AVBOB Poetry Project | Writing Competitions: 5 Myths to Stop Believing

Writing Competitions: 5 Myths to Stop Believing

Amateur writers who are new to the craft and professional masters alike are familiar with writing competitions. Many creative poets and wordsmiths shy away from such contests, however, believing instead some of the falsities that float around about entering. If you are someone who loves to write, though, then it may be worth your while to take the time and find out whether or not there is any truth to these commonly quoted myths.

1. “I Will Not Win, Anyway.”

It is a good idea to enter writing competitions with a can-do attitude, even if you do not end up winning. Positivity while tackling any task makes it all the more enjoyable – and you are far more likely to excel at something you love doing. Entering written contests is also not all about the winning; it is about giving your voice a platform, challenging yourself, and improving your skill. For a better idea of the type of pieces that usually win such competitions, read through some past entries that did well in previous years. Be sure to stick to the editorial guidelines and get in touch with the essence of the topic or theme before you begin writing.

2. “It Is Only for Professionals.”

Professional authors might have the advantage when it comes to technical skill and experience but entering as an amateur affords you the opportunity to improve both skill and experience too. Plenty of renowned authors began their careers by entering such contests (and not necessarily always winning, either). You might also surprise yourself by the quality of content you are able to produce, but you will never know until you try.

3. “They Are Too Expensive to Enter.”

Some writing competitions indeed have an entry fee, but there are plenty that are absolutely free. A simple online search will yield dozens of results, and you can enter tons of them completely free of charge – just remember to keep your eyes peeled for any scams. Some have marvellous cash prizes and others, the exciting winner’s title and accompanied audience.

4. “There Is No Point If I Do Not Win.”

Winning is subjective. Some people count it a victory if they can reach first place, acquire the top prize, and boast about their accolade. Others see taking the challenge, trying their best, and growing as a writer to be the ultimate win. It is all about perspective and where you choose to find meaning.

5. “Guidelines Stifle Creativity.”

For many artists, the idea of being tethered to rules, guidelines, and themes seems awfully restrictive. This, however, could not be further from the truth. Yes, creativity is meant to run wild and flow freely, but it is also developed when one is forced to solve a problem. By adhering to rules and topics that are unfamiliar instead of self-imposed, you are coaxed into moving beyond your comfort zone and into new, uncharted territory. It is one of the best ways to beat writer’s block and break free from boxed-in thinking.

Want to improve your vocabulary, technical skill, and writing flair? Keep an eye out for our poetry competitions and smaller writing contests throughout the year.

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