Submitting your work to a writing contest or book awards can feel scary, even for those authors and writers who have submitted work before or won can still find it scary. It's a big step and you are letting others see something that you put hours into creating. Often, something that is very personal to you. Writing contests can be a great way to grow as a writer and to expand your writing career. With that in mind we are going to take a look at some things to consider to help get yourself ready for entering a writing contest.
We say this because so many of our entrants have given testimonials about how liberating it has been to share their writing on Page Turner Awards, plus to get constructive feedback from readers and our judging panel.
You May Not Win But You Haven’t Failed
No one can win every writing contest no matter how hard they try. When you lose a writing contest, especially your first one, it can feel like a big blow. You may even feel like you failed, but you don’t fail when you don’t win a writing contest. By taking the step out of your comfort zone and entering the contest you have already shown that you aren’t a failure.
Another thing to consider is that at the end of the writing contest, whether you win or not, you are left with important feedback. Well, that's if you're entering Page Turner Awards. Other writing contests and writing competitions don't offer this kind of service but Page Turner Awards offers both editorial feedback and private feedback.
This is important to keep in mind when entering writing contests because you want to get value and benefits from taking the time to enter.
Being Nervous of the Judges
Rarely do book award contestants or writing contest entrants actually get to meet the judges of a writing contest but it is very common to be nervous of their judging your work, whether that be an unpubllished manuscript you have written or a book you have published. You may worry about these people judging you or your work. First off, you are never seeing them face to face so there is no reason to be nervous of them in any way.
Second, judges aren’t judging you based off your writing entry, they are judging whether your entry is the best in their opinion. Not all opinions are the same. Some of our publisher judges want different genres to publish and some of our literary agent judges only represent authors of fiction or non-fiction.
As long as you put your best effort into your entry, the judge is going to recognize that and consider your submission.
What You Might Win Outweighs What You Lose
Because you do not lose anything when entering a writing contest, what you might win will always outweigh what you might lose. If you are holding yourself back from entering a writing contest over the fear of what you might lose from submitting your work you should take a step back and look at the contest.
You are creating a piece that you are submitting and if you don’t win, you still come out of it with something amazing, a passion filled piece. That should be something to be proud of and is a win in itself.
And consider that in 2020 Page Turner Awards awarded 54 prizes to various award category winners!
Implementing what we talked about in this article may be hard but what is important is that you try. The more that you try to embed these notes in your mind, the more you will start to believe them. It can also help to ask yourself why you are entering the contest, it isn’t just to win, it is to get your story out there and even if you don’t win, your story is out there.
We understand that sometimes positive psychology like this can sound corny. Just because something sounds corny though doesn’t mean that it isn’t right. Writing contest are mostly fearful because it can feel like a big move to put something so personal out there. Putting that work out there though is what can help you to become a better writer and to grow. That first step of entering the first writing contest can also help to set these fears aside and focus on the positive psychology of writing contests.
Take a punt on it and enter our awards!