entering a contest

Putting Yourself Out There

Thinking about entering a contest?

What’s the worst that could happen? You not winning or placing for a genre you’ve never tried writing? Or perhaps someone laughs at how terrible a writer they think you are?

Even worse yet, you win and have to admit to your family and friends you can write. Now they expect you to become the next John Grisham or Suzanne Collins. Write anyway!

Writing for contest can be fun and challenging. Chances are, you will miss out on winning or placing in more contests than you do well in. Contest judges are subjective and usually look for something in particular. Don’t let your writing success be based on how well you do in any one contest.

The more contests you enter, the better you will do, and your writing will improve. Who knows? You may find a genre you like writing more than the one you thought you wanted to write. Write about everything!

Contests generally have a contest chairperson who receives the entries and forwards them to the judges. It would be difficult to read all the entries. The judges are unaware of the authors of the stories they receive. Therefore, they can’t laugh at you for what you wrote. They don’t know you wrote it. If it so happens, they offer critique, chances are they aren’t the sort of person who will laugh at anyone for writing. Relax! Write with confidence.

Winning or placing in any contest is a thrill. It’s an acknowledgement to your efforts and validation of your abilities. Hopefully, your family and friends will share in your success without pressuring you to get your first best-selling novel out by Christmas.

If you haven’t heard by now, writing is hard. Estimates of new novel publications each year, if you count self-published, range from 500,000 to 4 million releases per year. Being the next anybody is a rare feat indeed. Write for you!

Gary Rodgers
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