If you have a polished manuscript ready to go, you might want to think about entering. Hurry on Pitch Wars though (submission window closes tonight).
Here’s my take away on contests: they’re subjective. Just like publishing, some judges are going to love your work, and others maybe not so much. I’ve entered a few contests this year and here’s what I’ve learned – winning is nice, but it’s the people you meet along the way that make it worthwhile.
By exchanging pages, and reaching out to others in the writing community, you have the opportunity to build a strong foundation for your work. Ask any writer who is part of a solid critique group, and I’d bet at least one of their circle came from a contest connection. Now, are you going to meet some knuckleheads along the way who might be cruel about your work? Maybe. But the majority of writers are just as serious as you are about wanting to help improve your craft.
So even if you don’t win, or get any requests (based on the contest), you can still gain valuable experience and form amazing relationships. The contest may not land you an agent, but it could connect you with a critique partner who might help you get your book there one day.
Good luck to all who are brave enough to enter the contest trenches over the next few weeks. I’m sending good thoughts your way!