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Writing CompetitionsThere are many examples of writing competitions around these days, especially now that the internet has opened the floodgates and provided more places to publish work online, but are they worth it, and what are they all about?
Writing competitions are organised by a variety of different organisations; some are publishers, some are press publications, others are clubs and writing groups and some are even sponsored by major corporations. The general premise of a writing competition is that there will be a set specified text to write - a genre, subject or sometimes a more wide open brief - and the writer must complete it and submit it in order to win a prize.
There is a great resource -
that lists some of the many writing competitions that are available, and gives the entry fee, the requirements, contact details and the prizes on offer, as well as often providing guidelines for people to follow in order to make a successful submission.
The majority are run by writing magazines or clubs, and those that are magazine organised are sometimes nobly open to subscribers. The prize money on offer is never vast - a few hundred pounds is on offer at the Writer's Forum Short Story Competition, for example - but the experience that is gained in writing to a strict brief is something that is invaluable.
The best advice is to get hold of the full details of the competition entry guidelines - available from the organiser and generally at a website - and to follow this strictly. There will be rules on formatting, word count and also guidelines to the subject or genre, and there may also be details regarding the way the work is judged.
Look for competitions that offer to publish the winning entry as these are very good for exposure, and also investigate those that are heavily sponsored by well known names.
Using the link above you should be able to find a number of competitions worth entering - why not have a go?