Contest Love!


Have you ever thought of entering your writing in contests? Contests are a good way to get your name out there and have a nice blurb for your cover letter to perspective editors or agents. They’re especially beneficial if the contest is well known in your genre.

Many contests require an entrance fee. You may have been told that you should never pay anyone to consider your work for publication. That is absolutely true. Money should flow toward the writer. Never pay for an agent or publishing editor to read your work.

However, contests are a different beast altogether. Most contests ask for entry fees to fund the prizes and publicity for the contest. Most are run by small organizations which have either tight budgets or no budgets at all.

Contest fees range from a couple dollars to around $15. Sometimes you’ll see contests asking for more, but that’s rare. Contests run by large organizations (such as the RWA) or magazines usually do not require an entry fee because they are well-funded. They’re also much more competitive because of the number of entries they draw.

To get you started, here are some contests you might consider checking out! The best advice I can give you about entering contests is the same advice I’d give about submitting for publication: Read the guidelines! (And follow them too! 😉 )

2008 Deadly Ink Short Story Contest – Mystery/Suspense – DL: March 15, 2008
Brighid’s Fire Books Fiction Manuscript Contest – Book-length prose, no erotica, no kidlit/YA – DL: April 30, 2008
Desdemonda’s Sex in the Rain Story Contest (18+) – Erotica – DL: March 31, 2008
Family Circle Fiction Contest – Family friendly – DL: August 31, 2008

So get writing! Let me know if you enter/win any of these contests. I’ll give you a plug! 🙂

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  • Reply
    February 29, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    VERY cool!

    I’m tempted but I must restrain myself and be better at the things I’m currently working on. Sigh… if only I had a bit more energy and time to do fun things like writing contests!

  • Reply
    robert bourne
    February 29, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    I had alredy entered a couple of poetry contests but your article confirmed I was doing the right thing…:))

  • Reply
    March 2, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    If you’re interested in writing romance, there are some really good resources on the internet for finding contests.

    Contest Divas lists in the sidebar all the upcoming romance contest deadlines.

    Romance Writing Contests is also a good resource.

    These contests do charge fees. Some up to $30. The local chapters of RWA (Romance Writers of America) tend to hold them as fundraisers. The payoff on many of them is that the final round is judged by an acquiring editor, and can lead to a request to see more. Definitely, read the rules and the score sheets (if they’re posted) that will be used. The score sheets can be very educational by themselves as a tool to evaluate your own work.

  • Reply
    Venessa G.
    March 2, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    Thanks for the great comments, everyone! 🙂

    Robert – Good luck! Let us know how it turns out 🙂

    Mewie – Most of the contests are short fiction and there are a bunch of contests for flash fiction too. You might consider those if you’re tight with time!

    Haley – Thanks for the links! Those are great resources and I agree that the RWA has tons of contests! And then there’s the big one too: American Title. The info for the 2008 AT should be up soon. 🙂

    I’m considering doing Contest Love posts every month or so. Good idea?


  • Reply
    March 3, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    I never knew that some contests charge a fee to fund the prizes. It makes sense.

    My husband and I entered some poetry constests which did not charge any fee but we had some bad experience which we want to forget.

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