Do you have a finished piece of work that you’re ready to share, but not ready to send out for publication? The answer might be a writing contest!
Competitions and grants can be great ways to get your work out in the world, garner feedback, and sharpen your skills. You can even bring home a prize and feather your writing nest a little. But it can take time to track down appropriate applications. And you don’t want to steal too much time away from the actual writing!
Let someone else do the legwork for you. (Or, screenwork, I guess?) Give a look-see at these three resources for writing contests:
It’s no surprise everyone’s favorite writing mag — and publisher of Writer’s Market — is also a great source of open writing contests. One word of caution: be sure to check the date on the competitions you turn up in your search, as WD has a massive amount indexed.
Funds for Writers
With an impressive mailing list of over 35,000 subscribers, FfW boasts a comprehensive collection of grants, residencies, freelance opportunities, and contests. Plus, you’ll receive helpful articles and always-welcome encouragement. And a little behind the scenes peek at C. Hope Clark’s next coastal Carolina mystery never hurt, either…
Jerry B. Jenkins Blog
Best-selling author, Jerry B. Jenkins, is giving back to the writing community with his blog. He offers courses and helpful how-to’s. He’s also got a big list of free writing contests for you to enter. His team’s gathered contests for you to use to gain traction and feedback. Thanks, Jerry!
Once you find a writing contest that sounds right for your piece, make sure you comb over it a few more times and polish it up so it meets the submission guidelines. Many entrants are disqualified for not following directions about font, format, and email subject lines.
If you enter more than one item or contest, you may want to start a simple spreadsheet to keep track of all the moving parts, and as a reminder of when the winners will be announced. Good luck, writer!
NOW YOU: Have you ever entered your work in a writing contest? What do you think were the biggest benefits?
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This is a really great post with some valuable information, Cole. I did not know about the Jerry Jenkins blog. Thanks! I have entered some writing contests, West Virginia Writers for example, and I have occasionally placed in writing contests. I think one of the key benefits of doing well in a contest is being able to include the information in the biography section of your cover letter when you’re trying to get published:)
Truth! And you’ve done so well in contests! I’m glad so many use Submittable, now. So much easier to keep track of where each entry is in the process. Do you ever use it?