Genre Love in the Month of Love!

Insecure Writers Support Group

Hey, readers! I’ve been quiet on the site from the holidays through now. Sometimes we need a little break. It’s Insecure Writers Support Group Wednesday – the first Wednesday of the month. I was going to give up this  monthly blog post this year in my attempt to Simplify, my 2018 word. Who am I kidding? I’m committed. Can I choose two words for the year? Is it ironic I want to make choosing a word of the year more complicated when my word choice is Simplify?

Here’s more on Insecure Writers Support Group – Facebook Group, IWSG Website. Resources and connections for writers of any genre!

This month’s question:

What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

Tuesday night was a great reminder of why I love to read and write young adult. Chicago area debut author Gloria Chao celebrated her book release for American Panda, a contemporary YA that hits all of my “gimme!” targets: a girl making her way in the world, complex and layered family drama, fun and funny, and POC (person of color) main and supporting characters. Gloria talked at the signing about writing the books she wanted to see in the world, using her own experiences and family as inspiration.

Author Gloria Chao of American Panda

Author Gloria Chao with moderator Christa Desir – photo by Stephanie Scott


Stephanie with Gloria Chao

Stephanie with author Gloria Chao


She also mentioned the trepidation she felt when the early copies of her book went out to reviewers. Once your book is out there, it’s a piece of you as a writer. You can’t control what people will say about your book, or about you. I appreciated hearing this because we all have our i

nsecurities, even when we know we wrote a good book and have plenty of people supporting us along the way.

My favorite part about YA in general is all the things that make a story young adult – the first time experiences, the navigating the world in new ways, and lots of family and friendship complications.


What’s your favorite thing about the genre you like to read or write?


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The YA Gal Facebook Party!

Readers: want to win books, bookmarks, and bookish swag?

The YA Gal Holiday PartyAuthor Jennifer Bardsley, aka The YA Gal on Facebook, is hosting a Facebook party that’s all prizes! No gimmicks to sign up for newsletters. I’ll be giving away a fashion emergency kit like my character discusses in Alterations!

Here are the details: Sunday December 17, 3 pm PST (6pm EST) on the party Facebook event.

Please RSVP so we know you’re coming: The YA Gal Holiday Event

Prizes! Discussions! Funny pet photos and more! Come join sixteen of your favorite YA authors for a virtual Christmas party. Every ten minutes there will be a new giveaway. Bring a picture of your favorite food to share in our virtual potluck.



YA Gal party Alterations


Hope to see you there!

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Insecure Writers Support Group Wednesday

Insecure Writers Support Group


The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is a home for writers in all stages; from unpublished to bestsellers. Our goal is to offer assistance and guidance. We want to help writers overcome their insecurities, and by offering encouragement we are creating a community of support.

The first Wednesday of every month is a blog hop – check out more writer blogs here!



October 4 question – Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?

Part of the fun of writing is exploring what I like and want to know more about, and sometimes that means adding in a bit of what we see around us. I stay away from naming characters after people I know or using obvious traits. What I love about writing is finding inspiration everywhere. Sometimes it’s a funny thing someone says or a super quirky interest. My husband’s elaborate rules on donuts ended up in one of my (unpublished) books where a character is super picky about which donuts she eats. It’s part of her character having expertise on snacking and feeling the need to share this expertise widely.

Far From Falling Book Image

Today I’m also featuring the first book in the series I’m writing for – the first book is free, called Far From Falling. Isn’t the cover perfect for fall? My release Falling Into Place is coming this fall too, my first foray into self-publishing! Big thanks to everyone in the IWSG community for being a support through the years. I’m so excited to share this accomplishment.

Here’s the link for the free book!

What’s your most anticipated read this fall?

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Welcome Home Book Release Event

Last month, I had the pleasure of joining three other authors for the Welcome Home book release event at Schuler Books in Lansing, Michigan. The short story collection sold out of books at the event! The stories are all fiction involving themes of adoption, created and edited by author and literary agent Eric Smith.

Here are a few pics from the event:



Stephanie Scot with Welcome Home book and Alterations bookmark

Me with our books and my Alterations bookmarks!


Authors at Welcome Home book event

Welcome Home authors Stephanie Scott, Eric Smith, Erica Chapman with moderator Darcy Woods – bookended with the same black ballet flats!


