Writing Competitions

Katie O’Brien talks about the benefits of writing competitions and how you can get involved.

Being a writer can be a very daunting and challenging process, but luckily, writing competitions can help get you started. Writing competitions give new and experienced authors platforms to have their work published, whilst also improving their writing skills by introducing them to other authors and constructive feedback. Competitions are great ways for newer authors to have their names circulated amongst the media and present a ready-made platform for fresh faces to the artform. 

Writing competitions are easy to find and apply for, by searching “Writing Competitions 2021” and your country of residence. When applying for the competitions you will usually be given a theme or topic to write about with a word count and deadline, and you also could be asked to apply with a pitch followed by your written manuscript of choice. 

Writers benefit greatly from the personal growth experienced in these competitions by gaining confidence in their work and learning how to receive and apply helpful feedback. It can be a challenging thing to put your work out into the public sphere to be judged, but rest assured that these competitions are there to help you improve with the benefit of constructive criticism from a panel of literary judges who want to help you succeed. 

Publicity is another thing you can gain from these competitions, which is a hard thing to come by as a new author in the literary arena.  These competitions open you and your work to the platform of an already established company or publishing house, giving you a wide public audience and even introducing you to fellow writers. Another, quite important, benefit of participating is motivation. Some writers find it extremely difficult to write and feel motivated when they are only working towards personal deadlines. When you have an external set deadline to reach for a competition or publication, you have an increase in motivation to create and be creative by working in a semi-structured environment.

If you’re having trouble finding or deciding which writing competitions to enter, here are a few to help you on your way:

Grist’s Solutions Lab, Fix, has announced that they are running their first no-fee short story writing competition that will centre around the theme of climate change. The prompt “Imagine 2200: Climate fiction for future ancestors”. Submissions for the competition close April12th 2021 U.S Pacific Standard Time. This competition is for adults, 18 years or older and authors must have no previously published work. Fix’s submission website has a section dedicated to FAQ’S and contains a link for the submission portal.

Another competition that is currently open is the TCK Publishing poetry awards. This competition is calling for all poets, regardless of previous publishing, to submit five poems consisting of no more than 500 words. Submissions close March 31st 2021. The winner is set to be announced on April 21st 2021, and more information can be found on their website.

These are only two of a vast amount of writing competitions that take place all over the world. These competitions are a great way for authors to gain experience and publicity in their field and give them the confidence and personal growth necessary to expand their opportunities in the publishing world. Competitions are easy to find and enter and span across every genre and theme, so every author, no matter their style or genre, is catered to succeed. Good luck!