Writing Contests: Go for the Big Ones (plus a book giveaway!)


Twofer! A Great guest post by novelist, Kathy Handley, on the in’s and out’s of entering writing contests – PLUS! a chance to win her novel, Birds of Paradise. Just post a comment or question today and be entered in the random drawing! Check back Thursday for the winner…

Win this Book!

When it comes to Contests- Go for the Big Ones

I was once told to submit to well-known journals along with the lesser known ones. “You’ll get a fair reading,” my friend, Jamie Cat Callan said. That may be the same with contests.

A new writer is often hesitant to submit their work to contests. Early on I sent stories to the National League of American Pen Women, Soul-Making Contest, in the short story category. I placed several years in a row and was invited to join the team of judges later on. How cool is that? If I had never entered, I wouldn’t have the pleasure of meeting the great folks who judge and enter the contest that was started by Eileen Malone, the dynamo writer and do-it-all gal.

A good rule of thumb is to get your work out there and move quickly to the next project or submission. True, you’ll have rejections, but try to see them as paying your dues. I often said that I’d have to pay my dues by writing a million words–still working on this–just to learn and get better, but I have Indie-published two books this year.

It’s a good idea to submit in varying genres for the many contests there are out there.  You can access Poets and Writers for deadlines.  If you are writing a novel, take a chapter that will stand alone as a story and send it out. Try flash fiction and poetry and perhaps a short non-fiction piece that speaks to your passion.  Although we didn’t win the national contest for a boundless playground for my grandson’s town, the letters served to educate persons who were not aware of special needs. In this case, we wanted a playground accessible for all.

My big win involved the Nervous Breakdown site that sponsored a Page-To-Screen contest with a prize of a Kindle and the opportunity for entertainment folks to consider the story for a movie. With many entries judged by Sara Gruen, Water for Elephants author, this win was a great thrill for me. You can do it too. Polish up that work and go for it.

I want to wish all of you writers out there good luck in the contests you enter. Send me an email when you place or need suggestions about venues for you work. Imagine your excitement when you are able to use your publishing and contest winning data in the front of your book.

Warmest Wishes,

 Kathy Handley

Kathrynhandley@msn.com

http://www.kathyhandley.com

About the Author:

 Her grandfather entertained his family with stories and dancing, her father quoted Shakespeare and her mother was known as “Mary the Poet” so naturally Kathryn would become a writer…eventually!

Now a published novelist at age 71, Kathy’s short fiction has appeared in many literary
magazines. She recently won Word Hustler’s Page-to-Screen Contest (2011) and currently serves as Prose Poetry Judge for the National League of American Pen Women Soul-Making Contest. A collection of her work will soon be released under the title A World of Love and Envy (short fiction, flash-fiction, and poetry).

*Don’t forget to leave a comment or question for our visiting author and be entered in the book giveaway!!

4 Comments

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4 responses to “Writing Contests: Go for the Big Ones (plus a book giveaway!)

  1. Thank you so much for the thoughts on contests. I have recently started to enter some contests. Keep your fingers crossed!

  2. Very encouraging advice here. I just entered my first poetry contest and won a 3rd place (League of American Pen Women, Roanoke Branch). You give me courage to continue submitting. Thank you!

  3. great article, while my novels have been good at winning FL state competitions, I haven’t stretched myself enough to enter more national competitions – this article encourages me to do so. Thanks.

  4. kay swederski

    Thanks for all the good advice – It is nice to hear how other writers start out. Thanks!

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