Do you like what I did with the title there?
Nah, I didn’t think it was that good either…
Today I want to talk about writing competitions and how important they are to a fledgling writer. It’s sometimes as easy as Googling “writing competitions”, but other times you’ll only hear about them by word of mouth.
I’ll start by giving you a list of current competitions that you can enter:
- Fish Publishing – These guys run four competitions annually, including a Short Story and Flash Fiction competition. It’s judged by renowned poets and authors and the prize is pretty good.
- Writers’ Forum – This site runs a monthly short story contest. It’s a reputable site and well worth a look.
- Whidbey Writing Competition – A contest based in the USA, but open worldwide. You can write about anything and for any audience.
- Cazart – You can enter short stories or flash fiction, you can swear and it’s £5 to enter. It’s open throughout 2012 each month, so get over and have a look!
- Flash 500 – A humorous verse contest. The prizes are pretty decent, for the length of your piece (30 lines).
- Cinnamon Press – These guys run a range of writing competitions, which change regularly. It’s a good idea to bookmark their competition page.
- Fantasy Writing Contest – This is a yearly contest, run by Fantasy Faction, for fantasy writers. If your story wins, it gets entered into an anthology with a host of other well authors’ work. They start taking submissions from 1st January 2013.
You might be thinking, ‘Yeah, so what? I might win a small amount of money, but I might not win anything at all.’
Well that’s not the attitude to have. If you’re serious about your writing and you want it to lead somewhere one day, it’s a really good idea to enter some competitions. Here are the benefits that I see from taking part:
- You’re committed to finishing a piece of writing (especially if there’s an entry fee).
- You’re focused on an end goal and possibly a prize.
- You’re usually confined to a particular genre/theme.
- In some cases, you make connections with other writers and it’s great for networking.
- It maintains your “edge”.
That’s right – like the knives in your kitchen drawer, there’s always one that’s sharper than all the rest. If you want to be successful, you need to make sure that’s you. Writing contests are great for honing your skills, expanding your toolset and exercising your “writer’s brain”.
If there’s one thing you do today, why not commit to entering a competition and start planning out your story?
I’m also going to do a special series of posts during the approach to NaNoWriMo in November, to help you get prepared and learn all about this annual tournament.
If you’ve got any questions about entering competitions or need some advice on writing, drop us a comment below!
More on NaNoWriMo from the blogosphere:
- Should I Do NaNoWriMo 2012? (chortleatmygirth.com)
- Who’s doing NaNoWriMo this year? (writeontheworld.wordpress.com)
- Get Ready! How to Prepare for National Novel Writing Month NOW By Rochelle Melander a Rafflecopter giveaway (beatredundancyblues.wordpress.com)
- The Future Of My Writing (musingsfromnevillesnavel.wordpress.com)
- It’s Never Too Early For NaNo Dares (chyrondave.wordpress.com)
- 12 reasons to ignore the naysayers: Do NaNoWriMo (sequenturverbe.wordpress.com)
- 5 Things You Will Notice During NaNoWriMo (chyrondave.wordpress.com)
- Flash Fiction Challenge | 10 Options, 100 Words, Limitless Possibilities (joshmosey.wordpress.com)
- Flash Fiction – For a limited time only (dionnelisterwriter.wordpress.com)