Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Contest Diva. Does this describe you?

I guess I've got contest-on-the-brain because I'm helping my chapter with *shamless plug* The Gateway to the Best contest, info @
Because of my involvement, I've been noticing all the contest opportunities as they appear on loops etc. It's made me wonder how many of you enter more than one contest a year. More than two? More than five? Ten? (Your secret is safe with me) LOL
Anyway, if you do enter contests on a regular basis, what interests you most in any given contest? Is it the feedback? Or do you enter because of a particular editor/agent judge?  And do you have certain contests that you enter every year?
I'd love to hear from you!


  1. As a recovering contest...diva, I entered based on the final judge. Was it someone who had seen or requested my MS already? Was it someone I wanted to see my MS? I will say this. I got more requests when I finaled in contests that had either 3 chapters and a synopsis or 1st chapter and synopsis. The key being the synopsis. It's really hard for an editor to determine whether the story sounds great from just the first pages. The synopsis could be unjudged, but as long as it's there, I think it helps to show that you have at least thought out your story.

    I also feel that wanna-enter vibe everytime someone sends out, we are low in this category. Well, when that category is something I write in :) Once you start finalling with a MS, I think contests become the equivalent of crack. You want that rush of finaling and even if you get 3rd, an editor has touched your MS.

    I got published because of a contest win. I entered that contest because they were low on entries. I polished that MS because I won and got a request :)

    Contests are a good thing.

  2. FYI, I entered THE YARD MAN in contests over an eight month period last year. At least one contest a month, often times two. THE YARD MAN only finaled five times.

    Here is my take on contests. For someone like me who is writing more out of the box and cross-genre, I have to run a gauntlet of first round judges. Even in the Golden Heart, from what I can figure from my scores, I barely made it into the finals. The fact that I won my GH category seems to support the idea that editors love a strong voice and fresh material. I wonder how often those pages make it through round one???

    If you have written a rip roaring tale and compelling characters, then it is all a matter of percentages. The only magic in round one is you have to get two or three judges who really like your voice and your story.

    My two cents, Jillian

  3. I'm not too much for contests, but I do believe if you're going to enter, enter big time. Only then can you spot trends in judges' comments.

  4. I enter a lot-- two-four ontests a month. I've won or placed in my share. And I've lost plenty too. I The ones I enter over and over are the Daphne, the Heart of the Rockies and the FAB.

  5. I entered three contests this year-The TARA, The Molly, and The Maggie for unpubs. I was realistic about my chances, wanted the feedback, and didn't final in any, but I feel the temptation to send that money and try my luck (and pay off my hard work)every time I get a new message on the loop. They're hard to resist.

  6. Ahhh, contests. When I first started writing, I entered a few for feedback. Then I found some great critique partners and didn't need contests for that purpose.

    I always enter the GH because it's a personal annual goal for me. Then I enter two-three others throughout the year hoping to get in front of certain editors/agents. Except I've only entered GH this year, so I'd better get busy.:)

  7. I'll admit - I'm a contest junkie. Last year I entered anything that fit with 3 different MS. (Especially if I didn't have to provide a synopsis.) I'm still sitting at the top of the 2009 Contest Diva list - hoping it holds so I get that tiara.
    In 2010 - I took a hiatus and became more selective. Now I enter to get my MS in front of specific agents and editors. Or I've been submitting some new material to see how it plays.

  8. Contests on you mind, hummm, I wonder why...

    I set a goal at the first of the year to enter four contests. I've done that plus. I haven't finaled (yet) but I've learned so much about writing, they've been worth the entry fee.

    I get that urge to enter when the contest announcements come out that they are running low on entries too.

  9. I don't enter contests that often because I don't have the extra income to do so. If I did, I'd probably enter all the time, but then there are so many that I wouldn't know where to start. I plan on entering the Golden Heart every year but I'd rather spend my time learning, having my critique partners look at my stuff and sending out submissions.