1. picklzzz
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    picklzzz Senior Member

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    Entering short story contests?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by picklzzz, Oct 22, 2011.

    Hi All,

    I'm new to this forum. I've been on some other websites and have entered a few writing contests. However, when I saw the top finalists for the three I entered, I was very surprised at how poor the writing was. I mean, many grammatical and spelling errors, weak stories, little to no dialogue. It really surprised me. I mean, I thought the stories I submitted for all three were very original. I'm not implying outright that any of mine should have made the final list, but I think my stories were better written than most that placed. Then, I realized that for all three (different websites, by the way), I never could get confirmation that my stories were received. So, I guess my question is, is it worth sending in stories for contests? And if so, are there some good contests or sites or magazines you could recommend? I like to write in the suspense/thriller genre mostly.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I'm not sure about contests, as I don't have much experience of them for myself, but magazine-wise your first stop should pretty much always be www.duotrope.com, where you'll find an excellent directory of magazines and anthologies, searchable by genre/pay-rate/format/etc.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i never advise my mentees to enter contests... if they want to be published authors, they have to submit their work to publishers, not to people who make their money off wannabes who pay entry fees...

    if you simply can't stop yourself from entering contests, for heaven's sake at least enter only the best ones and don't waste your time, money and work on the jillions of poor to outright scam ones that seem to reproduce like mayflies!
     
  4. picklzzz
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    picklzzz Senior Member

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    Thanks to both of you. I'm really just starting my attempt at writing seriously. I don't know much about what to do with it once I do get something together. As for submitting to publishers, do I need an agent first or can I just send to anyone?
     
  5. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    Do you happen to have a website for these "best ones?" I wouldn't mind taking a look at those and possibly giving it a shot.
     
  6. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    I only enter the contest sponsored by my college. I am not a short story writer so my main focus is the novel. But might as well enter the contest. It's legit and it's free and might as well take advantage of it while I am a student. If I win, it's something.
     
  7. ShadowScribbler
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    ShadowScribbler Member

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    I've only entered one contest, last week. Online, had to pay a registration fee of $15. Here's to hoping I win something? xD

    It was for Reed Magazine.
     
  8. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    "Poets & Writers" has a large list on their website, and have reviewed each of them - ie, not scams.
     
  9. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    Great, thanks! I will look into that.
     
  10. Nicholas C.
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    Nicholas C. Active Member

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    I've been mulling over the idea of entering the Writer's Digest competition (Horror), simply because they have them segmented by genre and they appear to be more legit than most I've seen.
     
  11. picklzzz
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    picklzzz Senior Member

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    One of the competitions I was referring to was for Writer's Digest. Go to the YourStory competition and read the five finalists. I did, and when I saw the quality of some of the writing (some stories that made it were decent) you may reconsider. I asked myself, who exactly is judging that competition. I think the quality of writing wasn't great in some of the finalist stories. Then, I wondered if submitting three stories as I was planning for the Horror, Thriller and Short Story competitions at $20 a pop may not be worth it... I'm just not sure how to judge the reputation or worthiness of competitions. There are many out there.
     
  12. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    Mia, I will have to agree with you one one thing, but not with another thing. You said that posting your work for a contest can be a waste of time for people wanting to submit their work for contests. There are some (but rare) websites that offer free contests and they receive valuable reviews on what they need to improve on. I think that contests that have a review system, especially if the review system is anonymous (like MoviePoet, for instance) can help people improve their writing with little or no compromising about reviewing. I think it is best for newbies, especially if their work are short stories and they can use the feedback to strengthen their "real" project.
     
  13. Nicholas C.
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    Nicholas C. Active Member

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    If you got to the YourStory FAQ, you will see that those are voted on by forum members, so I don't think they are judged by actual judges.
     
  14. picklzzz
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    picklzzz Senior Member

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    The forum members vote on the top five, but the staff writers or whoever are the ones who narrowed it down in the first place.
     

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