Is it worth entering competitions?

Writing competitions are everywhere now. Novel, short story, flash fiction, poetry, published, unpublished, self-published – the list goes on and on. Each one motivating us to get on and finish a piece of writing, or sending us back into our cocoon of procrastination. If I don’t enter, I can’t fail. You’ve got to be in it to win it.

Sometimes I hate competitions! The endless checking of the rules – number of words, format, presentation, cost, electronic or postal entry, closing date. It is time-consuming and fiddly and can be expensive.

You send your entry with such high hopes – perhaps this will be the time the judge likes itperhaps this will be the time it will make the longlist, the shortlist, runner up, winner! – perhaps this one will bring that crumb you crave.

And then, one day, you realise the date for announcing the winner has gone by. Your work wasn’t picked. And that little germ of disappointment eats away at your confidence.

Other times, I love competitions. I love competitions at the moment because I’ve just won one!

I entered ‘Unravelling’ for the Chapter One Promotions self-published award – and it WON. The judge makes such nice comments:

The best book I’ve read for a long time. What a thrill.

So, yes, despite the frustrations and disappointments, competitions are worthwhile, and I’ll definitely keep entering them!

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