If you’ve been wondering whether writing contests were a good use of your time, here are 10 good reasons to enter writing contests:
1. To practice your writing skills.
When you regularly enter writing contests you can’t help but practice writing.
Make a point of finding one new contest to enter each month and then write something for that contest (following the contest guidelines, of course). Whether you win any of these contests isn’t the main reason for entering them. At first, the main reason is to get some regular writing practice.
2. To practice writing according to guidelines.
Anyone can write.
But it’s not always easy to write according to specific guidelines.
Yet this is what freelance writers must learn to do.
When you follow contest guidelines, in addition to practicing your overall writing skills, you’ll also gain practice following writers’ guidelines.
This will serve you well for any other freelance writing you choose to do.
3. To gain publishing credits.
Many prizes for writing contests include publication.
If you enter contests on a regular basis, and you choose those contests you are most likely to win, eventually you will win at least a few contests.
And, if those contests include publication, you’ll have some new publication credits to add to your resume.
4. To earn additional income.
Many contests include a cash prize for the winner, so, whenever you win one of these prizes you will add to your overall writing income.
5. To practice writing and submitting regularly.
One of the main reasons so many writers don’t earn a significant income from writing is that they don’t write and submit often enough.
It can be difficult looking for and studying new markets all the time.
But do a little research into appropriate writing contests to enter and you can find a new contest to enter each month.
This way, you will practice both writing and submitting regularly.
6. To gain confidence in your writing and writing skills.
Once you win a contest or two, you’ll feel more confident about your writing, and with good cause.
Just don’t expect to win every contest you enter.
And don’t get discouraged if it takes a while to start winning contests.
7. To have more to promote and write about on your author/writer’s blog and in your newsletter.
When you win a contest, you’ll have something tell your readers about on your blog and in your online newsletter.
If your prize included publication, you can also promote the publication that includes your work.
8. To possibly gain the attention of an editor or agent.
Many agents and editors regularly look for new talent online. But they probably won’t find your author/writer blog unless your site is listed or written about on a bigger, more widely known site. When you win a contest, usually your name and blog are listed on this site. And that listing can get you noticed by an editor or agent.
9. To Build Your Audience.
When winning includes publication, more and more people will read your work, so you’ll naturally be building your audience.
10. To add “award-winning writer (or author) to your signature and bio.
You don’t have to win a huge prize from a famous publisher or magazine to become an award-winning author. You just need to win some sort of award or prize. But, as they say, “You can’t win if you don’t enter.”
Writing for contests shouldn’t be the only writing you do, of course.
But it can be a helpful practice as you continue to build your writing career.
The Working Writer’s Coach
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