Monday, November 3, 2014

Why waste your money on writing contests

(Photo by Leanne Dyck. Rock art by Byron Dyck)

Moumita Goswami wrote a helpful article for the e-Books India blog were she explained the reason Why a Writing Competition Can Be Good for You.

After reading that article, I was inspired to write...
And in my opinion simply by affixing a stamp or clicking send you've won. 


Well, because you're showing pride in your work; you're proving you're in this writing game; and you're ensuring that at least one other person will read your work. 

I've entered the  Women on Writing contests and Women Fiction Writers Association Rising Star contest The winner of these contests and my name wasn't on the list but... I have won invaluable feedback and encouragement from judges.

For example, one judge wrote:  This author's work displays many favorable attributes. The author has an eye for detail. She weaves emotion throughout. It's noted in the synopsis, the story is based on a true story and I suspect that contributed to the strong story world created in this manuscript. I think this author has great potential. 

I also entered...
Quattro Books' 2015 Ken Klonsky Novella Contest
Room's Fiction contest
The New Quarterly's The Peter Hinchcliffe Fiction Award
University of Pittsburgh Press' Drue Heinz Literature Prize
The winner of these contests has yet to be announced --fingers crossed.

So, in closing, I know there are many reasons to invest your money in writing contests. But as Moumita Goswami advises in her article, do your homework and avoid scams. One way to do this is to enter contests run by well-established literary magazines--such as Prism International contests. I'd also advise you to read contest rules carefully and closely follow their guidelines.

Good luck

Remember simply by entering you've won.

This Friday's guest:  Joan Donaldson-Yarmey (mystery author)

Next Monday:  What I learnt about writing from reading Stephen King (Misery)

Sharing my author journey...

Established authors say submit, submit, submit--don't stop until you can wallpaper a room with your rejection letters. These days, in order to accomplish this feat, faster, you'll also have to print off the emails you receive. 
Lately, I've been sharing my most favourite rejection letters with you. I'd like to share another. This one is five words long--short but sweet. It read:  'A fine effort -- keep writing'.
To the writer of these words I'd like to say thank you. 
It's not always easy to keep going. Sometimes I feel like I'm hitting my head against a brick wall. But when someone in the publishing industry takes the time to write words of encouragement, I feel like I can breathe, I feel like I'm heading in the direction, and I return to my writing desk with renewed commitment.


Anonymous said...

I've been holding back somewhat wondering why I AM spending money to enter writing contests. I agree feedback is a lifebuoy but not always forthcoming.
Thank you for this post. Reading it has given me a boost. Back to the drawing board.

Leanne Dyck said...

And some times they don't even tell you you haven't won. You have to do the leg work yourself.
Trouble is you don't always know you is going to give you the helpful feedback--only through trail and error.
But even if they don't give you feedback that's at least one more person who knows you write. And like the wings of a butterfly you don't know what effect that is ultimately going to have. All you have to do is keep the faith and keep writing.
I hope your drawing board has a comfortable chair.

Laurie Buchanan said...

"Simply by entering you've won."

I absolute love your outlook Leanne!

Leanne Dyck said...

: ) Thank you, Laurie.