Saturday, November 23, 2019

Again, Why Contests

Again, Why Contests Contests are the underdog in the publishing industry, yet everyone wants to have won an award. So why arent contests a regular in a writers promotional plan? The fear of competition? The concept of paying an entry fee? Im not sure, but writers need to take a moment to consider entering contests. You dont have to wait until you have a book to vie for an award. The benefits of entering contests: 1) You learn to be vetted. Rejection is a necessary evil in a writers world. Toughen up being rejected in a contest rather than 2) You develop a measure for your talent. All too often writers wonder if theyve evolved to the point of being worthy of publication. Those who dont wonder are definitely not. A good measure of your abilities comes from entering contests. When you start placing, you realize you might be getting it right. 3) You learn to write for a judges eye. Writing for readers can often dilute the urgency to write well. Picturing a judge dissecting your work may raise your awareness. 4) Placing or winning opens doors. Besides the obvious of being able to claim you are an award-winning writer, you and your name appear on several radars of agents, publishers, even promoters. You may win a publication contract, money, promotion online. Regardless, you climb that ladder higher than if you hadnt entered. 5) You may find a home for your poetry or prose. The market is slim for shorter works and poetry. Contests, however, are one of the few opportunities to put you on the map, get published, even earn a financial reward. Poetry and shorts contests abound in the spring and fall. Use them The perceived drawbacks of entering contests: 1) Entry fees. Frankly, I see nothing wrong with entry fees. Contests cost money to operate. Sure, if you submit to ten a month at 15 dollars each, the cost can add up, but you could easily insert one a month into your writing plan. 2) Tying up work. When you submit to a contest, the sponsor expects the piece to be original and unpublished, and dont want to compete with someone else if they choose your work. But you are prolific. You can keep pitching to publishers or self-publish and fight for attention amidst the competition, or you can submit to a contest and let it sit for a few months. You are a writer. You have way more pieces in your head, so write them. 3) Scams. Sorry, another weak excuse in my book. There are more scammy agents and bedroom small publishers than contests. And its easier to search and determine the caliber of a contest than those agents and publishers. I sum up contests in one word: opportunity. You can embrace it or let it slide on

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