Writing Contests Worth Your Time

Yesterday, while doing some additional research on how to further develop a career in writing, I came across a question about a writing competition in a forum.  Competitions?  They have writing competitions?  I guess I should have realized that, but truly it hadn’t crossed my mind.  I ran off to my favorite search engine (hello Google!) and found several interesting, high quality competitions worth considering.

By Per Ola Wiberg

By Per Ola Wiberg

The first is Writer’s Digest’s 10th Annual Short Story Competition.  Writer’s Digest puts out a magazine for writers, providing information and resources to help you improve your craft and get published.  The contest entry deadline is December 1, 2009, and first prize is $3000.  There is an entry fee of $15 (I’m learning that entry fees for writing competitions are not unusual).

The second contest is the Missouri Review Editor’s Prize Contest for fiction, essay, and poetry.  The contest entry deadline is October 1, 2009, and first prize is $5000 for each category and publication in their spring issue.  The entry fee is $20 but includes a one year subscription to their literary magazine (not a bad deal, right?).

The third writing competition that appealed to me is the Narrative Magazine Story Contest. Keep in mind, the deadline here is fast approaching – July 31, 2009.  First prize is $3250 and publication in their magazine may be considered.  A contest submission fee of $20 includes a three month subscription to their publication.

A great source for more writing contest information is the Poets and Writers website.  They maintain a database of available contests and competition information for writers.  The organization validates the legitimacy of the contests in its database in order to help safe-guard writers and poets from fraudulent contests.  However, I found that many of the contest listings were the most recent contest deadlines – ones that had just passed – and notes that the new deadlines will updated in August and October of 2009.  If you follow the listing anyway to the contest holder’s website, you’ll find the most recent deadline information.

Finally, not all writing contests are legitimate or add any value to your career.  Many writing contests are scams.  If you come across a writing contest and wonder whether or not it’s one you should consider entering, check the contest against the advice noted in this article on writing contest scams.  One should always be wary of offers that “sound to good to be true”.  If you’re going to enter a writing competition, make sure it’s one worthy of your time and skill.

2 comments for “Writing Contests Worth Your Time

  1. Hope Aubergine
    June 17, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    Ahhhh, mon amie…..le grand prix!! I see stacks of computer paper and a printer revving up in your near future! Very appealing—-great information—-and a tantalizing challenge, n’est pas??

  2. June 22, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    Thanks for the insights here Erica. I believe some of these are on a list I compiled some time ago on a computer that is in a galaxy far, far away. Thirty=seven miles away to be exact. 😉

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