Can You Win a Writing Competition?

Part One

By Annette Young

It might not be as difficult as you think to win a writing competition but many people are put off by the thought that they will not be able to make their entry stand out enough to catch the judge’s eye. Rest assured that any judge will spot your entry if it reflects the theme (if any provided) and if the writing is of high quality. There is nothing more exciting than reading a submission that is cleverly crafted and well-polished. Those who are less confident in their writing often resort to other methods to make their writing stand out, sending in submissions that are written in a brightly coloured or creative font- it’s not necessary. Let your writing speak for itself.

Writing is a powerful medium and because of this, when you are creating your entry, every effort must be made to ensure that every single word is relevant especially if there is a limited word count. The judges will be looking for a tightly written submission that engages the senses, evokes a desire to know more and  that leads them on a journey culminating in a satisfying ending.

The rules on any writing competition are there for a reason. They are there to level the playing field and provide a foundation on which any writer starts the creative process.  Sending in fiction where the word count rule has been ignored instantly makes the entry void even if the actual writing is riveting. Sending in work that ignores the theme completely would be discounted and sending in a submission that is littered with typing errors and spelling mistakes does not portray a sense of professionalism or would make a judge feel that the writer cares about the quality of their work.

So the writing standard has to be competent at the very least but importantly, even a well-worn story i.e. boy meets girl can be given a new slant, an enticing edge with well-developed characters that you can’t help rooting for.

To win a writing competition, all it takes is the ability to create a strong story line, to be able to take the basic story and to weave a realistic plot around it, to introduce characters that seem larger than life and to be able to follow the rules, writing with sincerity and integrity.

If you feel that you can do this and that you can put heart and soul into your writing, then you stand a very good chance of scooping a lucrative prize and gaining the kudos of publication.

Next Week: The Judging Process

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