To Contest, or Not To Contest…

We intended to scope out a Gulf beach we’d never been to, but apparently the bridge is out until the Fall of 2009. Fine by me…it was a perfect day for working outside.

Before heading out the door to pressure wash the pool this morning, I picked up the newest issue of RWR (Romance Writer’s Report) and flipped to the contests section in the back. I entered the Beacon in 2007, and placed 2nd in the historical division. I made several newbie mistakes that were sure to bar me from 1st place, but over-all I was happier than an armadillo with a cozy nest and an endless supply of ants. I always think I might enter another one, but can never decide which one. I just can’t see forking over $25-$35 for 2-3 critiques of my first 25-30 pages. (I have several critique partners who don’t charge me a dime.  ) If I were fortunate enough to final and have my entry read by an editor, I think it’s a stretch to think that editor will ask for a full, and offer a contract. I know it happens, but I’m more likely to get run over by a Mac truck.

I discovered there are some bargain contests that just might be worthy of my regard. A couple are cheap enough that I could enter two for the price of one. I don’t think I’d enter based on the final judge, nor for the critiques. I would like to know where a few objective readers would put my story–in the tank, or top three.

Entering the Golden Heart briefly crossed my mind, but the $50 fee was a tad steep for me in this economy. I have several friends who’ve entered–thankfully, all in different sub-genres. I hope they each win in their category!


3 thoughts on “To Contest, or Not To Contest…

    • Hi Gypsy,

      RWA Chapter sponsored contests are fund raisers. I think they can be very worthwhile for writers when they’re looking for feedback since most require comments on the score sheets when the score dips below a certain number.

      I changed my tune this afternoon when I found out a very talented writer didn’t final in one she had entered. I’ve been a judge for several years and know how subjective the process can be, but a good judge will put aside their dislike of certain sub-genres to score according to the criteria met in the entry. My thought of entering a contest just to see how well 3 readers would view my story would’t be worth the money.

      So, I think entering all depends on what one hopes to gain.

      Thanks for dropping by!



  1. Hi Lis’Anne,

    Thanks for the info. I wasn’t aware that RWA contests were fundraisers. No matter how I feel about contests in general, that’s nice in itself. And I definitely agree it all depends on what one hopes to gain from the experience. Different things for different people.

    Anyhow, very nice blog. I’ll definitely check in again. 🙂


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