Wednesday, September 7, 2016

How to Increase Your Chances - IWSG Anthology Contest




The contest is OPEN!


2016 IWSG Anthology Details

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 The story must be previously unpublished.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: 3000-6000

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How to enter: Send your polished, formatted, previously unpublished story to admin @ insecurewriterssupportgroup.com before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details and if you are part of the Blogging or Facebook IWSG group.


Formatting: Standard margins and tab. Font size 12 Times New Roman or Arial. Double spaced lines.

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. 

Richard Harland writes fantasy, SF, horror, and steampunk. He has won six Aurealis Awards, the A. Bertram Chandler Award in Australia, and the Tam Tam Je Bouquine Award in France.

Laura Maisano has an MA in Technical writing and is a Senior Editor at Anaiah Press for their YA/NA Christian Fiction.

Russell C. Connor  has published 8 novels and 4 novellas in both paperback and eBook. 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.

Michelle L. Johnson is a literary agent, the founder of Inklings Literary Agency and has a business administration background.

Ion Newcombe is the editor and publisher of AntipodeanSF, Australia's longest running online speculative fiction magazine.


Lynn Tincher is an author, public speaker, and executive producer.

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers.



September's Question: How do you find the time to write in your busy day?

*You can answer this question in your IWSG post.


How to Increase Your Chances:

1. Pay attention to the rules. (word count, genre/theme, deadline)

2. Write a new, unique story. Don’t send something already published. And try to stay away from clichés and the usual fictional tropes.

3. Follow the rules of POV. Don’t head hop. Stay in one character’s POV. One POV is usually best for flash fiction.

4. Create a well-developed MC. Who is the MC? What is his/her conflict and goal? Describe the MC’s appearance and personality. Make the MC real.

5. Reveal the setting right away. Where is the story set? If it’s historical or set in the future, what year is it?

6. Good hook. Get the judges’ attentions fast!

7. Keep up the pace, especially for a suspense story.

8. You don’t have time to dawdle. Begin the story quickly.

9. Cut unnecessary words, phrases, and scenes. Flash fiction shouldn't have padding. Get to the point without the fluff.

10. End the story with a happily-ever-after OR with a twist. Whichever your story needs, but make it good, make it memorable.

11. Get a beta reader or two. Fix any areas they see as problems and check the grammar and spelling.

12. Send it with a cover letter containing details (word count, title, your author name, a brief bio, contact info, and a short summary). For the IWSG Anthology, the short summary may not be necessary.


GOOD LUCK to all of the participants!



October's Question: When do you know your story is ready?

*Add your answer to this question your October IWSG Day post.

90 comments:

  1. Hi Chrys ... you've lots going on -and what a great list of judges for the IWSG anthology ...

    Time - always an essence for us all ... while as you say content is king ... take care and happy September - Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm sure many ISWG MEMBER will rise to the occasion to enter.
    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good writing advice! I tend to write best when busy and pushed for deadline.

    ReplyDelete
  4. 5-6000 words doesn't give one time to dwaddle with the story. Writers need to hit the ground running.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have never done flash fiction or short stories, so this will be something new for me. Great writing advice today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We'd love for you to give it a shot. :)

      Delete
  6. Paying attention to the rules and following them makes it easier on the judges and gives you a leg up on a lot of the competition. Plus, it's an easy thing to do! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So much easier on the judges. And rule-breakers won't be able to move forward, so following the rules is important.

      Delete
  7. I thinking about it, the only question I have is about formatting. What kind of formatting? Standard margins, TimesNewRoman 12, double spaced? Do we use headers with our names and the title? Just what kind of formatting is being required?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good question. Alex and Diane never said. Standard formatting is the best way to go. TNR or Arial size 12, and double spaced is always easier to read.

      Delete
  8. That's an awesome theme for the contest! I must try to think of a story this year. As for knowing when my story is done, I rely on my critique partners to tell me to stop picking at it! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We'd love to get a story from your Christine. (And knowing when the story is done is the question for next month.) ;)

      Delete
  9. It takes a ton of editing for a story to be ready. Thankfully, reading over a 6000 word story is a lot easier than one 106K long. Plus I get my husband to read it over. He is good at catching typos I miss.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Editing is essential. Luckily, as you said, editing a flash fiction piece is much easier. And will be easier to get beta readers for it, too. Way to go for your husband. Husband of the Century Award right there. ;)

      Delete
  10. Great tips! One of the things I've been pondering is differentiating between what's useful description to evoke a mood, scene etc. vs. fluff in a short story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Things that advance the story or reveal important information about the character aren't need, such as short scenes that do nothing. Things that evoke a mood or scene are needed. :)

      Delete
  11. Sure with such a word count you have to go go go from the get go indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a great contest and terrific line up of judges. When do you have time to write, Chrys? ;) Best wishes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lately, not often. haha I start two new projects this year but stopped the one when I realized it's a much bigger project than I thought. Since May I've been struggling to write. I think it's because I have so much more to do, but I usually do my best writing after dinner before 8:00pm. :)

      Delete
  13. I might be entering this time. The theme does seem to resonate somewhere in the back of my mind. :-D

    ReplyDelete
  14. That's a great theme. There will many an amazing story entered, I'm sure.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I just might give this a shot this year--sounds interesting!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks for all of this information. I'll see if I can come up with something.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is an excellent list, Chrys. Thanks for this. I'm sending it out to my network. Happy IWSG Wednesday!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great pointers. I know a story is finished when it's been through edits, and when there's nothing left that niggles at me. Sometimes I'll just know on a re-read that the ending isn't quite right. I've never been wrong when I've thought that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can add that answer to your October post. :)

      Delete
  19. Awesome advice, Chrys. I'm stoked about the contest and wish everyone who enters all the best! Meantime, I'll be in the thick of a book release.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I CAN'T wait for your book release!!!!

