Monday, November 3, 2014

Are writing contests a waste of money? by Leanne Dyck

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

Simply by affixing a stamp or clicking send you've won--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 (the judge--who could an established author, a literary agent or a publisher. All these people can help you further your career.)

I've entered the  Women on Writing contests and The Rising Star award The winner of these contests was announced 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' Ken Klonsky Novella Contest
Room's Fiction contest
The New Quarterly's The Peter Hinchcliffe Fiction Award
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 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

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.