Tuesday, 3 April 2012

C is for Competition

Today I'm talking about writing competitions. As well as being fun to enter, they teach us about discipline, and make us follow rules. I know some writers like to break rules (myself included) but when it comes to a writing competition, rules must be followed to the letter. They vary enormously, so do check the details carefully. Otherwise you're wasting your time, and possibly your money if you have paid to enter a competition.

Entering into the spirit of competitions stretches us, making us write tighter, as we try and stay within word count. We are challenged to think outside the box, as often there will be a set theme, or a first line given to kick-start our imagination, or perhaps a picture. We strive to come up with something different.

Quite often, I've started out writing to the brief for a particular competition, only to end up going off on a tangent, I don't worry. Nothing is wasted, and I can usually find a competition for what I've written.

Some competitions are free to enter, others charge an entry fee, and some offer cash prizes, whilst others offer publication opportunities in magazines or anthologies. There are organisations that will offer you an appraisal, or critique of your story, and this can often be helpful.

Writing competitions may be local or worldwide. Choose carefully, most organisers are honest and reliable, however like in all walks of life, there are some unscrupulous folk around too. Be careful, check as much as you can, ask around, use your common sense.

Here's a selection I've found for you to peruse, hopefully you'll give some of them a try. Remember, you have to be in it, to win it!

First up, if you are prepared to admit you are over sixty years of age, and you're a woman, then the The Grey Hen Poetry Competition might be for you.

Next we have the Daphne du Maurier Festival Writing Competition Stories for this one have to be on the theme of 'The Rendesvouz' with a maximum length of 1500 words.

The 2012 Doris Gooderson Short Story Competition is now open for entries. Check it out.

Or perhaps this might catch your eyes. Frome Festival 2012 Short Story Competition Winning stories will be read by a literary agent, and broadcast on radio.

And finally what about some humour? Flash 500 Humour Verse runs quarterly and offers cash prizes and publication in Words with JAM the free e-zine for writers.

Good luck!


  1. I've never taken part in a writing competition, but your post has caused me to consider giving one of them a shot.

  2. Thanks for the links to competitions.

  3. Good C post! Thanks for the links.

  4. Michael - Just do it!

    Bethie - You're welcome.

    Christine - Thank you.

  5. Thank you for the links! I kinda stopped competing lately, but only with my balance with time! ;)


    A to Z co-host

  6. Good links to Comps Maria. Anyone who hasn't entered before or submitted for a while, or is still thinking - give it a shot! I've just finished judging one. Now is an ideal time to throw your hat in the ring.

  7. I love competitions - and I totally missed the du Maurier comp. I've got just the story. Thanks :-)

  8. Elizabeth - Time...that old chestnut, we all suffer the same with time.

    Keith - Good advice.

    Annalisa - Glad you have found one to enter. Good luck!

  9. Excellent post with some really helpful links - thank you:-)

  10. Hello, Maria! I haven't entered any writing competitions, but I'm definitely open to it. Thanks for the tips and info!

    Nice to meet you and happy A to Z!!

  11. That's great advice about writing competitions, particularly that no story is wasted, even if it no longer fits a certain competition.

    Dropping by from the A-Z challenge.

    Cherie Reich - Author

    Surrounded by Books Reviews


I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment, and I try to reply to every one. Many thanks!

Planning Your Time - How Hard Can it Be?

Blue Skies Over Tenby - Maria A Smith  Planning your time is often much harder than you ever dreamt or expected it to be, and if you do...