Although I work at a regular 9-5 desk job, I’ve always dreamed of being a published writer. I’ve got numerous story ideas floating around in my head, and I’ve even committed some to paper in my spare time. I know it’s practically impossible to send my manuscripts to a major publishing house and hope that someone will take a look at them, so I’m going to do something a bit different with my stories. I’m going to enter them into a few popular fiction writing contests to see how they fare.
I’ve heard that fiction writing contests present unknown writers with a fantastic opportunity to get discovered. Some of the most prominent competitions are judged by published writers, agents, or other industry insiders, which means I can really make a name for myself if I put my best stories out there. Even if I don’t win any of the fiction writing contests I enter, there’s a chance that one of the judges could like my work well enough to ask for more manuscripts — a move that could help launch a legitimate career.
While getting discovered is my primary goal, I’ve read that a lot of budding short story writers and novelists use fiction writing contests as a means of getting in-depth evaluations from qualified critics. That’s because the entry fees for many of these competitions cover extra perks such as feedback, tips, and even workshops. This is the kind of interaction that helps many writers take their work to the next level, and is something that I’m anxious to get for myself.
Of course, for many people, the main reason for entering a fiction writing contest is to win big prizes. Every single competition out there offers publication, either in a magazine, journal, anthology, or on a website, and many offer cash prizes ranging from a few hundred dollars to $10,000 or more, depending on the number of entries. Some of the more prestigious fiction writing contests may even offer a coveted short-term publishing contract as the top prize, which is something that all aspiring writers would love to win.
I’ve got two short stories that I think would be good candidates for a couple of these fiction writing contests. I will probably start out with a few of the smaller competitions just so I can familiarize myself with the whole process. Once I learn a bit more about how these events work, I’ll start entering the bigger competitions. With a little bit of luck, I may even win something!