-Contest Judges are Totally Objective
If you are an aspiring fiction writer, let me ask you a question. Have you ever entered a writing contest? If not, why not? On the wall of my office I have seven (7) framed certificates from various writing contests which I have won through the years. (And this is not all of them – some certificates are still buried in my files.) Winning a contest can be a real confidence booster for a story writer. And oftentimes a judge in a contest will include constructive notes that will help you in your writing skills and techniques. One of the contests I won early in my career was in a teen novel category. The notes from the judge were invaluable to me. That novel eventually became my first published novel! What an exciting event that was!browse around this website fiction top selling books.
-Look for REAL Contests
When considering entering a fiction contest, look for trustworthy contests judged by reputable, published writers. Stay away from so-called contests where an entity is simply selling the publication in which your work may appear. The contests I have won were through my local library system, magazine sponsored contests, and various writers conferences that I had attended through the years. Throughout the fourteen years that I served as coordinator of the annual Professionalism in Writing School, I was adamant that we always include a writing contest. Believe me, my work would have been much simpler and easier if that aspect had been avoided. I had to coordinate the dozens of submissions; locate capable, trustworthy judges; and then create the prizes and award them. But it was worth it! Just to see the joy and surprise on the faces of the winners was all I needed to keep on going the next year – and the next. Many of our PIW contest winners went on to publish their winning submissions.
-The True Test
Letting a friend or a relative read your writing can be pretty iffy. First of all, does that person know anything about writing and constructing a story? Secondly, do they know how to offer constructive ideas or solutions to your problem areas? Probably not. Add to that the fact that they don’t really want to “hurt your feelings.” But in a legitimate writing contest, your name doesn’t even appear on the manuscript. That judge doesn’t know you or anything about you. Your writing lays there bare-naked and must stand on its own merit. What a wonderful way to “test” your writing skills. One of the best places to begin searching for legitimate contests is in the well-known, annually-published Writer’s Market (Writer’s Digest Books). This standard in the industry has been around for many decades. You can find it in the reference section of most any public library, or search online. As a general rule, you can trust the contests listed in this market book.