Aug 06

Writing Contests

“Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title, a list,

a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.” — Jane Yolen

Add writing contests to the list of ways to exercise your writing muscle. You may want to be a novelist, but what’s wrong with getting your name out there by entering small contests? Even if you don’t win first place, second place, or honorable mention, entering a contest will prove that you can complete a story by a deadline.

If you don’t know where to find writing contests, below are a few suggestions. has a 24-hour short story contest once each season every year. Entering costs only $5 per contest. The next contest will start on September 9, 2017. Check out their website for further details.

Rochester Writers’ 2017 Summer Writing Contest is calling for entries now. The deadline is September 1, 2017.

Categories: Poetry, Micro Fiction, First Page, Milestone Memory

Prizes: Cash Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Places in each category. In addition, Best of Show will receive a complimentary pass to a future Rochester Writers’ Conference.

Writer’s Digest holds numerous writing contests: Self-Published eBook Awards, Popular Fiction Awards, Poetry Awards, Short Short Story Competition, Annual Writing Competition, Self-Published Book Awards. Check the website below for information.

You can find additional information in various writing magazines including Writer’s Digest, Poets and Writers, and The Writer Magazine. Find a contest that is reasonably priced, offers a cash prize, a critique of your work, or publication.

Exercising your writing muscles with contests can be rewarding.

Try it. I won the first place $100 prize, a third place, and an honorable mention by entering writing contests. I’ve kept for future reference several of my non-winning contest entries. Who knows? With careful editing, a better story could come from those efforts.




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  1. Great information, Barb, thank!

      • Barbara on August 16, 2017 at 9:44 pm
      • Reply

      You’re welcome, Phil.

    • Claire Murray on August 6, 2017 at 1:51 pm
    • Reply

    Great article Barbara! You are a fount of wisdom. Thanks for sharing all of this information.

      • Barbara on August 16, 2017 at 9:47 pm
      • Reply

      Thank you, Claire. I’m using the information to enter a few of the contests myself. Hopefully I’ll be successful with one of them.

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