I recently did a search for writing contests. At first, I started looking in just Chicago but all the deadlines had already passed or they required some “reading” fee, which in my opinion, is a scam. Why would I pay you $20 to read a short story and I get nothing in return? Then, I started looking for writing contests anywhere and all of them either required a reading or submission fee to some press that I’d never heard of or they wanted you to MAIL ten copies or your story (causing you to spend money to even submit because they’re too fucking archaic to create an online submission form or accept an email).
The goal of entering a contest wouldn’t be to win some grand prize money and say I’m the best. The goal would be to get some validation for my writing. To say I stepped into the ring despite whatever the outcome may be. As much as I would like to add “Literary Content Winner” to my writing resume (which is a practically non-existent resume mind you), I’m not throwing money at random unknown presses to do so.
For everything you can do, there are challenges and contests for those things. Video games, sports, artwork, writing. I have trophies and medals from years of baseball and wrestling, but all I have from writing are the pieces I had submitted to my high school’s literary magazine and my novel. Now, I’m not discrediting my novel by any means, but it’s something that I did alone. It’s not something that had to be better than any others, it just had to be done. It’s good to have some competition. While there are literally millions of books mine is in competition with (and losing by a catastrophic margin), it’s nice every once in a while to have a very specific goal and win in that. However, those contests have lost their merit as they’ve all just become scams.
(I had a totally award-winning paragraph here, but after hitting save and attempting to add a featured image, WordPress didn’t save and I lost it. Woohoo. I’ll try to rewrite it but know that it can’t be as good as the original. Thanks, WordPress…)
Don’t get me wrong, I am so appreciative that people take the time out of their day to read my blog and even more so to those who purchased my novel. I can’t thank you enough. It would be cool to add a literary trophy to my metaphorical shelf, though. I guess I’ll just have to write a shitload of awesome novels. What do you think? Sound good?