the screen/device at reading pace. Most are enhanced with music. Some are narrated. It’s really a very simple idea, one that has far-reaching implications, because if books are on video, they can be any length and still be marketable. Think about it. Gone are the days when that amazing piece of flash sits in a file, waiting for ten more like it so it can be made into a collection and sold on Amazon for ninety-nine cents—which they get seventy percent of. With *Ubooks, it can be different, because *Ubooks are different. Because they’re free—gotta love Youtube—they’re the perfect medium for those shorter pieces. Can you see the possibilities? And because *Ubooks are a seamless reading experience with musical enhancements, they’re not only free, and on a medium people are familiar with (Youtube), they’re a better product.  

"For more information on submitting your story for *Ubook publication, check out "

Melanie Schulz
Query Letters and The Writers Who Hate Them by Elias J. McClellan

Few tasks engender as much loathing for writers as the query letter. Query letter angst—from “oh, if I had only known, I wouldn’t have included a baby picture,” to “I need calculus to plot my querying process,”—varies from author to author.
The good news is there is no one right way. Here are some resources to help you avoid reinventing the wheel. Publisher
Jane Friedman offers a decent set of basics for us all to “nuh-uh!” against until we find what works for us. 
Super-agent, Janet Reid’s
Query Shark website, offers detailed study of the query potholes we tend to write our way into. If your question isn’t covered in the in the archive, submit to the shark herself, chum. 
But you’ve written the letter and you’re ready to fire for effect, right? Do yourself a favor first—check out Patrick McDonald’s
QueryTracker. A forum of like-minded folks submit their letters for review and offer critiques yours, search agents by genre, and see who’s accepting submissions. And, yes, you can keep up with your query using a handy-dandy tracking tool.
Now, get to it and buona fortuna! 

Do you want to show the world that you're insecure and proud? Well, now you can! The IWSG has started a merchandise store. Right now we have pens, magnets, and T-shirts available. Check out our store!


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