I am relatively new to the writing business. I have so much to learn!

This year, I have committed to regularly read other writers on writing, in hopes of reducing my abysmal ignorance of the writing business. One suggestion made by such respected authors as Neil Gaiman and Stephen King is: submit your work to writing contests.

Okay, here goes! I have just finished polishing my first writing-contest submission: this naked little baby jumps into the contest pool tomorrow!

Do I expect to win a monetary prize and publication? No. But I don’t expect to not win, either. I am pleased with my submission. I truly like the short story I have created. And win or not, I have had a ton of fun working on this project, and I have learned a few things in the process.

This particular project has been a delightful little diversion from larger, more cumbersome projects that I am working on. It has challenged me to write in a genre I don’t typically choose. It has forced me to distill language, imagery, and intended emotional impact down to a shot glass of white lightning – a worthwhile exercise for someone who struggles with concision!

Already, even before clicking the “Submit” button, I see the wisdom in Gaiman’s and King’s advice.

Think you might want to try your hand at a writing contest, too? Check out upcoming short story, novel, and poetry contests at The Writer by clicking HERE. If you submit an entry, I’d love to hear back from you in the comment section below: What did you learn? Did you place as a finalist? What advice would you share with other new writers?

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