Entering a contest can be a smart move for many reasons. First and foremost, you might win it, which will be fantastic and give you a boost in the literary community. Second, having a contest deadline can be incredibly useful because it can force you to finish a piece that’s been hanging fire for a while. Third, even if you don’t win the contest you can still come out a winner. I have a friend who entered the same contest twice and didn’t win, but the second time around, one of the contest readers alerted her agent about my friend’s work, and bingo, she received representation with a major agency! And finally, anything that gooses us to get our work out into the world is valuable.
With all this in mind, here are three upcoming contests that some of you may want to check out. These listings are from WritersMarket.com, which you can access for a small monthly fee and where you can find hundreds of contests. The just-released 2014 Writer’s Market is another helpful contest source. And the wonderful free site NewPages.com also features contest listings.
Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards: Offered annually for the best unpublished short-genre fiction. Categories: science fiction, horror, thriller, romance, crime, and young adult. Grand prize is $2,500 and a trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City; each category also has a $500 first place prize. Early bird deadline: September 16.
Juniper Prize for Poetry: Annual award for an unpublished manuscript of poetry. In odd years such as 2013, first-time authors are being sought. Prize is $1,500, plus publication. Deadline: September 30.
Christian Book Awards: offered annually for the best contribution to evangelical Christian book publishing. Winners are recognized by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. Writers should submit between September 2-30.
If any of these are of interest, be sure to check out the Web sites for more details. Please keep me posted on your results. And write on!