Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Writing Contests

Whether you think you have a competitive streak or not, you are actually competing all the time as a writer. Just step into a bookstore and look at the sheer number of books available if you doubt it. So why not compete in a more determined way? Enter a contest. There are annual contests, genre contests, online contests and timed writing contests. 

Writer's Digest is a good place to find lists of regional or national contests tailored to your interests and time availability. Pick a close range contest and perhaps one in 6 months. Then, read all the submission rules and get busy. I've found that I need a deadline to help me push past my ambivalence. A contest helps with that. 

Just think! A contest win puts you into that upper stratosphere classification  of "award winning author."  Good luck!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Writing Conferences - Just Do It!

I have been writing for at least 20 years and publishing for 10. People often ask how I got started. I usually just say I got lucky and caught an editor's eye.

However, I've come to realize that it was more that that. It was about being in the right "frame of mind" at the right time. After years of being told I was a good writer by teachers, friends, relatives, and church administrators, it took a college children's writing course and a couple of SCBWI conferences to make me realize that I didn't want to be good. I wanted to be outstanding! 

So...I took a hard look at what I didn't know or hadn't bothered to try. I discovered I had a lot to learn. I'm still learning and attending SCBWI conferences. Don't be afraid of not knowing people at a conference. They are afraid of not knowing you! Check out
for upcoming conferences. Who knows? You might get lucky!