How to Enter a Writing Contest

Writing Contests – Advice and Tips

Knowing how to enter a writing contest is important for aspiring new writers. It’s a good way to meet friends and become known in the story writing community of your chosen genre. Short story writers and poets can join any number of writing contests online, including genres such as science fiction, fantasy or horror. Even if you are interested in nothing more than fan fiction or so-called chick lit, you’ll find plenty of writer communities on the internet or in the major metropolitan areas.

But first, you have to know how to enter a writers contest. So here are the steps you can take to find a writing contest and pen the story that’s going to win your contest. we’ll show you where to find writing contests and the tips to remember when entering a poetry writing contest or short story contest. The actual writing will be up to you.

Submissions for Writing Contests – How To Write

This part deals with actually writing a short story or other submission for a writing contest. You’ll need a sample of writing to submit for the contest, so here are things to remember when entering a writing contest.

1. Choose your writing genre. offers short story writing contests for fantasy writers. has poetry writing and short story contests.
is having a horror writing contest.

2. Choose whether you want to enter a free contest or a paid contest. Many sites have free writing contests. Others have a small entry fee, such as the 5 dollar entry fee for submissions to

3. Read all of your contest’s guidelines. Make sure you follow these guidelines, because you don’t want to work hard writing a short story, only to be disqualified for a rules violation.

4. Write your story according to the guidelines. Work within whatever framework the contest has, because it’s good practice for a writer to write within certain constraints.

5. Remember to write a great first line. This is the introduction to your story, so you want the reader to come away from that first sentence wondering about the character or situation that’s being presented. It should catch someone’s attention and leave the reader wanting to know more about the story. A dull or cliched opening line is like making a bad first impression on someone you want to impress. So take your time with the first line of your short story or poetry.

6. Enter more contests. Writing for a submission contest is a great way to improve your writing skills. One, a writing contest is give you the motivation to write, because you have a deadline and a purpose for your writing. Two, the writing contest is good feedback, because a really good short story should eventually get noticed. If there is no performance-based feedback, you might only get polite reviews from friends, families and fellow writers. A writers contest is good, indirect feedback.

7. Collect your prize. Many writing contest websites offers cash or gifts for the winners. These might not always be big prizes materially, but they will drive home your sense of accomplishment.

Finding a Writing Contest For You – Guide to Writing Contests

Once you have a story finished, here’s a guide to finding writing contests in your local community or on the worldwide web. There are plenty of online forums and message boards which ask for story writing contest submissions. If you prefer to get to know the authors and poets in your local community, we also offer information on how to enter a local writing contest. If you feel like you need the inspiration of a looming writers contest before you write your fiction or poetry, then simply follow these tips for how to enter a story contest first.

1. Search for official writing contests in writers periodicals and your favorite genre magazines. Search in your local newspaper’s arts to see if someone is accepting writing submissions for a writing contest. If that doesn’t work for you, consider searching the internet for writing contests. Online, the Writer’s Market is one of the best places to find a writing contest.

2. If you already have a story written, find the contest which is appropriate for your prose or poetry. You can find contests for short stories, sonnets or even screenplays.

3. Figure out your odds of winning. A larger contest will give you more attention and prestige, but a smaller contest will be easier to win. You might check out a small writing contest to begin with, because you’re more likely to get direct feedback. If you have trouble winning this contest, you might consider reworking your story before entering a larger story contest.

4. Consider the fee you’ll need to pay, if you enter a story writers contest with a submission fee. Fees cover not only the cost of the prize, but also the cost to hire people to read submissions. If the fee is reasonable, though, this means you are more likely to have your story read properly.

5. Write using the proper format. If a contest demands a short story, don’t submit sonnets. This is a waste of your time and your work won’t be read.

6. Pay attention to the word count of your story.
Many contests have a maximum word count stipulation, to give the organizers time to review all story submissions. If your word count is over the limit, edit your story to the contest’s parameters. Once again, you’ll be wasting your time if you don’t.

7. Remember to place your name on a cover page. It would be a shame to miss out on a big win because you simply forgot to add your name to your work of fiction.

8. Thoroughly proofread your writing submission before submitting it. In fact, it would be better to proofread the writing, and then have a trusted friend or two also proofread the story. You may simply miss the same mistake, no matter how many times you look it over. A fresh set of eyes will spot mistakes you don’t. Proofreading is important in a contest, because you can have no worse of a first impression than a lot of typos and grammatical errors. It will look like you don’t care about your writing (so why should the judge?).

9. If you print off a writing contest submission form, remember to fill out the form fully. Before you mail it, look to see if you signed your name to the submission form.

10. When you are mailing in a submission for a writing contest, place a self-addressed, stamped envelope. This makes it as simple as possible for the contest organizers to mail you your winning prize. Remember to mail your fee, too.

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