Posted On August 5, 2011 by Print This Post

Cut and Run: Signs it’s Time to Retire from the Contest Circuit by Kelsey Browning

Those of us who write commercial fiction, especially romance, are fortunate so many organizations host writing contests. These contests offer many advantages: experience with proper manuscript formatting and synopsis development; mastery of submission fears; and feedback from impartial sources. And a biggie if you final: the opportunity to have your work read by an agent or editor who might be interested in representing or buying your manuscript.

So, if contests offer so many advantages, why—other than publication—would an unpublished writer ever retire from the contest circuit? Read on for seven signs it might be time to take the writing contest golden parachute.

1. You spend more time on contests than actual writing. How much time does it take to format and polish each contest entry? If, during the course of a week, you spend more time preparing your entries than writing new words or editing your manuscript, ask yourself if this is time well spent.

2. You spend more money on contests than other areas of your writing development. Look back at your writing expenses for the past year (if you aren’t keeping track of your business expenses, you should). How much did you spend on contest entries? $100? $200? More? Consider whether or not those dollars might’ve had more impact if they were spent on classes or conferences.

3. You never move past the synopsis and first three chapters. Your synopsis and those chapters shine like they’ve been scrubbed by Mr. Clean, but the rest of your manuscript is full of dust bunnies and dirty dishes. Do you receive contest feedback only to rework and polish your manuscript AGAIN—sending your storyline and draft into complete upheaval? If you’re currently a one-trick pony, consider spending your time on your next manuscript instead of another contest.

4. You receive inconsistent feedback from first round judges. Does one judge applaud your well-crafted characters while another deems them cardboard? Does one judge think you have a fabulous premise and another that your story isn’t “high concept” enough? If judges’ comments fall into a wild scatterplot and you find each bit of advice more confusing than the last, you might consider cutting off the flow of head-scratching feedback.

5. You final consistently, but receive no requests from the final round judges. If it’s to place your work in front of the right editor or agent, but you’re not receiving requests, look at whether your manuscript is suited to the lines/agencies you’re targeting. But if your work is garnering consistent, helpful feedback, that might be benefit enough!

6. The feedback you receive paralyzes you for days or weeks afterward. Who hasn’t encountered this scenario? Contest results come through email and you open the message immediately, only to have your heart sink into your stomach…or lower. You ask yourself: what did she mean by my pacing was off, characterization was thin, premise was cliché and heroine was TSTL (too stupid to live)? If this type of feedback sends you into a total zombie-like funk, decide if the judges’ comments are worth the Prozac you’ll need later. Remember, not all first round judges are published, have PRO status or have even completed a manuscript themselves. Of course, you should read and consider a judge’s feedback, but don’t assume every judge knows more about writing and crafting a story than you.

7. You have solid critique partners who catch the same issues as contest judges. Do you have two or three writers who read and critique your work on a regular basis? If so, and they’re commenting on the same issues as your first round contest judges, consider utilizing your trusted CPs for free rather than paying to enter a contest.

Do some of these signs sound familiar to you? If so, should you retire from the contest circuit permanently? No, but if you decide to stay in the game, prepare yourself before entering the next contest: limit the amount of time and money you spend, prepare for both negative and positive feedback and understand your goal for each contest entry.

Good luck with with either an early retirement or your future contest-related pursuits!

***

How have writing contests helped your writing career? How have they hurt it?

Be sure to drop by Monday when author Maisey Yates is here to talk about bi-racial romance.

***

Bio:

Kelsey Browning writes contemporary and paranormal romance with a hint of southern sizzle. In her former life, she worked at one of the ten largest universities in the U.S., raising money and teaching students how to land their dream jobs. These days she pursues her dream job of freelance and fiction writing, which provides excellent benefits such as unlimited coffee and an office dress code that permits flip flops.

She’s also a co-founder of Romance University blog where the mission is to empower writers, entertain readers and understand men. Originally from Texas and after four years in the Middle East, she now lives in Southern California with her IT-savvy husband, baseball-obsessed son and seriously spoiled dog. She’s currently at work on the first book in a new paranormal series.

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64 Responses to “Cut and Run: Signs it’s Time to Retire from the Contest Circuit by Kelsey Browning”

  1. Oh, I remember those contest days!! Since I signed my publishing contract around this time last year, I haven’t entered any contests. Being contracted without a published book puts me into a unique category.

