Have you ever entered a writing contest? If not, give it a try!
“You don’t have to be an expert or published in [your] genre or have entered a lot of contests, you just have to try,” says Angela at WoW (Women on Writing). “You may think your writing is not good enough or other things your inner critic may whisper in your ear, but the truth is if you don’t put yourself out there, consistently, you’ll never know.”
A couple of years ago I invited you to enter a First Paragraph contest hosted by Pamela at Women’s Memoirs.
Did you participate?
I submitted an entry and—whoa! Women’s Memoirs honored me with a Silver Award! (Click on Silver Award to read more about it.) In Pamela’s post announcing the Silver Award recipients, she included each person’s paragraph and gave a brief critique of each.
Reading the other submissions and Pamela’s comments further educated me about fine-tuning that all-important opening paragraph. Click on First Paragraph Silver Winners Revealed for your own enrichment.
But let’s get back to YOU. If YOU have never participated in a writing contest, please give it serious thought.
Here’s an opportunity for you: WoW—Women on Writing—hosts quarterly creative nonfiction writing contests. The next deadline is October 31, 2017. Check here to learn more.
Don’t miss Chelsey Clammer’s post, Writing Contests: You Have Nothing to Lose. She lists reasons most of us talk ourselves out of entering a writing contest. And then she points out, “Someone has to win…. Contests are created so someone wins, and you are someone.”
And even if you don’t win, Chelsey shares this wisdom: “Contests aren’t about who wins…. When we enter a contest knowing that we probably aren’t going to win, it is at that exact moment when we hit ‘submit’ that we know contests aren’t about who wins.”
She goes on to list what writing contests are all about, things like believing in your writing, meeting a deadline, and resisting the thought that your writing is about a dollar amount.
Chelsey concludes with this encouragement: “…there is one thing you’re guaranteed to obtain with each contest submission: just by believing in yourself enough to enter, you’ve already won.” Click on Writing Contests: You Have Nothing to Lose to read Chelsey’s post.
Click here to download Women on Writing’s PDF about word count, deadline, guidelines, etc.
In The Ultimate Guide to Finding Christian Writing Contests, Jerry Jenkins offers lots of tips and wisdom, and also lists the following contests:
- The Write Life, 31 Free Writing Contests: Legitimate Competitions with Cash Prizes
- Poets and Writers
- The Christian Writer’s Market Guide
- Writer’s Market 2017
And I have more opportunities for you! Click here to find lists of additional nonfiction writing contests at The Writer Magazine.
Take note: Beware of scams! Kelly Gurnett urges this caution: “Some legitimate contests do charge a small entry fee or ‘reading’ fee, but often a fee can be a red flag or a scam….” (Read about one such scam in Kelly’s blog post.)
Jerry Jenkins recommends checking with Writer Beware to help you determine if a contest is legitimate.
Do consider entering writing contests.
In the process,
you’ll improve your writing, editing, and proofreading skills,
and if you win, or even get an honorable mention,
the publicity helps build your platform.
God has given you stories to tell.
Others need to read them.
Write your stories.