how to win short story competitions

Seven Ways To Win A Story Contest

Apr 15,  · To win, your story must do more than include the theme — it must be about the theme. For a 'Mother's Day'-themed writing contest, it's not enough that the events happen to play out on Mother's Day. The judges will select an entry that explores the meaning of . 21 rows · Dec 11,  · How Do You Win a Short Story Contest? The first step to winning a short .

If you fancy entering and ultimately winning any short story contests, there are some things that you can do to get ahead of those writers who are all vying for those lucrative top prizes. So, initially, you need to find the short story contests that appeal to you.

Some simple research through a search engine such as www. Approaching your goals with a clear mind and a steely determination to win is vital, if you wish to increase your chances of scooping a prize. I have seen first hand how those less experienced at writing, jump on the very first idea that pops into their heads and whilst, from a creative perspective, it can be good to give free rein to your thoughts, it will not in all likelihood, help you to win any short story contests.

Think about it, you will be up against writers of all levels, some published, some not, others may have already won a few contests or come close in the short listing stakes and this cannot help but have inspired them to work harder. You have to creatively outwit the other competitors by developing an outstanding idea and creating a tight, well-written entry that has the judges on the edges of their seats. My advice as editor and judge is to form your idea into a plot that is so strong that it simply has to be written.

Make sure that your idea relates to the given theme if any and that your plot is not too complex. This might sound a bit odd as many people think the more involved the plot, the better the story will be but if you are working with a limited word count, you cannot overstretch yourself or find that you have used all of the available word limit and yet are still only halfway through your story. This is why forward planning is essential.

Make the most of this process and enjoy it, why rush? Mull over a million and one variations if you have to- it will be worth it. How can you make them larger than life?

Have you really got time to start at A, work to B and end up at C? Or are you going to jump straight in at B at a crucial point and hook the reader contest judge and lead them on a journey of how to make flower animals making.

Think pace, make it flow and lead them to an ending that packs a punch. Edit, edit and edit again until you are really happy that your story is as good as it can be. Once you have checked for any potential spelling mistakes, check the word count and make sure that you are following the contest rules to the letter.

You would be amazed at how many submissions fail to make the cut simply because the rules have not been adhered to. If you have missed the deadline, there really is no point sending your entry, whether you have paid for the fees or not. If the word count is over, start editing it again until you have cut out the unnecessary and have polished the remaining words until they dazzle the judges.

If the rules say paste your submission into the body of the email, then do not send them as an attachment. The rules are there to be followed and each submission is checked. Make it hard for the judge to put your submission down and move on to others. It really is possible to win short story contests, follow my advice and you can improve your chances but just remember that, you have to give yourself the best chance possible to make your submission stand out from the crowd!

Published how to use game center Annette's Observations. Your email address will not be published. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Good luck. Be Sociable, Share! Related posts: Creative Writing Contests — Why Winning how to win short story competitions Easy Entering creative writing contests can become a lucrative yet addictive Increase your level of focus and Submitting Short Stories to Magazines?

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8 Responses to “20 Tips For Winning Writing Contests”

Feb 03,  · How to Win Writing Contests: The Basics Step one of how to win writing competitions is to get the very basics of writing correct. This means proofreading your writing and making any necessary edits to polish your story or poetry it as much as possible. Get other people to read over your stories and poems and listen to their feedback. How to win Short STory Competitions. Two highly experienced writers and competition judges discuss everything they know about entering, judging and (most importantly) winning short story competitions, in an easy-to-follow question and answer format. . Apr 18,  · How to Win Short Story Contests Published April 18, by Annette Young If you fancy entering and ultimately winning any short story contests, there are some things that you can do to get ahead of those writers who are all vying for those lucrative top prizes.

Posted on February 3, by aaronmullins. Leave a Comment. Writing competitions are a great way to give yourself a deadline, focus your mind and produce your best writing. How to win writing contests: this guide is for authors who are ready to submit their short stories, poetry and books into writing competitions.

Short story competitions are usually for writers to submit their stories of around 1, to 3, words length. Poetry contests usually request poems for submission to be around 40 to 60 lines.

There are also many young writers competitions, with age restrictions on accepting submissions, as well as flash fiction writing competitions , who usually accept stories up to words. This author guide will give tips and advice on how to win creative writing competitions.

There are a number of things authors can do to give themselves the best possible chance of winning a writing competition , many of which are also great advice for creative writing in general.

