Contests Galore!

Contest season seems to run synonymous with Oscar season.  😆  I’m not much of a contest person.  I won second place in the FF&P chapter of RWA’s On the Far Side content when I first joined RWA.  UNSTABLE ENVIRONMENTwas submitting to the RWA’s Tampa chapter contest and didn’t win, but managed to find a publisher anyway.  And that’s it.  That’s the extent of my contest participation.

But, I won’t let that stop me from pimping some friends and some contests.

First up is Zoe Winters.  Her short story A Safer Life is up for the Better Sex Competition.  She’s a semi-finalist, so go vote for her so she can round the bend into the finals.  Oh yeah.  You might want to read her story first, too.  😉  I thought it was good, so go check it out here and vote:  http://www.bettersex.com/t-erotic-fiction-contest-semi-finals-story3.aspx  You have until Sunday night. 

Also, there’s the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, which has been the topic of several loops I belong to.  I’m a little torn about this.  While I think it’s a good competition to enter, I have a feeling that literary works are going to win this one based on the backgrounds of the judges.  So, why bother?  I don’t do literary.  Anyway, I think it’s a good competition and I could easily be wrong, too.  I actually came close to biting the bullet and doing it anyway, but decided against it.

And let’s not forget the American Title Vcompetition.  I’m eagerly awaiting the results of this past voting spree because my buddy Edieis a contestant.  I think the next round of voting starts on Monday, so get your button finger ready to vote.  😉 I think of all the contests I’ve seen (and if you belong to RWA, you know the dozens that I’m talking about), this one is probably my favorite.  I’ve always been an avid support of Romantic Times simply because they aren’t just about romance.  They’re more than that.  If you’ve read their book reviews, then you’d see that it comprises of more than just romance books.  The decision to broaden their horizons was the reason why I decided to start a subscription with them.

How do you feel about contests?

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20 thoughts on “Contests Galore!

  1. I’m rooting for all of them!

    I first started writing because a contest inspired me, and that’s how I got my start making money. (I only got honorable mention, but it was a start.) The next contest I entered, eight or nine years later, was just a little “first 100 words” contest.

    I don’t really have feelings about contests. I don’t know that I’ll enter any more. Maybe if plain submitting isn’t getting me anywhere. I don’t really want to dip into the mess of who considers me published and who doesn’t. *insert eye roll*

  2. Thanks for the shout out! When I entered I really just wanted to get into the print anthology. But then after that happened I really got my eye on the big money, lol. We’ll see what happens.

  3. The next ATV round starts a week from Monday. Feb. 16-Mar. 1. But thanks for the shout out!

    I’ve been trying to keep from entering contests, though they’re so tempting. I have had two requests from editors last year because of them. But they take time and cost money. And right now I’m using all my time to promo the contest I’m in.

    Bottom line, you’re doing pretty darn good without any contest.

  4. “I don’t really want to dip into the mess of who considers me published and who doesn’t.”

    Spy, girlfriend, who are you telling? I could do a whole blog on that topic alone.

    One good thing about contests is they’re great when it comes to motivation and getting started as a new author. They don’t always result in wins, but just having that “honorable mention” is good enough. 😉

  5. Not a problem, Zoe. 🙂 Good luck with the contest, too. I was wondering about what happened with the whole anthology thing. If your numbers are any indication, going for the big money was a fantastic idea.

  6. hehe, well going for the big money was an automatic part of the contest, in the beginning I just didn’t think I’d make it this far. Now I just want to be sure I’m in that top three, so I have a real shot.

    The only problem with a judging panel is you have no idea what their tastes are and what they’ll like. I know my story is good, and I think it has a real shot. You just never know about people’s tastes and I don’t know what all the judging criteria are.

  7. Thanks for the info, Edie. All I knew was the contest started on a Monday, but I couldn’t recall which. No worries. I’ll be more than happy to remind people again on my blog. 😉

    You bring up a good point about contests. If you want a chance to get your foot in front of an editor, this is a good way to go. My pet peeve is from entry deadline to the winner announcement takes about six months. By then, I’ve forgotten I entered a contest and have probably rewritten my original submission to look like a completely different story.

  8. I’ve seen the numbers, Zoe. I KNOW you have a shot in the top three. At least for now. I want to keep you there, too. 😉

    That’s why I won’t enter the Amazon Breakout Novel contest. The tastes of the judges won’t match any of my stories, so what’s the point? In fact, that’s one of the main problems that contestants have with the RWA chapter contests. They never know if the judge they’ll get will like what they write. I’ve seen more than enough times to know that the judge listed on the website might not be the one who actually judges your entry. Why? Because things happen and they usually can’t or don’t have the time.

