Saturday, January 3, 2009

Resolving to Compete

New Year. New Ideas. New Resolutions. We've all been there. And then something happens. Or, more accurately, nothing happens. We make too many promises to ourselves and then get paralyzed. Well, that's one of my resolutions — to decide what comes first and what can go. In terms of writing, my next novel, is a priority. So is taking small breaks to do other kinds of writing and even enter a contest or two. It's a great way to keep the writing muscles flexed and I highly recommend it.

One competition I entered last year is the 2008 Writers Digest Annual Writing Competition. I submitted two feature articles and both took honorable mention, ranking in the top 100; one came in at 32 and the other at 95. In total, there were over 17,500 entries across several genres, so I'm proud of my ranking. And the certificates make me smile on those gloomy writers-block days. Several years ago, I ranked #14 in the personal essay genre. It all adds to the whole and lets you put "award winning author" next to your name.

Give it a try as you work on your other pieces. Write something fresh. Send it into a contest. And then go back to your priority project. You'll be surprised at how one piece feeds into the other and keeps those writing wheels turning. Happy New Year.

Patricia Sheehy
OTP author

10 comments:

Marilyn said...

Good for you! Placing at all is remarkable in one of Writers Digests contests. You are to be congratulated--it's quite a feat!

Marilyn
http://fictionforyou.com

Sharon - inspiring stories said...

Congratulations! Sounds like a good idea to participate in. So many contests (so called) are scams to get you to buy an expensive book because you "won" the contest and your work will be in the book. Glad to hear there are legitimate contests that are worthwhile.

Katie Hines said...

Congratulations on your honorable mention for your two stories!

Christina E. Rodriguez said...

Wow! Congrats on your success so far! I hope you place at the top the next time you enter!

Beth Groundwater said...

Great advice, Patricia! After almost a full year of just editing already-written projects, I'm jumping back into writing brand-new text with a short story. After that, I hope to be ready to tackle the next novel-length manuscript that's already mostly outlined.

Shari Lyle-Soffe said...

I hadn't thought of the boost it would be to place in a contest. Maybe I will give it a try.

Shari

Marvin D. Wilson said...

Good post. You write well, as is evidenced by your placing in the top 100 with TWO entries in that competition and also the composition of this post. Here's to a successful 2009 for you!

Morgan Mandel said...

I've never tried to compete in any of the big name contests. You are to be congratulated. Good going!

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com
http://www.morganmandel.com

Lael Johnson said...

Hi Billie,
Thanks for your inspiring post about entering writing contests. Good for you! I've yet to try a contest, so your post, has given me some important food for thought.

Lael

lucia said...

Congratulations on the honorable mention. You have some great advice and I look forward to reading your blog every day. all best, Lucia