And while nothing can guarantee you a win in the subjective world of judging the written word, there are a few things we can do to help all writers. Before you send it off to the panel of judges, have a read through my top tips for winning a writing contest:.

Step one of how to win writing competitions is to get the very basics of writing correct. This means proofreading your writing and making any necessary edits to polish your story or poetry it as much as possible. Get other people to read over your stories and poems and listen to their feedback. Correct any typos to appear more professional and ensure the reader and judge stays immersed in your story, rather than being distracted by spelling mistakes and other basic errors.

Though if you are writing in Microsoft Word, just look for the red underlined words and change them if you need to. If you are unsure about certain aspects of your writing, such as whether to use quotation marks or apostrophes for dialogue, always go with the traditional method in your chosen genre. If you get it to this standard, then you have a good chance of winning a writing competition.

For writing competitions , there are particular expectations about the basics being done. Most writing contests will disqualify your short story or poem if it is littered with basic errors. I find that reading my work aloud shows me errors that would otherwise have remained hidden. If you go over or under the word count for the writing competition then there is a good chance your story or poem will not even be read, meaning all your hard work will have gone to waste.

Need to trim your story down? Try cutting out backstory. Does the reader really need to now every tiny detail? If you feel changing the word count would be detrimental to your story, then find another writing contest that is a better match for your story. You can find more ways to trim adverbs, cliches and other ideas in my Top 10 Writing Tips. Writing competitions often have a theme. This can be an image, a quote or genre within which your writing must fall or relate to.

If it asks for a horror story, ensure you have written a horror story, and so on. Make the contest theme central to your story and you will have a better chance to win a writing contest. A literature contest usually wants a style of writing that embodies creativity, depth and clever use of language. A writing competition usually wants more popular fiction, plot-driven rather than setting-focused, and a conflict your main character needs to resolve.

Having got the basics in place, it now comes down to the quality of your writing which decides how well your story places within the contest. Then heighten this by placing them within a fascinating world, but one filled with jeopardy and intrigue.

If you need support bringing a character to life, then have a look at How to Describe People. Try to create a story arc or events that can be told within the contest word count.

This includes limiting the number of characters, locations, events, time periods to a manageable amount. This will be the first impression they have of your overall story, so make it a powerful one that makes them want to continue reading. The judging panel will have read loads of stories in a very short amount of time, so will be looking for something that truly stands out.

In addition, come up with an intriguing title that relates to the story and overall theme. Or indicate what will shake up their routine. Something that forces them to make a choice, in order to achieve a goal.

Build tension as they work their way towards that goal, increase the risks and danger, making the outcome extremely important. Then introduce the consequence of their decisions and actions. Or unexpected consequences. You will now be well positioned to win a writing competition!

Your characters should always find themselves in new situations, facing new obstacles. Or variations of old obstacles which drive the story. Decisions have to be made, the consequences dealt with, then new decisions made and new trials overcome. After all that hard work poured into the opening and middle action, you need to give your story the ending it deserves. One that wraps up all the loose ends, leaving the reader and judges feeling satisfied that the story has been resolved, but also leaves them with a final thought.

This could be adding a bit of mystery or a revelation that changes how the rest of the story is viewed, a memorable twist.

Something that makes your story stick in their minds. This final aspect could be how you win a writing competition. But getting these fundamental elements right can help your story to overcome the initial hurdles. Most of all you should enjoy the writing experience that leads to your final story, write to the competition rules, hit the submit button, then relax. Your story will likely go to a team of writing contest readers who will select their favourites to go through to the next phase of judging.

The number of judging rounds will likely depend on the number of entries and size of contest you have chosen to enter. Eventually there will be a longlist formed, which will then be whittled down to a shortlist.

This is normally where the prizes and commendations begin. Learn insights into how to use the secret art of euphonics to unleash the power of psychology in your work.

This book is designed to guide you step-by-step through your complete story journey and achieve success with your writing! This will let you see when I publish a new blog post, usually once a month, with free stories, new books, writing tips and author advice. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Email Address:. Aaron Mullins DrAaronMullins is an award winning, internationally published psychologist and Amazon bestselling author. Aaron has over 15 years experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in business strategy for authors and publishers. Find out more. Category: All Categories , Writing Guides Tags: words competitions , flash fiction competitions , how to win writing competitions , how to win writing contests , poetry writing contests , short story writing competitions , young writers competitions.

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