Friday, August 19, 2016

Contests Can Change the Game

When I first began writing for publication I submitted to several contests, my goal being one submission per month. Contests often offer a critique or judges notes, which I found so valuable starting out. If more than one judge said the same thing about my story then I took a hard look at changing it.

After time and many submissions, I began to win some of those contests I submitted to. The contests were local, regional, national and international, too. Where did I find them? On-line searches, in magazines, on writer websites, and through the media. Below are just a few:
Funds for Writers
Writer's Digest
Poet's & Writers
The Writer
Gotham Writers
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

The Huffington Post published an article a few months ago about several writing contests that are worth looking into.

Keep in mind that state and local writer's groups often hold contests annually, usually announcing winners at their conferences. Genre groups like Romance Writers of America, Fan Story, Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators, Science Fiction Writers of America,  etc. generally hold annual contests as well. Our local newspaper used to run a writing contest at Christmas, which was loads of fun.

Start looking and you'll be amazed where you'll find them. Some contests do charge a fee, but there are lots of free ones out there, too. Decide what is in your budget and go for it. Enjoy the journey, and write on.

Bonnie (BD) Tharp is an award-winning author of women's fiction for FEISTY FAMILY VALUES and PATCHWORK FAMILY.  Also, the author of Kindle ebook short stories: THE CROSSROADS & EARL DIVINE.

 My Young Adult manuscript is ready for an agent or publisher, whichever comes first. Wish me luck!


Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi Bonnie,

First, I hope you find a good agent or publisher for your YA novel.

As for contests, I think young writers starting out should enter a few contests. There are many listings to be found online and in Writers Market. I suggest submitting to those that don't charge submission fees. Also, read guidelines carefully. Avoid contests that say they have the right to publish your work whether you win or not. I repeat--read the rules and know what you're getting into.

Bonnie Tharp said...

YES. ALWAYS read the rules. Good reminder, Jacqui. Thanks!