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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Using Twitter Chats to Make Writing Friends by Tui Snider

Writing can be a lonely pursuit, however meeting other writers is fun and easy with Twitter chats. Some good ones to try include: #writestuff (Tuesday nights at 9pm ET), #bookmarketingchat (Wednesday’s at 9pm ET), and #10MinNovelists (Thursdays at 9pm ET.)

My favorite writing chat is #StoryDam (Thursdays at 8pm ET.) However, since I’ve been moderating that Twitter chat for nearly 5 years, I’m rather biased! That said, it’s a friendly group and all writers are welcome - even you! ;p

To join a Twitter chat, log into Twitter at the appointed time, type the chat’s hashtag (for example: #StoryDam) into Twitter’s search bar, and follow the conversation. (You can also use tools such as, Hootsuite, or Tweetdeck for this.)

To join the party, simply send a tweet that includes the chat’s hashtag. (If you forget to use the hashtag, the group won’t see your tweets.) It may seem awkward and overwhelming the first time you try a Twitter chat, but don’t worry! It gets easier.

Remember to follow the new friends you meet at these writing chats. Before long, you’ll have a wonderful posse of fellow writers to connect with any time you like!

Tui Snider is an author, speaker, and photographer who specializes in quirky, haunted, and downright bizarre destinations. Snider’s award-winning books include Paranormal TexasThe Lynching of the Santa Claus Bank Robber, and Unexpected Texas. Connect with Tui on Twitter @TuiSnider and on her blog:

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

OPTIONAL FEBRUARY 1ST QUESTION: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

**Add this question and your answer to your February IWSG post, if you need help with your post.

Misha Gericke
LK Hill
Juneta Key
Joylene Buter

Please post on Wednesday! It is all right to miss and post a day late, but come the first Wednesday, your IWSG should be front and center.
This is not a platform just to advertise. Or just give advice. Share your struggles, encourage others.

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


Erik Bork is a screenwriter known for his work on the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers and From the Earth to the Moon, for which he wrote multiple episodes, and won two Emmy and two Golden Globe Awards as part of the producing team.

On February 6th he will be a guest at the IWSG!
On Editing and Sentimentality by Lynda R Young

Having recently moved interstate from a large house to a small apartment, I’ve learned a thing or two about sentimentality. I found it particularly difficult to downsize, to let go of the things from the past—the boxes of letters I’ll never read again from people I barely remember, the faded knickknacks that have no real value except to me. I realized I was more sentimental than I’d thought.

As the packing process wore on, and the deadline for moving loomed, I grew less sentimental. There wasn’t enough room to take it all. Many tough decisions later, I arrived in the new place and still wondered, why did I bring that?

The same happens when we edit. The first draft is comfortable and familiar, but it has collected clutter along the way. When we edit, we can’t afford to be sentimental, holding onto those little gems that once shone so brightly. If there’s no longer a place for them, then they have to go. Expected it to take more than one pass, too. It takes time to get over our sentimental side. And it gets easier the more we whittle our stories down into a tight, clean shine. It's worth it in the end.

JOIN our Facebook Group!

On IWSG Day, we pin a badge to the group where members can share links to their IWSG posts and get more visits.

We also have fun Wednesday posts you can take part in: Wacky Words, Wordsmith Tales, and Silly Mistakes.

Need advice? Have a question? Seeking a critique partner? Feel free to use our Facebook group!

We only ask that you DO NOT post PROMO to the main wall. We have a Friday News & Promo badge for members to share a promo from the week. :)
Articles Needed!
Would you like to be featured in our newsletter? We have 600+ subscribers, so this is a great opportunity. Follow the instructions below to submit an article.

Topic Ideas: your number one writing, publishing or marketing tip; a motivational pep talk or inspirational story; a snippet about something you used to be insecure about but overcame, or an Aha moment you had about writing/publishing.
Length: 200 words or less
How to Submit: Send a DOC attachment to Chrys Fey at ChrysFey(at)yahoo(dot)com

Subject Line: IWSG Member Article

*Include a link for your bi-line. A title for the piece is also helpful.

The Anthology Winners Are:
L. Nahay - Breath Between Seconds
Roland Yeomans - Sometimes They Come Back
Elizabeth Seckman - Mind Body Soul
Olga Godim - Captain Bulat
Ellen Jacobson - The Silvering
Erika Beebe - The Wheat Witch
Yvonne Ventresca – The Art of Remaining Bitter
Sean McLachlan - The Witch Bottle
Sarah Foster - The Last Dragon
Renee Cheung - Memoirs of a Forgotten Knight

Tyrean Martinson - Of Words and Swords

And the grand prize winner:
Jen Stanton Chandler - The Mysteries of Death and Life


Hero Lost - The Mysteries of Death and Life will be available May 2nd, 2017!

We are so happy for all of our anthology winners, but JEN CHANDLER has the honor of being the grand prize winner for her story, The Mysteries of Death and Life. This means the title of her story will be part of the anthology's name. Let's all give her, as well as the other winners, a round of applause!

Jen Chandler has a penchant towards horror, especially ghost stories and Southern Gothic. Her stories may take her characters to distant or imagined lands, but their roots are firmly planted in the South. She blogs at Jen Chandler was Here.
Are you on Twitter? Follow @TheIWSG to get writing Tweets in your feed. Also use our hashtag. #IWSG

Short Story Writers:
The Art of the Short Story
- 3 Reasons All Writers Should Write Flash Fiction
5 Reasons Novelists Should Write Short Stories

- Kevin Smith on Screenwriting Pt 1
- Kevin Smith on Screenwriting Pt 2
The Business of Screenwriting: Who does what in a writer-representative relationship?

Freelance Writers:
- 7 Helpful Resources for New Freelance Writers
Poets: Use Your Skills to Nab Freelance Writing Jobs

Ghost Writers:
- How to become a ghost writer
- What to Expect When Hiring a Ghostwriter

Children's Writers:

- Fiction and Non-Fiction Blend Picture Books
- 7 things to avoid when you write for children

- The Speechwriter’s Checklist

Copy Writers:
 Copywriting: A Critical Skill for Every Writer

Journal Writers:
- 7 Reasons Why Journaling Will Make You A Better Writer

- How Do You Write a Poem? 
Heather M Gardner was spotlighted in our very first newsletter, and we are happy to announce that she is now our newest administrator! 

Congratulations, Heather!
Finding and Collecting Characters by Bish Denham
Collecting characters is simple, easy, and fun. They’re everywhere, like ants at a picnic.
Maybe you saw a picture in a magazine. Maybe you had a run-in with a surly cashier. Write out a rough sketch. Something like: “Big haired, over-rouged cashier. Mid to late 50’s. Dark eyes. Frown lines between eyebrows. Clipped, abrupt speech. Seemed angry.”
Now put flesh on her skeleton. Start asking yourself the usual who, what, why, where, and when questions. Give her an excuse for her behavior, give her a life. Give your sketch a title.
Once you’ve written up your sketch, file it away. I use a three-ring binder, divided into a few basic categories: men, women, girls, boys. You can break these down further: old men, extraterrestrials, teen girls, etc.
What’s next? Do you have an idea, but need a character? Get out your file. You can mix and match bits and pieces of other characters to create a whole new persona, or, you can use that cashier just as you sketched her.
But wait! Maybe you need an idea. This is where the titles or/and the sketch may be the match that lights the creative fire.
Go forth and write.


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Insecure Writer's Support Group · None · Fayetteville, NC 28301 · USA

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