Guest Author - Caroline Coleman
Most novice writers think that they should aim for getting published straight away. Indeed, you need to make the publishing of your work your number one priority, but you will stand little chance of accomplishing your goal if you do not make a name for yourself first. There are various ways to get noticed and writing competitions are among the most effective methods.
The main benefit you will get from participating in writing contests is that you will have an incentive to write. In fact, this is the major objective of many competitions that require you to write a short story or a novel within a set period of time. You will really get incentive and motivation to write, especially if you are not confident in your writing skills or suffering from writer’s block. There is nothing better than a challenge to get you started on a work that might become a literary masterpiece.
If you win, your work will often get published. In addition, you will be able to add another accomplishment to your biography that will look great on query and cover letters sent to publishers or editors. Another benefit is that you will be able to make a name for yourself. You will be more easily recognizable as a writer. More opportunities to make valuable contacts in the publishing industry will come up.
Even if you do not win, you will find the experience quite helpful for your writing career. You will certainly get valuable feedback from the professionals who evaluate your work. You will receive suggestions for improvement that can turn your pieces into bestsellers, eventually. You will also have the opportunity to enter the literary circles and make contacts with other writers. Another benefit is that you will gain more writing experience in general.
Overall, you should not hesitate to participate in writing competitions. There are plenty of renowned and lesser known competitions that accept works from all writers. You can find contests for short stories, poems, screenplays and even novels. Still, you should be vigilant for scams.
Regrettably, there are many competitions that are designed just to rob wannabee writers of their money. Keep in mind that you should not pay more than a small fee of up to $20 for participation. If you are asked to provide a larger sum or to cover any expenses for getting your work published, then you should be suspicious. Just research the contest well before you sign up or submit your piece.