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Resources for Writers

Tips For Entering Writing Competitions: Really Useful Links by Amanda J Evans

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Article by Amanda J Evans ©.
Posted in Resources (, ).

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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

www.amandajevans.com, Facebook and Twitter: @amandajevans


Amanda J Evans is an award-winning Irish author of YA and Adult romance in paranormal and fantasy genres. Growing up with heroes like Luke Skywalker and Indiana Jones, her stories centre on good versus evil with a splice of love and magic thrown in too. Her books have all won awards and her latest novella, Hear Me Cry, won the Book of the Year Award at the Dublin Writers Conference 2018. Amanda has been featured in a number of poetry anthologies in 2017 and 2018 including A Bowl of Irish Stew, a charity anthology for Pieta House and her short story Moonlight Magic was included in the Owl Hollow Press Anthology, Under the Full Moon’s Light, published in October 2018. Amanda is currently polishing her novel, Winterland, which will be submitted to agents and publishers in 2019, and is also working on a Bronte inspired story for an anthology due for publication in 2020. Amanda is also the author of Surviving Suicide: A Memoir from Those Death Left Behind, published in 2012. You can find out more on her website www.amandajevans.com, Facebook and Twitter: @amandajevans