You Need a Deadline – New Reedsy Contest Directory

The first quarter of 2017 is behind us. How’s your writing going? In January, we checked in with you about your writing goals, but that seems like it’s SO long ago now. (How did we get to April so quickly?!?)

Have you, like me, you’ve been moving the goal line on your writing projects? You know – pushing things out a little bit at a time because, life? I completely understand. Things come up. Each of us has obligations and unplanned crises, and many of us are also suffering from resistance fatigue. Hitting your writing targets can start to feel like an impossible dream.

Well … sometimes, what you need is a deadline.

I write a LOT, but most of what I get done is writing that is tied to a client or other deadline. “My” writing projects (stories, novel ideas, flash fiction, etc.) tend to slip down the slippery slope of falling priorities. I want to work on them, but other things are always butting in ahead of them – cutting the line, so to speak.

Solution: Give myself a deadline for one of My Writing Projects

There are always a variety of writing contests going on. Why not pick one and go for it? Even if you don’t win, you will have completed something, and that’s worth the price of admission all by itself.

Ricardo Fayet, founder at Reedsy, reached out to me to share his company’s new resource: Writing Contests 2017, Curated with love by Reedsy. In a follow-up email conversation, he shared the inspiration for this new, searchable database:

We speak to a lot of upcoming authors, and one thing we discovered is that writing contests are a pretty contentious topic of discussion. While most writers love the idea of being published, read, and rewarded for their work, some authors had been burned in the past. The truth is that, while there are hundreds of contests each years, very few of them are worth the time; some of them are even outright scams, designed to squeeze money out of their entrants.

With that in mind, we wanted to give authors a way find their ideal contests. Updated weekly, this page lets you search for competitions by genre, entry fee, deadline and prize amount. And because we’ve vetted each and every one, there’s no need to worry about being ripped off.

So, how about it? Think you might try to find a deadline that will help you prioritize your writing? If you decide to go for it, let us know in the comments so we can cheer you on. Also, if you know of any reputable contests not in the Reedsy list, please feel free to share those as well!

Good luck!

Jamie Lee Wallace Hi. I’m Jamie. I am a content writer and branding consultant, columnist, sometime feature writer, prolific blogger, and aspiring fiction writer. I’m a mom, a student of equestrian arts, and a nature lover. I believe in small kindnesses, daily chocolate, and happy endings. In addition to my bi-weekly weekday posts, you can also check out my Saturday Edition and Sunday Shareworthy archives. Off the blog, please introduce yourself on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. I don’t bite … usually.

This post originally appeared on the Live to Write – Write to Live blog.

21 thoughts on “You Need a Deadline – New Reedsy Contest Directory

  1. Wow Jamie, this is great. Yes, I have been bumping the editing of a work in process that I want to try to sell this year. Part of it is fear of the process I suppose, but also I made commitments to increase my blogging and building out my network of fellow writers to share thoughts and encouragement with. Maybe I will dive into a contest or tow as a diversion.

    • Sounds like you’re writing plate is pretty full, Joe; which – in my humble opinion – makes it even more important for you to give yourself time (perhaps through a deadline 🙂 ) to work on some non-obligatory writing, if you know what I mean. It’s hard being a writer in these times when we also have to be our own marketer, networker, promoter, etc. But, none of that matters if we’re not doing the work of our “Real Writing.” Good luck with everything. Hope you find a contest that’s a good fit!

  2. Thanks Jamie, this is exactly what I need right now. I’ve been aiming to get a story done since the start of the year, but I’m also doing a course that takes up most of my time and energy. I now have time off leading up to Easter and have been procrastinating! I’ll find a competition and get a deadline. Cheers!

    • Spring must be the time for courses. 😉 I’ve signed up for two … wait! … THREE – all starting in April. Not sure what I was thinking there … hope I can make the time!
      What’s funny is that I often find I’m most productive when I’m super busy. I suppose it’s something to do with not having any time to waste, so I just get down to it and make things happen. Of course, that approach is exhausting and not sustainable for long periods of time; but it’s not bad for “sprints.”
      Maybe you can find a flash fiction contest, or poetry. I’m fascinated by flash fiction, actually. Maybe I’ll try that! 😉
      Good luck!

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  4. About the only way I know to do it, Jamie, is to work with set times instead of deadlines. That way I get a bit done each day. Eventually that means my projects get finished. Otherwise I get stressed out! 🙂 –Curt

    • The approach you’ve outlined is, I think, critical to any writer’s success. Breaking things down into chunks and then spending set amounts of time to “chip away” at those tasks is one of the best ways I know to keep moving forward. Thanks for the tip!

  5. Just short ago started to play with the thought of writing, relatively short ago. So in January started my new blog site, writing there about whatever comes in mind as thoughts; experiences, new and old ones, few days ago my first short fiction went there. Some poems (picking up writing poems again from my past). All goes well. Also forming ideas, personages in my head for a novel, making notes about scenes, plots…fun game. But no deadlines, far from being in that stage.

    • Sounds like you’re being plenty productive without needing a deadline to goad you on. 😉
      I am delighted when I am able to work without either carrot or stick, as they say; but most of the time I need one or the other to keep me on the winding road.

      Congrats on the new blog and your burst of creativity!

  6. My new project is publishing an anthology. I don’t have a deadline. I just need to find enough good poems to make it worthwhile. The last one I published sold out so I am hopeful this will do the same.
    I think blogging is taking up too much of my writing time. I need a week away from the computer.

    • That sounds wonderful, Julie. Congrats on your prior sell out and I hope this project goes as well for you.

      Interesting that you mention blogging taking up too much writing time. I’ve been feeling the same lately, even though I’ve slacked off substantially. Sometimes, we just need to bust out of our regular routine and shake things up a bit – step away from the computer and try a different kind of composing.

      Maybe I’ll do that, too! 😉

    • The only online classes I’ve taken are through Grub Street:

      I have never regretted any class there – online or in person.

      I would imagine many colleges and universities also offer online courses, but I don’t have any personal experience with those.

      Good luck!

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