Friday, September 11, 2020

We mourn them and then we honor them. Donate blood and join the bone marrow registry.

The US is having a hard time.

Feeling helpless?

Feeling like you need to contribute in some way?

I've said it before and I will say it again and again and again. You can save lives.

How?

Donate blood. Blood banks are in desperate need of donations all over the country.

Wild fires up and down the West Coast, large storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes all around the country, oh, and don't forget the ongoing pandemic, equals a shortage of life-saving blood products at your local blood bank.

Find a blood drive in your area by reaching out to these groups.

Red Cross

New York Blood Center

and the NYBC Family


If you personally can't donate, you can still help. Share blood drive events near you on social media OR host a blood drive of your own at a local school or church. 

AND

Join the Bone Marrow Registry!!

Today marks the 19th year since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
 

Our community still feels the pain of that day and the health repercussions continue to take our heroes.


"The FDNY added the names of 27 department members who died of illnesses related to their work in the rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center to the FDNY World Trade Center Memorial Wall in a closed ceremony at FDNY Headquarters Wednesday. Those 27 former New York City firefighters died of 9/11-related illnesses in the past year, bringing the total number of firefighters killed after the World Trade Center attacks to 227. That's in addition to the 343 FDNY members killed on September 11, 2001."


As First Responders suffer from September 11th related illnesses, many of them with blood cancers, they will most likely need a bone marrow transplant.

Normally, they're the ones saving lives, but this time it could be one of us saving them.
Join the bone marrow registry.

This website, Be The Match, will tell you everything you need to know about joining the registry and WHERE to find a drive near you.



I hope my blog friends living in any of the fire and storm areas are all okay.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

#IWSG - August? September? What month is this?

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.


The awesome co-hosts today are PJ Colando, J Lenni Dorner, Deniz Bevan, Kim Lajevardi, Natalie Aguirre, and Louise - Fundy Blue!


September 2 optional question - If you could choose one author, living or dead, to be your beta partner, who would it be and why? 

Hello nice people!
I totally missed my post for August, and I'm running late for September, but I'm here!

I joined a free accountability challenge, with a professional editor, for the month of September to hopefully get back on track, focus, and get some writing accomplished.

I'm hoping to write some new words for 1/2 the month and if it's not going anywhere, to work on my old MS that needs a complete re-write for the rest of the month. We shall see.

School starts next week for the kids here in NY. Let's all take a moment to hope that kids, teachers, staff, and parents will all stay safe no matter what school they go to.

And now...for some funnies... Stay safe out there!





(AP Photo/Noah Berger)





Find us here:
Facebook, Twitter - hashtag #IWSG, Instagram, and on Goodreads
And you can sign up for our monthly newsletter loaded with tips and more here - IWSG Newsletter

The newsletter also lists new books by members, so contact us if you have a new book out.


Writers and authors, join us for #IWSGPit on January 20, 2021.

It will be here sooner than you think!

Polish those pitches and check the #IWSGPit rules.
 
Multiple authors have signed with publishers and agents as a result – it could be you!

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

#IWSG - JULY - Book sale and Anthology Contest!!

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic.

The awesome co-hosts today are Jenni Enzor, Beth Camp, Liesbet, Tyrean Martinson, and Sandra Cox!

July 1 optional question - There have been many industry changes in the last decade, so what are some changes you would like to see happen in the next decade?







Well, howdee-howdoo!
Happy July 1st, for those of you who stopped looking at the calendar.
I hope you're all staying safe.
I hope you're reading.
I hope you're writing.
I hope you're taking good care of yourselves as you also take care of others.
I hope you're fighting the good fight.
I hope you're indulging in chocolate.

Smashwords is having their 12th Annual Summer/Winter Sale! All 3 of my EBOOKS, Already Home-One Good Catch-And Then You Fall, are half-off for the month of July!








The IWSG Anthology Contest is open!

Guidelines and rules:
Word count: 4500-6000
Genre: Science Fiction
Theme: Dark Matter
Submissions accepted: May 6 - September 2, 2020
How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (double-spaced, no footers or headers), previously unpublished story to admin @ insecurewriterssupportgroup.com before the deadline passes. Please include your full 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.
Our judges: Dan Koboldt, Lynda R. Young, Colleen Oefelein, Damien Larkin, Ion Newcombe, Julie Gwinn, and David Powers King.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

#IWSG - June - New anthology contest open!!!

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. We encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.
 
The awesome co-hosts today are Pat Garcia, J.Q. Rose, and Natalie Aguirre!


We need co-hosts! July 1, Aug 5, & Sept 2. If you can help, leave a comment.
 
 
Today’s optional question - Writers have secrets! What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?  
 
My secret? I write romance and yet I get totally embarrassed reading or talking about ... The Sex. :)

Hi guys! I knew what day it was, saw it on my calendar, but I totally forgot to write my blog post, so I had to steal all the info from the IWSG web page and Alex's blog! I sure hope they don't mind!