  9. I’ve done the contest mambo. Had good and bad outcomes. That said, I felt it was a waste of money to get mixed results – the prizes not monetary, but a shot at perhaps gaining the attention of an agent or editor. I could do that with querying, which requires the same things as contest entries, usually: synopsis and first pages/chapters, etc.

    I think the ATV is the best one out there simply because the prize is a contract with Dorchester.

    All said and done, imo, it’s better to save the money tossed into contests and use it to enroll in a writing workshop or class.

  10. I wouldn’t mind entering, a contest you know, but I am not looking forward to any, because when I get my hopes up, the usual rules apply for me not being from either the USA or the countries that are allowed to enters, so it’s pretty much on that basis that I do not enter. But I do think it is a way to build confidence or get used to rejection. You win you start thinking that you are at least a decent writer and well when you lose, you will have to deal with it and overcome it and be prepared for the publishing world. However I am not a contest person, because I become onsessively competitive and hyper emotional, because when I submit for a magazine, rejection is easier because each issue has a different idea and sometimes I am not what they are looking for. But in a contest it’s a power play and I get homicidal.

  11. Good point, Kath. While contests are a great way to get the attention of an agent or editor, a damn good query letter will do the same. What makes it worse is with contests like the GH, you don’t even get helpful feedback.

    ATV is a bonafide contract waiting in the wings for you. It doesn’t get any better than that. Most of the finalists in teh contest have managed to sell anyway or it’s waiting for them around the corner.

    Another good point you bring up is online classes. Though I can’t speak for anyone else, the lessons I’ve learned in my online classes have stayed with me a lot longer than any feedback I’ve gotten from the two contests I had entered.

  12. Abigail, you’re not missing much. 😉 Unless it’s a well-known contest like the Beacon or Daphne D-something (run by the Kiss of Death chapter), there are very few that are worth it.

    What I cling to is the story about author Allison Brennan. She sold to NY and turned into a bestseller author either without entering a contest or she might have entered one where said book coughed up some horrible feedback. I can’t recall exactly which it is, but I know she’s on the NY Times list. In the end, that’s all that really matters. 😉

  13. 😆 You homicidal? Yeah. Right. 😉

    Contests bring out the worse in people. It’s expected these days because everyone is vying for a prize that only one person can have. I have no desire to be a part of that. I’d rather spend my energy writing a book than venting at why this heifer or that heifer won because their story sucks crusty toes. So maybe it’s not a bad idea that only US residents are allowed for some of these contests. You have a built-in armor that protects you from the negativity that can come from it.

    And like you said, winning a contest (or even placing in one) is a sweet way to boost your writing morale. At least you know you’re not writing crap. Unfortuantely, the flip side of that is becoming a contest whore. I’ve seen people with a string of contest wins and still haven’t sold a book yet. What’s up with that?

  14. Trust me… I can get violent, when I think the prize should be rightfully mine. I just say “Sorry there, you see now this prize was signed off to you by mistake. They mispelled my name. Now hand it over or I start stabbing.” Sth like that.

    The concept of contests carries more good than negative intent, but in true human nature, we managed to make it something to tear our nerves with. I was once member on this writing site and did quite a few contests, but after that I had to rely on prompts to write. My imagination had become sloppy. It needed outside stimulation and that was a problem.

  15. If we ever end up in a tug-o-war, I want you on my team. Together, we’ll annihilate the competition. 😈

    in true human nature, we managed to make it something to tear our nerves with

    This is so true. All of you RWA-ers out there know what I’m talking about, especially when it comes time for the GH and RITA nominations. But the same is true of any contest. You sit and wait and half of the time, you’ll end up tearing your hair out either because of feedback that makes no sense or you get someone who doesn’t have a clue about the genre. Basically, you take a chance with not only your writing, but your sanity, too.

  16. OMG yes it’s a sanity risk. This really may be my last contest. This time in the last contest I was really confident I was going to make it into the next round, because the percentage point margins were so wide and the time to vote was narrowing so much.

    But now I just want monday morning to get here, so this can end. Because the margins are narrowing quite a bit and I’m not sure if I can hold onto my lead long enough to make it into the finals.

  17. Zoe, I don’t know how you managed this long in the contest. Props to you. I would’ve been either a mess or I would’ve completely forgotten I had entered. Out of sight, out of mind. That’s how I protect my sanity in all things writing related.

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed that Monday comes soon and you rise to top. 😉

  18. Hey Marcia, well out of this whole thing it’s only really been 2 very intense weeks. First week was back in November. But then after I won my week there, I got a big long break until semi-finals week and I didn’t even think about it.

    I actually thought to email to find out the dates of the semi-finals like the day before semi-finals started, lol.

    So tomorrow the crazy will be over. I’m thinking if I get into the finals, I’ll really want to win of course, but since it will be totally out of my hands, there won’t be any point in stressing over it.

    At that point, whatever happens, happens and I can’t influence it at all.

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