In this week’s column I’m looking at how to make the most of writing competitions. Winning one of these can lead to publishers and editors taking an interest in your work. To help I’ve been researching tips and tricks that you can use when entering writing competitions and how to get the most out of them. I hope you find these links as useful as I have.
- https://writerswrite.co.za/14-tips-entering-short-story-competitions/ – 14 Tips for Entering Short Story Competitions: There are some great tips listed in this post and it is broken down into Admin Stuff and Writing Stuff. It includes must do’s such as following the instructions and adhering to word count, to letting your story breathe and doing your rewrites.
- https://www.dalkeycreates.com/single-post/2018/05/15/Entering-a-Short-Story-Competition-Here-are-the-Top-12-Tips-on-what-to-do-and-how-to-do-it – Entering a Short Story Competition? Here at the Top 12 Tips on what to do, and how to do it: This post comes from Dalkey Creates and features 12 great tips including thinking about the medium you are going to be writing for. There’s also tips on character, voice, dialogue, and more.
- https://www.writersandartists.co.uk/writers/advice/1045/a-writers-toolkit/essential-information/ – In It To Win It: Entering Writing Competitions: The Writers & Artists website has a great article on entering writing competitions written by Diana Bretherick who won the Good Housekeeping Magazine New Novel Competition in 2012. She provides 10 tips on what to do including not giving up.
- https://www.dailywritingtips.com/20-tips-for-winning-writing-contests/ – 20 Tips for Winning Writing Contest: Daily Writing Tips has a great post that includes a number of elements not covered in any of the other links above. Things such as using active rather than passive voice, not using exclamation marks, watching for clichés, and more. There are twenty excellent pieces of advice in this article.
- https://www.christopherfielden.com/short-story-tips-and-writing-advice/7-big-mistakes-when-entering-story-contests.php – 7 Big Mistakes When Entering Story Contests: This article looks at the mistakes writers make when entering writing competitions. It includes failing to engage with the reader, a plot that is cliched, weak openings, poor structure, and more. Definitely worth taking the five minutes to read through it.
- https://www.writersdigest.com/writing-articles/the_truth_about_writing_contests – The Truth About Writing Contests: If you are serious about entering writing competitions, this post from Writers Digest is a must read. It takes you through the things you need to look at and be aware of before parting with your money.
- http://www.thereviewreview.net/publishing-tips/how-make-first-cut-writing-contest – How To Make The First Cut in a Writing Contest: Most competitions have shortlists and you should be aiming to get on this and then go on to win. This post by Sara Backer talks about how to make it onto the short list by providing quality tips. It includes timing, the format of your story, grammar, your title, and more. Follow her advice and see if it makes a difference for you.
Writing.ie also has its own section on Tips for Winning Short Stories so be sure to check these out as well. https://www.writing.ie/resource-types/better-fiction-guides/tips-for-winning-short-stories/
I hope you enjoyed the links and I look forward to bringing you some more Really Useful Links next week. If there is a topic that you would like to see covered, get in touch and I will see what I can do.
(c) Amanda J Evans