I think 2016 will be the year I might try entering a few competitions. I’m sure I have talked before about hating them, and I sort of still do… I can’t explain what has changed in me to want to do this but I think it’s possibly a way to tricking myself. By forcing myself to enter competitions I am forcing myself to write more, work on different topics and to different word counts. As I mentioned in my previous blog post I want to try and keep as busy as I can be this year, really stretch myself. Even though I have all the same trepidations with regards elitism and so on, I just want to improve and look back at the end of 2016 and see a lot of new content but of course, regardless of its impact or significance. I’m not worried about that in the slightest. The only thing you need to be concerned about is knowing you have improved, and yes, it’s true that one of the main ways is to receive external criticism and reviews, but entering competitions isn’t the way to do that. The process by which you edit and redraft your work, showing it to others and receiving feedback, so that you can send it off to the competitions in the first place means that is it the more useful by-product of entering competitions in my view. You don’t receive any feedback from the vast majority of competitions so unless you ensure the process includes that criticism before sending it off then you won’t know if it was any good, and more importantly, an improvement on what you have done before. So, for those two reasons, wanting to improve and wanting to keep busy, I will give competitions a go. I hope anyone reading this will give it a go too, why not?
Here is the link for one with a deadline in two weeks:
Writers’ & Artists Short Story Competition
Deadline: 15th February 2016
I think what I will do is keep a note of all the entries I make, share the criteria and deadlines with you, and when they announce the winners (which of course I am fully confident about will not include me) upload the stories I sent in to this blog. I don’t think I have ever shared any of my creative writing before, other than putting it for sale as ebooks of course, so it will be another interesting outcome for me as a result. Quite looking forward to that in a self-flagellation kind of way.