Showing posts with label Insecure Writer's Support Group. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Insecure Writer's Support Group. Show all posts

Friday, September 30, 2016

More about Music & other Fun Things (#atozchallenge)

         In last Friday's post,  Csenge offered some great ideas about the inspiration that music can offer to those who write.  If you appreciate music and missed this post you might want to go back and check it out.  In the mean time thinking about music brings to mind something else that has become a favorite blogging event of mine and many other bloggers:  The Battle of the Bands.

       The Battle of the Bands (#BOTB) event which is managed by Stephen T. McCarthy has been going on since 2013.  Three years is not too shabby of a record for such an intensive ongoing event, one which happens twice every month on the 1st and 15th.  A small core of fervent music lovers join in regularly to enjoy the presented battles and then vote on favorites.
        The premise is simple.  Participants find two versions of the same song by different artists or in some cases different songs with similar themes or in other cases some other variation of pitting one performance against another.  Visitors to each battle listen and then decide which performance they like best and cast a vote.  It's a lot of fun which considering that I've been participating on Tossing It Out from the beginning I guess I'm hooked on this event.

         Typically I will tie in a theme to my battles which gives those not interested in the music or who can't listen to the music for some reason an opportunity to still join in a conversation about my theme.  My upcoming battles will be themed around the U.S. presidential election, but don't worry--there shouldn't be too much that will be contentious other than what might appear in the comment sections.  My intent is to offer some food for thought plus what I hope will be music my visitors will enjoy.

          If you haven't visited one of my BOTB posts then please join me at Tossing It Out for my next one on Saturday October 1st and cast your vote or at least weigh in on the topic.  

More Events...

        A to Z'er Mary Lou Quinn from Me in the Middle asked:
Can you recommend some other Blogfests, Arlee?   I'd like to see what else is out there that fits my goals for my website. 

         Great question for which my answer may not totally address your needs, but might be helpful to some others if not you.   Frankly I've limited myself to a handful of blog events, though if I run across something that sounds interesting I might jump in because the nature of how it sets my mind to working.  But those are one time events that you just have to watch out for.

            Our long time A to Z Team associate Alex J Cavanaugh often mentions events at his site.  He also hosts the monthly Insecure Writer's Support Group which has many participants.  This event is especially good for anyone who considers themselves writers.  I've participated in IWSG since its inception five years ago.  If you're like me you can probably always think of something to write about.   I guess we'd better if we're writers.  Look for the next IWSG community posting on Wednesday October 5th.  

             Two other regular blogging events are hosted by  at A Life Examined
Michael mentioned that he is looking for someone to take these over for him.   Question of the Month and FlashBack Fridays have potential for growth if someone wants to take on either of these responsibilities.  Visit his blog to leave him a comment that you are interested or leave a comment below that you would like for him to contact you.  FlashBack Friday is another I participate in on Tossing It Out so my Friday September 30th post is part of this event.  I'll address my Question of the Month at Tossing It Out on Saturday in tandem with my BOTB post. 

Now It's the Readers' Turn...

         Can you suggest any ongoing blogging events for those who are wishing to reach out more (or just have fun)?    Do you know of any special blog fests that are coming up?    Do you have an idea for a blogfest that you'd like to see?

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Announcing the 2016 IWSG Anthology Contest!

The annual IWSG Anthology Contest is now open! 

Last year’s contest was science fiction – parallel world/alternate history, and the result was Parallels: Felix Was Here. This year, we have a new theme and invite all members to submit.

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: 5000-6000

Genre: Fantasy

Theme: Hero Lost. It could be about a hero turned villain, a villain's redemption, a hero's lack of confidence, a hero's lack of smarts, etc. It can be about any kind of hero including superheroes, mythological heroes, unexpected or unlikely heroes, or a whole new kind of hero. 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.

Deadline: November 1st 2016

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted, previously unpublished story to admin @ before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details 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.

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!

Our amazing judges this year:

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

Richard Harland finished his first novel in 1993 and resigned a university lectureship to become a full-time writer. With seventeen fantasy, SF and horror novels published since, he went international with his steampunk fantasies, Worldshaker, Liberator and Song of the Slums. He has won six Aurealis Awards and the A. Bertram Chandler Award in Australia, the Tam Tam Je Bouquine Award in France. Writing Tips

Laura Maisano has an MA in Technical writing and is a Senior Editor at Anaiah Press for their YA/NA Christian Fiction. She’s excited to release her debut YA Urban Fantasy SCHISM, and she’s finishing up the sequel UNITY.

