Friday, September 5, 2014

The Flagpole

I've been looking a lot recently at writing competitions,  Winning competitions is a good way to boost the ego, and increase exposure. Depending on the award, there is a certain cache which comes with being a prize winning writer, aside from the joy and satisfaction of having your work published. The problem with many of the competitions is that there is a fee to enter: ranging from around $5 to as much as $100. I just don't have the budget to keep on paying for my work to be read and perhaps be short listed, or even awarded a prize. I don't know how 'prestigious' these various awards really are. I don't know what impact being a winner or a place getter would have on my profile.

Even for regular submissions of my short stories, I baulk at paying reading fees for the same reason as I have avoided subsidy/joint venture publishing of my novels. Despite their promises of massive exposure, they cannot guarantee sales so a choice to invest in a joint venture is risky. Even though I believe in the quality of my work, it is still a risk I am unprepared to take, because my novels don't sell. Hardly anyone knows about them. I have a dribble of visitors to this blog, and a dribble is insufficient to underpin a solid base of readers.

Anyway, I digress. I just wanted to tell you that I entered the prologue of my WIP in a writing competition. It will be the first test of what I know will be my best novel yet. If I win, that would be great publicity for the novel, but I am also interested in the opinion of the editor/judge.  Very interested. Stay tuned.

A question for writers: what is your take on writing competitions? Do you enter them? Have you entered them? Have you had any success?


  1. Will you get an opinion even if you don't win? If so, this is excellent for feedback, a terrific morale booster if the comments are positive, and a chance to rethink over some of your ideas if the comments are more on a practical level, and are helpful good on you David. xx

  2. I assume so, Delia. Most story competitions don't accept extracts so this seemed like an opportunity which was too good to pass up.