Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The 2020 IWSG Anthology Contest and Some Reasons Why You Should Consider Entering It

Last Tuesday, on May 5th, this year's
Insecure Writer's Support Group Anthology,
Voyagers:  The Third Ghost, was released.

 Twenty-four hours later, the IWSG
 formally announced this year's contest.

Let's start with some reasons why IWSG members should consider entering
the contest this year.  Five of the authors selected for Voyagers:  The Third Ghost
share their reasons for your doing so.

Consider These Reasons ...

Beth Anderson Schuck
"The Orchard"

Why You Should Enter 
Here’s why I enjoy entering contests. Contests have deadlines, which force you to finish up a writing project. No procrastinating allowed! You can test out your ideas in short story contests, to determine if there is enough content for an entire manuscript or is the story best told in short format. The short format allows you to work with limited number of characters to truly hone in on their most vital qualities. I urge all writers to try their luck with this particular contest, as it was a joy from start to finish!

Beth Anderson Schuck is a retired librarian who believes reading can take you anywhere.  She writes historical fiction featuring willful female characters. Being in nature whether hiking, birdwatching or gardening makes her whole.

Bish Denham
"The Blind Ship"

Why You Should Enter: 
Why enter a writing or anthology contest? Why not? I once entered a contest and never thought for one minute I'd win, but I did. It was a retold Anansi story. That experience led to me putting together my first book, Anansi and Company: Retold Jamaican Tales. You never know where things will lead you. Take the chance. If nothing else, it's great experience.

Bish Denham is from the U.S. Virgin Islands, where her family has lived for over a hundred years. The author of two middle grade novels and a collection of retold Jamaican Anansi stories, she says, “Growing up in the islands was like living inside a history book.”

Katharina Gerlach
"Winter Days"

Why You Should Enter 
Submitting is a step away from the barrier of perfectitis. It's the sign to yourself that you accept that nothing you write will ever be exactly the way you see it in your mind's eye, but that some things are good enough to be sent out. And you might get surprised--like I was--when your story is accepted for publication. Also the support of the other ISWSG-people is incredible.

Although Katharina Gerlach was born in the late sixties, she’s still a child at heart. She inherited her love of fairy tales and words from her mother, an ex-secretary and avid reader, and her love of all things nature and science from her father, an ex-forester. Memories of her rather interesting life in Germany flow back at the smallest trigger, even though she tends to merge her three brothers into one when she tells stories about their childhood adventures. And more often than not, she recalls events truthfully.

Website|Advent Calendar|Facebook|Pinterest

Sherry Ellis
"The Ghosts of Pompeii"

Why You Should Enter 
Entering an anthology contest is a great opportunity to set a writing goal and do the work necessary to achieve it. It can even help you expand your horizons and write in a genre you might not otherwise try. And if you win — well, that's the icing on the cake!

Ellis' books include Don't Feed the Elephant; Ten Zany Birds; That Mama is a Grouch; That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN; Bubba and Squirt's Big Dig to China; and Bubba and Squirt's Mayan Adventure. 

She lives in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information about her work, she invites you to visit her websites at and

Website|BlogFacebook| Goodreads| Twitter| Amazon

Yvonne Ventresca
"The Third Ghost"

Why You Should Enter 
Here’s The best reason to enter the anthology contest is to stretch your creative muscles. The contest provides genre, theme, wordcount, deadline, and it’s free to enter. With nothing to lose, it’s the perfect incentive to try something new.

Yvonne Ventresca is the award-winning author of Black Flowers, White Lies (IPPY Gold Medal for National YA fiction) and Pandemic (SCBWI’s Crystal Kite Award).  In addition to her novels, Yvonne’s other work includes two nonfiction books and several short stories selected for anthologies, including the previous IWSG anthology, Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life.  She is currently pursuing an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. You can learn more at, where she features resources for writers.

WebsiteFacebookTwitter| Blog| Instagram| Pinterest

The 2020 IWSG Anthology Contest ...

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 @ 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 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 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:
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.

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 four children.

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.

Coming on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 . . .
Next week more authors in Voyagers will share their reasons
for why you should considering entering this year's anthology contest.

Till next time ~
Fundy Blue

Reviews of Voyagers: The Third Ghost:

1. Check out a review by author Beverly Stowe McClure at Goodreads. Beverly has just
published her latest teen novel Gabe's Guardian Angel.

