5 Writing Contest Strategies to Improve Your Winning Chances

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Anticipation, insecurity, and worry are simply a couple of feelings I felt throughout my very first composing contest.

 5 Writing Contest Strategies to Improve Your Winning Chances

Maybe you’’ re in the exact same location now. If you have an opportunity amongst the numerous entrants, wondering. Uncertain if it’’ s worth the time and effort.

Short response—– it is.

And that applies whether you lose or win. We’’ ll enter that more listed below.

But I likewise wish to expose 5 suggestions for enhancing your winning possibilities in a composing contest. See, I won the Short Fiction Break 2020 Summer Writing Contest with my story Dark Time . The editorial personnel at The Write Practice asked me to share methods I believe assisted my entry.

My author profession remains in its infancy, so I’’ m speaking from restricted experience. I think the pointers and resources below will provide you a much better possibility at snagging the next grand reward.

Want to take your opportunity at a grand reward and put these suggestions to the test? Our Fall Writing Contest is now open!

Enter the Fall Contest

.Why Enter a Writing Contest?

Besides the apparent advantage of “If I win it’’ ll be amazing and I get cash prize,” here are a couple of other benefits I experienced.

These use whether you position.

You’ll end up being a much better author. A narrative is the ideal format to practice writing. You experience the whole procedure in a brief time. Outline, modification, reviews, releasing and polishing. With longer works, that journey may take months rather of weeks or days.

You’ll pad your portfolio. Even if you wear’’ t win, being released in a competitors improves your reliability. They concern you as a more genuine author when you point representatives, authors, or readers to your released work. It’’ s marketing for the brand name of YOU.

You’ll get in touch with other authors. A contest provides you a reason to discuss the work of other authors. Because you’’ re all in the exact same competitors, they’’ ll most likely respond. That’’ s a brand-new connection, and prospective partner, for your composing profession.

You’ll experience BEING an author. Going into a composing contest, producing a story, then sending makes you seem like an author. It’’ s rewarding and challenging. Narrative contests are an easy method to live the author’’ s life.

. 5 Strategies That Worked For Me.

Here are some leading methods I think assisted me win the 2020 Summer Writing Contest.

.1. Evaluation Short Story Best Practices.

I started by evaluating a number of posts on narrative finest practices. This is necessary, because it gets you preparing how to inform a terrific story from the start.

Having finest practices in mind as I conceptualized concepts and composed the initial draft greatly affected the result.

Here are 2 extraordinary resources from The Write Practice. I described these short articles typically throughout my writing and modification procedure:

How to Write a Short Story From Start to Finish

10 Critical Mistakes Writers Make in Writing Contests

.2. Utilize the MICE Quotient.

I disputed including this, due to the fact that it teeters on the edge of being complicated or useful. I discovered it helpful, so possibly you will too.

It’’ s too detailed to explain here, so I’’ ll simply direct you to the source.

Brandon Sanderson and Mary Robinette—– hosts on the podcast Writing Excuses—– hosted a lecture on composing narratives . In it, they discuss the MICE Quotient. This is a technique to produce gratifying stories by concentrating on the kind of dispute included.

There’’ s likewise a formula (yes, authors– MATH), which assists approximate your last word count. Understanding that number ahead of time conserves time and headache. Particularly if the story you wish to inform seem 5000 words, and the limitation is 1500.

You can discover the lecture on YouTube here .

.3. Concentrate on Theme.

The contest I went into used couple of restrictions. A limitation of just 1500 words and a style of seclusion.

In a sea of fantastic entries, I understood the judges would look for an excellent take on the style to make their decisions.

I asked myself, how can I finest get the reader to FEEL seclusion? Narratives, in my viewpoint, are a mix in between prose and poetry. Emotional effect is among their specifying functions.

In my story, I tried this by layering numerous levels of seclusion. My character advanced from self-imposed privacy, to getting stranded alone, to possibly being the last human alive.

Ask yourself, how can you compose a story that provides on the style with a psychological gut punch?

.4. Invest Most of Your Time Revising.

I took 2 early mornings to prepare my story, then composed it over 2 more.

I invested the next week modifying.

During that modification procedure, the story diminished and altered a lot from over 2300 words to simply under 1500.

