Writing Contests

Magazines used to be a good way for new writers to break into publishing.  But, with so many print magazines disappearing, more and more writers are looking for other ways to stand out from the crowd.

Writing contests are one way to get noticed and beef up your writing cred.  These days, they can also be a way to get your work in front of an agent or editor. There are lots of writing contests; but not all are created equal.  Here are a few words of advice.

*determine what you hope to accomplish by entering any given writing contest,

*look for contests that meet your goals

*ensure the contests you’re entering are legitimate.  These might include contests run by well established writing organizations like The Writers’ Union of Canada, or contests offered through publishing houses, or agents.

*adhere to all contest rules, including maximum word counts.  You don’t want to go  to all the work of preparing a manuscript only to have it disqualified.

*polish your work before you end it off

A word of caution…there are plenty of great writing contests out there, but remember…writing contests can be an easy way to scam unpublished writers. Be sure to do a little homework before entering them.  Preditors and Editors is one site you’ll want to check out before sending your hard work off.   Here’s the link to their recommended and not recommended contest pages.  While they recommend that you stay away from contests with a fee, do be aware that there are plenty of legitimate contests that have a reading fee.

Happy writing and good luck!

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