online writing contests

Writing is a solitary craft and we often hold our work close to the vest, sharing only with trusted critique partners.

I only share work when I feel it is worthy enough to be critiqued, free of the early blunders of those first few attempts.

That said, how do you feel about entering online contests? Miss Snark's First Victim offers quite a few and they're usually judged by a guest agent or editor. Nathan Bransford has also offered some.

The prize is usually a critique of your full manuscript. I like the idea of these contests but have never entered one.

It seems like a free-for-all or a huge casting call, with writers coming out of the woodwork with their first pages and lines, hoping they can make an impact, be the one to rise above the others. I know they can do some good, and the winners, I imagine, get a great ego boost and possibly even a match with an agent.

Ever entered one?


K. M. Walton said...

I've entered many contests and it has taught me how to accept critique...even the snarky ones. At first I felt the critique comments were directed towards me and my very soul. But then I wised up and realized they were critiquing my writing - not me. Big difference. Once I changed my mindset I listened and siphoned out some nuggets of wisdom.

Good stuff.

Go for it, Ron.

p.s. I actually blogged about how one takes critique:

Ron Smith said...

Hi Kate,

Thanks for your comments. I'll check out that link.

Tara McClendon said...

I've entered a few, but I prefer the ones that aren't posted live on the Internet. The downside is you don't always get feedback unless you win. Still, if you feel ready to take on the world, you could be the next Food Network Star. Oh wait, that's another topic all together.