As part of my writing career, I believe it’s a good idea to smaller bits of writing, for competitions and publication and so on. The benefits of this are twofold; the first being that it is great fun, it offers you a chance to explore your creativity and potentially develop the ideas you have into something longer in the future; the second is that it is an excellent way to get your name and work published!
Let’s explore the two reasons in more detail (and only ever so slightly more):
How can writing competitions/publications/contests develop you as a writer? Well, firstly it gets those old creative juices flowing. If you’ve been experiencing a particular lull in your main writing activities and haven’t been able to get out of it, then writing something new, short and exciting can be beneficial. However, I would recommend that it should indeed be very short, taking up just enough time to allow you to forget about your current project. Otherwise, you might start something completely new without having finished what you were previously doing! In addition, writing for competitions gives you a chance to do something completely out of your comfort zone, allowing you to become a well-rounded, better author for it! Even if you are partaking in ‘one word prompts’ that you can find on the internet almost anywhere, whereby you have to write a post or short story based on a word as random as “Desk”. They force you to think outside the box and force you to be creative with your ideas which, as an author, can be a blessing in disguise sometimes!
How can competitions benefit you as a writer? Competitions can benefit you if you both looking at traditional publishing or self-publishing. If you are lucky enough to in fact win a competition and get your name in print in an anthology or similar, then you are already one step ahead of many others. And it’s cost you nothing to do it! Although it is worth mentioning that some competitions do have an entry fee, but it is usually smittens, and a worthwhile investment in the grander scheme of things. Putting the money reward aside, it proves that you are indeed good enough to get your book published in any route you choose to do it. It just takes hard work and dedication. Not only this, it also drastically improves your credibility. Imagine, for a second you’re a reader scrolling on amazon in search of a new romance book, or a psychological thriller, or a historical horror novel, and you stumble across a small time author that has no credentials or reviews or anything – you’d probably turn a blind eye, wouldn’t you? Well, this can in some ways be down to the author’s lack of marketing management, but it is also because you do not feel like you are ready to trust this author with your money in return for some words that may or may not be good. Now, if you chuck in ‘Award Winning Author’ onto the author’s page or their novel’s first page then you are more inclined to want to read it. The possibilities are almost endless!
It’s elementary, my dear Watson.
So, from here on in, I will be posting small excerpts/full posts that I have put forward in competitions.
Enjoy! And if there are any competitions you know of then post them in the comments section so that everyone can see and have a go!