Entering and Winning Writing Contests

Visit any writing message board and you’ll read discussion threads
on contests and competitions
for writers. The messages run the gamut of those who have been
scammed to those who rave
about contests. So where does the truth lie? For as many contests
for writers there are out there,
there are as many truths.

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Before you run away from the opportunities offered by many
legitimate writing contests, read the
following eleven tips on choosing, winning and benefitting from
writing contests.

1. Visit the websites listed below under resources. Many offer
comments on writing contests
which can help you decide which ones are for you, and which ones are
to avoid. Do an internet
search on the publication, business or person running the contest.
While not answering all your
questions, this type of search can help you cross off questionable

2. If a contest is free to enter, you have nothing to lose, but
still read the fine print. There are
contests that claim rights to any winning stories, or even all
submissions. For contests with an
entry fee, decide if the prize money justifies the fee. For example,
would you pay $15 entry fee
for a poetry contest where the winner received $35 as the prize?
Would you pay a fee if the prize
was publication, or a book?