Why Writing Contests?


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.