Writing Tips

Writing Tips: Join Contests

So the Undergraduate Reading Series went FANTASTIC–but I will post about that next time (That way, I have time to organize my words & thoughts before I share them with you all.)

Today I wanted to talk about getting out there and exposing yourself to the publishing world (which is FULL of opportunities just waiting to be taken advantage of.)

Many fellow writers ask me how to get published. What can they do? Who can they talk to? How do they know they’re ready, let alone their piece of work?

Well, first and foremost, I’d say follow professionals’ blogs, Twitters, Facebooks, etc. This will help you tremendously. They know the industry, and they are willing to help you. Trust me, they were in your position at one point in time, and they understand your dream.

I follow a lot of articles, but Nathan Bransford, author and formal literary agent, is one of my favorites: Check him out here.

Another reason I mention him is because of CONTESTS.

That’s right: Contests.

Join them. Nathan Bransford, himself, recently held The 5th-Sort-of-Annual Stupendously Ultimate First Paragraph Challenge, and the final prize includes the opportunity to have a partial manuscript reviewed by agent, Catherine Drayton, along with a query review, AND a free copy of Bransford recent publication. 

The best part? ANYONE can join, and EVERYONE gets reviewed as a potential finalist by Bransford himself.

In fact, I joined myself (I’m the middle entry):

Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 2.52.43 PM

So look out for contests, because, not only could you possibly win, you can expose your writing and meet other writers. Contests very much can bring you contacts (like attending a writing convention can) and they’re tons of fun!

Try it out & good luck!


17 thoughts on “Writing Tips: Join Contests

  1. Good advice Shannon but I would like to add a caveat about the distinction between genuine literary competitions and the nasties where everything seems fine until one is asked for the ‘entry-fee’ which is just the start of a myriad of ‘extras’ you can purchase right up to a deposit for publication of your own book. So check credentials – Google at the very least or bounce it off fellow bloggers.

  2. I used to enter quite a few writing contests when I was going to school. I parted a novel out and probably made as much money from contests as most authors make from their first effort. Haven’t thought about it in a while. Maybe I should start looking.

  3. Thanks for this post, Shannon. Tips like these are really helpful for budding authors like myself who may not know where to start when it comes to publishing. I’d really like more of these kinds of posts from you, especially since you’ve been published and have the experience. Thanks so much! 🙂

  4. I might just do that, enter a contest, I’ve been contemplating it for a while but yeah, clearly there are a lot to be gained through the experience! Know of any ongoing Fantasy ones? 🙂

    1. Probably depends on what type of fantasy and what age group. Some contests have no rules, while others have a lot of specifications.
      Just google around 😀 You’ll find some. Good luck!

  5. Hi Shannon,
    Thanks for following my blog and liking my work.Your real beautiful soul shines through your writing.Looking forward to more great posts in 2013, blessings!

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