Russell C. Connor has been writing horror since the age of 5, and has been in the self-publishing industry for a decade. He has published 8 novels and 4 novellas in both paperback and eBook, including the Box Office of Terror Trilogy and "Whitney," an epic horror novel about hurricane survivors fighting a washed-ashore sea monster. He also designs books for clients and assists them with self-publishing endeavors.

Dawn Frederick is the founder of Red Sofa Literary, previously of Sebastian Literary Agency, and she brings a broad knowledge of the book business to the table—with multiple years of experience as a bookseller in the independent, chain, and specialty stores; sales, marketing, & book development at a YA publisher, a published nonfiction author, and an agent associate literary agent at Sebastian Literary Agency.

Michelle L. Johnson is a literary agent, the founder of Inklings Literary Agency and has a business administration background in addition to a lifetime of working with books (sales, editing, and writing) and authors (marketing, promoting, event planning), and also has been a script/story consultant for an independent film.

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.

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.

What story can you come up with?

Monday, February 8, 2016

Navigating the Challenge with Clones and Ninjas! #atozchallenge

Just how does one visit over a hundred blogs a day? Either through the use of a time machine or a band of stealthy Ninja Clones!

Teleportation is also an option.

As much as I enjoyed writing about teleportation on my books, I decided that the Ninja Captain needed clones instead. And of course, a clone machine. Which does have its drawbacks. Everyone wants to borrow it. Plus there was the time I cloned way too many versions of Kate Beckinsale…

All kidding aside, I really don’t have any of those things. I’ve just made it a point to visit all of my blogger buddies, whether it’s during the Challenge or IWSG post Wednesday or just another day.

Yes, I do have a lot of blogger buddies! Where did they all come from?

I’ll give you a hint – it has to do with the alphabet.

In 2010, Arlee Bird challenged others to join him as he posted almost every day throughout April in alphabet order. At the last minute, I made the commitment and joined a hundred others in the very first A to Z Challenge.

My blog has never been the same!

I’ve been a co-host since 2011, managing the Linky List and helping in other areas. Of course, that’s not all I do.

I started this whole blogging nonsense as an up-and-coming author. Since that time, I’ve had four books published (CassaStar, CassaFire, CassaStorm, and Dragon of the Stars), one boxed set published, and been in numerous anthologies and magazines.

I also started this little group for writers. You may have heard of it – the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. We started as a monthly blog hop, and then grew into a website, two Facebook groups, and a newsletter. We even put out a free book for writers and last year partnered with a publisher for an annual IWSG Anthology Contest. (First anthology due out this spring.)

Offline, I maintain a full time job in web design and technical editing. I’m also a guitarist in a Christian rock band, as God and music both play very important roles in my life. I’m happily married, live in the Carolinas, and like to drive my sports car really fast.

Because darn it, teleportation machines don’t really exist!

Find me here: Blog, Insecure Writer’s Support Group, Twitter, What Are The Kargrandes, Goodreads, and Google+

Monday, March 9, 2015

Getting to Know Your Co-Hosts – Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh

This marks my sixth year participating in the Challenge and my fifth year as a co-host. The very first year, it changed my blog forever, and I have been a big supporter ever since.

My followers nicknamed me the Ninja Captain, and those who follow my blog are part of the Ninja Army.

By day, I work in web design, graphics, and technical editing.

By night, I am a musician and play guitar in a Christian band. I’m also an author, and my genre is science fiction-space opera. My first three books, CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm, were all Amazon best-sellers in the US and UK.

My next (and possibly last) book, Dragon of the Stars, comes out April 7. (Yes, right in the middle of the Challenge! My hope is to just survive until the end of April.) I have a special site set up for the book – What Are the Kargrandes? – with new clues every Monday until its release.

I’m also the founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. In addition to the monthly blog posts every first Wednesday, we have a website, a Facebook group. and the IWSG Critique Circle.

Other random facts:
I’m a big movie buff and feature reviews on my blog. My goal is to reach the end of NetFlix one day.
I can be bribed with Hot Tamales.
I’m a fan of all things science fiction, fantasy, and geek-related.
I’m a die-hard fan of RiffTrax and Mystery Science Theater 3000. (And even got to interview my idols HERE!)
I visit a lot of blogs in a day because yes, I do have clones.
Music has always been a part of my life and I’ve played many instruments. Wanted to be a rock star…
I’m a man of mystery, although Mini-Alex likes the camera.
I’m married, no kids, and a born-again Christian.
And ironically, I never even wanted to be an author…

From the questions asked: 

Barbara from Life and Faith in Caneyhead: What would you do if your pc died in the middle of the AtoZChallenge?

Implode? Actually, we have several computers and iPads, so I’d be all right.

Beth from A Bench With a View: How do you manage your time during the A/Z challenge? Other than having all written before the challenge begins, any other tips you can share?

