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Contests…Yea or Nay?

You’ve written a short story or a poem with ten versus. You are proud of your work. You run across an ad to submit your work to a writing contest for a chance to win $1000. Hmmm. What do you do?

Contests are not a bad idea. But you do need to do your research. Lucky for you, I’m doing it for you. Contests are a great way for your work to be seen, to be read not only by authors but by other writers. Contests are generally open to all levels of writers and all genres. And, if you are a true writer, your goal shouldn’t just be to win, but to be seen.

I’ve won two erotic contests, one short story fiction and one non-fiction article over the years. I haven’t entered in quite a while; I should. I miss the excitement of a contest, but with so many deadlines on my calendar already, it is difficult to add another one!

A couple of things you do need to look out for:

  • Make sure you still own the rights to your work.

  • Entry fees aren’t crazy high (more than $25, I would think twice)

  • Make sure they list the winners AND their (readable) work. If you cannot read the winner’s work, again, think twice.

One contest I love because they give you weekly prompts is Reedsy. You will receive an email weekly with a theme and 5 prompts to write a short story. Prize money is $250 and entry fee is only $5. You can also enter a story for free for feedback without entering the contest.

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is an organization that is simply outstanding. In November, they hold their 50,000 word challenge (typical novel length). Many authors have written their debut novel during this month. Like Sara Gruen who wrote Water for Elephants. Published in 2006, landed on the bestseller list for a year before it was turned into a movie in 2011. Every year I start the challenge and usually stop mid-month. I think I just may write my thesis this November and get it over with. (LOL)  But seriously, this group is a great encouragement to writers new and seasoned.

I say take that leap and enter a few contests. Find one that you’re not sure about? Ask me and I’ll do some digging for you.

Good luck.

Until next time…

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