I don’t do Writing Contests.
It’s nothing against them, actually, just that striving for awards doesn’t blip on my radar and putting forth the effort to prepare an entry, get together an entry fee (BIG No-No as far as I’m concerned), and then wait for a response when I could just as easily put that story out there for an audience to read, seems like a waste of time to me.
Way back in the day, I used to debate at length on the subject of Exposure and while I would wholeheartedly agree that getting your name and work out there is important, is paying for it really the way to go?
There are two questions that should be considered when speculating on this issue:
1) Is the cost worth the potential benefit?
2) Am I doing this for the Craft or for the Accolades?
Don’t get me wrong, everyone loves winning a prize and the potential admiration of their peers. I always get a special thrill when someone sends me a message expressing how much they love my writing or when I read a positive review on Amazon. That’s Human Nature. We love that metaphoric scratch behind our ears.
You could make the argument that writing contests are like the Lottery in that you can’t win if you don’t play. I wouldn’t argue with that except that even if you do play the Lottery, you can still lose and I’m certainly not trying to dissuade anyone from entering such things. What I am putting forth is to question your motivations to do so before you write that check, buy a money order, or grab your credit card.
Do you really need to do this in order to be a better writer? Of course you don’t. All you need to do is write and the days of exposure options being limited are long behind us.
So, get writing. 🙂