Lately, I’ve been considering submissions more seriously. I think my writing has finally reached a point where I’m willing to believe the rest of the world might not find it utterly repulsive. Huzzah for my self-esteem. One of the main questions I’ve been mulling over is whether or not to enter contests. I did a bit of research on the subject (by googling “writing contests vs. standard submission.” So scholarly, I know), and came up with a few pros and cons:
- Lots of potential prize money. (Another rousing huzzah.)
- Publication. Duh.
- Getting your work into the hands of VIP readers.
- Notice from agents.
- A confidence boost if you win (or even make it into the semifinals, as I can attest from personal experience).
- Anonymity allows for democracy.
- Extra motivation to do good work.
- And last, but most definitely not least: Deadlines. Need I say more?
- Entry fees. But as far as I can see, as long as they aren’t exorbitant, they’re probably worth it. The choice is up to you. Plus, there are plenty of perfectly reputable free writing contests.
- Can tie up your work for months. I mean, you don’t want to risk missing out on prize money if your work is accepted elsewhere, right? This might be a problem if you’re submitting a lot, but for me… not really an issue yet.
- Plenty of scams. But you know what? It’s just a matter of doing your research and asking the right questions.
You know what? Those are the only cons I can think of. And they all have work-arounds. So. In my case, at least, it seems like contests might be a good way to go, at least for now. After all, I’ve got nothing to lose, right?
If anybody out there has more thoughts or experience on writing contests, by all means let me know. I’m still a leetle baby with this whole thing.