Friday, November 8, 2019

Using Contests as Door Openers

Using Contests as Door Openers In a world where its near impossible to land an agent or publisher, and indie publishing appears to be a monstrosity of complexities, it might be time to consider contests. And dont talk about how most of them are scams, either. There are more publishing scams out there than contests, my friend. Why focus on contests when your goal is publishing? Because contests are a roundabout way to open a door to getting published. And you get to toy around with submitting more than that book youve obsessed over. You can also submit novellas, short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. Suggestions on entering contests to aid your career: 1) Stick to contests that result in publication. Whether its a website, a journal, or a publishing house, getting publication credits in your portfolio matters. You need credibility. 2) Extract from your book-length work and create a short piece or two. There are way more short story competitions than novels contests. Take the gist of your longer piece and turn it into a short submission. The point is to make people realize you can write. If you win, THEN tell them you also write novels. 3) Choose reputable contests, not something cutesy and cheap, so that when you win you are respected, not chuckled at. Show that even when you enter contests, you are a professional. 4) Be willing to pay entry fees. They fund the publishing, the judging, and the prize money. Better to pay $25 to enter and win $1,000 than pay $0 and win $50. The latter doesnt look as good on a resume or pitch letter. 5) Consider those contests that offer feedback. Those critiques might right some wrongs in your work. 6) Choose contests where the judges are agents, publishers, or editors. Even if you dont win, you might catch someones eye. Some authors enter contests regularly while still pursuing publication. Theres no point in passing up this sort of opportunity. Especially during a time that writers are a dime-a-dozen and landing attention is like screaming into the wind. While youre planning your query letters or indie promotion, make time for a contest or two each month. It might be the catalyst to take that stalling writing career to a higher level.

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