******
 
 
The annual anthology contest is open!
Theme: Dark Matter

Submissions accepted: May 6 - September 2, 2020
Guidelines and rules:

Word count: 4500-6000

Genre: Science Fiction
How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (double-spaced, no footers or headers), previously unpublished story to admin @ insecurewriterssupportgroup.com before the deadline passes. Please include your full 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.

Our official awesome judges:

Dan Koboldt, author and #SFFpit founder
Dan Koboldt is the author of the Gateways to Alissia trilogy (Harper Voyager), the editor of Putting the Science in Fiction (Writers Digest, 2018), and the creator of the sci-fi adventure serial The Triangle (Serial Box, 2019). As a genetics researcher, he has co-authored more than 80 publications in Nature, Science, The New England Journal of Medicine, and other scientific journals. He is represented by Paul Stevens of Donald Maass Literary Agency.
Lynda R. Young, author
Lynda R. Young is an Aussie writing fantasy novels as Elle Cardy. Wielder’s Prize is her debut YA epic fantasy. She is also an editor, game developer, 3D artist, graphic designer, photographer, gamer and more.
Colleen Oefelein, agent, The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency
Colleen Oefelein is an author of YA, picture books, and author promotion guides, a devourer of books, and the owner of the book review site North of Normal. Formerly an associate agent and PR manager with Inklings Literary Agency, Colleen has hosted numerous “Pitch Perfect” and “Rejection Correction” workshops on Facebook and at conferences nationwide, and she’s mentored several authors one-on-one through online pitch contests such as Pitch Wars.
Damien Larkin, author
Damien Larkin is an Irish science fiction author and co-founder of the British and Irish Writing Community. His debut novel Big Red was published by Dancing Lemur Press and went on to be longlisted for the BSFA award for Best Novel. He currently lives in Dublin, Ireland and is working on his next novel Blood Red Sand.
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.
Julie Gwinn, agent, The Seymour Agency
Julie Gwinn most recently served as Marketing Manager for the Christian Living line at Abingdon Press and before that served as Trade Book Marketing Manager and then Fiction Publisher for the Pure Enjoyment line at B&H Publishing Group, a Division of LifeWay Christian Resources. Recently, she was awarded Editor of the Year from the American Christian Fiction Writers and won B&H’s first Christy award for Ginny Yttrup’s debut novel Words.
David Powers King, author
David's works include Woven, The Undead Road, and Full Dark: An Anthology. He currently resides in the Mountain West with his wife and 4 children.

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Dancing Lemur Press' imprint 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. Please see their website for general guidelines on the types of stories they publish.

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!


                                                                        *****


Have news and want a shout out? Email us!
Each month, we send out the IWSG newsletter packed with information, updates, and tips. If you'd like to be included or add quick promo for your work, just let us know.
Email me: elizabethseckman(at)ymail(dot)com
*please add IWSG shout out to the subject line


                                                                    *****


Have a question about marketing or publishing?





Carolyn Howard Johnson has a series of books that are a great resource for writers who need to do their own editing and promoting. She's one smart lady and she's agreed to help our writers by answering any question from editing to promotion to publishing. If you have a question you'd like Carolyn to answer, add it to the comments or email me at elizabethseckman(at)ymail(dot)come. Add IWSG Question to the subject line.


This multi award-winner, now in its third edition, celebrates its 16th Anniversary as the flagship of Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s


HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers. For only a few cents a day the third edition of The Frugal Book Promoter assures your book the best possible start in life. The author was inspired to write this book full of nitty-gritty how-tos for getting nearly-free publicity for her UCLA Writers’ Program class. A former publicist, journalist, and retailer, Carolyn shares her professional experience as well as practical tips gleaned from the successes of her own book campaigns. She tells authors how to do what their publishers can’t or won’t and why authors can often do their own promotion better than a PR professional. Check out Carolyn's website and see all of her books.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

#IWSG - May - A new book and a new contest!!


It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

The awesome co-hosts today are Feather Stone, Beverly Stowe McClure, Mary Aalgaard, Kim Lajevardi, and Chemist Ken!
 
Today’s optional question - Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into the ZONE? Care to share? 



Voyagers: The Third Ghost

Release date – May 5, 2020
Print 9781939844729 $13.95
EBook 9781939844736 $4.99
Juvenile Fiction - Historical / Action & Adventure / Fantasy & Magic
Dancing Lemur Press/Freedom Fox Press

Journey into the past…
Will the third ghost be found before fires take more lives? Can everyone be warned before Pompeii is buried again? What happens if a blizzard traps a family in East Germany? Will the Firebird help Soviet sisters outwit evil during WWII? And sneaking off to see the first aeroplane – what could go wrong?
Ten authors explore the past, sending their young protagonists on harrowing adventures. Featuring the talents of Yvonne Ventresca, Katharina Gerlach, Roland Clarke, Sherry Ellis, Rebecca M. Douglass, Bish Denham, Charles Kowalski, Louise MacBeath Barbour, Beth Anderson Schuck, and L.T. Ward.
Hand-picked by a panel of agents, authors, and editors, these ten tales will take readers on a voyage of wonder into history. Get ready for an exciting ride!


