image via thewritertoday.com
The reasons for not entering writing contests are compelling:
- You're one voice in a (very large) crowd.
- You most likely have to pay to enter.
- There's a screening process – your work is not screened by the judge.
- Scams abound in writing contests
Just to name a few.
But there are some decent reasons for entering the legitimate contests:
- You work will be seen by….someone.
- It gets you used to competing in a very competitive marketplace.
- It's like a grab at the quintessential brass ring, but your work might draw notice that will result in agent representation or publication of other work.
- You might even win (hey, it happens)
- Even an honorable mention is good for your writing resume.
Your chances are better with short stories, even better with short creative nonfiction, than with novels or other book-length work. Always investigate contests before entering – you may find complaints on the web. Think twice before entering contests with entry or read fees higher than $20.