Monday, August 9, 2010

On The Value of Valueless Contests

How is that for an oxymoron?

What I'm referring to are contests in which you don't win publication, or money, or even a signed book by Stephanie Meyers (I wonder if she uses glitter pens....)

Seriously though, I've found from the experience of my writer friends and other testimonials that these seemingly unworthy contests can help out your platform and your writing career. Take, for instance, Lydia Sharp. She has a give-away going on right now involving a free anthology, in which is published "The Blade of Tears."

That particular story actually won first place in a "site-based" contest. That is, one that involved bragging rights and a glittering icon...of a trophy. (Not Edward. Had you worried, didn't I?)

By hosting these contests with other writers, you can sometimes surprise yourself and develop a solid story that is publishable in the regular industry.

My take on it is that these type of contests often bring out the best in a writer. Because the pressure of winning, of receiving that publication, money, editor stalking rights, etc. is absent. All you have is good fun creating a story that people will love. And that, my friend, is what writing is all about.

So, enter those contests at the Writer's Digest Community, or Writer's Digest Forum, or or wherever you may lurk when you're procrastinating today's writing goal. (Go on. Admit it. These sites are made for procrastination) 

You just might craft the next story you get published.