Entering competitions is a sure fire way to boost your meagre writing income. Assuming that you win them all. I’ve collated some tips to help boost your winnings. All taken from my own competitive career. I should point out I haven’t had any success yet, probably because i didn’t use any of the below advice. My own fault.
- Be memorable. Use an obscure penname that no one can pronounce or spell easily. The judges will want to appear clever and world wise at all times so saying your penname will become some kind of bravado competition.
- Just send the first draft. Don’t waste your time rewriting and polishing. Doing so will only give you time to doubt the quality of your entry and increase the likeliness you won’t send anything at all.
- Economise on your writing. Dust off a semi related story to save time. It’s about time all those half-baked attempts at literature were really appreciated. Competitions understand this happens and are more than happy to adapt their parameters to suit you.
- Watch the entry fees. A few pounds here and there soon adds up and will eat into your Christmas party fund that you have set up out of your earnings. Be sure to only enter free competitions. Most people only enter the paid ones as these seem more legitimate so you will both save money and have a higher chance of winning.
- Handwrite using your finest calligraphy skills. The judges will really be impressed with your efforts and probably shortlist you for the winning spot.
- Don’t pay the submission fee. If your entry is good enough to win then it will win regardless of whether you followed the rules or not.
- Don’t read the submission guidelines. They are only for amateurs. Real writers have their own voice and style in writing, the same goes for their competition entries too. The judges will also appreciate a bit of variety in their reading pile.
Fingers crossed if you are entering any writing at the moment and I hope the above sage advice helps somewhat.
Edit 18/09/16 – I’ve just realised the banner picture at the top is moving. I have no idea how that has happened and to be honest it’s creeping me out a little. Sorry if it’s weirded you out too.