Entering a Creative Writing Contest
So you’re ready to take the plunge and enter a creative writing contest? Congratulations… you’re in luck! There are plenty of opportunities available to amateurs and professionals desiring to boost their reputations and curriculum vita with awards as judged by their peers.
However, before you can send in your best work, there are a few details you need to know as well as consider:
Not All Writing Contests are Created EqualThere are creative writing contests that are absolutely worth your time and energy, but there are also ones that aren’t. Before you submit your entry, make certain that you have a reasonable shot at placing or you may simply be spinning your wheels.
For example, some fledgling publications have been known to initiate contests for the sole purpose of gathering content. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with this method of getting a magazine, website, ezine, or newsletter off the ground, it might not bring you much more than a byline. If this is exactly what you’re seeking, it’s the perfect venue. But if not, you may prefer to enter a different contest.
You’ll Typically Need to Pay to Enter the Writing ContestEntry fees are commonly a part of creative writing contests; ordinarily, these funds cover the costs of editors, marketing, general paperwork, and publishing costs. Fees usually range from a modest few pounds to sizeable amounts. Typically, contests with smaller fees aren’t as well-known (or sometimes well-respected) as their pricier brethren; however, that doesn’t mean you should write them off. It just means that if you win one of their awards, it might not look as impressive to future agents, editors, or publishers.
On the other hand, writing contests with higher entry fees are likely to be less cluttered with applicants. Therefore, if your work is exceptional (have someone else evaluate your piece with a keen eye and honest feedback), you might want to consider entering.
Prizes are Usually Modest, Though They Can Be Quite AmusingUnfortunately, the top prizes for winning creative writing contests are usually pretty humble from a cash standpoint. In fact, you may receive little more than your entry fee even if you win the top prize. Thus, if you submit stories to a number of contests, you may end up spending more than you could reasonably get back, even if you were to place highly in all of them.
However, many contests offer other perks besides monetary awards, including subscriptions, trips, gift certificates, and contracts. Though receiving a ceramic mug might not be as thrilling as being given a £200 purse, it can still make you feel great whenever you drink your tea.