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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Writing Contests


There are many, many writing contests. Writer’s Digest offers a contest. RWA offers a pubbed (Rita) and a non-pubbed (Golden Heart) contest. Various writing chapters offer contests. Some publishers offer contests. Almost all of them charge a fee which varies. If it’s a writing chapter contest the price varies if you’re a member or non-member. Contests can give writers the chance to have their work reviewed by editors. Make sure the editors, or agents, who review the finalists, are from the genre you write. And remember the scores are all subjective on the part of the judges. Are the contests worth it?

There are dif­fer­ent kinds of con­tests, and it’s wise to know what you’re entering, and why. Is it to win? You’ll prob­a­bly be dis­ap­pointed. Is it to get a num­ber of copies of books into the hands of those who might oth­er­wise not find them. Make sure you know what you expect from the contest. Are you looking for feedback? Some contests give you a number score and no feedback. Are you hoping an agent or editor will read it and love it? Make sure the judging editor and agent are interested in your genre. Are you hoping for a cash prize? Are you hoping to add “Award winner” to a published book?

There’s also the “pop­u­lar­ity” con­tests. Authors ask for people to vote for their book. The people who vote often haven’t even read the book.
A good article on contests can be found at http://terryodell.com/whats-in-a-contest/

What are your expe­ri­ences with con­tests? Do they influ­ence your book buying?hat are our expe­ri­ences with con­tests? Do they influ­ence your book buying?

10 comments:

  1. Hi, Beverley, I began entering contests for feedback since I didn't have a critique resource. I got back some good and a lot of bad advice. For example: did you know mysteries have a dead body on the first page? Or this one: Why are you writing? I kept on working and working. And then I stopped entering for a long time because I wrote short fiction. Every now and again, I try a new one. It can be frustrating and quite rewarding as is most anything we undertake.

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    1. Thanks Vicki, Great post. And no I didn't know mysteries have a dead body on the first page. I agree the critiquing is subjective. I remember in come contests one person would say - I loved that section and the next would say they hated it. Yup, writing can be very frustrating.

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  2. I too enter contests for feedback, but found it frustrating, once I had my chapter return completely rewritten! Now, I don't waste my money.

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    1. OMG, that must have been so upsetting. Some people critique because they want you to write exactly like they do, which is very frustrating.

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  3. Before I was published, I entered A LOT of RWA chapter contests. I got a lot of bad advice, from people who sometimes didn't know what they were talking about. Other times, I got some really good pointers. I won a few, and that's a big thrill. I am in one now, for pubbed, and am waiting for the results as we speak. But generally, I don't find them useful any more, if they ever were.

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    1. Great post D'Ann. It's so frustrating when you hope for honest critiques to improve you writing and you get personal opinions rather than educational comments. I agree. I don't find contests that relevant.

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  4. I don't pick books based on contests. I've entered a few and won some. But most were popularity contests not writing contests (even though they were disguised as writing contests).

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    1. Unfortunately you're right. They're popularity contests. I never buy books based on contests either. Being a writer is so difficult.

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  5. I'm very new, and I've only entered the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest with my (then upublished) contemporary romance. Passing the first round was one of the highlights of 2014, and I got bragging rights that helped a novice like me a lot.

    Greetings from Greece!

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    1. Hi Maria in Greece. Thanks for dropping by. And that's awesome that you made the first cut in the ABNA contest. With so many entering it shows you're novel is well-written.

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