Entering Contests

Important information from one judge.

Live to Write - Write to Live

In 2005, I won a local writing contest; as a result, I’ve frequently been asked to judge it. (image: www.pixabay.com) In 2005, I won a local writing contest; as a result, I’ve frequently been asked to judge it. (image: http://www.pixabay.com)

Like many writers, I’ve submitted short stories to contests, hoping that my work would win and fearing that my entry would be far outclassed. But I’ve not entered many contests, mostly because I figured if I had to pay someone to read my work, I’d do better investing in an editorial reader to give me meaningful feedback.

I have submitted work to contests with no entry fee – and I’ve won prizes: both money and recognition, but neither fortune nor fame. In 2005, I won a local writing contest; since then, I’ve frequently been asked to judge it. This has given me a new perspective on contests and how winners are picked.

At first, I was one of five judges. We all read all the entries, then met to decide…

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7 thoughts on “Entering Contests

  1. Thanks, Jean. Good pointers in this article. I often feel left out because i don’t write short fiction. As a remedy, I’ve sponsored a “novel first chapter” category in the annual contest run by the writing group I belong to, Green River Writers, based in Louisville, Kentucky (here’s a link to the contest: http://www.greenriverwriters.org/contest2.html). The category is open to non- or self-published novels. Wish I could enter my own category! There are many other categories for short fiction and poetry.

    Writers’ Digest’s novel contest is for self-published novels, but I don’t want to self-publish the one I have in hand, not yet. If anyone knows of a contest for non-published novels that are out on the market, I’d love to know about it.

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