writing contests

Food for thought from Deborah: Did you enter writing contests when you first started out? Do you recommend entering contests to writers? Why or why not?
SW: Almost none. Very early on, I didn’t know such things existed. When I first heard of RWA, I wanted to enter the Golden Heart, but–no exaggeration here–I was too broke to afford the entry and copying fees. I recall entering two contests as an unpub. One offered feedback that was too obscure for me to make sense of (remember, I’m a self-taught writer) and the other offered encouraging words from a writer I later became good friends with–the wonderful Debbie Macomber.
I can’t give a blanket recommendation one way or another. A writer should decide whether or not a contest will help her toward her goal or not, and base her decision on that.
Contests can help in marketing, assuming it’s a prestigious award and the judges are skilled. I recently read a debut novel, According to Jane, by Marilyn Brant. Her editor sent it to me requesting an endorsement. And it’s wonderful. The author was a finalist in the Golden Heart, and I assume this helped her find a publisher.
A writer needs to decide for herself whether or not a contest is going to help her, motivate her, inspire her…or needlessly stress her out.
What do you think about entering contests? And if you know a book is an award-winner, are you more likely to give it a shot?

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0 Responses

  1. The northwest certainly has some wonderful writers Besides you and Debbie Macomber, there is Sheila Roberts–I just finished her Bikini Season, laughed and cried through it. And finally found one by Geri Krotow but haven’t read it yet. Haven’t seen much of her work here in the midwest. There’s probably many more, I just haven’t discovered them yet.

  2. The northwest certainly has some wonderful writers Besides you and Debbie Macomber, there is Sheila Roberts–I just finished her Bikini Season, laughed and cried through it. And finally found one by Geri Krotow but haven’t read it yet. Haven’t seen much of her work here in the midwest. There’s probably many more, I just haven’t discovered them yet.

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