    In a way, it’s rather freeing. I don’t feel the pressure or even the urge to enter contests right now. I’m sure that will change once I find a contest “home” again. But, for now, I’m enjoying no-contest mode. :)

    Thanks for the great blog, Kels.

    Posted by Tracey Devlyn | August 5, 2011, 4:53 am
    • Tracey -

      Yep – you’re in an interesting “twilight zone” place in your career which can be a blessing in disguise :).

      This does make me think we need to ask a pubbed author to chat about how s/he makes the book contests work for her/his career.

      Happy Friday!
      Kels

      Posted by Kelsey Browning | August 5, 2011, 7:44 am
  2. Kelsey – Great post! I enter a number of contests each year but only if they give me the opportunity to get in front an editor or agent I am targeting.I’ve been pleased with my success but I have become more selective as I’ve clocked more experience. I do appreciate the feedback but I have a great CP for that.

    For me, it’s all about the final judges.

    Posted by Robin Covington | August 5, 2011, 4:56 am
    • Robin -

      The first two-three contests I entered were just to jump out there and put words in front of someone. But I savvied up quickly and only targeted those with final round judges I was interested in. And only editors because I figured I could query agents for free.

      That being said, the first round judges who serve as the gatekeepers for the final round judges can knock you off your pins. As you can probably tell from this post, I’m on hiatus from entering contests. If I do enter more in the future and don’t final, I’ve told Tracey and Adrienne I’ll let them read the feedback first to see if I should read it or just move on. :)

      Have a great weekend!
      K-

      Posted by Kelsey Browning | August 5, 2011, 7:48 am
  3. Hi Kelsey: I was just about to go crazy and enter a contest with four Manuscripts in the hopes of finaling with one. Then I learned I didn’t final in a contest via second hand news and that manuscript was chased by an agent. I am also one of the writers who gets inconsistent, hi/lo scores and comments on the same piece. In one contest I got all 5s from one judge and all 1s from another one (except for grammar which was a whopping 3/5 LOL). One thought I had the chops to get published, the other? She thought I needed remedial help. LOL.

    Sooooo…. I believe retirement from the contest circuit might be in order. And I only enter 5 a year!

    Posted by Christine | August 5, 2011, 5:38 am
    • Oh, Christine. I feel your pain, sister! LOL.

      If nothing else, it gives us a lesson on what it will be like to face reviewers.

      Posted by Adrienne Giordano | August 5, 2011, 6:51 am
    • Christine -

      Thanks so much for stopping by today.

      Those high/low score spreads can be an indication of one judge loving your voice and the other…not so much. Jenny Crusie has talked about those disparate scores actually being very positive because you know your writing is bringing out extreme reactions.

      IMHO, you get to a point in your writing career where YOU know you have the chops to be published and don’t need someone else passing that judgment on you to that degree. So you either learn to ignore the naysayers or you decide not to even allow them their say.

      Whatever you decide on your future contest entries, I wish you every success!

      Kelsey

      Posted by Kelsey Browning | August 5, 2011, 7:52 am
  4. Hi Kelsey,

    I’ve had the best and worst experiences with contests. The best was from the judges. I didn’t win, but I thanked them for their input. One judge responded and gave me suggestions about publishers. Following it, I got published. Love her! The worst was from the judges. Another contest included their personal comments to each other about my manuscript. “Worst thing I ever read,” one said. Obviously never read James Joyce. Contests cost money and can cut too deep. Be prepared to be disappointed and be thankful, if you’re not.

    Mary Jo

    Posted by Mary Jo Burke | August 5, 2011, 5:56 am
  5. Great post, Kelsey! I usually enter a handful of contests each year. I’m branching out to historical romantic suspense from historical and wanted feedback and exposure to editors and agents. I’m in the hi-low club…last spring, I won one contest the same week I received feedback from another that was far less encouraging…I am very selective when it comes to contests and have learned that even a middling score offers me feedback I can use…and I keep plugging away on new stories as well as my contest entry.
    Tara

    Posted by Tara Kingston | August 5, 2011, 6:21 am
    • Tara –

      Sounds like you’ve crafted a contest strategy that works well for you. And I do think it helps to swallow some yucky-tasting contest medicine when another has offered us some honey.

      Good luck with your transition from historical RS to historical!

      Kelsey

      Posted by Kelsey Browning | August 5, 2011, 8:06 am
  6. Contests are tough stuff. Early on, I was getting feedback that really helped me. As I grew as a writer, I found I was more interested in who the final round judges were. If I got good feedback from the first round judges, even better, but it became more about the final round judge.

