Enter and Win Writing Contests!

in writing •  3 months ago

I've been writing professionally for more than a handful of years, fiction and non fiction. I've also subscribed to lists of writing contests for almost just as long. But until last year I've never entered any!

Why? Partly because I find my work highly flawed. Some people have told me that is typical of the creatives mind, but I just feel that I'm nowhere near perfect, and there are so many writers way more talented than I. I may make a living from my work but that doesn't make me comfortable in my current situation- I consider myself an eternal scholar when it comes to writing, and will continue to learn and refine my craft- probably until I retire :)

But last year I finally took the plunge and entered a few of those contests that glitter my inbox.

And I actually won one!

I'd like to share what I learned from the experience so that you too can muster the confidence and hit that submit button 😎

Read the Rules

This should go without saying but you'd be surprised at the about of submissions that are tossed in the trash pile because they didn't follow the instructions! This is the most important advice in regards to entering writing contests! It would be a shame to find that after putting in all that work writing and editing your entry only to find it was discarded because you forgot one thing!

Before you begin writing your contest entry, read all of the rules carefully. Twice. Be sure you are clear about the word count, whether the title counts toward the word count, the exact time submissions are accepted until- including time zone so you can adjust, theme/subject matter, and all the other idiosyncrasies listed in the contest guidelines. And when you're ready to submit read the rules one last time to make sure you include everything they ask for.

Read Past Winning Submissions

This will help you to know what the judges are looking for.

Give Yourself Time

Is the contest in one month? Great, you have about 30 days to prepare, create, and shine your entry. Just don't wait until two days before the deadline! If you're short on time do a little each day. Overwhelming yourself by waiting until the last minute will only make your entry feel rushed.

Back it up

Be sure you save your work, constantly!

Edit

Be sure you proofread and edit while also checking grammar. Again, this is something that should be common sense, but from what I hear from my associates who judge writing contests there are attending amounts of entries that appear to be first drafts with many errors!

Read and re-read your entry, out loud is best. You'll be amazed at what you catch when you read your work out loud.

Font

Times New Roman 12 pt is the most widely accepted- unless the rules state otherwise.

Don't Add Extras

Refrain from adding images or notes to the judge.

Be Unique

You are the only person in the planet with your particular viewpoint. Use it to your advantage! This is where being unique is your advantage- just think of how many entries there will be for the judges to read: your unique voice will rise above the many who will write the "popular" fashion of the time.

Confidence

If you're like me you may feel less that 100% confident in your work. But that's ok! Enter contests anyway! Even if you don't win the contest, you'll gain valuable feedback for your entry, which will only help you grow as a writer.

Plus it's great practice. Writing contests force you to get out of your comfort zone with different topics and push you to adhere to a strict timeframe.

Have Fun!

The contest you're entering isn't going to break you. You're not going to fail class or lose a job. There's absolutely zero risk! So don't be afraid to take some chances 😉 As long as you follow the published rules you are golden.

Good luck!

Have you entered writing contests? What was your experience?


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Thanks for the tips.

but I just feel that I'm nowhere near perfect, and there are so many writers way more talented than I

I can totally relate to that feeling. I even wrote a post a couple of months back about how much I wanted to join writing contests, and how my fear of not being good enough - of failing - was holding me back.

I realize that it's all in my head. Because what's the worst that can happen? You don't win. Then learn and move on.

But somehow, knowing this hasn't brought me to actually doing it (yet).

So congrats on the win, but even more on the fact that you took the step and joined!

It is so wonderful to have you a part of the #powerhousecreatives!
I enjoyed this post encouraging all to write.

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Thank you hon! I enjoy being a part of such a stellar collective :)

Congrats on that win!

Another advice I am learning is to never fear failure. Failure is a friend of the good kind that will teach you. And a success requires a lot of failures to step on.

I have won some small prizes in small writing contests outside the blockchain. I have failed in those larger ones even on national level.

But the same applies to other art contests, and I have more experience in photography. I have won prizes there, too. More and almost every year. But you know why, friends? You should by now.

Because I fail in at least 9 contests for each one I win.

Juries are subjective, too, so don't fret if you don't touch persons you don't know. Some of those someday you will. If It is of value to you, it is of value to others.

And competitions without a jury but with only the public vote option I consider worse than lottery. Those are not competitions in any other art but the art of finding and capitalizing on social support.

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The competitions with a public vote are a popularity contest I'm afraid. Those value in your social media numbers, profile picture, etc, whereas an anonomous jury simply votes on your talent.

Congrats on your win ak! and great writing tips for others 👍

Thanks for this opportunity

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Hope you can take something from this to enter and even win a competition!

Well done you!
(If I knew you'd entered, I wouldn't have bothered..lol)

Speaking of creativity, I've started to doing some dtubes- and really enjoy it!
segue into link.
I'd be interested in what you think..(it's only 3 minutes, not spielberg or anything.lol)
https://steemit.com/dtube/@lucylin/lf3wuhz0

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Watched and commented :)

Congratulations on winning a contest!! they can be really tough and many have so many entries!

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I have never participated in a writer's contest, but sometimes I applied for a drawing contest. I get upset if I don't win. I can't help these emotions.

Great advice. Congratulations on winning.

hey hon. please can you contact me urgently on discord....

Writing contests are great, when I first started steemit, I use to do them all the time and if I remember, I won like 3 or 4 of them and it was really fun. More people should enter those, they give you an opportunity not only to be creative but to read some awesome work from others.