2013 and 2014 GOLDEN HEART® Finalist

Monday, May 21, 2012

Why Writing Contests = Spinach

Photo by Tracie Broom- The Yum Diary
So, I did a post a few weeks ago about all the benefits of entering writing contests (Check it Out Here) even before you win, or even if you never do.  I had just sent off my first few entries ever, after completing and revising the heck out of my Young Adult novel.  It's so scary to put your work (and heart) out there for others to judge, but it's also important to do so, and I've found there's nothing better than a contest entry deadline to light a fire under your fanny and force you to complete and/or perfect that dreaded synopsis. 

That's just the entering part of the equation. Now comes the results phase, and so far, I'm loving it!  I haven't heard back yet from a few of the RWA contests I entered -- it's too early-- but I have heard from three. And I'm a finalist in TWO of them!  I just found out about one of them today.  **dances around the kitchen-- again**

I can't say every second of the process is pleasant. Along with the notifications, the contest administrators sent me the judges' scoring sheets, complete with comments about what did and didn't work for them. Guess which part I enjoyed more? 

Right.  The positive remarks are delicious-- chocolate chip cookies dipped in Cool Whip delicious.  My favorite ones are where they wrote "this is definitely a book I'd read"! 

The comments about what needs improvement are nutritious-- the written equivalent of spinach. I don't love it, but I eat it.  My body needs it, and my writing needs honest feedback from people who know what they're talking about.  And you know what?  After you get over the initial bitter taste (doesn't take long), you actually start to love the spinach comments, too, because who wouldn't want to know exactly what to do to fix their manuscript's faults and make it perfect before sending it out to agents?

No, I'm not being paid by RWA local chapters to promote their writing contests, but I do want to be paid to write eventually.  I'm a true believer that writing contests are a big step toward that dream. Try some-- you might like the way they taste. Good luck and keep writing!

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