    I think knowing what you are looking for out of a contest is half the battle.

    Posted by AdrienneGiordano | August 5, 2011, 6:59 am
    • Adrienne -

      Absolutely. If your main goal is the final round judge, I think it’s easier to handle less than stellar feedback from first-round judges. In fact, I feel certain some writers don’t even look at first-round feedback – LOL.

      The good news, though, is that we have access to a great resource in contests. As writers, we just have to learn to best use that resource and know when it no longer works for our careers.

      Good news is contests helped you develop that alligator skin needed to fend off vicious reviewers – LOL (not that you’ve had any of those…).

      Hugs,
      K-

      Posted by Kelsey Browning | August 5, 2011, 8:10 am
      • Oh, I’ve had a couple! LOL. Most of them have been really good though. It just proves the point that people’s tastes are wildly subjective.

        Thankfully no reviewer has called my guy an asshole like a contest judge once did. :)

        Posted by AdrienneGiordano | August 5, 2011, 8:22 am
        • I have a horrible admission…as a judge, I did one time tell someone her heroine came across as “bitchy.” I didn’t call her a bitch, but it was still a mistake. One I will NEVER repeat again!

          K-

          Posted by Kelsey Browning | August 5, 2011, 8:26 am
          • I’ve had some comments that made me wonder if we were talking about the same story. Most of the comments I’ve received have been at least somewhat helpful, and some advice has been brilliant!

            The worst story I’ve heard was from a friend who entered her paranormal – not a particularly dark one – in a contest. The judge (who should never have agreed to judge a paranormal category) went on and on about demons being blasphemous, etc., etc. We were all flabbergasted!

            Posted by Becke Martin/Davis | August 5, 2011, 8:37 am
          • LOL! But on the other hand if my heroine is sounding bitchy, I would like someone to have the b*lls to tell me. :)

            Adrienne, my CP called my hero a dick the other day. Good news is, at that point in the story I was going for dick :)

            Posted by Sonali Mayadev Thatte | August 5, 2011, 3:33 pm
  7. Hey Kelsey, great post.

    I’m one of those people who gets completely inconsistent feedback on contest entries. All that’s taught me is that people either love or hate the way I write.
    And I can also honestly say that I’ve never had any useful feedback. (I know, harsh)
    I used to enter mostly for the final judges, but I’ve found that querying or finding other pitching opportunities works better.
    I guess contests have value when you have a freshly minted MS, just to send it out into the world, but other than that, I do believe you’re better off using the time to write and revise and send.

    Posted by Sonali Mayadev Thatte | August 5, 2011, 7:05 am
    • Sonali –

      Some very good points. Sounds like you’ve learned other career strategies to take the place of contests.

      Some people also use contests as a way to garner positive feedback along the path to publication since publication can be such a long journey. What we have to realize is that we risk negative feedback that can sway us from that path. Just something writers have to be aware of and a risk they must be willing to take.

      Having read a little of your work here on RU, I can see why people might have very differing opinions of your heroes :). Personally, I love a redeemable bad boy.

      Happy Friday!
      Kels

      Posted by Kelsey Browning | August 5, 2011, 8:14 am
      • Hey Sonali – did you see your pitch request at Savvy? Looks like pitching worked for you!

        Posted by Robin Covington | August 5, 2011, 11:15 am
        • Yay for Sonali!!

          Posted by KelseyBrowning | August 5, 2011, 11:25 am
        • Yay, Sonali!

          Posted by AdrienneGiordano | August 5, 2011, 2:38 pm
          • You guys are so sweet :) Thanks!
            Yes I saw it.
            I also scored a few requests through the RU/Pitch U pitchfest (Yay for RU!!) and a couple at nationals.
            But now I’m in panic mode, because I’ve also had a few rejections. So, not sending this puppy out until, I’ve revised some more.
            And Kelsey, you are so right about the positive feedback thing. I’m so pathetically needy sometimes I will go back and look at my positive contest feedback, just to give me a push when I’m feeling all “what am I thinking. this is crapity crap”
            Great discussion here today!
            Sonali

            Posted by Sonali Mayadev Thatte | August 5, 2011, 2:58 pm
      • Sonali – I’m replying to you here because we’ve been so chatty that I couldn’t reply directly to yours!

        After a particularly harsh round of contest feedback, I went back to all my old scores sheets and pulled out the positive comments. Then I printed them out and taped them up in my office. Sometimes, reading one of those would remind me why the heck I was writing in the first place.

