I did it – I entered into the AWS (Alaska Women Speak) competition for the Spring 2013 period and I got in. I’m going to be published in the next issue!
Honestly, I didn’t think there’d be a chance … since I was picked for one of the previous issues I never thought I’d be chosen for this one as well. But I liked the prompt so much – Chambered Nautillus by Oliver Wendell Holmes – I decided to give it a go and see what would happen. I wrote the poem, submitted it and, by the end of that week, the congratulatory note was sent to my email!
As you can tell, I’m rather excited about it… I’ve submitted into many different contests these past few months and, well, I’m just happy to have gotten into one of them, you know?
But that’s what you have to do sometimes – when you see a contest that fits in with your genre or style of writing, go for it!
Yes, most contests have a monetary requirement – usually $10-$20 – but isn’t spending that worth what you could get in return – publication? Besides, most of the contests that have requirements give out monetary prizes.
If you don’t put yourself out there, submit to contests and really see how you stack up against the crowd, how will you know if your writing is actually pleasing your intended audience?
I’m not saying every writer needs to submit all the time, but every writer should try when the opportunity arises. At least once! It really is good practice and you could be published by the end of it! Sometimes if you get 2nd or 3rd place they mention your name and it’s always good to have exposure in the writing community, however slight.
I submitted to the Lucky Agent contest with the Writer’s Digest and I plan to submit to the Radical Arts for Women contest coming up in March because both of those contests appeal to me and seem to be the right fit for what I’m currently writing.
But if you don’t know where to find writing contests, never fear! Like everything else these days, just look it up online – Poets and Writers is a good place to start, as is Writer’s Digest – but you could always type in ‘creative writing contests’ and still come up with a whole slew of opportunities to pick from. You can even tailor your query with ‘poetry contests’, ‘flash fiction contests’, ‘non-fiction essay contests’ or whatever your fancy and still get a bunch of submission chances.
Go for it! What’s there to lose?