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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Truth & Consequences

Amy Cook has a recent article in Writer's Digest Complete Guide to Contests. She talks about the benefits writing contests bring the writer. She also discusses protecting thyself.

Up, Up & Away - Legitimacy is key. If the contest isn't, chances are you're win, place or show will mean nothing. Look for annuals, the established & the reputable. Amy advises that any contest stating they haven't found winners in previous years & didn't refund the entry fees is not a contest to enter.

Here comes the judge - Published authors, previous winners, editors & agents participate in the judging process. The other important element is whether or not there will be feedback. This alone is great impetus for paying the entry fee - the chance for quality, qualified feedback is well worth it.

Miranda who? - Know your rights. First North American, copyrights, multiple submissability. Be very careful when it comes to signing your rights away & make sure to read the teeny-tiny.

Ooh, ooh, Mr. Kotter, pick me - Voice, hook, unpredictability. And don't forget typos, grammar & formatting. Find out what their looking for, scour your work for errors & present the best possible entry. Make it stand out from both writing & professional perspectives.

What's in it for you? - Money, publication, agent/editor meets. Books, subscriptions, or other services. I like money; we all like money. And money is good, but what about the other better benies. Door # 1, 2 or 3? Only you can decide what it is you're hoping to get out of a contest - pick what is best for you.

Writing contests are a window into the publishing world that can lead to a door. And that door is the opening into a whole new world. The only way through it is to do it. But, do it with care.

Happy Writing,



  1. Thanks for this excellent summary on writing contests! They're wonderful for helping writers get feedback and much-needed praise for their work.

  2. You bet Karen. Glad you found it helpful.

  3. This post is interesting to me. I've only entered two contests before, because those were free. I have a hard time parting with my money for a "chance" to win. It's the non-gambler in me. I can see how the winner would reap plenty of benefits though, especially if it gets them noticed. Food for thought.

  4. Most of my published work has come from winning contests so I'm a real fan.


  5. Alexandra, Julie & Clarissa,

    Thanks for the comments.