Waiting for a response to your query? Mailed out a partial and chewing your nails and hoping the phone will ring? Turn that nervous energy into creative energy by entering a writing contest!
Writing contests are a perfect way to practice your craft, possibly win a prize or two and light a fire under your creative muse. One of the reasons I love giving contests a try is it helps take me past my comfort zone. Example – Grammar Girl recently featured a contest in honor of National Punctuation Day. I didn’t win, but I did stretch my writer’s imagination by entering a poem (Love Letter to a Comma). I never, ever write poetry. I’ve never even felt comfortable trying to write a poem. My mind simply doesn’t think in verse! But, I gave it a go and had rather a good time with the process. Below are a few current Writing Contests that might spark your creativity and stretch your writing muscles.
There’s a little known magazine for writers called Writer’s Digest (pick up an issue sometime). Along with helpful articles and tips on writing/finding an agent/getting published, they sponsor a variety of contests. Right now, there’s the Show Us Your Shorts Contest. There are several genres and categories (poetry, horror, romance to name a few) and very nice prizes (top prize is 2500.00). Deadlines range from November to December of this year, so get writing!
This one ends soon! Check out New Scientist and their Flash Fiction contest. Very cool theme that asks you to submit a 350 word story set 100 years in the future. Deadline is October 15.
I had fun with this one…check out the Guide to Literary Agents blog for their Worst Storyline Ever Contest. You can enter up to two loglines, no more than 64 words long. Hurry – deadline is October 5th. My entries – Jewish zombie and Suicidal Pillsbury Doughboy. See, usually I have happy kind of thoughts…so this one really tested those boundaries. And you know what – I liked it!