Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Why writers should enter contests

I think everything we do in life is often cyclical. I get very enthusiastic about something and fixate on it until I tire of the activity. I then set it aside for a while, but I often find myself revisiting the interest.

That's where I am on contests. I'm not talking about contests you enter to win free reads, etc, I'm talking about contests that involve your written work. For a while, I was entering RWA chapter sponsored contests in hopes that an agent or editor might really like my work. Most writers enter these types of contests for either feedback or with the hopes of winning an agent's notice or both. I'm in good company there. When I won, it gave me encouragement to finish the ms, but alas, no offers of representation, no contract offers. But - for the encouragement alone, the contests were well worth the money spent. The last contest of this type that I entered was three years ago. Wow, three years.

So - I began thinking it was time to enter again. Wow, the result being an EPPIE win. Talk about encouragement. Now, I'm all psyched up to enter chapter contests again. Why? For lots of reasons. First, I'd like feedback on my writing, not my name. Make sense? I now have 7 published works, so I'd like to think there are a few out there that now buy my work because they recognize my name and enjoy the type of stories I write. Second, I would dearly love to take my career to the next phase. I want agents and editors to notice me. Yes, I plan to start querying also, but contests are a great way to push to the top of the pile, so to speak. Third, contests make me work harder to finish the wip in hopes it will be ready if and when an agent/editor requests the full.

Yeah, I know. A girl can hope can't she?

So, do you enter contests? And if so, I'd love to hear your reasons why.

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