Pace yourself. Don’t come out of the gates too fast or you’ll burn out. I also recommend clones…

LuAnn fromBack Porchervations: After you successfully complete the 2015 A to Z, and they stick television cameras in your face and ask "So, what are you going to do now", what will you answer?

Sleep for a week!

Everyone have a great time with the Challenge!

Find me here –
Blog, Twitter, Google+,Goodreads, What Are the Kargrandes? and at the Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Insecure Writer's Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond

If you are a writer looking for resources, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group has something for you:

Available now – The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond!

Tapping into the expertise of over a hundred talented authors from around the globe, The IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond contains something for every writer. Whether you are starting out and need tips on the craft of writing, looking for encouragement as an already established author, taking the plunge into self-publishing, or seeking innovative ways to market and promote your work, this guide is a useful tool. Compiled into three key areas of writing, publishing, and marketing, this valuable resource offers inspirational articles, helpful anecdotes, and excellent advice on dos and don'ts that we all wish we knew when we first started out on this writing journey.

ISBN 9781939844088
235 pages, FREE
Find it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Goodreads.

We invite you to check out the book and our sites:
Insecure Writer’s Support Group website
IWSG Facebook
IWSG Critique Circle.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Meet Your Co-Hosts – Mini-Alex Introduces Ninja Captain Alex #atozchallenge

Mini-Alex here!

I’m to give you the inside scoop on A to Z Challenge Co-Host, Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Why me? Because I’m not afraid of the spotlight. Alex likes his privacy and stays in the shadows. I guess Ninjas aren’t supposed to be seen, right?

So it’s up to me to tell you about him!

Alex started blogging over four years ago when his publisher told him to get his butt online. He participated in the very first Challenge in 2010 and has been a co-host ever since. Says that first Challenge changing his blog forever.

Alex is also the founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. IWSG for short. Writers with blogs post the first Wednesday of every month. They can also join the Facebook IWSG. There’s also a IWSG Website - a database of sites and information for insecure writers. About a thousand people participate one way or another. (Writers are an insecure, squirrely bunch, aren’t they?)

I mentioned his publisher earlier. Yeah, Alex is an author. He has a space opera trilogy - CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm. They’re all Amazon Best Sellers. (Not sure how when I’m not in any of the stories, but we’ll let that slide.) He’s working on another book now. And to think he didn’t even want to be an author!

That’s probably because he’s also a musician. Alex plays guitar in a Christian rock band. He has a lot of guitars, but none are as cool as mine.

If you visit his blog, you’ll discover he likes to talk about movies, music, games, and other geek stuff. Alex also has a feature called the Ninja News where he highlights the achievements of his blogger buddies. He’d rather put the spotlight on others than himself.

And sorry Ninja SAM, he’s also married.

There you have it!

Now, where’s that Mini-Kate you promised?

You can find Alex: Blog, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, and at the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Our other favorite Blog Hops!

If you are like us co-hosts, you may be looking at your calendar thinking, "What am I supposed to do with the next 39 days until the April A-Z Challenge starts?" Well, it is just your lucky day because we have some suggestions! Here are some of the co-hosts' favorite ongoing blog-hops. We do hope you'll stop by and join in the fun.

A-Z Theme Reveal Blogfest!
In its second year, the A-Z Theme Reveal Blogfest is a "hop within a hop" - an opportunity to join with other A-Z'ers to share what your theme for the month will be (if you have one, which you totally don't have to do. We <3 pantsers too!). This year the big day is March 21st! Hope to see you there!

Insecure Writer's Support Group
This is a great group of people, sponsored by Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, whose goal is to help one another, "rock the neurotic writing world." Known as IWSG, this hop happens the first Wednesday of every month. If you've ever worried if you're the only writer who feels nervous, insecure, insufficient, or just plain weird, this is the group that will tell you that you are NOT alone. And they'll tell you in funny, insightful and wonderfully supportive ways.

Blog Blitz
Hosted by the incredibly kind and talented (and previous A-Z co-host!) DL Hammons, the Blog Blitz is an opportunity to show lucky bloggers some love, in a BIG way. Periodically DL will select a member or two of the team and email everyone their website, and then we ALL show up and leave comment love on that person's most recent post, on the same day. It's a great way to meet new bloggers, and who knows? You might get selected and have your day in the sun! (Co-host AJ was selected last April and can verify - it's quite the rush!)

Here are a couple of smaller, weekly hops that we think are pretty rad:

And if you're really searching for something to do, several of the co-hosts are not only great bloggers, but also have books published!

What are your favorite blog hops? We know some of our participants are authors and artists, too - take this opportunity to share a link to your work!