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?