While much of the last variation resided in that initial draft, the body and soul were missing out on. Modification assisted clarify my lead character’’ s inspirations and character arc.

Here are a couple of particular lessons I discovered along the method.

Accept the procedure will be untidy. I typically had no concept what to consist of, what to erase, or what to alter. I moved areas around just to move them back. Modification is disorderly, which’’ s alright. Offering yourself a break from your draft assists. Simply an hour away can clarify story blocks. Attempt re-working areas. You might not keep the modifications, however a minimum of you’’ ll have something to compare the initial passages versus.

Listen to your suspicion. As a brand-new author, I frequently suspect my composing perceptiveness. In Dark Time, my initial draft had the lead character, baffled and lonesome, talking for paragraphs to his flashlight. It was easy going and charming. I desired the tone dark and tense. Although it kinda worked, I ditched it. Listen to it if you have an impulse about your story. You’’ re most likely.

Do numerous polish passes. I modified Dark Time to a point it appeared ““ done. ” Then I kept going. To my surprise, a lot altered after this point. I changed words to be more detailed. Others I adapted to much better show style and significance. I eliminated circumstances of passive voice. I likewise removed most types of verbs like ““ is,” “” “ was, ” “ were, ” and so on. Keep polishing, even after the story works.

.5. Supercharge Your Draft Using Critiques.

Sometimes, it’’ s tough to understand if a part of your story doesn’’ t work. You comprehend what you’’ re attempting to get throughout.

Until somebody NOT you reads it, how do you understand if you was successful?

In my case, ends up I didn’’ t constantly struck the mark. Areas of my story got several remarks revealing confusion. Undoubtedly, something wasn’’ t working. If numerous individuals get stuck on a part in your story, you’’ ll desire to re-work it.

Critiques likewise assist you find which passages impact readers, and which wear’’ t. This enables you to fine-tune structure and supercharge your story’’ s effect.


For example, I discovered my ending didn’’ t touch readers mentally. Reviews assisted me discover why.

In the last scene, the lead character fears never ever seeing his household once again. I hadn’’ t discussed them till that point. Describing his loved ones previously in the story repaired the problem.

Critiques might appear frightening, however they’’ re not. The outdoors viewpoint I got from workshopping assisted me win the competitors. No doubt.

.Terrific news: when you sign up with a Write Practice composing contest, the reviews are integrated in. You’ll get 6 weeks of access to The Write Practice Pro, our online workshopping neighborhood, where you’ll get feedback that can assist you take house a reward. Join the neighborhood and the contest here »» . Where Will Your Story Take United States?

As I grow in my composing profession, I’’ ve found no 2 authors have the precise story to inform. Your distinct viewpoint, your voice, is what will draw readers to you.

Short story contests are an outstanding method to establish that voice and share it with others. That can result in brand-new readers and brand-new chances.

So usage the ideas above and start on your next contest entry. Whether you take the grand reward, you’’ ll most likely take pleasure in the experience and leave a much better author.

Ready to go into a composing contest yourself? Our Fall Writing Contest is now open, and we ‘d like for you to sign up with! It’s your rely on compose a story, get feedback, get released, and perhaps even take house the grand reward:

Enter the Fall Contest

Have you ever won a reward for your writing? What techniques did you utilize to compose a winning piece? Let us understand in the remarks .


For today’s practice, we’ll concentrate on Demi’s 3rd technique: concentrate on style. Here’s the style of the Fall Writing Contest:

Boundless. When your characters are endless, what will they do?

First, take 5 minutes to brainstorm. What could limitless mean for a story, and how can you reveal it? Here are some concerns to get you began:

.What does “limitless” imply?What could “limitless” mean for an individual? A location? A circumstance? An animal? An item?What are some good ideas about “limitless”?What are some bad features of “limitless”?What does “limitless” seem like?

Then, take 10 minutes to begin composing a story based upon the style. You may describe your story, or compose a scene.

When you’re done, share your story in the remarks listed below . This is a fantastic method to practice the 5th method, too, and enhance your story with feedback. Make certain to leave feedback for your fellow authors, too!

And given that you’ve currently made this much development in the contest, why not enter your story for a possibility to win a reward ?

The post 5 Writing Contest Strategies to Improve Your Winning Chances appeared initially on The Write Practice .