Never say ‘Never again!’

January 24, 2013 § 2 Comments

In November when I failed to get anywhere, yet again, in a writing competition (Mslexia) I thought that was sign enough to give them up. I had lost time and money and confidence over competitions. I had written short stories especially for the competitions. The time I spent writing short stories was time I did not spend writing a novel.

But about ten days ago (14th January), someone working for Myriad Editions pointed out this competition. The closing date is 1st February;  I thought it was 5th until I checked a few minutes ago (postal entries only). I am sorry not to give more notice of it.

The entry fee is only £5.00. I hope to enter my children’s novel.


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§ 2 Responses to Never say ‘Never again!’

  • Tish Farrell says:

    As a writer who has toiled down the competition trail, I can see your dilemma. All I can say is that it was writing for competitions that started me off. I can also see that you’ve already worked out that having a deadline and word count are good for creating a writing discipline; but more important, I found, was having an objective. Many of the stories I wrote for competitions would not have been written otherwise, and I’ve since re-worked several of them and had them published in ways I never originally intended. So much of this comes down to marketing, which, yes, goes right against most writers’ grain. The other thing about not winning competitions is that there are so many entries to the big ones, and much of the decision-making comes down to the personal taste of the judges. Also, it does give you a chance to consider in what way your story could be made better. If you truly think it can’t be, then yes, why not self-publish. An ebook costs nothing but effort, and it’s up to you how you try to sell it. You’ve got a very good blog as your platform. You could post excerpts of finished works and see if you get any feedback. Best of luck and more power to your determination.

  • Peripheria says:

    I do think personal taste counts for a lot. When I have seen the winning entries, for example, of the Mslexia competitions, I do not think ‘My story should have won.’, but ‘My story wasn’t like this one.’ I haven’t exploited the potential of the ‘failed’ stories; there may be some life in them yet. It is a question of time. It all takes such endless time. I have recently been considering looking at quarterlies with a view to submitting stories to one. I have always, rather foolishly, considered that it might be very hard to find a place in a quarterly. But now I think it must be easier to be published in a quarterly than to win a competition, offering a great deal of prize money. And, of course, publication is a valuable credential. Thank you for your advice. I do hope to be able to follow it, in a few months: post some of a story.

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