For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
    So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, what is unseen is eternal.
    ~2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Monday, June 23, 2014

Tips for Entering a Writing Contest

I like judging writing contests.

What I don't like about judging writing contests is the score sheets. Often the worst question is one about author voice. Why? Well, voice is interpretative. 

Many published authors (highly successful), if their names weren't on the books, have an unrecognizable voice. In other words, readers wouldn't be able to guess with a strong accuracy who wrote the book based on the writing style, quality, and content alone. And that's A-OK.

If the author does have a unique/fresh voice, I always compliment. Of the twelve entries I judged in one recent contest, none had a distinctive voice. Several had a fitting voice for a category novel. One had a discomforting omniscient voice.

Sometimes as a judge I wish for a simple score sheet. Like this:

1) Is the entry compelling? Did you want to read more?

2) What areas do you feel need work to make the entry compelling?

As a contest entrant, that's basically what I wanted to know. As a published author, it's what I still want to know.

Did you want to read more? If not, why? 

Contest Entering Tip
If you enter contest or are considering entering, please, do yourself a favor and READ THE CONTEST SCORE SHEET before you pay the entry fee, and evaluate your entry based on the score sheet. If it asks anything, say, about the hero, and the hero never is scene on entry pages, then that contest may not be best for that particular manuscript.

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