Writers enter writing contests for a wide variety of reasons from getting practice to furthering their career as a writer. Not many writing contests offer writers the chance to get a publishing contract or to receive a literary agent to represent their writing. Page Turner Awards differs there as we give writers the chance to get their writing discovered by publishers and literary agents who are looking for writers to publish. See our judging panel of literary agents and publishers who want to find writers to publish.
Other writers just enjoy the contest for the sake of contest. No matter the motivation for entering a writing contest though, you need to prepare to ensure success. Here's our tips to prepare your writing to win a writing contest.
To err is human has become a phrase that almost everyone has heard at least once and while it can be easily dismissed, it is crucial saying. When preparing your writing to enter a writing contest you are not writing a technical document, you are writing one for humans. You may have a few mistakes and that is fine, you are human. But is that the case in a writing competition?
Not always! Ensure that you remove mistakes that significantly take away the impetus of reading your story. Check typos, grammar and sentence structure. Make your chapters interesting and spiked with character emotions.
Hook The Judges
Make your chapters enjoyable and gripping. You want to hook the judges with both the content and the characters. Bring them into the story and make your readers want to be drawn in by creating a dynamic character arc for your fictional characters.
Tell a story that is relatable and one that can be concluded in a pleasurable way. It's said so often in the writing world, but when you are submitting to a writing contest, you really MUST have a first sentence that captures the judges and draws them into the story. This will help to ensure that the judges don’t move on to another submission.
Have A Writing Goal
You want to have a story that means something and without a goal, your character likely won't feel compelling the judge. The goal doesn’t have to be some grand scheme but it has to be there and the character should show passion for that goal. A goal can be as simple as making the trip to school safely or preparing a meal. Just create a story that is exactly that, a story.
Cut the Fat
Oftentimes there is content in your submission that doesn’t add to the story. You can cut out some of the fat from the story to allow you more words to tell the story without compromising the word count. With limited words, every word matters and should contribute to the story in some way.
Keep it Your Own Story
Your submission to the writing contest is supposed to show off your ability to craft a story, a character, and their journey through the plot of the story. It should show good writing techniques and make the judges want to read your whole story.
Find lots of writing advice on Writing Goals. And if you need to hone your writing techniques, check out these writing books.