Winners:
The Third Ghost – Yvonne Ventresca
Winter Days - Katharina Gerlach
Feathered Fire – Roland Clarke
The Ghosts of Pompeii – Sherry Ellis
Dare Double Dare – Louise MacBeath Barbour
The Blind Ship – Bish Denham
A World of Trouble – Rebecca M. Douglass
The Orchard - Beth Anderson Schuck
Return to Cahokia – L.T. Ward
Simon Grey and the Yamamba - Charles Kowalski

Special thanks to our amazing judges:

Elizabeth S. Craig, author and honorary judge

Dianne K. Salerni, author

Lynda Dietz, editor

S.A. Larsen, author

Rachna Chhabria, author

Lindsay Davis Auld, agent - Writers House

Tonja Drecker, author

David Powers King, author


Our previous IWSG anthologies -
Masquerade: Oddly Suited
Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime
Hero Lost: The Mysteries of Death and Life
Parallels: Felix Was Here



The 2020 IWSG Anthology Contest is now open!


Guidelines and rules:

Word count: 4500-6000

Genre: Science Fiction

Theme: Dark Matter

Submissions accepted: May 6 - September 2, 2020

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (double-spaced, no footers or headers), previously unpublished story to admin @ insecurewriterssupportgroup.com before the deadline passes. Please include your full 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.

Our official judges:

Dan Koboldt, author and #SFFpit founder
Dan Koboldt is the author of the Gateways to Alissia trilogy (Harper Voyager), the editor of Putting the Science in Fiction (Writers Digest, 2018), and the creator of the sci-fi adventure serial The Triangle (Serial Box, 2019). As a genetics researcher, he has co-authored more than 80 publications in Nature, Science, The New England Journal of Medicine, and other scientific journals. He is represented by Paul Stevens of Donald Maass Literary Agency.

Lynda R. Young, author
Lynda R. Young is an Aussie writing fantasy novels as Elle Cardy. Wielder’s Prize is her debut YA epic fantasy. She is also an editor, game developer, 3D artist, graphic designer, photographer, gamer and more.

Colleen Oefelein, agent, The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency
Colleen Oefelein is an author of YA, picture books, and author promotion guides, a devourer of books, and the owner of the book review site North of Normal. Formerly an associate agent and PR manager with Inklings Literary Agency, Colleen has hosted numerous “Pitch Perfect” and “Rejection Correction” workshops on Facebook and at conferences nationwide, and she’s mentored several authors one-on-one through online pitch contests such as Pitch Wars.

Damien Larkin, author
Damien Larkin is an Irish science fiction author and co-founder of the British and Irish Writing Community. His debut novel Big Red was published by Dancing Lemur Press and went on to be longlisted for the BSFA award for Best Novel. He currently lives in Dublin, Ireland and is working on his next novel Blood Red Sand.

Ion Newcombe, editor and publisher
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.

Julie Gwinn, agent, The Seymour Agency
Julie Gwinn most recently served as Marketing Manager for the Christian Living line at Abingdon Press and before that served as Trade Book Marketing Manager and then Fiction Publisher for the Pure Enjoyment line at B&H Publishing Group, a Division of LifeWay Christian Resources. Recently, she was awarded Editor of the Year from the American Christian Fiction Writers and won B&H’s first Christy award for Ginny Yttrup’s debut novel Words.

David Powers King, author
David's works include Woven, The Undead Road,, and Full Dark: An Anthology. He currently resides in the Mountain West with his wife and 4 children.





Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Dancing Lemur Press' imprint Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. (Please see their site for general submission guidelines.) 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!



Last night I posted this on Facebook:
------------
I'm having a moment of silence tonight.
We are losing so many amazing people in this country.
We don't know most of their names.
We didn't get to say goodbye.
We can't even mourn them properly.
I'm thinking about them tonight.
May they rest in peace.
May their families find some comfort.
 

-------------

I feel so bad for these people and their families. I feel like they're just numbers on a chart that's going up and up and up, but we never acknowledge the actual people.

If you're so inclined, please take a moment to think about the people we've lost, the people that are sick, and the people who have recovered, but their health will never be the same.

We're in for a long haul and we need to make sure we don't forget what our humanity looks like.

Need some real joy? Check out SGN on YouTube. Some Good News by John Krasinski is the feel good show we needed. Not only is he really funny, but he's sharing good people doing great things.