7 Responses to “Let’s talk contest wins”

  1. Annmarie October 12, 2009 at 12:51 PM #

    I have judged contests too and was surprised to see an entry I’d score low win. Then again, I’ve seen contest winners that had fantabulous books and so deserved the win.

  2. Sandy October 12, 2009 at 12:53 PM #

    Great post! I’ve heard the same thing said elsewhere – contest wins don’t necessarily give your manuscript a closer look – so if I enter, I usually do it for the feedback. That said, are there any contests besides the Golden Heart which would make an editor/agent more interested in a book?


  3. Ciar Cullen October 12, 2009 at 12:53 PM #

    I often wonder if the entry fee for a contest isn’t better spent on hiring some marketing to get notice for your current title. Most authors are on strict ad budgets (at least small press authors I know), but some seem kind of addicted to contests. I think it can be a way of avoiding submitting to a publisher for some, if that makes any sense? Like a soft submission to the judge. Glad to know it doesn’t count for all that since I’ve never won anything :o)

  4. Kristen Painter October 12, 2009 at 1:35 PM #

    This is one reason Launching A STAR requires finaling entries to not only score well, but score within a certain percentile.

  5. Tricia October 15, 2009 at 8:13 AM #

    In the past year I jumped into entering and judging contests. I think they do help writers learn the submission process and to be able to send in the best entry possible. Overall, I’ve been impressed by he quality of writing out there. I’ve judged entries that were excellent and finaled, I’ve judged entries that I thought were poorly written win, so it’s taught me that the submission process is all subjective. What judging has given me is an insight to what the acquisitions process entails, and how in the end, it might not be your story that fits into their marketing plan. In the end, it comes down to what will sell.

  6. Martha W October 15, 2009 at 8:13 AM #

    This is excellent information. A lot of authors take the advice of ‘enter contests’ and think it ups their marketability by winning/finaling. Of course, they don’t take into account that what makes them marketable is the work that comes after the scores/comments! Thanks for a great post!

  7. Jinni October 15, 2009 at 1:40 PM #

    This is an interesting post. I’ve written for years before joining an RWA chapter and am surprised about the obsession with contests. I could see how they could be beneficial – but see mostly the downside of perpetual contest entries and critique groups that spend an inordinate amount of time polishing only a few chapters.

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Angela James

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