Writing for Contests

Right Now: Listening to One Time by Justin Bieber. Heating up some chicken noodle soup for a late lunch.

With the holidays upon us, and literary agents either playing catch-up or taking time off, I've decided to put my query sending on hold. I'll be back in the hunt mid-January.

Until then, I've decided to enter some contests. Here's why:

1. Writing a short story is a great way to hone your craft.
2. If my story is good enough to get published, it might catch the attention of an agent. (crossing my fingers here)
3. Success will add to my bio. (crossing my fingers again)
4. You can win a nice chunk of change.
5. The most important reason? I repeat, you get to hone your craft and really develop as a writer.

The first contest I entered (last night) was the Writer's Digest Short Short Story Contest. Yes, I said short twice. What does that mean? Simple: the contest is for super short stories. After completing an almost 100K book, writing a super short story (1500 words) was way hard for me. But, I learned a lot from it. I was forced to be really concise with my writing, and to the point. All in all, I think I did a good job. In fact, I love my story and characters so much that I can seriously see myself writing an entire book about them. A series even.

The second contest I'm going to enter is the Boulevard Short Fiction Contest for Emerging Writers. All entries must be postmarked by December 31, 2009. Note: there is no online submission process for this contest.

Boulevard is a very well-respected magazine, and I'm looking forward to writing for them. I have an idea for a story, and since I don't have a lot of time, I'm just going to plunge right into it. If I hear of any more contests, I'll be sure to post them here. Until then!