Monday, April 19, 2010
Writing Contests~ My Story by Vickie McDonough
Early on in my writing career, I started doing contests so that I could get feedback on my writing.
Was my story great? Did it stink? Yes, and yes. It all depended on the judge’s opinion. You’ve heard judging is selective, and that is so true. One of my stories got a 99 from one judge and a 77 from another in the same contest. So what does that mean? I’m an 88? I’ll admit the results can be confusing at times.
When you receive a contest entry back, you have to remember that it is just one person’s opinion, especially if you receive a low score. But, do look at the judge’s comments with an open mind and see if there is truth in them. Learn from them, but don’t let a low score cause you to quit writing. Keep entering, and learning, and improving.
Before I was published, I knew I wanted to target Heartsong and Steeple Hill because I liked writing shorter books. So, I’d enter the contests where the final judges were editors from those two houses. I was more than willing to pay $25 to have one of those editors look at my story, but the trick was, I had to final.
I surprisingly won the first two contests I entered, the TARA First Impressions and ACRW’s(now ACFW) Noble Theme. The year after winning the Noble Theme, the editor/judge offered me a contract for Sooner or Later, my first novel length book, at the ACRW conference in front of a huge group of my peers. That was nerve wracking and exciting!
I truly feel that entering contests led to my being published. You need to carefully consider how a contest can help you and target the ones that could potentially move your writing career forward.
To get your name in the drawing for a copy of The Anonymous Bride leave a comment about writing contests. They're the heart of what inspired us to start Seekerville so, love'em, hate'em, learned from 'em, never been near 'em. Tell us anything. Uh....just remember that what you say will live for all eternity online. But with that in mind...tell us anything.