Tips on Writing For Competitions

A good way to build up confidence when it comes to your own writing is by entering contests. Along with the potential prizes, it can be good exposure for your reputation as an author and is a way to get you to stretch your typing muscles. So here’s some advice on how best to approach these events and what you can do to improve your chances of progressing through them.

1. Read the Terms & Conditions
Writing competitions tend to have to remove a number of their entries because of mistakes like incorrect font sizes or entries sent after the deadline. Read the Terms and conditions carefully before doing anything else. They will usually go over the theme of the event, any extra expenses when entering, and how they want your entry to be sent to them, e. g. digitally, post, etc.

2. Writing style
It’s best not to enter competitions that have themes or word counts which you don’t typically write, such as how a short story writer will find writing micro fiction difficult. Stick to your strengths, this is a contest to show your best work, so avoid writing something you’re not used to.

3. Reusing your old work
Don’t be afraid to use old pieces of fiction you’ve shelved away. Sometimes they can be a perfect fit for the contest you’re entering. Previously published stories can also be used. Just check to see if they allow fiction that has already been published, and can be found in their terms and conditions.

4. Expenses
Whilst there are plenty of free competitions to enter, some require payment. This’ll also only be enough to pay for a single entry unless stated otherwise, meaning you won’t be able to send off more than one story.

5. Don’t apply to too many
Keep in mind that you’ll already be working on at least entry, adding too much would be a lot to handle at once, depending on your schedule. It’s best to stick to only doing one or two contests at a time.

6. Keeping track
Each time you apply or get an update on a competition entry, have a record of it so that you know what’s happening with your works. That way, you can have a good idea about which organisations enjoy your writing and which ones to avoid.

7. Keeping in the loop
There are plenty of online websites that can track a range of competitions happening at the current moment. If you’d like to try doing this again, make sure to bookmark them and check up every now and then!

If you want to learn more about how to write stories, check out the story craft section of the website for more information and guidance.