Motivate Yourself by Submitting to a Writing Contest

Today’s post is as much for me as it is for you. You see, I’ve been quite lethargic about writing fiction lately, as my business has been so pleasantly busy that I don’t have time to write for fun.

I put don’t have time in italics, since, we all know that we make time for what is important to us. I do have time. I have the same amount of time as everyone else and if I truly want to write fiction, I will find a way.EnterWritingContests

Today’s post is my self-motivation for finding that way.

Submitting to contests is a great way to be inspired to write, to actually write, and to actually submit. I’ve done it. I know it’s always fun and challenging and a unique way to get the must to come out and play.

My all-time-favorite contests are the quarterly 24-hour contests by, where you register in advance (this is for the July 9 contest) and pay the modest $5 fee, then on the date of the contest, you receive the writing prompt, the word count, and the guidelines. You have 24 hours to write, polish, and submit a short story.

It’s up to you if you want to pay a fee or not. $5 is the most I’ve ever been willing to part with to enter a contest, but there are all types of contests available.

Here are some contest lists to get you started

I hope you try a writing contest, or two, to shake off cobwebs, exercise the muse, or to have some plain old fun for no other reason than you want to!

Deadlines are a great incentive in themselves, but you could win a prize (money, publication, or some type of gift), improve your writing and editing skills, and even give your self-confidence a boost — which is where I’m at.

Feel free to share your thoughts on contests, and if you have a favorite, please share!

(I’ll talk about contests from a judge’s perspective next week.)

Lisa_2015Lisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with businesses of all sizes. She loves researching topics, interviewing experts, and helping companies tell their stories. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

23 thoughts on “Motivate Yourself by Submitting to a Writing Contest

  1. Hi Lisa.
    I really would like to participate in these writing contest, if not for anything, at least to burst out of my comfort zone and enhance my writing skills .. But I feel my writing is not just good enough…

  2. Pingback: Motivate Yourself by Submitting to a Writing Contest | Illuminite Caliginosus

  3. Thank you for this great post, I’ll have to bookmark it 🙂 Ages ago (late last year) I was told I should submit one of my writing exercies to a contest but didn’t know where to start or where to look. Your post should come in very handy!

  4. Hoping to get a reblog button after I comment (for some reason, that’s the way WordPress treats me sometimes). If not, I’ll do a pingback. I appreciate contests that have categories for novels versus poetry and short fiction (seem to be ample opportunities for these shorter efforts). Thanks!

  5. Pingback: Motivate Yourself by Submitting to a Writing Contest — Live to Write – Write to Live – milesandwhitingmysteryauthors

  6. Hadn’t considered anything like this, it could be a good way to give myself a much needed kick in the backside 🙂 Seriously though, thanks for a positive spark I just might follow up!

  7. Reblogged this on Mysticalwriter and commented:
    Writing Contest, for those that want to give it a go!! Write a short story, it may be just what you need to get you out of the writing funk your in!
    Reblogged from

  8. Heartily agree. It was the incentive and motivation to work to a time goal which has motivated me in the past. It was all the perhaps disappointments but then the unexpected success which boosts you into trying one more. Personally I love Writing contests. I also like challenges where you are given for example a starting sentence and then have to write a short story. Here’s one for example …….It was the largest pure white rock in the pile. (what does that inspire in others?) The thought started something in me. I wrote a whole story. Cheers!

  9. Entering a writing completion is how I got the bug for writing stories, when I had to write an original story based on The Wind in the Willows
    To celebrate the publication of the book written by Kenneth Grahame
    It’s a great idea you came up with to inspire and motivate

  10. This is fantastic. I’ve always been scared about putting myself out there. Maybe just sticking my toe into the pond like this is what I need. Thanks!

  11. Thanks so much for the tips! I also submit to writing contests just for the challenge … Just to see what would happen…just to read the finalist and see how my piece compared to theirs … Just to see what I can come up with … Very cool experience that’s led me to a lot of “learning experiences” and stepping stones. Good post!!

  12. Pingback: Being a Contest Judge Brings New Perspective to Submitting Work | Live to Write – Write to Live

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