Thursday, 16 February 2012

Writing Competitions Are Wonderful

Hooray for my writing buddy Avril ! She has just been shortlisted in the imaginative  Doire writing competition. An Irish competition, it has an international entry, so this is a satisfying achievement even so far. As I say to Avril, the Irish certainly know what they’re doing where the English language is concerned,! Their judgement will be true. I just want her to win it now! Cross your fingers.

Writing competitions, whether you win them or not, are a very good discipline for a writer. They give you a deadline, a clear brief, a growing sense of audience that some stranger – not your sister, your brother, your best friend - out there really rates your words on the page. Whether you win it or not when you write for a competition you are practicing for  strangers.  This forces you to write at the top of the game: you can’t expect strangers to read your mind and know what you intended to mean, how you intended to say it.

Having judged many national writing competitions I will tell you that the cream tends to come to the top. If you keep trying and improving you will get there.  Being placed in competitions should boost your self esteem, increase your self confidence as a writer and make you write more and better. And I will also tell you -  the more you write the better you will get! (Seems like common sense, doesn't it?)

It is –as Avril and I have proved  – delicious to talk writing over a glass of wine, or brainstorm in your writing group. But if you want to grow as a writer there is no substitute for writing on and on,  for writing with creative discipline. Writing competitions are one  good way to sustain that growth.

If you want to sample Avril’s winning  style (almost wrote smile…) download her book

Susie Drew and other Stories.

Avril says:  Susie Drew and Other Stories is the second in the series Beyond The Mask - stories of prison life. Susie Drew Susie Drew has the habits of a jackdaw, stealing bright objects, little bits of nothing that shine. She steals food too, coffee from the Nescafe jar in the staffroom. She’s your cleaner, the best cleaner you’ve ever had. Puts the coffee in screws of paper, buries it under the mattress in her prison cell…
Heroin Trees – Roxanne and Me Roxanne is a working girl. Nita is her friend…I wasn’t long out of prison after the first time and things weren’t going well. Despite all my promises I was back with Sonny and using again, our money heated up in spoons: liquid money shot into our veins and laid out nodding on the couch. We managed alright for a while because he was dealing, but when Sonny got sick and I started wondering what the hell we were going to do for money that was when Roxy rang…
Pink Passion Marie is looking for love - I met him at the Pineapple, one Thursday night. I used to go there most weeks looking for something. I suppose then I might have called it love, although I barely knew it. You can’t know what you’ve never had. Can you? And I never had much of it when I was growing up…
Susie Drew and Other Stories (Beyond The Mask)

1 comment:

  1. I am very new to writing ,a bit later in my life than I would have liked.You give very good advice,I have never entered a competition,I have written for them but never sent them in, but the discipline is good.I mostly reminisce on my blog but have started with a few very short fiction stories.Next time I will send one in after all it's not the winning it's the taking part and having fun.Thank you for your kind words on my blog.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...