        Do anything that keeps you going!
        K-

        Posted by KelseyBrowning | August 5, 2011, 3:46 pm
  8. Hi Kelsey,

    “Remember, not all first round judges are published, have PRO status or have even completed a manuscript themselves.”

    This is what resonated with me most. Am I the only one with a BIG problem with this? I really think judges should have more to recommend them.

    I’m in the High/Low club. I’ve learnt from the feedback, but sometimes the judges’ lack of care come through. One judge was really concerned about something I didn’t have in my syn and gave some great advise about it.

    Still, Robin’s strategy is good (Hi, Robin).

    Thanks, Kelsey.

    Posted by Cia | August 5, 2011, 7:18 am
    • Good morning, Cia!

      Unfortunately, we don’t always get a real sense of our first-round judges’ credentials. Yes, some contests ask them to indicate if they are published, PRO or what-have-you. My favorite scoresheets are the ones that have a variety of breakdowns under published and unpublished.

      Many of the very reputable contests–the Daphne comes to mind–offer judge training. For a new judge (we were all there once), this type of training is invaluable. I would highly encourage writers to take a judge-training class/session before taking their first entries.

      I’m sure most of us have made some boo-boos as contest judges, but hopefully we’ve done more good than harm. Receiving harsh or less than helpful feedback has certainly made me a more mindful judge. You also make a great point…if you agree to judge a contest, be sure you’re able to commit the time and attention needed.

      I’m wishing you the very best from contests in the future!
      Kels

      Posted by Kelsey Browning | August 5, 2011, 8:21 am
      • Hi Cia! I am trained and it helped a lot. However, I have a personal rule: I do not write down anything that is negatively critical until I’ve written down at least one good thing in that section of the judging.

        I don’t ever want to be the person who sends someone into a tailspin – who am I, anyway?

        I’ve had good feedback on my work in contests and have been fairly successful at finaling and getting requests. But, I totally disregard the judge who clearly just don’t like my genre, use the wrong names for my characters or seem like they have an axe to grind. When in doubt, I run it by my CP.

        Posted by Robin Covington | August 5, 2011, 11:19 am
  9. I’ve had a lot of experience with contests. When I first entered RWA contests, I was a newbie writer with no critique partners, and I had absolutely no clue if I was on target or totally off the mark.

    My first story finaled in the first three contests I entered it in, and I did receive requests. The problem was, despite the good opening, the story reflected my newbie status.

    I only entered my second story in one contest, and it came in dead last. By then I had a CP, and she loved it. The story was a romantic suspense with a murder in the opening scene – that shocked the judges, although I come across that a lot in this genre. They were right, though – the story was another amateur job.

    I’ve finaled a lot – and received requests – but my stories almost always go to discrepancy judges. I have a strong voice and my stories are a little weird, which can work for or against me in contests.

    I take judges’ comments with a grain of salt, but some are very helpful. While most contests have reasonable entry fees, the time suck can add up. And Kelsey nailed it – those comments (good or bad), can freeze up my writing for days or even weeks.

    I’m now limiting my contest entries to one or two a year. My focus is now on writing and revising, but I still may enter a contest to get unbiased feedback.

    In the past two years, I’ve judged a lot more contests than I’ve entered. Surprisingly, this has helped my own writing a lot. Some entries are soooo good, yet one or two little things might throw them off. But it’s thrilling when someone nails it!

    It’s very exciting when an entry I judged finals or gets a request – if an author I judged gets published, I’m definitely buying the book!

    One of the most important things I learned from contests is the need to read directions carefully and follow formatting instructions to a T. That has made it a lot easier to follow submission guidelines accurately!

    Posted by Becke Martin/Davis | August 5, 2011, 8:30 am
    • Becke –

      You’re right on that judging contests can improve your writing in ways that entering contests just can’t. I’ve learned a ton, as well, about what works and what doesn’t, from reading others’ entries.

      As a judge, I’m thrilled when an entry I loved and scored well finals. Probably my biggest was when Ann Charles won the Daphne last year with Nearly Departed in Deadwood. And this year, she won the GH with it!

      You mentioned only entering one or two contests a year now. I’m curious what your criteria are for choosing those few you enter.

