What About Writing Contests?

What About Writing Contests?

What About Writing Contests?

Posted on 04/22/2013 Evan Swensen
What About Writing Contests?

Every writer thinks about entering writing contests. But there are some pitfalls to be aware of.

Before the Internet, it was more difficult to check and find out if a contest was legitimate or not.

But one thing is still true in the search for a good writing contest to enter:  If there is a fee to enter your work, it must be reasonable. And you don’t want to buy the special $500 book they will print up with all the winning entries.

A good contest won’t charge you an arm and a leg for your entry. It may well be run by a university. The University of Tulsa in Oklahoma, for instance, publishes a literary journal called Nimrod. [Nimrod, in case you don’t know, was the great-grandson of Noah, and famed as a hunter.]

On the website for this, http://www.utulsa.edu/nimrod/awards.html, you can find many clues that will reassure you as to the type of people who are involved in this contest.

They also disclose how many manuscripts—609 poems, and 427 short stories—were reviewed by nearly 70 editors of the journal. The finalists’ entries were sent to the two judges, one of which was Philip Levine, who was the United States Poetry Laureate 2011-2012. Which you can verify independently.

There are a great many writing contests you can enter, all over the world. Pitting yourself against other writers can be a window into a different world. Sometimes, winning a contest can propel you into a different world, as certain contests will put your work in front of legitimate agents and editors.

The Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition is one such. Go to http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions/writing-competitions, and you will see that winners will meet with four editors or agents, and a free trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York.

Whether you enter a local, state, national, or international contest, you will learn to meet a deadline. You will be able to study previous winning entries, and perhaps be inspired to learn a new form or genre of writing.

Flex those writing muscles, and do yourself proud.

Keep in touch,

Evan Swensen, Publisher
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