2 Reasons to Enter Writing Contests

If you are focused on getting published, or simply on meeting your daily word count, you may never have entered a writing contest. But there are two reasons you should.

The Win

Writing contests come in all shapes and sizes. Some are only for pre-published authors. Some award the winner with publication. Still others are for published books. The first reason to enter contests is fairly obvious. Whether there is a cash prize, a publishing contract, a plaque or bragging writes, the prize matters. To paraphrase MIB, it shows you are the best of the best of the best (sir!).

But what if you don’t win? This leads us to the second reason to enter contests. Check out page 1 of Joan Demsey’s CV and you’ll see what it is.

Lines on Your Resume

Contest wins add up as lines on your resume. I have to admit that I hadn’t actually considered this until I read an e-mail from novelist and writing instructor Joan Dempsey.

Dempsey is the force behind the free writing community the Gutsy Great Novelist Writers Studio. She sends out e-mails on various topics, including contests, to those of in the group (click through above if you are an aspiring novelist who is interested in joining). In a recent message she pointed out that she has a section on her CV (curriculum vitae) devoted to awards. Not only does she list the awards she has won, she lists those in which she made it to the final round. After all, how else is she going to let people know she received this honor except by telling them?

This is good news for those who are pre-published. When a publisher asks for your writing resume, you can include awards. Of course, to do this you have to win and that means you have to enter. Google “writing contests” and start doing your research today.