Back in my younger years I entered a number of writing competitions, and read with interest articles about competition winners and how the experience helped them on their writing journey.
Needless to say I never won any; the closest I came was being selected for the top ten in a ‘Writing Magazine’ competition for my short story ‘A Distant Place’, and yes I was tickled pink about that achievement. I may even enter a few more of their competitions now that I’ve subscribed to their magazine again after many dry years. I know you can read all the magazines online, but there's nothing quite like the enjoyment of your magazine arriving through the letterbox and then sitting down with a cup of tea and a quick flick through it before the in-depth reading from cover to cover that comes later. As you can tell I'm looking forward to my first real paper magazine arriving next month!
It was an email from a friend last week that prompted this blog about writing competitions.
She forwarded me an email she had received from Writer's Digest magazine all about their self-published book awards.
A competition exclusively for self-published books in its 27th year, spot-lighting today's self-published books and honouring their authors.
Is this for me? It's not cheap to enter at $99. As it's an American magazine are they likely to favour American authors? Not because they are biased, that would be unprofessional of course, but because American-based stories are more familiar. I don't know, but it's kind of like the lottery; if you’re not in you can't win, and someone has to win.
Some might say that $99 is a small price to pay for the recognition of your work, publicity if you’re one of the winners, not to mention the $8000 cash prize, all expenses paid trip to the awards ceremony in the US, and a feature article in the Writer’s Digest Magazine.
My husband says - just do it! The feedback I've had on Kyla's Place, the book eligible for entry, has been really positive. People have loved it and want to know if there's a follow up. But still, it is commercial fiction and the story types that fall into this Genre are wide and varied.
So with this in mind, am I just throwing away $99?
Maybe instead I should investigate options closer to home like Ireland and the UK for competitions that recognise self published authors. There are many of us out there, with many amazing writers hidden in the depth of the Amazon bookstore.
For now I'm undecided but with the closing date April 1st I can’t hang around too long.
If I enter and win, you'll be the first to know!