7 Tips for Contest Entries
Below are 7 important tips to remember before entering any writing contest:
1- Unless your submission is fully edited, and a great book to help you self-edit is by Carolyn Howard Johnson’s The Frugal Editor: Do-it-yourself editing secrets for authors: From your query letter to final manuscript to the marketing of your bestseller, perfected, and the best you can offer, don’t hand in something half done and not up to your standards.
2- Research the contest. Make sure no warnings are out there before you fork over any entry fees. Also, is the entry fee worth the $prize offered? If you pay $50 for a contest entry, and the prize is $75, does this make sense to you?
3- Check and see what rights they are asking you for and if you agree with them. Unless they pay you a nice sum for ALL RIGHTS, I wouldn’t hand over my stuff.
4- Define your entry to suit the best genre category if the contest offers several. Submitting a juvenile mystery to an adult mystery judge may eliminate you if there’s a children’s judge waiting for your manuscript.
5- Please follow the guidelines. Such an easy task yet many believe their “great” story will more than make up for not following some of the guidelines. Wrong! It may never be read if you went over the allotted word count, if you formatted the way they asked you NOT to, or if you send an attachment where they stated NO ATTACHMENTS WILL BE OPENED.
6- If they request a payment entry make sure to include it with your submission. And follow tip #2.
7- Before your tongue approaches the seal to close the envelope, or finger ready to hit send via the computer, go over your manuscript just one more time. Make sure all the guidelines were followed. Check and see if the word count is within their limits. And make sure you have the right address. How sad would it be if it ends up anywhere but its projected destination? Oh, please make sure to check again for any typos.
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