2. Here's another by a teen named Julia who reviews YA books, middle grade, and adult books
at her blog Pages for Thoughts.

3. Roland Clarke's Bookshelf Review at his website Writing Wings features Voyagers:  
The Third Ghost.

Interviews with Authors:

1. Yvonne Ventresca with Stacy Horan at The Bookshop at the End of the Internet

2.  Sherry Ellis with June McCrary Jacobs at Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic 

3. Roland Clarke with Laura Wolfe at The Sustainable Writer

Blog Features:

1. Voyager Authors with Mason Canyon at Thoughts in Progress (Part 1)

2. Voyager Authors with Mason Canyon at Thoughts in Progress (Part 2)


1. May and June - Stormdance Publications

2. At various times - IWSG Instagram

3. Wednesday, June 9 and 11, 2020 . . . A great opportunity to learn about promoting your book! Diane, the publisher of our IWSG anthologies, will be hosting two webinars: June 9th: How to Promote Your Book Now Part 1 Cost: $10.00 US dollars June 11th: How to Promote Your Book Now Part 2 Cost: $10.00 US dollarsEllis
Register at:   &

* * * * * * * * * *

You can order a copy of
VOYAGERS: The Third Ghost 
at the links below.

Print 9781939844729 $13.95
EBook 9781939844736 $4.99

Juvenile Fiction - Historical / Action & Adventure /
Fantasy & Magic


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

And we look forward to this year's entries!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thank you for mentioning my webinar.

Contests stretch you as a writer and who knows - you could win.

Fundy Blue said...

I always look forward to the release of the next anthology, Alex! I have all five, and it's fun to go back and see what people have written in the past. It's a wonderful thing you started, and you've given many people an opportunity to have their work published. Talk about encouragement for writers! Thank you for all you do for the IWSG and its members!

Fundy Blue said...

Hi, Diane! "Who knows - you could win." That was me! I was happy to include your webinar. You guided all ten of us through the publication of "Voyagers" with your patience and experience as an editor. For sure, you made a dream of mine come true. Book promotion is something on every author's mind, especially now, so I'm sure these webinars will be informative and helpful. It's a real opportunity too, because writers who don't have an opportunity to attend your seminars in person can now do so virtually. I'm looking forward to them!

Sherry Ellis said...

All great reasons to enter the contest! Next year's is a great topic. I bet there will be some stellar entries!

Fundy Blue said...

Yes, Sherry, I think the science-fiction "Dark Matter" story challenge is "stellar" too ~ love the pun! I haven't attempted a science fiction story in a very long time, but I'm going to go for it. And the IWSG has a great panel of judges for this year's contest! Of course, the IWSG always manages to do so.

Katharina Gerlach said...

I'm looking forward to the next anthology. After all, this year's was fantastic (I'm nearing the end).

Roland Clarke said...

As a wavering entrant, it's encouraging to hear what some of my fellow authors feel - and to be gently nudged towards another challenge. Despite success, I was hesitating again - especially when 'Dark Matter' leaves me befuddled. Or maybe at sea? Yet, I see land...

Fundy Blue said...

Hi, Katharina! I think this year's anthology is fantastic too, with a great range of times and settings. Have a good one!

Fundy Blue said...

I'm a wavering entrant too, but I'm going to make myself write a scfi story. I see all kinds of ways to go with "Dark Matter." First I have to settle on a location: I've been playing with the moon (dark side), Mars, the Marianas Trench, Jovian moons ~ dark matter could be connected to hard science or love, espionage, secrets, all kinds of things! Perhaps that will help budge your befuddlement a little. You like Vikings ~ How about a Viking accidentally moving forward in time. And horses ~ one of the best science fiction series I ever read was set in the Pliocene and had flying horses: "The Saga of Pliocene Exile" by Julian May. Wow! Now my brain is a squash ball court ~ LOL I have every faith in you ~ We could be beta readers for each other! All the best!

Roland Clarke said...

I'd love to beta-read your story, Louise. As for all those ideas - WOW. My idea - at present - is a befuddled student resolving to avoid an exam on dark matter. But I have wondered how dark matter melds with Vikings; perhaps my Viking age airships can harness dark matter.

Fundy Blue said...

LOL! I'd try to avoid an exam on dark matter too! Beta reader it is ~ You'd be my first one ever!