Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Competitions - if you're not in 'em, you can't win 'em!

So I've chosen competitions as my subject for day 3 of this challenge.

I am a subscriber to the monthly Writing Magazine, and find its pages full of inspiring stories, tips and advice.
As soon as it pops through the door I eagerly sift through the pages to get a glimpse at the articles, but the first thing I concentrate on are the competition pages.  There are four main competitions across the Writing Magazine and its supplement, Writers News.  They are usually for short stories, 1500-1700 words on a variety of themes.
Scanning through the pages of Writers News also reveals a cornucopia of competitions to be entered, for novels, short stories and poetry.

So I go through jotting down details, themes, word count, deadlines, etc. and plan out just when I can work on each one to get done for the deadline.
I have all the best intentions of entering as many competitions as I can, but inevitably life gets in the way and the deadlines come and go without even a first draft finished.  I have a lot of stories that have been started but not finished yet.

I used to be very strict with myself about setting deadlines, writing weekly to-do lists and weekly word counts to aim for.  After a while I realised I was spending more time scheduling when to write, that I should have been spending actually doing some writing.

So nowadays I'm trying to be a lot more chilled out, spending more time writing and if a competition catches my eye I will go for it.  I'm not going to get too upset with myself though if I miss another deadline.  After all, I've started a story at least and there are plenty of other places to send them to!


  1. This is a great topic. I have been doing the same thing with missing competition deadlines and I realized I need to really finish some stories and then look at competitions to enter. Great to find you here through A-Z! :)

  2. I think that you can say that about so many things in life... you end up planning so much that you forget to actually live and enjoy your life. I find myself doing this quite often. Good C post!

  3. Competitions are a great way to expand your writing repertoire.

    We're hosting one now. Check our site for details. I haven't decided on a deadline date for submissions. The A to Z Challenge has kinda gotten in the way. It will probably be sometime in May.

    There's a banner at the top of our site that leads to the prompt. There's a link on the prompt page that leads to a series of blog posts about the competition.

    Everyone is welcome to join.