AVBOB Poetry Project | Six Easy Steps for Entering Writing Competitions

Six Easy Steps for Entering Writing Competitions

We get it – competitions are daunting, and no matter how great a writer you feel you are, there always seems to be somebody better. If you have recently spotted a contest that celebrates creative written compositions, you may experience a twinge of trepidation, even though you want to try. Fortunately, we are here to help ease all your worries and show you the easiest way to put yourself out there as a writer.

Keen to start? Tackling any project is easier when you break it down into small portions and manage your time surrounding each task on your list. For those who have never entered writing competitions before or wish to do so in a structured manner, below are six simple steps to get you going.

Step 1: Understand the Requirements

The competitions you enter may be for a lengthy poem, page-long essay, or even a short story – either way, it is imperative that you understand precisely what is expected of you. Failure to stick to the contest rules or theme may result in disqualification, so try to ensure that you read through the instructions carefully.

Step 2: Jot Down Your Ideas

The hardest part about writing competitions is coming up with a direction that stands out from the crowd. For some, concept generation comes naturally, while others have to work harder at it. Surrounding yourself with something that inspires you (like music or nature) may help you to think of interesting, out-of-the-box ideas.

Step 3: Ask for Feedback

Once you have some concepts in mind, it may help to ask those around you for their candid thoughts. Note that nobody’s constructive criticism needs to matter if you like what you are doing, but feedback is sometimes a great way to test the waters of public opinion and improve your work.

Step 4: Structure Your Writing

Professional authors all have a unique method to kick-starting their work. Beginners, however, benefit best from a pre-arranged structure in their piece. If you are writing a poem, figure out how many stanzas you plan to do. For essays, you will need to consider the theme of your introduction, body, and conclusion before fleshing anything out. Structure also gives the written composition a direction to stick to and prevents the author from straying too far off course.

Step 5: Create Your Rough Draft

Your high school teacher was right all along – beginning with a rough draft is the best way to hand in a refined product. Write, edit, and rewrite if you need to, but make sure that your finished work is error-free.

Step 6: Take Pride in Your Art

Once you have corrected those grammar and spelling mistakes, and freshened up your final work, you are ready to submit your creation. Whenever entering writing competitions, it may seem essential for you to win – but even more important is taking pride in your hard work and feeling that you gave your best. Writing competitions are a fantastic way to work on your creative skills and draw some attention to yourself as an author. Every confident writer once started somewhere (and right now is as good a time as any), so go out and make your voice heard.

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