Four Reasons To Enter Writing Contests

FOCUS Entering writing contests has many advantages, beginning with how it forces you to focus on a single goal. It’s easy to become distracted, moving from one writing project to the next, without actually finishing any of them. Making the decision to put all your efforts towards writing a great piece for a writing contest might be just what you need.

DEADLINES I find that writing without a deadline is extremely difficult. I allow myself to think I’ll get around to finishing a project sometime, because I don’t have a deadline, and end up in an endless cycle of procrastination. I recently entered a screenwriting competition, and the looming deadline was just enough motivation to finish writing the script.

REWARDS If you win a lottery, it’s great to have the cash, but you don’t really have a sense of accomplishment. Anyone can buy a lottery ticket. However, if you win a writing contest, you’ve demonstrated that you have significant talent and that’s something you can be proud of.

YOU WIN, EVEN IF YOU LOSE So, you focused on one project until it was finished, paid the entry fee and entered it in a writing contest. Even if you’re not competing with the general public (like a lottery ticket), your entry is still up against all the pieces submitted by other writers. What if you don’t win? You now have a new item prepared for the literary marketplace, and that puts you way ahead of someone who has a dozen unfinished projects.

Copyright © 2023 by J. Paul Cooper

Update: My story, “The Challenge” has been included in NEW SPACES, an anthology of science fiction short stories published by Lintusen Press, a collaborative micropress.


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