Contests! We all love them, right? Hmm, well, a lot of writers do. I must admit I've never entered very many. There is one I enter every year at the writers' conference I go to in October, but the most I've done there is to get an Honorable Mention. I get excited about contests, then get wrapped up in my writing or ICL assignments, or life in general, and forget about them until the due day is past.
But there is a new contest that I am absolutely going to enter. I don't care what comes up, I AM going to enter. It's on http://www.kidlit.com/ which is a really neat blog by Mary Kole, associate agent at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
Anyway, this contest doesn't have money as a prize or a promised contract with an editor or agent. What it does have is exposure to an agent and to a professional critique of your work. How cool is that? It is a contest for MG and YA novels, and they HAVE TO BE FINISHED!
I"m not going to tell you all the rules or what the prizes are, you have to go to the site to find that out. Again, the site is www.kidlit.com/kidlit-contest. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
About writing contests: how many of you do actually enter them? What do you think of them...are they helpful, do they make you think, do you gain anything from entering even if you don't win? Since I haven't entered but just a few, I'm seriously wondering about them. Oh, I know the main objective is to win, or at least place. After all, that looks good on your bio when you send off a query. But what else does entering a contest do?
If you don't win...or even place or get an Honorable Mention...do you come away feeling like you are a loser, that you'll never be published, that you should just stop writing now...or...do you come away feeling renewed, more determined than ever to continuing writing, to get that story down in such a way that the editor who reads it will wonder why it took you so long to get it into their hands? The latter is the optimum feeling, but is it the most prevalent one? I don't know, so this is not a rhetorical question...I really want to know how you feel.
Regardless...I AM going to enter the kidlit contest. I may come away with bruised feelings, but at least I will be able to say I tried.
I have a friend who enters every writing contest she can find. It doesn't matter if it is for a novel, a story, Non-fiction, crafts, puzzles, poetry or what. It is a contest, she enters it. Sometimes she wins, sometimes she places or gets an Honorable Mention, and sometimes it proves to be a waste of time. But she is consistent in her trying.
I wish I could be like that. How about you?