Sunday, October 23, 2011

What Are They, Really?

Writing competitions, I mean.  Waste of time if you enter or wasted chance if you don't?

I entered one YA piece into the WD YA competition last week.  I was not particularly in love with the story - of course I liked it, otherwise I would not have entered, but I feel like I almost can't find my voice when it comes to YA.  Anything I write and re-write ultimately ends up sounding too adult.  I start out well and then it all goes downhill.  But at least I am trying.

I am also going to enter a short story into the WD Short Short Story Competition.  This is a story I absolutely love; it is a stand alone chapter from my first novel.  My character is well developed and the voice is distinct. 

My question to you is - what do you think about writing competitions, especially ones we pay for (like WD)?  I browsed the WD boards where some opinions are less than gracious about these competitions (or the writers who enter them), spewing negativity thicker than rhyolitic lava.   Others seem to think they can help budding writers get practice and perhaps recognition.

I'd love recognition, sure, but the main reason I participate in these competitions is that a deadline keeps me on track.  I write even when there is no deadline, but if something is on the line, so to say, I make sure I find the time, even if it is at midnight or two in the morning and six-thirty is not too far off.  Perhaps if I did not work full time as an attorney, have a family, and keep a second blog, maybe I would not need extra prodding, but it is what it is.

So, what do you think about these competitions? 


  1. Usually, I don't bother with them, especially if they require an entry fee. I have much better (free) places I can go to get feedback and even recognition on occasion. I mean, they may be right for some people, but not for me. I don't have the flexible schedule necessary to write on a deadline anyway. College tends to be rather unforgiving in that respect. =P

    But, I mean, if you can spare the money, have the time, and WANT to do it, why not? I can't say it can hurt you too awful much.

  2. My goal in the VERY few competitions that I did was to simply gain new bloggy friends.

    I don't think the feedback in places like those are ever very helpful, and it generally is the one place where the competitive side of writers comes out. So, I guess i'm pretty lukewarm - BUT, that being said, I really did meet a lot of people who were actually serious about their writing.

  3. I like competitions but only for fun.

  4. Competitions are great, but I'm like most I think, I don't like to pay to join, especially when I don't know that any of the proceeds are going toward anything substantial.

    I hosted a hint fiction contest several months ago just because I wanted to do it. The winner received $25.00 and all they had to do was submitte a 25 word or less story.

    :) Lots of fun!

  5. I've done free and paid competitions. I do them for the reasons you mentioned - recognition and deadline. I also like the ones that provide prompts and genres. I find them a fun and learning distraction from my WIP,

  6. Thank you so much for your input! I guess it really can't hurt too much - another learning experience!

  7. I love your Smart Mommy Healthy Baby site, it's right up my alley! Thank you for following, I'm following back and look forward to reading more.

  8. To be honest, I don't have any sort of disposable income. I can't afford to enter, but I'm not going to attack those who can.

    I do love the idea of being made to stick to a deadline though. =o)

    I enjoy your blog. Happy to have found you on the "Hop."!/ScaryStockings