- By Paul Turner
- Published 06/5/2008
If you’re an amateur writer, whether it be poetry, short stories, novels or essays, there’s nothing like seeing your work in print or on the Internet to excite you and encourage you to continue your work. For many writers, the idea of making millions isn’t the driving force behind their passion; instead, the practice of sharing ideas, perfecting a unique style and pleasing an audience of readers that enjoys your voice is more often the thing that keeps you writing. And one great way to share your work with new readers, get your work in print and gain new ideas for future work is by entering it into one of the many writing contests you can find online. Writing contests are one of the most common types of online contests you can find on the Internet today. From poetry contests and fiction contests to children’s writing contests and essay contests, there are literally dozens and dozens of different writing competitions you can enter immediately. And thankfully, most online writing contests don’t cost a dime to enter. While there are some writing contests that charge an entry fee, the new writer can enter his or her work into dozens of other free writing contests while they are making a name for themselves and perfecting their writing skills. And although you will never win every single writing contest you enter, with some consistency and tenacity you’re bound to eventually take home the top prize.
When it comes to writing contest prizes, you should never be disappointed if the top prize doesn’t include cash or a very expensive prize. In many cases, the winner of a writing contest will still receive lots of nice acclaim and publicity even if a c
ash prize doesn’t enter the picture. And don’t forget that winning any writing contest, no matter how small, will look really outstanding on your writing resume and on cover letters when you submit your work to literary magazines and publishing houses. Building up a great, impressive list of writing contests that you’ve won is a super way to convince editors and publishers that your work is worth a much closer look when they are deciding what submissions to publish. In addition to the possibility of actually winning any given writing contest, you should look at your participation as a chance to learn more about the process of submission and what readers and editors like or dislike. While we all have our own unique writing style and voice, there are still many techniques you can use to make your writing more powerful and effective, and one of the ways to discover what works and what doesn’t is by putting your work out there for everyone to see. Don’t get upset with any constructive criticism you might receive, but instead look the advice with an open mind and take any good suggestions you might get from a writing contest to heart.
Lastly, a word of warning about private information when you are entering online writing contests. In addition to not giving out any credit card or bank account information, it’s also a good idea to never give out your full address or personal phone number, as well. There’s really no reason why any site would need anything beyond your name and email address when entering their writing contest, and offering any more might be inviting junk mail or even worse. It’s fine to enter your work into as many writing contests as you want, but never forget that any personal information you might give will be available for anyone to find on the Internet in the future.