This year I have entered four competitions so far, which I think is my most to date. I entered – Writivism, Commonwealth, Afreada and Newwrinklepublishing.
I did not enter the Etisalat Flash Fiction competition as I was reluctant to lobby for votes this year.
I entered the Writivism comp in March and though I made it into their 100 submissions selected, I did not make it to the longlist. And then there’s the Commonwealth…I was hesitant about entering the commonwealth, having already entered the shortlist for the 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2016. I reckon entering the shortlist again is akin to being struck by lightning twice, but I’ve got nothing to lose and that’s a competition I intend to get into the habit of entering.
The Afreada competition is interesting because they provided a photo as a prompt and that always forces one to be creative. How do you write a story that will stand out from others and stay true to what you see? At first, my mind drew a blank so I just started writing and it went in a direction I hadn’t seen coming. Then I wrote a second entry, (there was no rule stating you could only enter once). The second entry was much easier and more fun; I suppose, because I already had one entry in and so there was room to be free and play around a bit. As a result, I prefer my second entry.
New Wrinkle is a publishing house whose competition involves entering a synopsis for your completed manuscript. It’s a lot like the process of trying to get your book published by traditional means, except, in addition to a publishing contract you are given a soundtrack and art work created off of your story. How cool is that?! Though New Wrinkle encourages you to acquire votes, they have made it clear that they are as likely to pick a story with 0 votes as they are to pick one with 1,000 votes for the grand prize. The story with the most votes gets a different prize.
The more I enter these competitions, the more I want to enter. It’s nerve racking and exciting and the possibilities give you something to look forward to. It’s hard to believe how hesitant I was in the past. Perhaps the Commonwealth and Etisalat competitions boosted my confidence, but the truth is the more competitions you enter, the more chances you give yourself to win one. So I will keep competing.