Hello again, Adair Heitmann here, making today’s blog post. Competition, now that is a word some of us shy away from. Are you the kind of writer who timidly has a manuscript on your closet shelf, too shy to send it out? Or are you like our adventuresome writers honored below? The art and act of writing is private and introspective and I generally find it a joyful experience, even when I am pulling my hair out, striving for the right flow. I’ve learned that to grow as a writer, I also have to send my work out to be scrutinized, dissected, analyzed and reviewed. Sometimes it gets rejected but oh . . . bliss . . . sometimes it is accepted and even wins! Contests really are a good thing. They give you, the writer–notoriety, free press, sometimes $$ and each contest you win, catapults your career.
There are many ways to find writing competitions: 1.) You might sit in a cozy chair at your local library and search in the back of literary magazines. 2.) Look up e-listings from sources on-line such as http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions 3.) Get yourself on a mailing list of an editorial e-newsletter such as Latinidad, Marcela Landres’s e-newsletter in which she periodically lists upcoming contests http://www.marcelalandres.com 4.) Follow your passion seeking out competitions in your genre, I recently submitted a piece to http://www.memoirjournal.com/submissions/ 5.) Go for the gold and apply for a grant http://www.cultureandtourism.org/cct/site/default.asp, like one of our winning authors.
All you need to risk healthy competition is willingness and efficiency. You have nothing to lose, the worst that will happen is you won’t win. Contests give you a built-in deadline for your writing and a project to work toward in your writing groups.
We recently heard of a few awesome winners, all writers in our literary community. The following mere mortals have either been speakers, presenters, or participants in the Fairfield Public Library’s annual “Winter Words” writing conference. Please join me as we celebrate their accomplishments!
* Leslie Connor is the winner of the middle-school award for Waiting for Normal published by HarperCollins Children’s Books
* Nina Nelson has been chosen as a Smithsonian notable for Bringing the Boy Home
*Tony Abbott’s book The Postcard has been nominated for an Edgar Award by The Mystery Writers of America
* Stacy DeKeyser has been awarded a 2009 Artist Fellowship Grant from the State of Connecticut’s Commission on Culture and Tourism, to support the creation of new work in fiction
CONGRATULATIONS ONE AND ALL!