Wednesday, 12 October 2016

L.G. Keltner, winner of the first #IWSG Anthology contest, tells us about Overcoming Insecurity and Submitting Your Work.

It's beyond awesome to have L.G. Keltner on my blog today. No doubt you'll be seeing a lot of her as she guests around the blogosphere. I've asked her to talk on this subject, knowing many of us are keen writers but tardy with submissions...

Take it away, my friend!

Overcoming Insecurity and Submitting Your Work

Hello everyone!  Today, I'm going to do two things on Denise's blog.  First, I’m going to give you some encouragement regarding the 2016 IWSG Anthology Contest (submissions close early November).  Then I’m going to promote my latest novella Self-Help 101 or: How to Select a Costume to Help You Deal With People.  And believe it or not, those two subjects are not entirely unrelated.

Entering a writing contest can be a nerve-wracking experience.  A piece of writing is a deeply personal thing, and no one wants to hear that the story they poured so much time and effort into didn’t make the cut.  Every writer has to face the pain of rejection at some point, though.  That’s part of being a writer, after all.  If you never risk rejection, you never give your work an opportunity to shine.

When I entered the IWSG Anthology Contest last year, I was nervous.  From the beginning, I knew I needed to take part in it.  It was simply too great an opportunity to ignore.  At the same time, I was shaking when I emailed my entry.  I second-guessed myself for days afterwards.  This seems a natural reaction given what I’ve heard from other writers.  As much as we love our work, we feel insecure about it.  We want it to be well-received, but we fear that may not be the case.  Sometimes we’ll try to edit it to death, striving for some vague notion of perfection we can never attain.  Fortunately, a looming deadline helped me avoid this particular pitfall.

As I waited for a response, I vacillated between thinking I’d turned in a good story and thinking that I’d wasted an important opportunity by submitting something that other people may not like.  When I got the email telling me that I’d not only made it into the anthology, but that my story “Felix Was Here” also won the contest, I was stunned.  I’d spent so much time worrying about an entry that ended up winning, and that seemed crazy to me in retrospect.  I suppose it’s inevitable to worry.  Writers can’t seem to help it.  As long as we don’t let those fears prevent us from submitting, we’ll be okay.

Dani, the main character in the Self-Help 101 series, is also a writer.  She deals with her own insecurities.  She has to contend with critics and her own inner voice of self-doubt.  That’s a major theme in Self-Help 101 or: How to Select a Costume to Help You Deal With People.  It’s fortunate that Dani has a lot of supportive friends, and it doesn’t hurt that she’s extremely stubborn.

That’s the best advice I can give any writer who wants to put themselves out there.  Find a support group, and be stubborn.


His eyes darkened.  “That nasty comment I saw yesterday?  It was horrible, yes, but it didn’t seem to bother you earlier.”
“No, not that one.  I got a new one today, and it wasn’t from the same person, either.  This person actually knows how to spell correctly.”  I leaned back, resting my head against the wall.  “That other one didn’t bother me, because it didn’t offer any legitimate criticism.  It just encouraged me to do something anatomically inadvisable, and half the words were misspelled anyway.  That’s easy to blow off, because that’s classic troll behavior.  This new person essentially said that I’m an entitled brat who’d never had any real problems, so I shouldn’t waste anyone’s time with what I have to say.  And with class today and Rhonda saying the things she did, it left me wondering why I even bother.”
Seth kissed my cheek.  “You do it because you love it.  What other reason is there?”
I shook my head.  “I also do it hoping to make money, but that hasn’t been working.”
“Sure, you’d like to make money, but that isn’t what keeps you going, and you know it.”
Fine.  He had a point.  I may be cynical about many things, but I do write for the love of it.  That doesn’t make it suck any less when people insist I shouldn’t bother in the first place.  If anything, it makes it worse, and my natural cynicism wasn’t sufficient to shield me.
“I know.  I just . . .  I can’t help but wonder if I’m good enough to do this as a career.  It’s what I want more than anything, but wanting it isn’t enough.”  I’d tried keeping these insecurities bottled up tight, but now they were pouring right out of me, and I was powerless to stop it.  At least Seth was the only one there to see me like this.

Title: Self-Help 101 or: How to Select a Costume to Help You Deal With People
Author: L.G. Keltner
Genre: holiday/humor
Length: 29,000 words
Cover Art:  L.G. Keltner and Jamon Walker
Release Date: September 27, 2016


Book 3 in the Self-Help 101 series.

Dani Finklemeier is adjusting to life in college and the realities of living away from home for the first time.  She’s also learning to deal with the criticism that stems from sharing her writing with the world.  Some of the online criticism is even spelled correctly, which somehow makes it worse.