      Delete
  20. I will be very impressed with any fantasy writer who can keep to this word count. Oh, that's a great joke...

    I will be very excited to see how this all works out. I'd wager it will be the best fantasy anthology of the year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Last year we did sci-fi with this word count and the authors managed brilliantly. :) Thanks, Ryan.

      Delete
  21. I'll tell my local writers' group about the contest. I've also told them about IWSG a few times, but I'm not sure if any of them have actually signed up and begun participating.

    It's important to come to a place where we're confident a story is as perfect and good as it'll ever be. Too much editing and revising might radically alter its very nature, and too many critiquers can make us second-guess ourselves. Sometimes a story gets to the point where pretty much everyone loves it, and then all of a sudden, a new person declares it needs all these changes, and doesn't like the exact things everyone else praised.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They'd have to at least join our FB book to be eligible. We'd love to get submissions from your local writers' group.

      Spoken beautifully.

      Delete
  22. Thanks for the tip list. That was great. Looking forward to the anthology.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

    ReplyDelete
  23. Those are good tips. Hopefully everyone follows them. Although that will make it really difficult to decide...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! But at least we could be 200% sure all of the stories selected are truly amazing. ;)

      Delete
  24. This is great advice! A lot of people I've met assume it's easy to write a good short story, but it isn't. Telling a compelling story with great characters in a short word count is a challenge, but I think it's a challenge well worth the effort.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is far from easy to write short fiction. I think it takes more discipline.

      Delete
  25. Great tips, Chrys!
    I have a feeling that we'll have loads of entries.
    Happy IWSG Day!

    ReplyDelete
  26. So glad you provided more on the guidelines and some wonderful tips! It's certainly an interesting genre and I may just have something in the works ;-) Thanks, lady Chrys!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you do, Diedre!

      You're welcome!

      Delete
  27. I find bribing the judges with $100,000 each works every time. Sigh. It's having the money to do that which is the hard part! :-)

    I will enter, of course. I will lose, of course. I never do well in these things. But that removes the pressure; I will just do the best I can.

    Your suggestions were great ones, Chrys. I will endeavor to make you proud. Have fun with life, Roland

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly. No money here. :P

      Hey, don't say that. You never know! Doing your best, though, is exactly what you should do. Good luck!!!

      Delete
  28. Thanks for the tips! I would love to enter the contest...once I think of a story idea...

    ReplyDelete
  29. Great tips Chrys. The contest sounds fun and I look forward to reading the winning entry. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's going to be a great anthology. That's for sure. I wonder which one will be the winning entry. :)

      Delete
  30. These are some great tips Chrys. All the best to every entrant.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Excellent tips, Chrys! I would love to enter the anthology contest, but I know I won't be finished with my current manuscript in time. If only I wrote faster...

    VR Barkowski

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw. Shucks. Well, maybe the next anthology will be better timing for you.

      Delete
  32. Flash fiction? I thought flash fiction was much shorter than 5000 words. Good tips, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you want to get technical, it would be a short story. Regardless, my tips still apply for stories that are 5000 words as it still doesn't give you much room to build.

      Delete
  33. The new anthology is exciting. Good luck to everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Great tips for the contest! Best of luck to anyone entering. (Wish I could!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I could, too. I hadn't realized admins couldn't, but I realize it would be a conflict of interest.

      Delete
  35. All the best for all who enters. You gave some excellent tips Chrys.

    ReplyDelete
  36. These are excellent reminders for any writer even if we're not going to enter the contest. So, thank you.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia

    ReplyDelete
  37. Fantastic advice! This sounds like a killer contest with a great list of judges. Good luck to all who enter!

    (We are not man enough... well, mostly we just don't have enough time with working on our current project)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe next time you'll have more time. :)

      Delete
  38. Hi Chrys. This new contest sounds great. I think there needs to be more time between the announcement and the close of submissions. Just saying. Not a long time to imagine, edit and polish a new story.

    The October question is interesting. Simple answer: It's never going to be ready, LOL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The announcement and deadline dates weren't my decision.

      So true!

      Delete
  39. Hi, Chyrs,

    Thanks for the guidelines and the great tips. I've been in bit of a writer's slump, so I think this will be the perfect vehicle for my next story. I LOVE fantasy and I am a proud member of the IWSG since its inception. So I am going to do my very best to submit something amazing and worthy of the honor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great! I know you'll make us proud. :)

      Delete
  40. Great tips on raising those chances. They also apply to submitting short stories elsewhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They do. :) All short story writers should take notice.

      Delete
  41. Mmmph! Good tips. I'm looking at this contest and I might seriously need to do it. ><

    ReplyDelete
  42. Great tips to increase our chances. And for applying to other writing pieces. Fantasy, hhmm? I might submit something.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I love the theme! I'll have to see if I can come up with something. Thanks for the tips!

    ReplyDelete

Please tell me what you think. I love to chat! :)

Popular Posts!

Join!

Follow!