Sixteen days ago I posted a discussion on Linkedin in the group Aspiring Writers.
The idea of writing competitions leaves me cold. There seem to be billions of them with dodgy looking prizes aimed at ego. Am interested to hear your experiences of them good & bad.
I have received a lot of comments in response to this, which are a really mixed bag with both positive and negative experiences shared.
The reason I posted the discussion was because whatever magazine I open there always seems to be some kind of writing competition going on. Also, as soon as people know you are writing they start sending you information about competitions. My neighbour pushed information about one through the door just the other day.
While I appreciate the sentiment of these well-meaning folk who think because you are writing you are bound to want to enter competitions, I have to tell you, competitions are not for me. It’s hard to tell the people who push them in your direction that you’re not interested, it makes you look ungrateful at best and grumpy at worst! In truth I am flattered that they think I have a hope of winning!
I know that many offer the chance to see your work in print. A nice little two-book deal, good sums of cash and a little bit of instant fame and for those that are tempted, go ahead and give it a go. It’s just not my thing.
I would rather concentrate my time and efforts on epublication, marketing my work, contacting traditional publishers and writing to entertain my readership. Time is precious and usually limited and that’s how I choose to spend mine.
A lady who is a frequently published author with about 30 years of experience commented on Linkedin ‘unfortunately most (competitions) aren’t worth the trouble. Getting published, optioned, produced whatever, is far better in my book.’ She doesn’t totally disregard them though and mentions one she thinks is worth the trouble. Advising ‘the key is to do your research.’
Others however, have had very positive experiences and although they have laid out quite a lot of money to enter competitions, they are happy to have gained good returns through their efforts. One describes it as a ‘crapshoot’ but suggests that the benefits can bring good publicity.
With all the discussion and pointers, I haven’t changed my own personal view but will always remain open minded in case one pops up that really captures my interest.
It has been great to get all the responses and see the spin off discussions take place. People obviously care about this subject quite a bit.
To tell you the truth I did once win a writing competition (the only one I ever entered) but to be fair my Mum made me do it. I was a child and won the ‘best letter to Santa’ competition, which bagged me a load of cash for a shopping spree in a toyshop. You would think such a great experience would have spurred me on to enter more contests of this nature but maybe it was because I had to share some of the toys with my brother that it put me off doing any more! He gained from my efforts, it didn’t seem right!
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