Photo of authors at Welcome Home event

Panel: Eric Smith, the creator and editor of Welcome Home, with Erica Chapman, Stephanie Scott and moderator Darcy Woods


Author Stephanie Scott with her Mother at Welcome Home bookstore event

With my mom!

Welcome Home is available in print and ebook from many book retailers!


Barnes & Noble 


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Last Day of Alterations Sale!

Today is the last day to get my Romance Writers of America RITA® Award Finalist Book ALTERATIONS on sale across ebook retailers!

Buy here:



Barnes & Noble Nook


Happy reading!

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Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Surprises in Writing

Insecure Writers Support Group

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is a home for writers in all stages; from unpublished to bestsellers. The goal is to offer assistance and guidance and to help writers overcome their insecurities by offering encouragement and creating a community of support. Check out the IWSG website and the other blogs in the hop: IWSG monthly blog hop

September 6 Question:

Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing?

For example, by trying a new genre you didn’t think you’d be comfortable in?


Welcome Home Anthology CoverFunny you should ask, randomly generated IWSG question. Actually, YES. Just yesterday, the short story collection Welcome Home by Eric Smith released, including a contribution from me! Some writers excel at a short story format. I would not say I am of that excelling demographic. But, the challenge was a great experience. Writing a short story showed me how every word matters, and how to sharpen my focus on every aspect of the story for maximum impact.

Wait there’s more! I’m also venturing from young adult books to a contemporary romance I plan to publish this fall! It’s part of a group series, meaning three of us authors will be writing stories set in the same world with overlapping characters. Too often, I’ve seen people say things like, “I should just write a romance book and cash in,” or how romance books are paint-by-numbers. I’m here to tell you, it takes the same amount of writerly sweat to write a romantic work of fiction as it does anything else. You still go through rounds of editing and feedback and multiple drafts. This was a fun challenge – to see if I could put my own stamp on a genre I’ve come to really love reading.

I still feel new enough at this writer deal that any project feels new and challenging. What surprises me most is the end product itself. After all the doubts and hair pulling, to see the finished product is incredibly satisfying.

Writers: have you written in different genres?

Readers: what are two very different books you enjoyed?

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Welcome Home Release Day and Alterations Sale!

Today is the day – the Welcome Home short story collection is out in the world!

I’m honored and excited to be part of this story collection with adoption-centered fiction stories. I worked for a foster care and adoption agency as my first real job out of college. I tend to say my most interesting and saddest stories come from that job.


Welcome Home Image and quote by author Darcy Woods

Welcome Home collects a number of adoption-themed fictional short stories, and brings them together in one anthology from a diverse range of celebrated Young Adult authors.

The all-star roster includes Edgar-award winner Mindy McGinnis, New York Times best-selling authors C.J. Redwine (The Shadow Queen) and William Ritter (Jackaby), and acclaimed YA authors across all genres. The full list of contributors includes: Adi Alsaid, Karen Akins, Erica M. Chapman, Caela Carter, Libby Cudmore, Dave Connis, Julie Eshbaugh, Helene Dunbar, Lauren Gibaldi, Shannon Gibney, Jenny Kaczorowski, Julie Leung, Sangu Mandanna, Matthew Quinn Martin, Mindy McGinnis, Lauren Morrill, Tameka Mullins, Sammy Nickalls, Shannon Parker, C.J. Redwine, Randy Ribay, William Ritter, Stephanie Scott, Natasha Sinel, Eric Smith, Courtney C. Stevens, Nic Stone, Kate Watson, and Tristina Wright.

Welcome Home Cover


Buy now:

Amazon  Barnes & Noble





And bonus news! Alterations is on sale for .99 cents all month! This is the lowest price the book has been (or will be!). If you end up picking up the book, let me know in the comments and I’ll send you some fun book swag!

Alterations book: her world is about to burst at the seams

Available for .99 cents now from these retailers:

B&N Nook  iBooks  Amazon 

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Welcome Home Bookstore Event

Hello, happy readers! 

The Welcome Home short story collection is releasing in just a few weeks! Tuesday September 5, Flux Books will release this multi-author young adult collection featuring adoption themes. 

I’ll be at a bookstore event in Lansing, Michigan to celebrate the Welcome Home release! Join myself, contributor Erica M. Chapman, and the Welcome Home editor, who himself is an author and literary agent, Eric Smith.

If you’re in the vicinity, we’d love to see you!

