Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Entering Contests

I love writing contests!

When I first started submitting my work, the only way to get an "in" with an agent or an editor was to attend a conference.

Now there are tons of contests run on blogs around the internet by authors trying to help other writers connect with publishing professionals.

It's awesome.

I love the high of "winning" and getting a request.  I love getting feedback on my pages and query. I love meeting and connecting with other writers.

That said, I'm being a bit more choosey about which contests I enter this year. Partly because I don't want my first page/query posted over and over again. Partly because I want to make sure even if I don't win, I still get something out of the contest.

So I devised a point system to help me decide whether to enter a contest or not:

3 pt.  Feedback from other writers.

5 pt.  Feedback from publishing professionals (agents or editors) on my work whether or not I win. A good example of a contest like this is Secret Agent or Agent's Inbox.

3 pt. Opportunity to garner a request from an agent or an editor.

So if a contest has all three options (for a total of 11!), I'm in.
Because even if I don't get a request, I've still learned something.

That's not to say I won't ever enter a contest where I don't get feedback, but I'm making those a top priority now.

What about you? How do you decide to enter a contest?

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