So I feel ready to get back on the horse, so to speak. More of a reliable cob than a highly strung thoroughbred, but I’m aiming for a steady walk rather than a mad gallop. My first entry this year has been for Hysteria writing competition, which has the added benefit of raising money for the Hysterectomy Association. You can find out more here https://www.hysteriauk.co.uk/
I’ve got a couple more to work towards before Christmas, but I am being more selective. As much as anything, it’s incredibly expensive, and I’m a bit suspicious of sites that offer endless free competitions. It seems to be a sneaky way of getting content without paying for it, a bit like all those restaurants that offer to exhibit paintings for free, and local festivals that want musicians to be grateful not to be paid, because it “gets them heard”. Sneaky. Flattering, and sometimes necessary, but sneaky nonetheless.
Competitions have taken a bit of a back seat over the summer. Iv’e not produced anything new, and I’m finding myself more and more dissatisfied with my old work. I think in many ways I was using the possibility of winning a competition as an ego boost, rather than as a deadline, and means of perfecting my work. Quality is more important than quantity. For this reason I’ve pulled back a little on entries.
After my final assignment for Writing Skills, my tutor suggested I look into entering The Bridport Prize. I was petrified. All the doubts and uncertainty,the fear of putting something out there…….but I’m so glad she pushed me to do it! I didn’t win, didn’t place, didn’t get a special mention, but I learnt that it is ok to have a go.
My aim for this year is to enter at least three competitions each month. I will be focussed on poetry, to reflect the area I’m studying in, but I hope to manage a few short stories too.
Opportunities for 2017 are:
I try to choose competitions that excite me, and inspire me to create something I’m proud of. It’s very new to me, and I still get that flash of nerves before I press send. I’m incredibly glad to be trying though .
March/ April Competitions and submissions
Under the Radar magazine published by Nine Arches Press
Writers and Artists writersandartists.co.uk/competitions
Shooter literary magazine shooterlitmag.com
Yeovil literary festival yeovilliteraryfestival.co.uk
Evesham Festival of Words eveshamfestivalofwords.org
I’ve focused on short stories, despite it being the area I find challenging, I don’t want to lose the skills I gained during my first course. I find the discipline of having a competition to write for really motivates me. All those years of squirreling work away in notebooks have take their toll; I want people to read what I write, and to do that, I have to make it good enough to show them.