Thursday, April 24, 2008

Writing Competitions

I entered my first writing competition when I was a teenager in secondary school - and I won a prize! Encouraged by my success, I entered more competitions and, apart from 2 (I think), I was placed in or won every competition I entered (while still in school). Naturally enough, I liked entering competitions. There was usually a monetary reward and a prize giving where people said lots of nice things about your writing. However, now that I am older, I am questioning my continued involvement with competitions. First of all, I haven't been able to keep up my winning streak. Secondly, I am spending quite a bit of money on entry fees and thirdly - how impressive does winning a competition sound when you approach publishers and agents? Sure, if you win the Bridport Prize or the Aeon Award it is worth mentioning on your writing cv, but if you are highly commended on Joe Blogg's writing contest from Brigadoon, does it mean all that much? Isn't an editor much more likely to be impressed by the other markets that have published your work than the amount of small competitions you have entered? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I'm going to give up entering competitions, but I might be more picky in the future.

5 comments:

Valpot said...

I think that it is a good idea to be more selective when entering competitions.

Of course, if there is a good prize and a story you want to write anyway, and maybe a looming deadline, go for it, but there are so many magazines, ezines and anthologies out there that competitions have less appeal for me than they used to have.

Random York said...

How do you manage so many blogs? Amazing! Thanks for commenting on my "Primitive Headless Horseman"- I like your idea about the "cave painting"- that would make a real weird story!- JOhn

Inkpot said...

Hi Valpot - good advice. I must blog about anthologies as well. While they are fun to enter and nice to have a book with your story in it, I don't know how valuable some anthologies are to your writing cv.
Hi John, thanks for stopping by :). How do I manage so many blogs - with difficulty! I'm glad you liked the idea for the story, your art is very inspiring. :)

Women Rule Writer said...

Yes, I have been thinking this for a few years but I still enter some. Not ones I've been placed in or won before, though. I HATE seeing the same writer win the same comp twice. It bugs me.
I'd rather see my work in print than waste time on piddling comps where even if you win, it still won't be published anywhere. Or any where good, at least.

Inkpot said...

Hi WRW, thanks for stopping by and commenting. You made a good point and I totally agree. :)