On Contests

I like them. There. I said it.  I like the excitement of competing for a prize.  I like checking my email for the possibility of good news. I like the feeling of satisfaction of finishing a story and doing something with it. Contests motivate me. They give me prompts which can lead to a whole new story.

I don’t always win a prize in the contests I enter. I don’t always lose either.  I do find that I always learn something.  And that leads to:

Five Things To Keep In Mind When Submitting To Contests:

1. Always let a story cool off before sending it out.

Yeah. I DO read Writer’s Digest and countless blogs which say that, but who listens  when impulse demands action?  Don’t say anything, just hand me a tissue.

2. Never take a rejection personally.

A piece of advice I think is rather stupid.  Of course, I take rejection personally, but then I get off the floor, sit at the desk and find out why.

3. Take what you’ve learned and apply it.

If the story failed and there’s a reason for it, I WILL find it and fix it.

4. Give yourself credit for improving the story.

Maybe it’s still not perfect, but I know what it looked like before I sent it into the contest.

5. Send out another story to keep your hope afloat.

One failure can be followed by a success. Hope floats better (and so will I) if   I’ve got more than one story strapped around  my body.

Bonus Fact: These five lessons can be applied to all submissions, not just contests.




From a writer learning how to paddle up the creek, one story at a time.


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