Monday, January 3, 2011

I'm Doing It.

It's official, my dear readers.  I'm entering my first writing contest. 

I should rephrase that.  Truth be told, it's not actually my first.  When I was nine, I entered a limmerick in an on-line contest through PBS.  Surprisingly, I won (I don't remember what place, it was too long ago) and got my limmerick published online for a brief amount of time.

This time, though, it's different.  This time, there's more on the line than being published on the internet.  Afterall, being published online falls into a similar catagory (I feel like I spelled that wrong) as fanfiction and blogging.  And I do both.

No, this contest means business.  I'll fill you in.

It's actually two contests: one for students of colleges only and one for all residents of Colorado.  There are three genres for each - Creative Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, and Poetry.  There's an entry fee of ten dollars (seven for students, so I get the lower rate).  You have to mail in three copies of your piece and a coversheet (like you would write if you were to send something to an editor).

Here's what you get if you win.

If you win the student only one, you get $75 for your genre, your piece published in a national writer's magazine, and an invitation to attend the Colorado Literary Festival in April.  That's a pretty sweet deal with great exposure.

If you win the statewide one, you get $250 for your genre, your piece published in the same national writer's magazine as the student only contest, and you get to not only attend the Colorado Literary Festival in April, but you get to read your piece at it.

My hands are clammy just thinking about it.  Yeah the money's cool, but think about it.  Editors and writers and publishers all read this specific magazine.  It's brilliant.

Of course, chances are that you will also get a letter thanking you for participating.  Even that's pretty cool though.

I'm really excited, can you tell?  I'm also a little nervous.  I've never done this before.  But seeing as my aspiration in life is to be a writer, this is a good start.

It's funny.  I don't think I would be entering this contest if it weren't for my writing instructor.  She told me that she felt my final piece last semester was strong enough to be entered into this contest as well as other writing contests across the board.  I think that's the highest praise I could honestly get from her for something I've written.  After all, she's a fantastic teacher and a brilliant writer.

My final piece is the one I'm entering.  I've done a lot of work on it to craft the words the way I want them and to show the characters for who they are, even if it is just for a fleeting moment.  The piece is short and starts right in medias res.  I love stories that do that.  They are fun to write and fun to read.  I'm also thinking it's part of a larger story; I feel like I'm going to end up writing that larger story in the not too distant future.

So anyway, that's it for today's blog.  I'll let you know how this contest goes.  I'm hoping to have my entry in by Friday.

Until we meet again, dear readers.


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