As an emerging writer I’m big on entering writing competitions. It’s a great way of getting noticed, getting invaluable feedback, and of setting yourself the all-important goal of getting better at your craft.
In the first writing competition I entered I came 19th – out of around 50. I was surprised very happy with this and considered it a respectable score on my first attempt. Although it was a far cry from first, it gave me confidence that I was at least going in the right direction, and inspired me to try again – and to do better the next time around!
Entering comps is a lot of hard work, and can cost you a few quid in entry fees (they’re usually fairly modest though, at around £30 a time to cover admin fees), however, it can pay dividends. When writing to agents and publishers it’s always worth mentioning that you’ve entered, and definitely mentioning if you’ve won or been shortlisted.
This week I found out I came second in the Romance Writers of Australia’s Ripping Start contest. I was delighted with this result, and can’t wait to finish the novel, which is almost there. The difference is, that now I know someone else liked it enough to place it second, I’ll have great pleasure in telling this to prospective publishers when I write to them!