Fortunately, she has a Halloween party, a group of friends, and a supportive boyfriend to distract her from the things that are bothering her.  Of course, a holiday celebration wouldn’t be complete without something going wrong.  Between an unpleasant confrontation with an infuriating classmate, some shocking costume choices, and a bizarre fraternity stunt, the evening will be anything but dull.

Dani’s detractors may not like it, but she’ll definitely have enough material for another book.


 L.G. Keltner spends most of her time trying to write while also cleaning up after her crazy but wonderful kids and hanging out with her husband.  Her favorite genre of all time is science fiction, and she’s been trying to write novels since the age of six.  Needless to say, those earliest attempts weren’t all that good. 

Her non-writing hobbies include astronomy and playing Trivial Pursuit.

You can typically find L.G. lurking around her blog, on Twitter, or on her Facebook page.

Purchase Links:



Add it on Goodreads.

 Thank you for appearing on my blog today, L.G.

Now, do you have some comments/questions for L.G. about submitting your work? Or about her latest book, Self-Help 101 or: How to Select a Costume to Help You Deal With People?

And I can't let a chance go by. I'm asking you to submit to Write...Edit...Publish this month. Many of our regulars can't join us because of hurricanes and other life emergencies. I hope  you might consider writing for us or simply posting a photo or an image that fits the prompts. Post between October 19 - 21. Any further questions, go to WEP or send Yolanda Renee or myself an email. You can sign up here in my sidebar. LOVE TO HAVE YOU!!


Mason Canyon said...

Congrats, L.G. for taking that step to enter the contest. If writers didn't take that step we readers would be lost in a world without stories to enjoy. Very inspiring post. Wishing you much success.

Thoughts in Progress
and MC Book Tours

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Just do it, people! You don't think you can win? Just ask LG about that.

L.G. Keltner said...

Thanks for hosting me today!

L.G. Keltner said...

Thank you!

L.G. Keltner said...

The only way you can't win is if you don't try! Thanks for stopping by!

H. R. Sinclair said...

Congrats L.G.! I love the title of your book.

L.G. Keltner said...

Thank you! I've been having fun with the titles in this series!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Denise and LG - what a fun, sensible and rewarding post - first congratulations on your story win, and entry in the Anthology. Yes .. story lines and ideas can come from all sources - even despair settings and life in general ...

Take care and congratulations ... cheers Hilary

Nilanjana Bose said...

Hello LG and Denise,

I loved Felix was here! and several other stories too in that anthology.

Dani seems like someone I know :) Best of luck with this book and the future titles too.

N. R. Williams said...

Hello L. G. and Denise
Congratulations on winning last year's IWSG anthology contest and getting published and your new book release. Self-Help looks like fun.

I am currently working hard on my anthology submission for this years IWSG submission. I'm not all that nervous but I'm sure I will be after I submit it. I have gone all the way back to the beginning in my fantasy series and am bringing a long dead hero to life.

Wishing you great success.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Congrats on the double win so to speak with the Anthology Contest. If we do not believe in ourselves enough to try, we fail ourselves, right? Great post. I have entered this second contest. But it is not winning entry that counts but simply persisting in our dream. :-)

L.G. Keltner said...

Thank you so much!

L.G. Keltner said...

I'm glad to hear it! Thank you!

L.G. Keltner said...

Good luck with your anthology submission!

L.G. Keltner said...

So true! As long as we keep trying, that's a victory. Best of luck with your submission!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

As writers, we end up worrying about so many things that never happen!

Tamara Narayan said...

It's strange that submitting to a short story contest can cause so much nerves because if you don't win a place there, you can always submit somewhere else. Writers sure know how to put a lot of pressure on themselves. (And yes, that includes me.)

Yolanda Renée said...

I had no expectations last year when I submitted, yes, I worried that it wasn't good enough, but I was thrilled to have made it a goal achieved. When I received word I'd made it - so awesome! I love the premise of your self-help books and the way you're been handling your subjects. I know it will be helpful to so many folks! Great job, Laura!
Thanks, Denise. That hurricane has caused a lot of misery, but I think the WEP will have many great submissions despite it!

L.G. Keltner said...

We sure do!

L.G. Keltner said...

We're experts at putting the pressure on. Thanks for stopping by!

L.G. Keltner said...

I didn't have expectations either, only hopes. Definitely glad I submitted. Thanks for stopping by!

Unknown said...

May we display your header on our new site directory? As it is now, the site title (linked back to your home page) is listed, and we think displaying the header will attract more attention. In any event, we hope you will come by and see what is going on at

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats to L.G. What a fun, creative title she came up with.

cleemckenzie said...

Congrats on taking that step to enter and then going on to win! That's a wonderful accomplishment.

Misha Gerrick said...

My grandmother says one should submit even the stories you don't particularly like, because you never know what the judges like. ;-)

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

You've got to be in it to win it. So glad you took that step.

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