Are you an aspiring writer? Are you considering entering a writing competition? If your answer to these questions is ‘yes’, then you are on the right track.
This doesn’t imply that you are on the wrong track if entering writing competitions isn’t in your agenda. Many writers have gone on to enjoy immense success without entering contests. However, there’s always an edge that comes with winning writing competitions.
Still in doubt? Take a look at these benefits of entering writing contests.
- You could win. Trust me, the fulfillment that accompanies winning a writing competition is memorable.
- The cash reward that comes with winning ranges from hundreds to thousands of dollars/pounds. While this may not set you up for life, the money can help you solve some problems.
- Winning a writing competition can translate to you finding your confidence, and if you channel that confidence well, it can help you set a standard for yourself.
- Winning a contest usually means publication in the magazine/journal organizing the contest. For instance, my story, The Woodcutters’ Deity, was published in Writers of the Future Volume #33 following my becoming a winner in Writers of the Future contest last year.
- You could become a best-selling author without having written a book. In my case, Writers of the Future Volume #33 became a bestseller on over 70 bestseller lists in the United States. That’s including Publishers Weekly and USA Today bestseller lists.
Look at that. Just look at that. Nice, right?
- Even if winning the writing contest you entered doesn’t entail publication, it can make finding a home for your winning piece easier. Simply include, in your cover letter, that the piece won a contest.
- You get free promotion and lots of exposure to readers, editors, literary agents, and publishers when you win a writing competition. Don’t be surprised if a respected editor contacts you following you winning a writing contest.
- You earn a publishing credit each time you become a finalist or a winner in a writing competition. Don’t hesitate to show your credit(s) off when submitting to agents and editors. They will take you more seriously because of that.
- If you win, the contest judges (usually renowned writers and editors) can become your mentors. In the case of Writers of the Future contest, winners are invited to the United States for a week-long workshop with famous judges.
- Since names are withheld from manuscripts, your piece is judged based on its quality and not on who you are. There’s no bias. The Writers of the Future judges didn’t initially know my race or nationality. In the end, it turns out that I’m the first Nigerian winner in the history of the contest.
Many writers shy away from writing competitions because of entry fees. The fact, however, remains that not all writing competitions charge a fee. Many of the ones that do are affordable, considering the aforementioned benefits.
Mind you, never plunge into a writing competition. First, ready yourself. Study the rules. Research the contest. And then craft your best piece. Learn more about preparing yourself for a writing contest here.
This article of mine previously appeared in the Writers Bureau blog.