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.
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 WritersWeekly.com, 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
- Here is a list of Creative Writing Contests with No Entry Fees (mostly poetry, but some fiction).
- Here’s a list of Writing Contests, Grants, & Awards from Poets & Writers magazine.
- If you have a book written, check out the Chanticleer Writing Contest Calendar at a Glance. It breaks contests out by genre.
- And here’s a varied list of contests Writing Contests @Writing.com.
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 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.