As a writer, the waiting can sometimes feel like stagnation. You’re alone with your words and stories wondering if anyone is ever going to read them. You know, other than your family and your closest friends. Well, there’s a cure for that. Enter a contest.
Contests are a fantastic way to get feedback on your writing, get your work in front of folks in the industry and maybe even . . . win. Currently, My Book Therapy is accepting entries into the Frasier. For just $40 you get a chance at winning a $500 scholarship to one of MBT’s intensive writing retreats. And if you don’t win? You still get a priceless critique of your work.
I entered last year and was so impressed with the feedback I received. It made a significant difference in helping me revise my work. If you still aren’t convinced, here are five reasons to enter:
1) It makes you feel like you’re doing something. Entering a contest isn’t the same level of scary as querying an agent or going to a conference to pitch to editors, but it does give you a goal and a deadline. And writing to deadline is something you have to be able to do. Bonus: there’s a definite end date–no wondering when or if you’ll hear something.
2) The judges are often influential people. The final round judges this year are Susan May Warren–the founder of MBT, Stephanie Broene–Editor at Tyndale House, and Karen Ball with the Steve Laube Literary Agency. And they just might fall in love with your work. There are also great folks doing first round readings–maybe you’ll find an endorser, a reviewer, a referer or even a great friend.
3) You’ll get three critiques. It’s so worth $40 to get that kind of feedback! Bonus: If one judge mentions something, give it consideration. If all three mention something they’re almost certainly right.
4) You might not win. If you don’t, there are two things to do. First, remember that this is an incredibly subjective business. Just because this set of judges didn’t fall head-over-heels for your book doesn’t mean the next set won’t. Second, consider if there’s a reason you didn’t win. Look at the judges criteria on the MBT website, match that against your work–where can you tighten it up?
5) You might win. And that would be a very fine thing, indeed.
The deadline is March 31–good luck!