?

Have you entered a writing contest before?

  1. yes

    10 vote(s)
    90.9%
  2. no

    1 vote(s)
    9.1%
  1. Justin Attas

    Justin Attas Member

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    Contest Winners?

    Discussion in 'Writing Contests' started by Justin Attas, Jun 27, 2019.

    I've entered a few contests in the past, but I haven't won one yet, or been a finalist. That was years ago, though, and I didn't have half the experience I do now. Anyone hanging around this thread who has? I'd love to hear some success stories and what you think gave you the edge?
     
  2. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The bastards hung me in the spring of '25.... Contributor

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    Not sure. Picked the right month to enter, I guess.
     
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  3. Night Herald

    Night Herald The Renaissance Supporter Contributor

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    I've entered quite a few, and I've won six times. I think it just comes down to writing a story that people like plus a bit of luck.
     
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  4. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll "It's a messy business." :P Supporter Contributor

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    Nope never won yet. Though I have made it close (2nd and 3rd), but
    that don't count for nothing. :p
    Though to be fair I ain't no good as a writer. :p
     
  5. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Contributor Contributor

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    The best one I won was for a $500 prize. I guess there was a couple thousand entries. (I don't know. I'd have to dig up the email. I think that's what it said.) My strategy was to write a unique genre. It was a horror story told as lit fic. None of the characters were aware of the horror. Only the reader was. So all of this chaos is going on under the surface of the plot and the characters are too busy being philosophical to notice it. It was a literal example of character trumps story.

    So I would say, anticipate what everyone else is going to do and choose a more adventurous path. The judges are going to get tired reading the same tropes and will appreciate a bold effort. But at the same time you can't be a try-hard. Guess that's easier said than done. You need to be lucky too.

    "Oh, Fortuna, blind, heedless goddess, I am strapped to your wheel," Ignatius belched. "Do not crush me beneath your spokes. Raise me on high, divinity!"
     
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  6. flawed personality

    flawed personality Contributor Contributor

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    Hey! I won't have negative self talk. There's enough people looking to put you down, without doing it to yourself. :friend:
    The fact that you have ever gotten 2nd and 3rd says a lot. Plus, your first book has a 5 star review online. ;)
     
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  7. Stephen Barnard

    Stephen Barnard Active Member

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    There seems to be some confusion about whether we're talking contests on WF or external contests. The poll question: is that regarding the latter?
     
  8. Justin Attas

    Justin Attas Member

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    I was talking more about external contests. I love all the feedback though. Anticipating competition seems like so simple a thing to do, yet somehow I didn't really think of it. Thanks all for the awesome info!
     
  9. badgerjelly

    badgerjelly Contributor Contributor

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    I have once on another forum. I won the poetry comp and came close on the short story contest. It was for an actual prize so I put a reasonable amount of effort into it.

    I don’t enter many here and generally just use them for fun experiments, practice or just to express some whimsical thought.

    It would be nice to have some form of end of year competition here that had a mini-prize attached. The one I won was nothing big ($20 voucher) and only had several competitors - the BEST thing about it was that if you entered you had to critique everyone else’s entries, and a mock critique of your own, and score them.

    I have briefly looked at other competitions (not attached to forums) but never actually bothered to enter any ... yet!

    Anyway, just keep plugging away. Don’t ‘try and win’ just enjoy writing and use the competitions as schedules to work around. If you want to be a professional writer then you’ll have to delve into non-fiction. Look for work writing articles and such and then network. Even if you’re quite talented with fiction writing you still need luck, persistence and more luck to get anywhere (and you’ll not likely earn enough to make a living from it anyhows!).

    Having a dream is a worthy thing in and of itself though. Just set out some reasonable goals to achieve and scale up toward your ‘dream goal’.
     

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