Here are the details:

Welcome Home Cover
Tuesday, September 12, 2017 – 7:00pm

Schuler Books & Music 
2820 Towne Center Blvd. 
Lansing, MI 48912

Join us for an author panel featuring contributors to Welcome Home, a new anthology featuring a diverse range of celebrated Young Adult authors. Welcome Home collects a number of adoption-themed fictional short stories, and brings them together in one anthology. The all-star roster includes Edgar-award winner Mindy McGinnis, New York Times best-selling authors C.J. Redwine (The Shadow Queen) and William Ritter (Jackaby), and acclaimed YA authors across all genres.

Praise for Welcome Home

“The best [stories in this anthology], reflect the bittersweet truths that adoptive families differ profoundly from biological ones and that coming to terms with these differences is a lifelong process.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Authors across a variety of genres share stories that range from the fantastical to gritty, but all will touch readers hearts (and cause a few to shed some tears).” –School Library Journal

“This volume earns a place in every YA library and it is up to YA librarians to put it into the hands of teens who need it most.” –VOYA

About the Editor

ERIC SMITH is a young adult author and literary agent who grew up in the wilds of New Jersey. When he isn’t working on books (his and other peoples), he can be found writing about books for places like Book Riot and Paste Magazine. He lives with his wife, Nena, and their legion of small furry animals. Find him online at or on Twitter at @ericsmithrocks.

More information here:

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Read-a-Romance Month Blog

Today I’m part of Read a Romance Month! This is a cool, month-long blog feature where three authors who write romance books post each day.

The theme this year is the power of romance. Plus: PRIZES! I’m giving away an ebook copy of ALTERATIONS with some book swag (bookmark and mini sewing kit), plus there is an ongoing giveaway of more book stuff every day. 

Check out my post here:

The full schedule is here:

Read a Romance Month 2017





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My Top First Pages Pet Peeves and How to Fix Them!

Insecure Writers Support Group

Looking for a supportive writing community? Check out the Insecure Writer’s Support Group site and the IWSG Facebook group! It all started with a blog hop that still goes on every month. Visit a few new blogs here.

August 2 Question:

What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

Perfect timing for this question! I’m about to dive into Pitch Wars submissions, which means a whole slew of first pages. (If you don’t know about Pitch Wars, see my previous post, or go here to the brand new Pitch Wars website! The skinny: writers submit pitches and first chapters to other writers for a chance to be mentored before an agent showcase round 3 months from now.)

Let me say this first: just about anything in writing can be improved or fixed. Writing is a craft that takes time. I’m light years ahead of where I was five years ago, but there are books I pick up sometimes that make me weep at their greatness. So, in the spirit of Pitch Wars, let’s turn this pet peeves post into more constructive advice.

Writing Books Stephanie Scott Author Instagram


My Top First Pages Pet Peeves – and How to Fix Them!

  1. A lackluster first line
    • A first line is your first impression to a reader. It’s a great spot to display your voice, set the tone, and show off a little. Highlight a contradiction, present a shocking statement or a concept that poses a question. Get creative and craft a memorable line.
  2. A perpetually pondering character
    • Ever read a first page without any action? Where the character explains their thoughts, their dreams and setbacks, and wonders about everything from their own emotions to impending doom? There are always exceptions, but typically a whole page of solid narration with no sense of place, setting, or movement is kind of a drag. You don’t have to land readers in the middle of a gun fight, but starting your story where something is happening, changing, or active can entice readers to turn the page.
  3. Character soup
    • Too many characters too fast. For example, laying out the hierarchy of a magical monarchy on page one. Focus on one or two characters at first. Ease readers in.
  4. Any writer syndrome
    • This is a perfectly nice page full of grammatically correct sentences. That could be written by anybody. Look at the first few pages of your story. Can you see your personality in them? Is the type of story you’re trying to tell obvious from the tone you’re setting?
  5. The unnecessary prologue
    • Everybody wants to write a prologue. How else will you know that the chosen one came from a long line of ancient Viking pirates cursed by rebel fairies? Consider whether you’re able to start the story in a different place without backtracking centuries to ancient lore. Or, write the prologue for yourself so you know your character’s backstory, but resist (if you can!) using it in your actual submission. Prologues aren’t “bad” or “wrong” per se, but they rarely are needed in the way authors think they are. Believe me, I have tried!

First pages have a lot of heavy lifting to do! What are pet peeves you encounter in books? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

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