Monday, March 12, 2012

Writing contest update: Down to the wire!

Just a quick reminder that March 15 (UPDATE: NOW MARCH 30) is the deadline for the Writing North Idaho Short Story Contest! Details are here, and rest assured that you DON'T have to live in North Idaho to win (the winner of our last contest was from New Jersey)!

Still on the fence about entering? Here are four solid reasons to enter a writing contest:

1) Rise to the challenge. Can you write an intriguing story that begins with a particular opening sentence? Can you stay within the word limit, making every word count? Can you meet a deadline? Do you dare to take the emotional risk pitting your "baby" against others in the race? You'll never know until you try! These are all qualities that serve any writer well, and entering a contest is one way build them. Think of it as strengthening your writerly muscles!

2) Practice putting your work "out there." Some of us--experienced writers as well as fledglings--are averse to showing our work to anyone. The upside to this reluctance (or fear of judgment, or overdeveloped sense of modesty . . . call it what you will) is that we get to stay safe. The downside is that the world is poorer for not getting to read our work. If we want to participate in the "great conversation," we need to share our work with the world. Submitting to a contest is a great warm-up to submitting to a publisher. Try it; you'll like it!

3) Build your portfolio. The story you write for a contest, whether or not it's declared a winner in that particular competition, could be the start of something big. You might end up submitting it for publication elsewhere, or it could be the spark of something even greater--a completely different story, a novel, a screenplay, an essay, or some other as-yet-unimagined project. Composing a simple contest entry is only the beginning!

4) Did we mention prizes? Contest winners receive prizes, online publication on Writing North Idaho, and a sparkling addition to their writing credentials.

So what are you waiting for? Enter the short story contest today!

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