      Have a great weekend, Becke!
      K-

      Posted by KelseyBrowning | August 5, 2011, 9:11 am
      • This year I entered the 2011 Weta Nichols Fiction Writing Contest sponsored by Ozarks Romance Authors. Jen got an Honorable Mention in their 2010 contest, and she said the feedback was extremely helpful. I hadn’t entered my new story in any contests, so I decided to enter this one for the feedback. (I also got an Honorable Mention – haven’t received the judges’ comments yet.)

        I just entered my second (and probably last) contest of the year – the Spacecoast Romance Authors Launching a Star contest. I finaled in this contest last year with another story and the feedback was very helpful. Also, I’m interested in the editor who is judging. I also like this contest because they ask for 25 pages and no synopsis!

        I’m only targeting a few agents and editors with this story, which eliminates my interest in a lot of contests. (The first thing I do is look at the final round judges when I consider entering a contest.)

        Posted by Becke Martin/Davis | August 5, 2011, 9:25 am
        • Becke –

          I always knew you were a smart cookie :) and your choices about contests just proves me right. RU Crew – Becke knows her goals and picks her contests accordingly – take a page from her book. (But don’t use all my darn cliches in your contest entries!)

          K-

          Posted by KelseyBrowning | August 5, 2011, 11:28 am
  10. When I say “unbiased feedback,” that’s not a negative reflection on my CPs. But sometimes I worry they’re being nice to me. Judges’ comments can be all over the place, but they rarely hold back if they don’t like something!

    Posted by Becke Martin/Davis | August 5, 2011, 8:33 am
  11. I have one story that has come in 1, 2, 4 and 5th and guess what? It ISN’T the one I sold. Contests do not necessarily = a sale. Sometimes what contest “judge” isn’t what an editor or agent will “judge.” So I think what you are looking for in a contest should determine whether to continue to enter or not.

    Personally, I’m glad to off the contest circuit. I don’t plan to ever enter my book in any published contests.

    But you’re points are excellent. I always wonder about those people who final or win contest after contest and never sell. And being a contest slut can get expensive!

    But I think those of you who said you target contests that have an agent or editor you’re trying to reach is the way to go. I’ve seen contests with final judges that I knew I could easily reach without going through a contest hoop. Also some contests have a much better “request from final judge” rate than others. I noticed Becky said she’d entered the Space Coast Launching a Star contest. That contest has (historically) a very high percentage of requests from final judges. I won that contest and two requests for full manuscripts…which wasn’t unusual for that contest. Some contests have a very low or even non-existent full-request percentage. That’s always a good thing to know (IMHO)

    Good luck to those chasing the dream! :)

    Posted by Cynthia D'Alba | August 5, 2011, 12:02 pm
    • Good point – finaling, or even winning a contest, is no guarantee of a sale.

      Posted by Becke Martin/Davis | August 5, 2011, 2:01 pm
    • Cyndi –

      Congrats again on the sale of your book!

      Excellent points: know the options of getting your work in front of a final round judge outside a contest and don’t be afraid to ask the contest coordinator about their history of full requests for manuscripts.

      When you enter a contest, you’re also buying a service/product. Be sure it’s worth what you’re investing in it.

      Thanks for stopping by today, Cyndi!

      Kels

      Posted by KelseyBrowning | August 5, 2011, 3:39 pm
  12. Oooooo I’m late to the party!!! =)

    I’ve had some grrreat contest results and comments (MB New Voices!) and unfortunately I’ll have to say the last contest I entered my MG in hit so hard I haven’t touched the ms since. I wasn’t going to enter any more contests this year – OR EVER!!!! — lol…..but now I’m doing one in a few months. A definite target on this one.

    After that, I think I’m done with the contest circuit for awhile…

    =)

    carrie

    Posted by Carrie Spencer | August 5, 2011, 1:39 pm
    • Do NOT let judges’ comments stop you from writing. You have so much talent – don’t let it go to waste!

      Posted by Becke Martin/Davis | August 5, 2011, 1:59 pm
    • Carrie, I’ve read your stuff on New Voices and here on RU, and don’t you DARE let some contest judge get to you.

      It’s an opinion. Just an opinion, and if it’s a stupid opinion, that just makes it that much easier to ignore!

      Posted by Sonali Mayadev Thatte | August 5, 2011, 3:06 pm
    • Carrie -

      Keep in mind that some judges will say (hurtful) things anonymously they would never say if their names were being released to the entrants.

      Try to take some time to remember what you love about that MG manuscript. You might regain your excitement for it. If that doesn’t work, print out the judge’s comments and build a little bonfire. Worst case, you could make s’mores over the fire :).

