Monday, September 30, 2013

iUniverse Writing Contest Basics for Indie Authors

When you have written creatively or professionally for any particular length of time, you have probably heard of writing competitions. Peer recognition after all is a common aspiration for writers throughout the literary establishment, especially so with iUniverse.

While some writers join writing competitions for the purpose of bagging the prize, most however are content with the experience and feedback they get. It also helps their entry gets shared as part of the organizer’s online content, or if it makes the cut and get published in an anthology of the best contest entries.

For these reasons, competitions are quite popular.

How do you join? 

Find a competition, write your entry, edit, edit, edit, then sign up, pay the fee, and submit the finished work. And after that, wait. Always remember to be patient, because, as with anything worth while, it takes time for the judges to read plenty of entries. In due course, the winners will be announced and the prizes presented.
Most contests focus on a specific genre. Seek out one with which you feel a strong connection, as well as one that doesn’t require a lot of research. You’re going to have a deadline that can't be missed.
As soon as you find a competition that suits your abilities, you need to consider a few things.

How much is the entry fee? 

Say you decide to pay to join, make sure that it's not some ridiculous amount. Under $20 is normal for a competition that is limited to fewer than 10,000 words. Consider paying more than that amount if the contest you intend to join is more prestigious and the cash prize considerably larger..

Who's on jury duty?
Considering how the event organizers will essentially be putting a stamp of approval on your work, it is very important to determine their credibility in the literary circles you intend to be active in. It helps to have some recognizable publishing industry names and literati on the jury list to lend luster and legitimacy to the prize.

What's up for grabs? 

Sometimes just being in the competition and having your work recognized is enough. But it’s always nice to be compensated, especially if you’ve paid an entry fee or if the project is going to be part of a published collection.

Lastly, here are five quick tips:

Craft a killer title. The first thing judges and readers ever see is your book's title. So it makes a lot of sense to pour all your creativity into the title.

Keep your eyes on the prize. Keep to the contest criteria laid down by the prize jury and organizers.

Go pop fiction. If it's a “writing competition”, popular fiction will probably win, requiring an engrossing plot.

Be bold. Don't hesitate to create larger-than-life characters that can catch the eye of judges and readers alike. Normal is far too boring for the general readership.

Watch your punctuation! And remember to edit, edit, edit.


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