Must-Read Guide for Entering Writing Competitions.


For some aspiring authors, the idea of putting their work out there to be judged in a competition is the exact opposite of why they became writers in the first place.  But others see writing competitions as ways to get needed exposure, find out how they stack up against other writers or make some extra cash.

RELATED CONTENT: 35 Questions New Writers Should Ask Themselves

If either of these reasons for entering a writing competition appeals to you, here are eight tips to making the most out of writing competitions:

  1.  Do your research.

Be sure to thoroughly research writing competitions before deciding to enter them. Verify their legitimacy, as there are many scams out there.

  1.  Follow the rules.

Read the entry instructions carefully. Take note of the details and comply to what is stated. When reviewing competition guidelines, check for the following:

Nikki Woods
Nikki Woods

Participation age (most require a minimum age of 18 years)
Topic or subject matter
Writing type (nonfiction, novels, plays, poetry, screenplays, short fiction, etc.)
Word count
Personal information
Location (whether competition is limited to a specific country or state)
Submission methods
Entry or submission deadline

  1.  Use a catchy title.

Your title will be a judge’s first impression of your work. Spend time making it appealing and attention-grabbing, while also maintaining its relevance to the story.

  1.  Write something different.

Aim to write something different from usual submissions. Consider the numerous stories the judge or judges have received and make yours stand out from the lot.

  1.  Use the appropriate tense.

Determine the right tense for your entry. If your story narrates what is happening now, use present tense. If it spans a time period leading to the present, use past tense.

  1.  Use standard font size and typeface.

Ensure to use the standard 12 point Times New Roman or Arial font for your submission, unless stated otherwise in entry instructions.

  1.  Proofread your work.

Be certain to proofread your work several times, and have others review as well. If you are entering online, print it out and check your work. Read it aloud, ensure there are no grammatical, spelling or typographical errors.

Many excellent writers are disqualified from competitions simply because they fail to follow directions.  That’s good news for you IF you take time out to follow the seven steps.

About Nikki Woods:

Nikki Woods, the author of Easier Said Than Done, is a Multi-media personality, Social Media and Personal Branding Coach, Motivational Speaker and Voice-over artist, and the CEO of Nikki Woods Media. She is also the senior producer of the acclaimed, nationally-syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show (TJMS), the most successful syndicated urban radio show in history reaching more than eight million people on a daily basis. She is responsible for the engaging on-air content heard each morning on the over-100 affiliate radio stations that air the award-winning program.


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