      Hugs,
      K-

      Posted by KelseyBrowning | August 5, 2011, 3:43 pm
  13. Stupid isn’t it? But there you have it….I just realized the other day I haven’t looked at the ms for months….and I still have no desire to do so!!! Hopefully I’ll get over it….=) I’m not usually a drama queen!

    Posted by Carrie Spencer | August 5, 2011, 3:22 pm
  14. Sorry I’m late! Last year was the first year I got brave enough to enter contests. The results were certainly a mixed bag, but I did learn from my mistakes. Some judges offered great advice while other judges’ commments made me shake my head. Now, I know which contests to stay away from.

    Also, Cynthia made a good point. First round judges and editor/agents look for different things in the entry.

    It really is a crap shoot. I remember getting first place in a contest and two requests and a week later, I got my results back from another contest in which the judge gave me a big fat zero for my dialogue. Subjective is the name of the game.

    Posted by jennifer tanner | August 5, 2011, 4:16 pm
    • Jen –

      Maybe we all need to post signs above our computers: Everything is Subjective. That way we remember our desire to poke that dialogue-hating judge with a sharp stick is subjective as well ;).

      Have a great weekend!
      K-

      Posted by Kelsey Browning | August 5, 2011, 6:28 pm
      • Judging is subjective, Jen, but the fact that you’ve finaled in a bunch of contests and even won a couple should tell you how talented you are. And if you don’t believe them, believe me! I wonder – and worry – about all the authors who have stopped writing because of self-doubt. I’m sure we’ve lost a lot of good books that way!

        Posted by Becke Martin/Davis | August 5, 2011, 8:12 pm
  15. So, Kelsey, the last feedback I got from a contest was, “Your plot can’t sustain the length of this manuscript. You should get a critique group so they can help you out..”

    Should I be insulted, or you? LOL

    Seriously, though, I heard a speaker at RWA a couple years ago mention the curse of finaling in the Golden Heart. She said so many people assume that once you final in the GH, you’re in. But when that manuscript doesn’t sell, oftentimes those writers give up altogether. Sad, isn’t it?

    I found the best way to understand the subjective nature of contests was to read RITA finalists. It’s also a great way to learn, by studying what published authors have done very successfully, but it’s eye-opening to realize you might not personally like something that’s been recognized by a group of published authors as the best of the best in any given year.

    Jamie

    Posted by Jamie | August 5, 2011, 8:02 pm
    • Oh, Jamie –

      Did you sharpen that knife before you stabbed me with it? LOL

      For those of you who don’t know, Jamie is another of my CPs :). And believe me, her dreams alone could fuel a hundred plots! I say phooey on them – MGE has a great premise and it’s gonna find a home!

      Great idea to read the RITA nominees. It will remind us that personal taste has a whole lot to do with this business!

      Have a great weekend, Jamie!
      K-

      Posted by Kelsey Browning | August 5, 2011, 9:21 pm
  16. Hey, all -

    It’s after 8pm here on the west coast so I figure most of the nation is winding down. Fun discussion on the blog today!

    What are the take-aways?

    1. Writing is a subjective business.
    2. Pick your contests based on your personal goals.
    3. Keep your friends close because you’re gonna need them.
    4. Don’t let anyone else convince you that you can’t write.
    5. RU is a kick-ass place to hang out!

    Night all!
    Kels

    Posted by Kelsey Browning | August 5, 2011, 9:24 pm
  17. Interesting, I don´t write in English and it´s not good enough to enter any competitions but I still found this post fascinating and have some questions –
    Why does it cost Money?
    Do all Contests cost Money and is the prize about Money/things/medals or a publishing contract?
    Does every entry get feed-back?
    Are those Contests for new writers to get a break-through?
    Or more for the experienced already published writer?
    Does it help sell your (published)books, get you more famous?
    I am wondering about reasons people participate and spend their Money on those competitions?

    We have Writing-Contests in Sweden, but they are free
    and only the Winners are contacted and the judges say a few words about why it won.
    Prize is Money,e-book-reader or books and sometimes a winning short story can get published in a short-story-Collection

    The Contests in Sweden are not important for writers´career.

    But we had a storm of angry people when Collings didn´t give out the prize 300 S.Kr to spend in a webshop and a published E-shortstory because they didn´t Think any of the thousands of stories they got was good enough.

    Has anything like that happened over there?

    Posted by Emma Gren | September 12, 2013, 9:30 pm

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