Confession: I am a writing contest virgin. In fact, just a couple of days ago I was going to publish a list post about why I didn’t like writing contests. But then I read about a writing contest that eliminated the most annoying thing(s) on the list, so I decided to give this contest my best shot.
First let me tell you about what I don’t like about writing contests, and then tell you about the one I liked enough to enter.
1) There are fees. Yes, I know this is very typical, and in a way, reasonable but I don’t write short fiction or poetry. There aren’t that many contests about novels and screenplays. Some fees are reasonable, but some are just ridiculous.
2) There are limitations to who can enter. Many writing contests are open to residents of a certain city, country or at best- a continent. So even if there are a lot of contests taking place for all kinds of writing, not everyone can enter all of them.
3) They don’t accept entries online by e-mail- which in this day and age is one of my biggest pet peeves. Online entry forms or e-mail submissions aren’t just easy for the writers, it is practical for the judges (and the environment) as well.
4) The deadlines aren’t reasonable (for me.) If I’m 40 pages into a novel and they only want completed manuscripts, I won’t be able to make it.
I’ve read about many competitions and their rules, including the ones organized by Writer’s Digest, whose website, magazine and store are among my favorite writing resources. But when it came to the competitions, I just couldn’t see the ones that appealed to me – until a short while ago.
The Writer’s Digest Contest – Deadline: May 1, 2012
The contest has many categories including spiritual writing, personal essay, magazine writing and movie/TV script writing. You pay $25 for your first entry- and if you make your multiple entries during the same transaction, you pay $15 for the others.
I might submit more than once piece for one category, depending on I can finish everything before the deadline. But fingers crossed for my first time. I’m looking forward to it.
What were your first times like?